Despite being closed early for the day, Veilstone Gym was not unoccupied. On the center arena, the Galar Karate Prodigy and Sinnoh's own Barefoot Fighting Genius squared off against one another, both showing signs of fatigue with clothes drenched in their own and each others sweat. Their respective bodysuits left little to the imagination, their well developed muscles clearly visible along with the subtle feminine features either boasted.
The spunky hometown Gym Leader, Maylene, was grinning like mad as she caught her breath. "They don't call her a 'Prodigy' for nothing..." She thought, wiping away some sweat that collected around the bandage over her nose. "But I won't lose."
"How can she be so well trained and still be able to smile like that? I just don't understand..." Almost as if in opposition to her hosts view on fighting, Stow-on-Side's Fighting-Type Gym Leader stood taking measured breaths as she assessed both her and her opponent's conditions with a neutral face.
Maylene had yet to crack Bea's composure, not even being able to draw out a smirk let alone a smile, but she knew with every move they exchanged she was having fun. "I hope that isn't all you've got! I'm just getting warmed up!"
Adopting a different stance, Bea readied her next attack. "Sorry for the wait, I'm still not used to allowing my spirit to be moved in the heat of battle yet. Let's continue."
Earlier that day
"Of course there would be a lot of challengers this morning! I'm just glad I was able to send someone to go pick her up." Maylene thought as her Lucario knocked out the last of the male trainer's Pokémon. "Okay, that's 13. Lucario, you take a break. I'll have Machamp face the next few." She instructed, shrinking down the poor boy before he could try to beg for his freedom. They all did, but they should have trained harder and got stronger if they didn't want to lose. She quickly gathered up her defeated opponent and his belongings, tossing the offer into her 'Box of the Vanquished' with the dozen challengers before him and the latter into the growing pile in the corner of the gym. She made sure to put the boy's Pokédex in a separate pile to retrieve any Pokémon from the PC's of those who fail to meet she expectations.
Stepping back into the ring, Maylene was ready to face her next opponent when she heard some noise coming from the Box of the Vanquished. Turning around, she saw her Medicham pulling two struggling trainers out who froze when she saw she had been caught. "Medicham, no! You can't have them yet." Maylene chastised. "Put them back."
With an incredibly guilty look on her face, Medicham dropped one of the trainers back into the container and pouted cutely at her Master. Wiggling its butt, the Meditate Pokémon silently begged for just one treat.
Her stern face softening, pink haired fighter sighed and shrugged. "Fine, but only one." She relented.
Squealing in a half-pur, half-howl, and despite (or perhaps because) the growingly nervous challenger across the arena clearly watching, she bent over and deftly shoved the squirming toy up her new favorite place for them, her butt! However, the smiling elated face wasn't meant to last and she frowned in disappointment. Growling in frustration, she tightened the muscles in her bowels until unsatisfactory movements stopped and she pushed the now motionless trainer out of her rear and let him fall to the floor.
"Aww, still no good?" Maylene asked, unlike her now horrified challenger she was unfazed by what her Pokémon had just done. "Tate really spoiled you, didn't he?"
Immediately upon hearing the young Gym Leader's name again, Medicham's face lit up and nodded. Unlike any other toy, the toy named 'Tate' moved differently inside of her. He wanted to be in her and actively tried to make her feel nice.
Sighing with a smile, the young fighting enthusiast just shook her head. "Do you want to go visit him again? I can ask Liza if I can transfer you over for a bit. Lucario, Machamp, Hitmontop and Breloom can handle the rest of the challengers."
Rushing over to her trainer, Medicham tackled Maylene with a hug.
"Alright, I'll ask her and send you over after this match if she approves." The pink haired girl said, petting the jubilant Pokémon. Opening up her Pokétch to send Liza a message, she accidentally hit the shrink button on the currently opened Shrink-Ray app, shrinking her opponent without even having a chance to battle her! "Oops... Normally I'd fix you and we could have a proper match, but I'm in a hurry today. Sorry." She apologized, quickly running over to collect him and his possessions. Still, as she was about to drop him into her Box of the Vanquished, Maylene's fighting ethic and sportsmanship assaulted her with a wave of guilt that was too hard to ignore. "Alright, fine... this is a bit too unfair for you. I bet you trained hard to challenge me, and I know I'd regret not fighting you head-on, but I seriously don't have time today. So I'll keep you safe for a few days and when my guest leaves I'll fight you properly, okay?" She reasoned with the terrified boy.
