I took a massive bite of my Slowpoke tail and purposely muffled my words as I spoke into my PokeGear, "Om phorry Phoey, I phink ma OkeGeavs atterlies are ruphing oud."
"I almost caught a Pokémon the other day. Oh, it was soooo close too! See you later!" he continued with the sickening enthusiasm of a Disneyland employee before finally ending the call.
I slipped in an "I phate you" just before I returned my PokeGear to my pocket and swallowed my mouthful of Slowpoke tail.
"I sure hope Azalea's Pokemon Gym is better than Violet City's," I said aloud to Newcraig as we strolled into the building together. Well, I strolled. Newcraig hovered, I think.
"I mean, it is better," I commented, looking down at the ominously gap-filled safety net below. "It's still not good, but it is better."
Swallowing what little pride I had left, I sprawled myself onto the ground and cautiously crawled onto the Spinarak-shaped cart that was meant to transport me across the dark gap.
"BWAAAGRAAA!" I cried as the shaky cart inched me over the increasingly-dangerous-seeming chasm. And yes, I was fully aware of the sheer silliness radiating from my presence as I tightly hugged the platform with my eyes shut tight and the noises of a tortured animal spewing from my mouth. In hindsight, it actually didn't take that long to make it to the other side.
"Afraid of bugs, huh?" teased the gym's first trainer as I hastily scrambled off that arachnid-stylized deathtrap.
"No, I'm just afraid of heights," I explained as I climbed to my feet, "as any rational person should be."
"Do all the Pokemon Gyms in Johto require you to brave unreasonable high altitudes?"
"Only like three or four."
"Ugh. To be honest I'm becoming increasingly discontented with this region."
I beat the gym trainer without any issues and miserably continued through the building.
An "UWAAAAGH", a "GLAAAAWAAAA" and a "MOOOOOOMMMMMMYY" later I was finally able to crawl to the dirt in front of Azalea Town's Gym Leader.
"I'm Bugsy," the young man declared.
"I'm very close to a heart attack."
"I never lose when it comes to Bug-type Pokemon."
"I never lose."
"My research is going to make me an authority on Bug-type Pokemon! Let me demonstrate what I've learned from my studies."
"I just realized that I'm going to have to traverse those blasted chasms on my way back too and the thought of that frightens me dearly."
Knowing that he would have the advantage, I sent Newcraig out first to meet Bugsy's Scyther. A formidable foe, that Pokemon would need to be defeated quickly if I were to have any hope of besting Bugsy.
"Newcraig, use Rock Throw!"
The attack hit his Scyther square in the chest, and the 4x effectiveness proved to be everything we needed. It was a one-hit knockout.
"Nice shot, Newcraig. You're the best Geodude or member of the Geodude evolutionary line ever!" I said particularly loudly in case any selfish, back-stabbing, good-for-nothing Golems were around.
There was no time to dwell on the haunting past though, as Bugsy's Metapod was next up. But it stood no chance against the immaculate Newcraig. The same fate befell Bugsy's Kakuna.
I received my Hive Badge and exited Azalea Town Gym.
I will admit that it was not a glorious exit, but it was nonetheless a victorious one.
All of those unreasonably abundant bursts of extreme terror built up quite an appetite for me, so I dug into my backpack to retrieve another of my dubiously-acquired Slowpoke tails to snack on but my hand was met by something quite unexpected: another hand. I looked around to make sure nobody was watching (in case there was actually a dismembered hand in there) and peered into my knapsack to find this adorable face peeking back at me.
"Awwwww," I said aloud and then stuffed her into the PC storage box at the nearest opportunity.
To be continued...
Read the rest of ActionJ4ck's Jacklocke Challenges here.