"Saffron Gym, Saffron Gym. Where are you, Saffron Gym? Saffron Gyyyym..." Kayla called.
Her two male companions - well, three, if you counted Meowth - sweatdropped.
"Kayla, calling it is not gonna get you there any faster," Taralon reasoned.
Jaer stopped and looked to his left. "Hey, I think that's it," he said, pointing to the Gym. Kayla and Taralon looked as well.
"That's it," Meowth agreed.
Kayla would have agreed, except she was already at the Gym, Meowth close behind. Jaer sweatdropped and looked at Taralon, who laughed and nodded with a shrug. The two boys headed towards the imposing building after their fiery friend.
"Kayla is going to freak when she meets the Gym Leader," Taralon commented as they entered the Gym, which was cleverly sculpted to resemble a swamp, or more accurately, a marsh.
"Why? Is it someone she knows, or something?"
"No. The Gym Leader isn't human."
Jaer's eyes bugged out. "You're kidding. Don't you have to be human to get a license?"
"I was under that impression. But unless they bent the rules for her, I bet she conned her way in, in a way I do NOT like to think about."
Jaer made a face, able to imagine that all too well. "Yech."
"Yeah." They rounded a corner and entered the main battle room. Kayla was already in the middle of her dramatic I-Kayla-Ketchum-challenge-you speech. Taralon rolled his eyes. That got annoying after a while.
Like another dramatic speech he could think of, but quickly banished from his mind.
The oddly-accented voice of the Gym Leader interrupted that train of thought. "So! The daughter of Ash Ketchum wants to battle? And she is accompanied by Taralon Sylvan!"
"She *knows* you, Taralon?" Kayla and Jaer asked in unison.
The Gym Leader smirked from the shadows, where all that could be seen of her was long blond hair and a red dress. "Taralon-san and I are old... acquaintances."
Taralon wanted to gag. "Don't say it like that, Iaenni, it sounds like we had a relationship."
Iaenni snickered. "Yes, true. I can't help saying that sort of thing, it's my nature."
"Okay, Iaenni, show yourself," Kayla muttered. Iaenni stood, and walked into the light.
Jaer, Kayla, and Meowth fell over in unison. "YOU'RE A JYNX??"
"You catch on quick," the ice/psychic Pokemon chuckled. "Kayla, I will use two Pokemon. No active Pokemon may be swapped for another. It is, however, permitted to keep one Pokemon in. Do you agree with these terms?"
Kayla picked herself off the floor and nodded. Iaenni took the Pokeball from her belt and threw it. "Mr. Mime, go!"
Jaer got one of those weird blue shadows over his eyes. "I don't want to think about the implications of that."
Iaenni and Kayla both ignored this. Kayla smirked, knowing that the weak point of most psychics was their general frailness. "Dugtrio, go!"
"Dugtrio, Dig attack!"
The three-headed ground type dug swiftly underground. Iaenni smirked.
"Mr. Mime, Barrier attack now!"
Mr. Mime went through a complicated series of mimings, finally stopping and glowing blue. Dugtrio got in a good solid hit, but Mr. Mime was still fighting.
"Okay, Dugtrio, let's see if we can't finish it. Earthquake, now!"
"Mr. Mime, Confusion!"
Taralon and Jaer grabbed onto either side of the doorway to steady themselves. Mr. Mime fainted from the attack before having a chance to get in the Confusion it'd been preparing. Iaenni recalled it, scowling.
"I'm keepin' Dugtrio in for the next round," Kayla said. Iaenni nodded.
"For my next Pokemon, I will choose myself!" The Jynx stepped into the ring.
"Is she allowed to do that?" Meowth muttered. Iaenni didn't hear.
Iaenni smirked and dodged, only losing a lock of hair. She made a fist, and it began to glow a bluish white.
"Iaenni uses Ice Punch!" she trumpeted, hitting Dugtrio squarely. It managed to get out a surprised "Dug--" before freezing up. Kayla hissed and recalled it.
"What is your next Pokemon?" Iaenni asked smugly.
'Arcanine won't battle,' Kayla thought to herself. 'Abra wouldn't do well against another psychic, nobody else really would be that good...'
"Her next Pokemon is Persian!" Meowth yelled, leaping into the ring and shifting to his Persian form as he did.
"Persian?" Kayla asked, totally surprised.
Iaenni laughed harshly and puts her hands out in front of her. A blue-white ball of energy formed between them, and snowflakes could be seen swirling wildly within it.
"Iaenni uses Blizzard!"
Persian opened his mouth and let out an ear-piercing screech, causing all humans in the room to wince. Iaenni reeled, but her Blizzard hit home. Persian yowled as the cold ice coated him.
Persian sat and shivered for a little while, then shook the snow off, red eyes appearing redder. "No way am I losing to a Jynx!" he snarled. He attacked Iaenni with Fury Swipes, without being ordered. Iaenni snarled and Ice Punched him back onto the mat. Again, Persian got up slowly and stiffly.
"I'm fighting until I faint, Kayla. You're not backing out," the cat said quietly. Kayla bit her lip.
"Use Pay Day!"
Persian smirked, bringing himself up onto his hind legs. A capsule appeared in his paw, and he threw it. His form was slightly more awkward, but his aim wasn't any worse. The capsule struck Iaenni, KOing her as she was about to attack with Psychic.
It took Kayla a few moments to realize she'd actually beaten the Leader. Then she scooped Persian up into her arms and hugged him, laughing. "YOU DID IT!"
"Perrrrrrsian!" Persian laughed.
Taralon grinned and took a Max Revive out of his backpack, stepping forward and administering it to the fallen Jynx. She muttered something and got up.
"Aa... well, Kayla. You've certainly earned this." Iaenni went over to a small table and took a Marshbadge from it, presenting it to Kayla. The redhead grinned, accepting it and holding it up to the light.
"YATTA!" she said happily. "We got the Marshbadge!"
And so Kayla wins a Marshbadge from Iaenni. What new adventures will they encounter in Lavender Town? How is it Taralon knows Iaenni? And why is this chapter so horridly short? The first question, at least, will be answered in the next installment of Kayla's Journey!