Shaking his head, he just wanted to go home. Facing Gym Leaders was insane! Why did he even consider challenging her in the first place? There was no guarantee that the decision to allow shrinking male opponents could be overturned just because a single Champion opposed it. The fact that Maylene, through accident or not, was able to shrink him without having a proper match called into question how much anything the public was told about how this stuff works!
"No? What, are you giving up already just because you're small?" Maylene asked, slightly irritated that his fighting spirit seemed to be so easily broken. Maybe he wasn't worth her time after all. "Fine then. I actually give an opportunity to challengers who fight well to unshrink them and let them go, but if you don't even have the backbone to try I won't waste the effort." While she had no disdain for people 'weaker' than her, Maylene couldn't tolerate those who gave up the pursuit of 'strength'. She wasn't naive enough to think physical strength or fighting aptitude was the same as being 'strong', since she believed she could likely beat even Cynthia in a one-on-one fight but thought the Sinnoh Champion as being likely the strongest person in the world currently. There were many types of 'strength', but this would-be challenger didn't possess any of them. Her anger rising, Maylene's stomach growled loudly in response to the light breakfast she had had to try and get through her challengers faster, and she smiled. "Normally, I wouldn't agree with this saying, but I'll make an exception for you." She said menacingly as she lifted him over her head and opened her mouth. "The weak feed the strong after all."
Without hesitation or reconsidering, Maylene dropped her challenger-turned-snack into her salivating mouth and slammed it shut before he could even consider his terrible life choices. At default, Maylene shrinks challengers without any special moves of abilities, keeping them as Normal-types until she can think of what to do with them, so the morsel in her mouth was lacking any real flavor. However, her time at Mossdeep with Liza, Mallow and Lana last week had given her a taste for experimenting with the different flavors combining different typings could produce. Mallow was especially knowledge about on that front. However, she didn't have time to enjoy her meal, there were more challengers waiting and her guest was likely to arrive within the hour. Forgoing the method of bringing out each man's special flavor with some aggressive mouth play like Liza had shown her, Maylene swallowed the struggling boy easily and let out a satisfied sigh.
"It's too late to struggle now," she explained to the pleasant massage she was receiving in her stomach, "just accept being my meal. I know I'll enjoy you."
Patting her stomach, Maylene sent Liza a message asking if she could send her Medicham over to play with Tate for a bit as she called in her next opponent. By the time she had defeated him, she got a reply from Liza saying she didn't plan on using her brother for the day and Medicham was welcome to visit. Getting her Pokémon ready for the transfer, Maylene excused herself to the lobby quickly to send Medicham to Mossdeep Gym when she got another message from her assistant saying they were 10 minutes away, sooner than expected. Looking at the queue of trainers waiting to challenge her, Maylene counted at least a few dozen more!
"There's no way I can fight all of them in 10 minutes." She thought to herself, going to lock the front door of the Gym after sending Medicham on her way. Posting a notice of the reason for the unusually early close for the Gym, Maylene locked the main entrance and resolved herself to disappoint her waiting challengers. "I'm sorry to announce that, in preparation for a visitor from the Galar region, the Veilstone Gym will have to close early today. If you would be so kind as to exit through the doors just over here I will be happy to accept your challenges in a couple days when we reopen." This announcement was met with a bit more than a few irritated complaints.
Only a few challengers were understanding, leaving their names with Maylene as she promised to prioritize their challenges when they came back. She also made a mental note to not shrink them if she beats them as thanks for being so understanding, which may or may not have been influenced by how the rest of the challengers reacted to the news. The vast majority of challengers complained saying they couldn't wait around for her and other, admittedly reasonable, complaints and criticisms about how 'unprofessional' her management of the situation was. However, no matter how reasonable the words were, the manner in which they were directed at her, the heated choice of words used and the impending arrival of her guest all served to put Maylene in a far less reasonable mood, so she did the only thing she could think of.
"ENOUGH!" She shouted, activating the shrink-ray tech in her Pokétch on the unruly trainers who had tried her patience.
Moving as quickly as possible she gathered up the shrunken trainers and their stuff in a large, wheeled bin and entered the arena to get the clothes and Pokétches from there too. With her Gym more presentable now, we tossed her Box of the Vanquished in the bin as well and headed to the staff only area of the Gym.
By the time she made it out back, most of the tiny trainers she had to toss in the bin with their clothes had managed to make it to the surface and she was quickly able to find the few who had gotten buried deeper.
