Jonathan and Beatrice emerged from the Ice Path and out into the air of Blackthorn City. Both were wearing thick, winter clothes they had purchased before leaving Mahogany Town. They traveled through the frozen caverns and battled many Ice-Type Pokémon including the Delivery Bird Pokémon, Delibird, and the dual Ice and Ground-Type, Swinub. When they left the frozen cave, the temperature seemed to get warmer and warmer. Blackthorn City was still a mountainous city, but it was a bit warmer than Mahogany Town.
“We made it,” Beatrice said as she stepped out from the Ice Path. “Hopefully that means no more snow and ice.”
Jonathan pulled back his hood and brushed some snow off his clothes.
“Yeah that was quite cold,” Jonathan said. “I’m glad we are out of there.”
“Me too,” Beatrice said. “Are you nervous about Blackthorn City?”
Jonathan thought for a moment.
They had finally made it to Blackthorn City, now with seven Pokémon Gym Badges in his pocket. Each of these representing a battle fought against a tough opponent as well as a memorable step along the way. They were important symbols that represented the journey so far. Now he was in Blackthorn City where the eight and final Gym Leader was located. It was Jonathan’s final task.
“Yeah I’m nervous,” Jonathan said. “This is the end of a long journey.”
Beatrice grabbed Jonathan’s hand and squeezed it tight.
“We’ve made it this far,” Beatrice said. “And I know that you can take on anything that this Clair throws at you.”
“I’m glad you believe in me,” Jonathan said with a laugh.
Jonathan thought back to the advice that Pryce had given him before he left Mahogany Town. Pryce mentioned that Clair was a tough Dragon-Type Gym Leader, but Jonathan didn’t really know much more about her. It seemed like Blackthorn City was very isolated from the rest of the Johto Region and Clair mirrored this isolation. It seemed like she was very separate from the rest of the Johto Gym Leaders.
Beatrice squeezed Jonathan’s hand.
“Hey. Don’t fret about it, ok? Let’s go check out the city,” Beatrice said.
“Right. We can check out the town, check in at the Pokémon Center to heal up, and then head towards the Pokémon Gym,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan and Beatrice made their way towards the Pokémon Center. Inside they met with the Pokémon nurse and got their Pokémon healed.
“Here you go,” The nurse said handing the Pokéballs back to Jonathan.
“Thank you,” Jonathan said.
“I like your Pokémon,” Beatrice said.
“Thank you,” The nurse said. “Say ‘Hi’ Blissey.”
“Blissey! Blissey!” The Pokémon smiled.
“You two are new in town, aren’t you?” The nurse asked.
“Yeah, how could you tell?” Jonathan asked.
“Well Blackthorn City isn’t very big. Other than Clair and the members of the Dragon’s Den, the only people who come through are challengers to the Pokémon Gym,” The nurse explained.
“Do a lot of people challenge the Pokémon Gym?” Jonathan asked.
“Not really. Very few trainers get this far, so the fact that you are here means a whole lot.”
“What can you tell us about Clair?” Beatrice asked.
“Honestly I don’t know a whole lot about her. She comes in here from time to time to heal her Pokémon, but besides that, she stays to herself. I can tell that she trains very hard and should be a tough opponent,” The Nurse said. “I wish you luck.”
“Thanks,” Jonathan said.
They left the Pokémon Center and began walking towards the Pokémon Gym.
“Well I guess I can’t put this off anymore,” Jonathan said.
“Are you ready for this?” Beatrice asked.
“I’m not sure. I think so,” Jonathan said.
“I believe in you,” Beatrice said giving him a kiss on the cheek.
Jonathan blushed a bit.
“Alright, let’s go,” Jonathan said.
When they stepped inside, they immediately noticed the heightened temperature. Compared to outside, this place was quite warm. Jonathan and Beatrice pulled off their winter coat and wiped sweat from their brow. Taking another few steps forward, they found the source of the heat. Along the walls, were large burning torches which lit up the Gym. There were also statues of winged Dragon like Pokémon standing along the walls of the Gym. In the center of the Gym was a stone battlefield with a large pool of water in the center.
Beatrice took Jonathan and her coats and made her way up into the stands to watch the battle, while Jonathan stepped out onto the battlefield. However, there didn’t seem to be anyone here.
