August 24th, 2009
Photoshop and drawingtablet

Entry for: Pokémon Super Contests
Black Tourney (introduction ref sheet)
Entrants: Sandy Gano, Solaris and Candy

Out of breath, she took a moment to collect herself and to reflect upon her current situation. They had made it into the contest hall building, if only just...

Sandy had only gotten the news of the hostile take-over a few days ago. It had only taken her a few moments to decide to intervene. Unfortunately it took considerably longer to actually get to the building. When the building finally came into view, she was apparently spotted and recognized. Or maybe the hijackers had simply decided that the deadline had passed. Whatever the reason, they were closing the heavy steel doors, and Sandy was forced to run. They saw her approaching, and went on the offensive, sending their Pokémon out against her.
Even though she was exhausted, her legs were burning from the sprint, her lungs protesting, Sandy couldn't help but feel amused. She liked it better when they tried to fight back. Deciding not to hold anything back, she called out all six of her Pokémon. The opposing Pokémon were swiftly dealt with, but then these were probably just the grunts. The real challenge would be found inside the contest hall itself. The doors relentlessly continued their closing march. Cursing, Sandy lunged forwards between the closing bulkheads. From the corners of her eyes, she saw her Pokémon following her.

The doors had shut with a loud metal clank. Sprawled out on the floor, Sandy couldn't help but grin about her current situation. Not the most dignified way for a former champ to make her entrance. Dusting herself off, she got to her feet, and examined the nasty scrape on her left elbow. It would need to be disinfected, but it wasn't important right now. Without having to look, Sandy knew she and part of her team had been separated. To her left stood Solaris, ever faithful, he had never left her side. The giant bird was eying his surroundings nervously, embers periodically sparking from his wrists. He didn't like this dark place. Slightly to the side was Candy. She just looked annoyed.

'Just you two, huh?' Sandy shifted her weight. Losing over half of her team in one instant made her feel very uneasy.
The marble hallway, which probably looked very festive normally, now looked eerie and menacing, unlit as is was. Apparently windows were considered a redundant luxury. Sandy marveled at the strange design of the place. It looked like a prison-like palace. A VIP bunker.

'The perfect place to hijack and use as a fortress', she mumbled. No wonder the police hadn't been able to overtake it yet. Who would put steel doors on a contest hall anyway?
Loud booming impacts of metal on metal, scraping, retreating, and impacting again. The blows echoed through the high vaulted hallways, until they were nearly deafening. Quartz was trying to break in, but Sandy knew the Steelix wouldn't make it through. He had his strength, his size, and his impressive bulk, but he'd run out of steam sooner or later. Aiko, Tarim and Fang simply lacked the brute strength to even try.

For a moment Sandy considered asking her Blaziken to beat down the doors, but decided against it. They truly were huge doors, and even if he succeeded in kicking them down, he'd be exhausted. She'd need him fresh and battle-ready.

'They'll be okay'. She told the twitchy Blaziken. 'Let's move on ahead, and get this over with. We've got some judges to liberate.'

As the trio moved down the hall way, they noticed a light at the end of it. Apparently there was a lit room up ahead.

'Ah, it's about time you showed up. Running a bit late, are we?'

All three of them jumped at the unexpected voice coming from a corridor on the left.

'Who's there?' Sandy demanded.

She wasn't quite able to make out the figure who stepped out in front of her. It appeared to be a reasonably tall man. His clothes obscured most of his body, but from his stance Sandy guessed he was athletic in build.

'I'm just one of your friendly hosts', he said with a playful chuckle.
'That's sweet. Why don't you show me your hospitality by surrendering and letting the hostages go?'
He seemed to chuckle again. There was no sound, but Sandy thought she saw his shoulders quake.

'I'm sorry, that's something I can't do. At least, not yet. That would be too easy, now wouldn't it?' He cocked his head to the side as he spoke. Clearly he was enjoying himself, and this annoyed Sandy. It didn't help that she couldn't see his face. The light shining out from behind him prevented her eyes from properly adjusting to the darkness.

'Well,' she said, lifting her chin in defiance, 'I guess we'll just have to go look for them ourselves. We'll find them eventually.'
'Oh, I don't doubt that you would, but I'm afraid you'd be taking them home in body bags.'
'Oh yes, 'fraid so.'

She was silent, trying to determine the seriousness of his threat. 'You see,' he said, 'We have cameras throughout the building. We can follow your every move. We'll know when you're not playing by the rules.'
'The rules?'
'Yes. Failure to comply will result in the unfortunate demise of our dear judges.' The tone of his voice had changed somewhat. The playfulness was gone, his pitch dropped slightly. Oh, he was serious all right.

She hesitated a bit. 'What exactly did you have in mind?'
'Oh, you haven't heard?' The playful tone returned in his voice. 'We're going to have ourselves a special little contest. You're invited of course. You, and everybody else who showed up.'
'A contest, huh?' Sandy stood there, considering his words. Part of her wanted to send Candy at him, to have her wipe that smirk he undoubtedly had right off his face. But another part of her couldn't help but be curious about this... contest.
'Okay then, fine', she relented. 'Open the doors and let me get my other Pokémon.'
'Oh, there's no need for that. You'll only need two Pokémon for this little jig.'

Another loud explosion-like impact echoed through the hallway. The frequency of the impacts was decreasing. Quartz was obviously getting tired.
She wanted to ask what they were planning. Wanted to ask why only two Pokémon were required. Instead she said: 'They'll tear the place down if I don't recall them.' It sounded unconvincing.

'When this is all over, I'll be sure to let the judges know to who they can send the bill for the repair work.' He said. He seemed to be laughing to himself again. Who was this guy? She wanted to protest further, but deep down she already knew she had made up her mind. She wanted to know what was going on here. Wanted to know what their plans were, not that she would let them get away with it. She was just curious. That was all.

'Fine.' She sighed. And then, cocking her head, and adopting a similar taunting tone, she added 'Do you even know who I am?'

'Of course.' He took a step back, swept his hand towards the lit room behind him, inviting her in. 'You're just another contestant.' He said.

Every fiber in my body is telling me I don't have time to enter an OCT right now. And yet, here I am, throwing in the biggest gun I have, Sandy herself. For those of you who don't know her, Sandy is a (somewhat washed-up) former Kanto champ, who used to do some crime-busting on the side. Apparently old habits die hard, and she came to free the captive judges in the contest hall as soon as she heard about the take-over. Okay, well she got a little held up on the way, but she was still more or less on time.

Sandy is a great battler, but will the fact that she never really was into contests be her downfall? Or maybe she underestimates how strong the opposition will be? For more information, please read my comic, Stuff of Legend, and don't forget to check out the cast page as well.

Man, I need to write more. I've become rusty...

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