Never in her life did Sabrina expect to receive a wake-up call from a total stranger, but life is unpredictable. People are unpredictable.
Over the years, Sabrina saw multiple visions of a man named Joe entering her Gym in Saffron City. He stuck out a little bit. Enough to be remembered. Joe himself wasn’t bad looking, but he wasn’t going to be winning awards for his looks either. If Sabrina really had to say, he was slightly above average. Instead, it was his shiny Absol that was more noticeable.
As expected, he arrived when her visions said he would and they started a battle. But not even a minute into the battle and things went awry. Her visions were wrong. His Quilava used Flame Wheel, a move it hadn’t learnt in her vision. For the first time in a very long time, Sabrina’s visions were wrong. She had no idea how to proceed, but she intended to do her job as Gym Leader so continued the battle.
The Gym’s Kadabra lost. Her vision wasn’t just a little off, it was completely incorrect. Everything that could’ve been different, was different. What was she meant to do now?
Since this challenger, Joe, was involved in her vision being changed, Sabrina brought it up. He then had the gall to criticize the fact that she used her visions for things like winning battles. She knew deep down that this stranger was right, that she shouldn’t be relying on her visions for everything, but life was a whole lot easier like this.
When she was a child, Sabrina saw a vision of a friend being injured. Sabrina didn’t want that to happen, so acted differently to how she did in the vision. Unfortunately, in trying to prevent her friend being hurt, Sabrina ended up hurting her friend. She’d never forgotten that day. It was a glimpse into the future. Even if she went against a vision, a similar outcome could occur. This idea had a huge impact on a child’s mind.
Once again, her Pokemon lost to Joe. Sabrina was having to improvise a lot since everything was different to what she foresaw. After another vocal outburst by the Gym Leader, Joe went and said something that reminded Sabrina of her parents.
Just before she became a teenager she realised changing the future based on what her visions showed her was only going to lead to trouble, so she began shutting herself away. Her parents did well to comfort her, believing that their daughter being happy was all that mattered.
And then Joe just had to go and say something her parents might say to her. Beyond angry, Sabrina broke the rules and sent Metagross out. There was no way someone with 2 badges would beat it. Sabrina wanted to continue doing her job, but didn’t want to listen to Joe anymore. If she just beat his team as fast as possible, she’d be out of this situation.
Sabrina’s Metagross won the first battle, as expected, and she decided to rub it in the challenger’s face. This could be seen as demoralising a challenger, so she’d broken another rule. Perhaps luck was on her side though as her opponent wasn’t so easily swayed.
Like Sabrina’s parents, Joe had a solid point that Sabrina was ignoring because of her past. She shouldn’t let her power control her life, she knew that, but if she followed her visions perfectly then she could mentally prepare herself for any negative visions before the event actually happens. She hated the unpredictable nature of life and wanted to be prepared for as much as possible.
Metagross went on to win against Joe’s Gastly. Sabrina tried rushing the challenger, but instead he spoke again.
And again, he made a point. All her bad experiences with her visions happened years ago, when Sabrina was still growing up. Children are weak, there’s no helping that, but now she was in a better position. Not just anyone can become a Gym Leader. Joe was trying to instill an idea in Sabrina, one that would allow her to live a better, happier life.
While her Metagross battled his Quilava, she recalled more moments she had with her parents. Joe had reignited memories within Sabrina that she’d pushed aside. Her dad had a Kadabra for as long as she could remember and Sabrina often battled against her dad and his Kadabra for training. The day she became the Psychic-type Gym Leader, her dad traded his Kadabra to his daughter, gifting her an Alakazam.
For the first time in a long time, she was battling with meaning. Training against her dad every day was important to her, but as a Gym Leader all the battles just became work. They all meant the same thing. But now a challenger came along and forced her to think again.
Sabrina’s Metagross and Joe’s Quilava collided for the final time, and while that happened Sabrina continued thinking of family. Before she left home for good, her mother told her daughter to be happy. That’s all a parent ever wants for their child.
She was done with this. A huge explosion caused by the colliding Pokemon snapped Sabrina back to the real world. As Metagross was recovering from the explosion, she telepathically spoke to it. She told it to stand down. Honouring its Trainer, Metagross took one final step and slumped down to the ground, pretending to be knocked out.
Still unsure on what to do, Sabrina outright told Joe she wasn’t strong, but he immediately shot back with information she already knew. She was a Gym Leader. She was strong enough.
This whole event had been eye-opening for Sabrina. An anomaly entered her Gym in the form of a person, reminding Sabrina of what her parents wished for her. Happiness. It was time for change. If she didn’t like a vision, she could change it.
Sabrina looked at Joe. If she couldn’t alter the visions for the better, maybe he could.