Chapter 174

"What are they doing up there?"
"You don't suppose they finally ran out of healing items?"
"Either that or they're about to, and they're getting ready to go out with--"
"Yaagh!" Gary's reply was cut off by a cry from Kate's Gastly, who had let its guard down during the long pause. A flash of darkness had struck it, and as it convulsed, a dark shape slowly formed on the spot.
"The Gengar! Not again!" Gary complained, ignoring Kate's 'stop doing that' look. "Po-Cha--argh..." Neither Poliwhirl nor Charizard could attack Gengar right now without finishing off Gastly as well. Finally Kate just recalled it.
Unnoticed in the commotion, smoke had begun to fill the stairway, obscuring whatever could be seen there, and as Gastly was recalled, the Elite Magmar leapt out of the concealing smoke and hit the surprised Poliwhirl with a one-two Fire Punch combo. Poliwhirl was resistant to the attack, but after the drying heat of the first punch, the second left Poliwhirl with a burn to cope with.
Charizard opened its mouth, and then hastily reconsidered. A Flamethrower wouldn't hurt a Magmar all that much, and the chance to hit Poliwhirl was there. Instead, it pushed off with its feet and flew straight at Magmar, catching it with a Slash. Inside a room this small, however, flying turned out to be trickier than it had expected, and it landed sloppily, buying Magmar time to recover.
Charizard wheeled about to face its opponent...and Magmar's calm orange glow flared up, passing through yellow into a brilliant white. Charizard reeled, covering its eyes. The glow faded, and Charizard looked back only to discover it was seeing spots. It shook its head, but the spots remained. In fact, they grew worse!
Poliwhirl fired off a Water Gun at Magmar, but trying not to disturb its burn made it too slow to catch Magmar unaware. Magmar dodged nearly all of the attack...and then the Gengar abruptly appeared in front of Poliwhirl and started using Hypnosis to put it out of the fight.
The Hypnosis power of a Gengar couldn't be avoided by closing one's eyes...but Poliwhirl had another defense; the pain of the burn barely kept it from dozing off despite Gengar's efforts. Unceremoniously thumping the damaged area to jolt itself fully awake, Poliwhirl attacked Gengar with another Water Gun, ending the Elite pokémon's attempt to dispose of it.
With Charizard distracted by the effects of its Confuse Ray, Magmar swung a Mega Punch, knocking back its dazed opponent. Charizard roared in protest and reached out with a Slash, but Magmar danced back away from the clumsily aimed attack and Charizard ending up pitching forward onto the floor in its effort to hurt Magmar.
Gengar decided Charizard looked like an easier target than Poliwhirl, and it moved over to try its Hypnosis again...leaving Poliwhirl unattended. Burns were not something Gary had to deal with often, so even after this disasterously long battle, he still had an unused Burn Heal item available. He quickly dealt with Poliwhirl's wound. "Focus on Magmar for now," he told it. "It's the only element advantage we have." Poliwhirl nodded and slunk around the now-snoozing Charizard. Gary dug through his pack, looking for a way to wake up Charizard.
Magmar was just winding up for another Mega Punch right to Charizard's snout when Poliwhirl hit it full-blast with a Water Gun. It screeched and turned to face Poliwhirl. Gengar saw what had happened and flinched guiltily.
Magmar fired off its Confuse Ray again just as Poliwhirl started its Hypnosis. Despite the glare, Poliwhirl hung on with its manuever, and the overconfident Magmar was caught. Poliwhirl, however, now couldn't think clearly enough to follow through, leaving Gengar the only pokémon on the field with full freedom. The Ghost-type gleefully considered its options...and decided that the no-longer-burned Poliwhirl did not deserve to stay awake any longer. It began using Hypnosis on the confused Water-type.
C# C# C# C# C# C#
Charizard bolted awake. Poliwhirl snapped out of the stupor Gengar had gotten it into and fired a Water Gun blindly in front of it, just grazing both Gengar and Magmar, who woke too late to dodge properly. Charizard's Flamethrower on the Gengar, however, was considerably better-aimed.
Charizard then looked back and saw Gary holding a Poké Flute he'd found on a shelf in Santiago's office. It grunted. "Do us all a favor and take lessons, huh?" Gary shrugged.

Ditto and Nidoqueen faced off again. Sure, this was slowly tiring Nidoqueen, but it was also slowly tiring Ditto...something needed to happen or they'd finish each other off simply through exhaustion.
Something the form of the Team Rocket operative recalling her Nidorina and taking off down the hall. The Elite, who'd long since given up on telling his Nidoqueen how to battle, looked for what had spooked her and saw the police officer recalling a Vileplume from in front of the fainted Graveler.
"Hmph!" he answered, recalling Graveler. "You lucked out! You won't beat my Nidoqueen so easily!"
The police officer looked between the two Nidoqueen in mild which point Ditto reverted to his true form, giving the real Nidoqueen a look that somehow managed to say "gotchya" despite using a Ditto's features. The officer sent out an Arcanine, and Nidoqueen suddenly realized just how much of a workout her battle with Ditto had been. Arcanine grinned maliciously.