“Hello?” Jonathan called out.
There was a rumbling sound as a platform rose from the ground. Standing on top of it was a woman with blue hair wearing a blue bodysuit and a black cape around her neck. She had blue boots and blue gloves that matched the bodysuit. She glanced towards Jonathan and then to Beatrice who was sitting in the stands.
The woman then turned back to Jonathan giving him a look of curiosity.
“Are you here to challenge the Blackthorn Gym?” The woman asked.
“Yes I am. My name is Jonathan and I have collected the other seven Gym Badges of the Johto Region. I’m here to receive my eighth. Are you Clair?”
“I am,” Clair said. “I am Clair, The Blackthorn Gym Leader and world’s best Dragon-Type Master. Not only have I achieved the feat of leading this Pokémon Gym, but I have held my own against members of the Pokémon League’s Elite Four. Knowing this, do you still want to take me on?”
It felt like the air was knocked out of Jonathan’s chest, but he tried his best to compose himself.
“Yes…yes,” He said.
“Very well,” Clair said. “Then I ask you to step forward into the battlefield and take on the full power of my Dragon-Type Pokémon.”
Clair took a few step forward onto the battlefield and Jonathan did the same, taking a few step forward. Clair snapped her fingers and blue flames ignited behind Jonathan and Clair, surrounding the battlefield.
“We will both use two Pokémon each. When the second Pokémon is unable to battle, whoever has Pokémon still standing, will be declared the winner,” Clair explained.
She held out a Pokéball.
“Send out your first Pokémon,” Clair said.
“Alright, go Togetic,” Jonathan said pulling out the Pokéball.
There was a flash of red light and Togetic emerged from its Pokéball. It flapped its little wings and swirled around Jonathan’s body.
“That’s very cute,” Clair said looking at Jonathan and Togetic. “But I expected something much tougher. Not many people come to my Pokémon Gym, so when I heard from my cousin Lance, you were coming, I was quite excited. Now I’m not so sure.”
“Do not estimate us,” Jonathan said.
“I wouldn’t dare,” Clair said. “Go, Charizard!”
She held out her Pokéball and a flash of red light emerged. It shifted to the form of a large, red Dragon like Pokémon with a large flame on the tip of its tail. It expanded its wings and let out a roar as a stream of fire left its mouth.
“Charizard? Even though it looks like a Dragon, I thought that Charizard was a Fire and Flying-Type Pokémon,” Jonathan said.
“While it’s true that Charizard is not a Dragon-Type Pokémon, this is not its only form. Charizard is quite a special Pokémon because it has not just one, but two special forms it can achieve through Mega Evolution.”
Clair held up a small marble-like gemstone which Jonathan recognized as a Mega Stone.
“This is a Charizardite X. Let me show you what it can do. Charizard, Mega Evovle!”
Charizard let out another stream of fire as its body began to glow. The Charizardite X began glowing as well and the mega energy began swirling around it. Its form began to change and as the energy swirled with the fire. There was a small erruption of energy and Charizard’s Mega Form stood in front of Jonathan.
It looked similar to a regular Charizard except it had blackened skin with blue wings and a blue stomach. The flames coming from its tail and mouth matched the blue flames that surrounded the Pokémon Gym’s battlefield.
“Charizard!” It roared again as blue flames came from its mouth.
“Now let’s battle,” Clair smiled.
“Charizard, use Flamethrower!”
“Togetic, dodge it!” Jonathan shouted.
Charizard unleashed a stream of blue flames towards Togetic, as it flapped its wings hard, trying to get out of the way. However, Charizard’s flames were too fast. Togetic managed to dodge most of the flames, but the edges scorched its body.
Togetic flew up into the air, rising above the fire.
“Charizard, chase it,” Clair said.
Charizard flapped its large wings which temporarily disperesed some of the flames as it flew into the air, chasing after Togetic.
“Togetic, use Fairy Wind!” Jonathan shouted up.
Togetic turned back to face the fire breathing Dragon and flapped its wings. Pink mist with sparkles were unleashed from Togetic as it slammed into Charizard. This slowed down Charizard a bit, but it continued to fly towards Togetic.
“Charizard, use Fire Fang!”
