Supposedly the Elite Four are awaiting me at some point, but for right now, I stand outside a mansion. It’s dilapidated exterior does little to convince me that I will not have a rough time of it as soon as I cross the threshold. However, cross I did.
A puppy was waiting for me as soon as I walked through that first door.
Daenerys sniffed at him experimentally, and we found out that this was actually a Growlithe. Soon he and Daenerys were becoming fast friends and as they roared and barked excitedly, little puffs of flame carousing all over. I decided if I ever needed a pyrotechnic stage show, I could have the perfect duo here. Suggesting such to the Growlithe, he agreed that he would enjoy traveling along with us. Thinking on a name, he decided on Brigit, and we continued into the gloomy mansion.
Now, gloomy mansions happen to be much less so when you have two fire-type Pokédrag queens flaming all over the place, as they do best. Unfortunately, all the smoke from these flames disguised the approach of a Koffing, who caught us all unaware! Thankfully, he happened to be one of Brigit’s friends and we contemplated an even more spectacular show, in which this Koffing would swirly around in a shimmering cloud, emulating unnatural patterns, as only pollution can. For him, we all decided on the name Bette, providing some old school diva class.
So, we ran up and down stairs, pressing Mew tummies to light their eyes, unblocking passageways, and having a grand ol’ time discussing our favorite classic films. It was then that we heard a roar: “By your scheming combined, I am Cpt.Planet!” She stepped out, a vision in sludgey and smeared makeup. This Grimer quickly told us about failed makeup experiments in which she had experimented in order to live up to the beauty standards non-drag women must constantly face. As her face constantly drooped and melted, I suggested she join us, figuring it would do her a measure of good to build up her self-confidence again. After all, one cannot have a despondent Cpt.Planet.
Eventually, in order to get where I wanted, I found myself on the top level of this mansion, a yawning chasm of broken floorboards in front of me. Taking a quick tumble down, I wondered why I didn’t just ask one of my flying Pokésisters to give me a ride, but I dealt with it and continued. Now, as with all good creepy mansions, there was a lab in this one’s basement! A lab with a key! I figured given the layout of this island, this must be the key to the gym, though I struggled to figure out why scientists would be so dead-set on locking all the jocks away. Unless this was a Revenge of the Nerds-type scenario.
However, right before I left, I found a replica of me staring at myself. It was rather odd, especially as it did not mimic my movements. Now, this was a useful gimmick, thought I! The pseudo-me in front of me actually giggled and then shifted to Daenerys’s form. Well, seeing an opportunity, I invited this shapeshifter to our group. Not knowing their sex, I just came up with the name I figured suited this lovely creature best: Bowie. Bowie nodded knowingly, and started serenading our group; at one point I actually believe I saw a very Mars-like spider in the troupe. A good decision to bring Bowie along, I thought.
Well. Being armed with the key to the gym, I decided to step on in. Only to find myself in another lab, which I guess counted as a mental gym? The only trainers here were all nerds of various stripes. Now, nerds and I are known to get along, and performing my Leeloo Dallas MultiDrag impression seemed to score many bonus points. Unfortunately, those bonus points did not translate into them not trying to burn off my face. Thankfully, I did have Artax along.
What resulted was fire fizzling against the water-type, and Artax surfing right on over their heads, a glittering cascade of water dropping on them, and showing that there could be only one true flamer in the gym right now: the ravishing Daenerys. In fact, learning the ins and outs of such a spectacularly wonderful move, Artax decided to take on a much more aggressive approach to her look, and losing the cutesy, became a Seadra instead.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before we finally met the trainer in this group, one Blaine. Blaine was an elderly nerdy chap, and while he tried to Fire Blast my Pokédrag queens and kings away, we soon put a stop to it — Artax once again just demolishing all that stood before him, while Daenerys curled around my shoulders, every so often hissing out a plume of fiery breath in appreciation (and to ward off any stray blasts of fire; good wigs are not cheap).
Defeating Blaine, he happened to give me one more badge. At this point I was a regular ol’ Girl Scout, without the delicious cookies. However, I decided the VolcanoBadge was best given to Daenerys, who cooed appreciatively as I affixed it to her chest. We nodded our thanks to Blaine, and I realized I only had one more badge to earn, way back in Viridian City.
However, as soon as we exited the gym, we were approached by good ol’ Bill, who had been keeping poor track of our exploits, or was otherwise a rather sly one. He asked if we were still using his storage space, and I think it was his way of telling us that he appreciated our performances, which I imagine found their ways on to Pokétube or something of a similar nature, but did not want to ruin the illusion we provide by checking into the computer storage system.
Bill did offer to take us to an island down south, but I knew I had other business to attend to first. After all, there was one more badge, and then there were the Elite Four. Surely he could wait to whisk me away until that moment?