"Okay, are you ready to listen yet?" She asked, having calmed down herself a bit. "You have two choices and I don't have time to wait for you to debate or argue with me. Either you now wait patiently with the challengers I've already defeated and after my guest leaves, or you can not. Put your hand on the box if you want to wait, you have 30 seconds." She stated, bringing up the watch function of her Pokétch.
Given the time constraint, there was little discussion between the shrunken men and when attempts to communicate with the giant Gym Leader failed, some reluctantly made their way over to the box. The majority of the unfairly shrunken trainers clung to solidarity in numbers, and defiantly stood their ground. Maylene may be a Gym Leader, but she couldn't get away with shrinking them like that illegally! There wasn't even a match.
After 30 seconds had elapsed, Maylene said nothing and saw that only about a quarter of the challengers decided to wait in the box. She picked them up and gently placed them in the box, closing the lid and taking it back to her room for safe keeping. This didn't sit well with the remaining trainers as they began shouting at her to come back. She eventually did return and tossed most of the rude challengers into a large glass jar, however there were still 4 left who she couldn't fit in without piling people on top of one another.
Time was running out, so with few options left Maylene put the jar aside, though the occupants still had a clear view of her. "Guess I'll have to deal with you guys now since I have no place to put you." She sighed, looking at the time and furrowing her brows. Bringing up the Shrink-Ray app again, she selected the 4 and began to make some modifications. Fighting/Steel types with the Ability Light Metal. "Since you wanted to prove yourselves worthy of a Cobble Badge so badly, I'll give you an alternative method to earn it. All you have to do and make your way through an endurance course. Get to the end and I'll give you the badge and unshrink you, no questions asked. Also, at this point if you refuse you forfeit immediately, now come here." She explained, picking up the 4 men and licking her lips. "Technically there is no time limit either, and your Steel-typing should help protect you from harm, but nobody could last longer than a few hours in there, and the average isn't even half that, so you might want to hurry." She added before tossing the first one into her mouth and swallowing quickly. Horrified looks crossed all the faces of the trainers who witnessed what she had done, but Maylene ignored them and gulped down the three in her hands in rapid succession. With an only slightly noticeable bump in her stomach to show her 'challengers' had entered her special 'endurance course', she let out a small belch and changed her own ability over to Corrosion. "Can't make it too easy for them." She thought, placing a hand over the bulge and pressing it firmly into her.
The first boy, if not already digested, wouldn't last another 30 seconds with the much more potent acidic solution her digestive tract started to secrete, since not even the natural poison/acid immunity afforded to Steel-types can resist the Corrosion ability. If she was being completely honest with herself, she much preferred when challengers failed this test of hers, since success meant they got to see her bare backside and live to tell the tale! Well, only one person made it through her so far and lived but he didn't last long enough for her to unshrink him, so she was lucky that time and she didn't even think of using Corrosion then.
Grabbing the jar of tiny, terrified boys, Maylene headed to the parking lot to await her guest, making sure to press the container against her stomach so they could possibly hear how their fellow men fared. "Stay strong and you should be fine, but that is probably expecting too much from them. If they last 30 minutes I'd be surprised."
The pink haired girl got to the parking lot just as her assistant pulled in with her special guest. Stepping out of the vehicle, likewise barefooted, the tanned skinned composed Karate Prodigy of the Galar region had finally arrived!
"Welcome to Veilstone City! You must be the Gym Leader of the Stow-on-Side Stadium, Bea, right? Nice to meetcha, I'm Maylene." She introduced herself, walking up to the naturally grey haired girl and extending her hand.
"A pleasure to meet you as well Maylene, I've heard much about you." Bea replied, shaking the young fighters hand but gripping a bit tighter than expected.
Grinning, Maylene tightened her grip in turn and after a somewhat lengthy, respectful stare down, both fighters broke for their handshake and crossed high-kicks with one another. Tucking the large jar a bit more tightly, Maylene jumped back a bit. "Not one for small talk? I get that."
"Both my reasons for coming to Sinnoh stand before me as soon as I arrive, talking can take place after." Bea replied calmly. "Show me the battle spirit of the 'Fighting Genius' I've heard so much about."
"That's 'Barefoot, Fighting Genius'!" Maylene corrected, rising up on one leg and extending out the other to show off her namesake feature. "I don't even need shoes when I go up to Snowpoint City."
"I can see you've trained them well. Impressive." Bea complimented.
"Would you two take this inside first?" The blonde haired woman wearing skin tight orange spats and sports top interrupted, getting between the two.
To be continued...