As much as Fi wanted to quickly grind Misty into a pulp, she did allow her a moment to whisper her moveset to Ash, no doubt with some potential suggestions as well. Pathetic, really. The boss’s kid couldn’t even figure out how to battle without someone holding his hand.
Don’t let your guard down, she told herself. Noivern was a dragon type, after all. Helpfully resistant to a Gyrados’s water-based moves but not so much against its dragon-type moves. But as long as she struck fast and hard, it didn’t matter what Misty knew. Actually, she thought. Maybe I’ll take that one free TM-use, after all. She reached onto her belt. She always kept a spare of this particular TM around. You never knew when you needed an extra boost of strength, after all. Raven obediently lowered its head as Fi broke the box open and sprinkled the powder over its fur.
“The time-out has ended!” the referee grunt called. “The battle will resume!”
Misty made her way to the center of the gym again. Raven spread its wings, showing its full strength.
Fi grinned. For pure strength, only one move made sense.
“Raven, Hyper Beam!” she commanded.
At the same time, Ash yelled out, “Misty, Ice Beam!”
The two massive rays of energy shot straight for each other, building into a ball of light in the center of the gym. The grunt like out a childish cry, and bits of stone flew across the gym floor. Fi grit her teeth in frustration.
That brat knows an ice move? Crap! Crap! Crap! The building ball of energy only grew as both opponents put their all into their attacks. Eventually, though, they could no longer maintain such a level of energy output, and the attacks ended, causing the ball between them to expand and explode with the collective force of both attacks. A heavy mist filled the air. Raven and Misty were shoved backwards. Fi heard the satisfying sound of Misty crying out in pain. But she also felt a dangerous chill fall over her own side of the gym.
When the mist cleared, Misty was still standing, though her arms showed wide burns where the hyper beam had landed on her. Raven was curled into a ball, ice coating its wings. It let out a soft whine and fell to the ground, unable to battle.
Fi swore as she recalled her Pokémon. So it was all up to her, then. That was fine. That was how it should have been from the beginning. She stepped forward and showed her claws.
Misty was smiling. Which move would she try next? Another Ice Beam? Perhaps her own Hyper Beam attack? Whichever it was, Fi was ready to give this brat a taste of her own medicine. And she had the perfect move to do it with.
Ash raised his hand to give Misty her next direction. “Misty, Thunderbolt!”
Glee pulsed through Fi’s veins and she grinned, showing her sharp teeth. “Me first!” she hissed. Her body moved like lightning. Even as energy built up around Misty, it built around Fi faster. She could feel her claws itching to release it, and she pointed forward with a mighty yell.
There was no clashing of attacks this time. The bolts of lightning hit Misty and she let out a horrific cry, instantly falling to the ground. Fi straightened and grinned at her work. Ash was at his girlfriend’s side, crying out to her.
“Misty! Misty, are you okay? Answer me!” Like with his other Pokémon, he quickly administered a Revive, though Misty still seemed quite out of it. She smiled weakly at him.
“Sorry… I couldn’t help more,” she whispered. Then she closed her eyes once again as the red light of her Pokéball pulled her inside. Ash stood, flashing his red eyes at Fi. He actually looked angry. How adorable.
“That was a dirty trick!” he said.
She laughed. “Excuse me? Don’t blame me for your own stupidity in using a move your Pokémon has a double weakness to.” She showed him her claws. “Now, I believe I have one more opponent to take down.”
Ash nodded and stepped forward. His face was solid determination. “I can beat you, you know,” he whispered.
His confidence infuriated her. “Dream on,” she growled back.
“Ready?” the grunt called out. “Start!”
Ash began on the defensive. He took a jump backwards and held his hands out in front of him. So easy. Of course he’d use his pathetic TM move first. “Protect!” he yelled out.
But Fi was ready for him. “Perish Song,” she said and threw her head up to the ceiling. Her vocal chords seemed to warp, letting out a horrific, unearthly cry. It pierced through every bone and muscle in her body, weakening them, reminding them their time to fight was limited. It was the disaster’s Pokémon truest move.
Dizziness spread through her and she forced herself to stand. To see the same misery she’d just felt inflicted on her opponent. Ash was doubled over, his ghostly hands over his ears, his face contorted with pain. “But… but…” he was whimpering. “I protected myself…”
“Protect doesn’t shield you from Perish Song,” she told him, then held out her hand with four fingers splayed. “Four rounds. The song is inside your mind and body now, and it will only get more painful as each round passes.”
Ash got a smug look on his face. “But the song effects you, too. And neither one of us can switch out. So if we’re both going to faint in four rounds–” he pointed triumphantly at her. “–you’re clearly faster than I am, and you’ll faint first. I’ll win the match.”
Fi crossed her arms, unimpressed. “Except I don’t need five turns to beat you. I’ll do it three. And enjoy watching you suffer for each one of them!” She lunged forward, readying her next attack, knowing he couldn’t protect himself this time.
Ash pulled back his fist. “Oh, yeah? Sucker punch!”
The move’s speed blew past her and her shoulder blossomed with pain when his fist connected. Stupid fighting-type moves. But at the same time the move hit, Fi felt her strength magnified. She focused on that feeling, letting the pain fade away.
Ash pulled back his fist nervously. “What the–” he stuttered.
“Ah, I should have mentioned. It seems I have Absol’s ability Justified. Gives me a little power boost after taking a fighting-type hit.” She raised her claws. “Dark Slash!” She swiped at him. Through him, it felt like. But it wasn’t like attacking flesh. More like attacking a thick, noxious cloud. Did his body shift from solid to incorporeal when threatened? Maybe. But the Dark-type attack still clearly took its toll on him. He staggered backwards, clutching his stomach and moaning, as surely as if he’d taken a solid punch there. One more move and he’d be–
Fi frowned. No, he wants to draw this battle out. He’ll protect the next round. I have to plan for that. She breathed deeply, resisted the temptation to try to rip him apart where he stood. “Swords Dance,” she said, so softly she barely heard herself.
“Protect!” Ash grunted, holding his hand out in front of him again. Of course, it affected nothing. Wind swirled around Fi, filling her with even more power than she’d had with the Justified boost. The match was practically decided. Ash was out of options. The Perish Song count was at one. He could protect again, but it only had half the chance of working. He could try to take her down, but what did he have that would work against her? Another Sucker Punch was his best bet, and while it would hurt, Fi could take it. She knew she could. And it would only fuel her final attack against him. She would hurt him so badly he’d never stand again. Then the boss would finally see who his true heir should be!
“Dark slash!” she roared and lunged forward.
Ash looked up at her with those fragile, desperate red eyes. His whole body shook with fear. His lips moved, whispering his final move: “Phantom Force.”
And then he was gone. Fi’s attack ripped through the empty air, the sheer force of it shattered a mighty crack in the stone floor. But her target had vanished. She could sense him around her, taunting her. Then the power in her started to drain away.
“No!” she cried. “No, no, no, NO!”
She screamed in fury and agony, but the effects of her song didn’t care. She fell to her knees. Ash reappeared, his attack thwarted by Perish Song’s effects on his own body. But it was just like he had said… Fi was faster. The song took her first, swallowing her into darkness. Into failure.