Charizard continued to climb as blue flames poured from its mouth.
“Togetic, dodge it and use Metronome!”
Togetic dove, just missing Charizard, and then started moved its hands back and forth in a rhythmic movement. Its hands began to glow as Charizard turned around.
“Charizard, Fire Fang again!”
Charizard dove after Togetic with its mouth full of fire.
Togetic’s hands sparkled and then Togetic’s opened its mouth. It unleashed a wave of sound waves, like a scream, from its mouth.
Charizard powered through the sound waves and slammed into Togetic. It snapped its flaming jaws around Togetic and used its strength to throw it towards the ground. Togetic slammed into the battlefield in a cloud of dust.
“Togetic!” Jonathan shouted out as Togetic began to hover above the ground.
“Charizard, use Flamethrower!”
Charizard began to decend towards Togetic as it unleashed another stream of blue flames. Togetic hands began to glow again as it moved back and forth following a beat in its head. Togetic’s hands then sparkled as it opened its mouth again. Dark purple flames were unleashed from its mouth as they collided with Charizard’s flames. There was an explosion in the middle knocking both Pokémon to the ground.
As the dust settled, Togetic hovered in front of Jonathan covered in burns and bruises. Charizard got off the ground, also bruised, but still looked relatively healthy. Togetic looked rough as its looked at Charizard.
“Togetic, return to me,” Jonathan said.
Togetic turned its head.
“You’ve fought hard, Togetic, and I’m very proud of you. But this is a battle you cannot win. I do not want any more harm to come to you,” Jonathan said. “Come to me.”
Togetic nodded and flew towards Jonathan. Jonathan gave Togetic a hug and squeezed it before Togetic returned to its Pokéball.
“I have to say that your Togetic put up a better fight then I originally thought, but my Charizard was too much for it. Do you want to give up now or should we continue?” Clair asked.
“Don’t worry. This is far from over,” Jonathan said. “I will win this battle and get my eighth Gym Badge.”
“Very well. Proceed with your next Pokémon,” Clair said.
“Let’s go, Ampharos!” Jonathan shouted.
Ampharos emerged from its Pokéball with a flash of red light. Its yellow fur shined and the red sphere on its tail glowed brightly.
“Ampharos!” It shouted.
“An Ampharos. Quite interesting,” Clair said. “Let’s see how it does against Charizard.”
“We’re ready!” Jonathan said.
“Ampharos!” Ampharos nodded.
“Then let’s go. Charizard, use Fire Fang!”
Again, Charizard launched itself off the ground using its wings to fly towards Ampharos. It’s mouth filled with blue fire as it quickly closed the gap between each Pokémon.
“Ampharos, use Thunder Punch!” Jonathan shouted.
Ampharos planted its feet and the ball on the end of its tail began to glow. Electricity trickled up its arm until it formed a ball of electricity around its arm and fist. Charizard charged in and Ampharos launched out with its fist, slamming into the side of Charizard’s head. It was just enough to knock Charizard off its path and it soared on by, just missing Ampharos. Charizard kept flying, almost knocking into Jonathan as it soared through the fire and into the air.
“Ampharos, use Electroball!”
Ampharos turned and electricity began to build up on the end of its tail.
Charizard turned in mid air and starred down at Ampharos.
“Charizard, use Air Slash!”
Ampharos spun and the electrical ball shot off from its tail towards, the hovering Charizard. Before it could impact, Charizard began beating its wings faster and faster stirring up winds. The ball of electricity hovered in the air for a second before being dispersed.
“Ampharos, use Power Gem!”
The gem on Ampharos’s head began to glow bright red as red gemstones of energy floated in the air. Energy beams launched from Ampharos to the gemstones and then towards Charizard.
Charizard roared and unleashed a blast of blue fire towards Ampharos. This time the energy beams cut through the fire and slammed into Charizard. Charizard was knocked back and it began to flail in the air. It flapped its wings, but fell from the sky. It landed on its back and slammed into the Gym floor. The Mega Energy left its body as it reverted back to its original floor. Charizard laid on the ground unable to battle.
“Return, Charizard,” Clair said as Charizard disappeared inside its Pokéball.
“You are quite impressive, Jonathan,” Clair said with a slight smile. “Most people do not make it past Charizard, but this next Pokémon is even stronger.”
“Bring it on,” Jonathan said.
“Ampharos!” Ampharos echoed the sentiment.
“Let’s go, Dragonair!” Clair said tossing up her second Pokéball.
There was a flash of red light and then a splash as the Pokémon entered the large pool of water they had been battling around this entire time. The Pokémon emerged and poked its head out of the water. Jonathan could tell it was a blue, serpentine Pokémon with a blue jewel on its neck, white horn on its face, and two white wings on the side of its head.
“Dragonair,” It called out in a sing-song voice.
“This is where the real battle begins,” Clair said.
“Not quite,” Jonathan said. “Ampharos. Let’s Mega Evovle!”
Jonathan held out the Ampharosite that Professor Elm had given him. As he did, it began to glow and Mega Energy flowed out from it surrounding Ampharos. It began to glow as its form began to change.
There was an eruption of energy and Mega Ampharos stood proud of its new form. Jonathan had never seen Mega Ampharos before and he almost laughed at its new form. It looked almost exactly like Ampharos but it now had a flowing mane of wool as well as a fluffy tail of wool and gems.
“Ampharos!” It baaed.
“Now this is when the battle really begins,” Jonathan said.
“That…. is interesting,” Clair said not sure what to make of her new opponent.
“You like Ampharos’ hairdo? It comes with a surprise,” Jonathan said. “Ampharos, use Dragon Pulse!”
All the gems on Ampharos’ body began to glow and electiricty sparked up and down its wool. A ball of purple energy formed on its forehead before unleashing a blast of energy.
“Dragonair, Dragon Pulse!”
Dragonair stretched out is neck and the gem on its neck glowed with a similar purple energy. It unleashed a blast that mirrored Ampharos’ attack. The two attacks collided and exploded in the middle.
“Good try,” Clair said. “You have to be quicker then that. Dragonair, use Water Tail!”
The Dragonair spun in the pool and raised its tail which was now covered in a layer of water. The water whipped forward slamming into Ampharos.
“Ampharos, use Thunder Punch!”
Electricity surged up its body and into its fist. Ampharos then struck the ground and the electricity jumped from puddle of water to another puddle of water, following the path that Dragonair had made with its attack. The electricity hit it, stunning it temporarily.
“Ampharos, use Dragon Pulse!”
The gems on Ampharos’ body began to once again glow with a purple energy as Ampharos unleashed a blast of purple energy which struck Dragonair, knocking it back into the pit of water.
“Great job, Ampharos,” Jonathan shouted.
“Come on Dragonair, use Aqua Tail!”
Dragonair sprung from the pool and was air born for a second before spinning into a somersault. It rolled forward as a wave of water swept over it and slammed down onto the battlefield soaking Ampharos and extinguishing any of the remaining fire surrounding the battlefield.
“Now, use Ice Beam!” Clair shouted.
Dragonair unleashed a blast of ice energy which made contact with Ampharos and its wet wool. The ice froze to it instantly coating Ampharos with a coating of ice.
“Ampharos, break out of the ice!” Jonathan shouted. “Use Thunder Punch!”
Ampharos gathered electrical energy in its fist and broke through the ice that was holding it in place.
“Dragonair, use Dragon Pulse!” Clair yelled.
“Ampharos, dodge it and use Thunder Punch!”
Dragonair unleashed a blast of purple energy which soared towards Ampharos. Ampharos dodged to the side, just in time as the beam soared past it without doing any damage. Then Ampharos continued to run as all of its remaining electrical energy surged up its body. It’s fist began glowing with electricity as it lashed out. The fist made contact, slamming into Dragonair, sending it backwards. It slammed into the ground before skidding to the feet of Clair.
There was a moment of silence as both trainers looked at what just happened. Ampharos’s form changed as the Mega energy was now sapped from its body and it returned to its regular form. Dragonair laid there unable to battle.
Gym Leader Clair had been defeated. Jonathan had won.
Header Photo Credit to vivivoovoo on DeviantArt
Photo of Charizardite X Credit to Tithya on DeviantArt
Picture of the Ampharosite by Tithya on DeviantArt
All photos of Pokemon and related content used were taken from Bulbapedia