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Oct 12, 10 at 3:46am ^Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
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Chapter 1:Maybe Another Time
Chapter 2: The Wonderful World of Castelia
Chapter 3: Would You, Could You?
Chapter 4: Jude's Pokemon Dilemma
Chapter 5: A Vanity Affair
Chapter 6: Vs. Chili; An Explosive Battle
Chapter 7: Battle on the Bridge
Chapter 8: Forest of Surprises
Chapter 9: Expansion Through Crazy Events
Chapter 10: Not Your Average Day on the Town
Chapter 11: Getting Lost is Part of the Adventure
Chapter 12: Seeking Striaton
Chapter 13: Vs. Chili; Triple Threat
Chapter 14: Turning and Turning the Tables
Chapter 15: The Fifth Joins the Conflict
Chapter 16: Pawniard's Checkmate
Chapter 17: The Great Gym Search Begins
Chapter 18: A Nacrene Meet and Greet
Chapter 19: Vs. Lenora; Anything but Normal
Chapter 20: Old Plasma, New Faces
Chapter 21: Jude and Snivy Own the Night
Chapter 22: Plight at the Museum
Chapter 23: Zorua: The Illusion Master
Chapter 24: Splashdown in Pinwheel Forest
Maybe Another Time...
It was a light day, nothing of note really to bring up. Then again, there was hardly ever something to bring up with my kind of lifestyle. Even in a place as huge as Castelia City, I could never find the inspiration to do much during the days other than mindlessly stroll though the endless avenues and to go along through that concrete maze. At the moment, that didn't appeal much to me. I was just sitting pretty much alone on a bench in some indeterminate part of the city. It all looked the same to me from here, just another block in the same bleak jungle of buildings. I needed a serious change of scenery, because this wasn't going to suffice at all. It wasn't just my own want to see more than this city, but it was for my one real companion, the one sitting by my side at the moment. He was a pretty simple Tepig, ears raised up in anxiety from the battle we were watching at the moment. I had to admit, I had thought him to be a cute fellow when we first met, and I still maintained the feelings. There was a little bit of a dysfunction between us though, and his intense watching of the battle was evidence enough. It had only taken me a short time after picking him to find out that the fellow loved to get into scuffles, hence his fascination with the current fight. Normally I would have been willing to provide, had that desire been anything else. The thing was, I just felt the urge to keep him safe and all. I wouldn't be able to stand it if he was always getting beat up, so battles were avoided whenever possible. The one at the moment was nearing an end anyways, so I silently braced myself and vainly hoped that the inevitable question wouldn't come my way…
"Oi, Brandon! Wanna have a go at it?" called the victor of the round. I believe he was Chet, but his name still eluded me. He was a pretty great Trainer in his own right, boasting a very powerful Liepard that had taken a seat next to him, calmly licking its paws clean. It wasn't like the others of its kind, having a much darker coat, but with streaks running through it as well. Speaking from personal experience, that cat was a freakishly powerful one. It's unique spotted pattern had some sort of disorienting effect on its opponents, helped along by the way that it jinked to the sides at almost every bound it made. Blindingly fast, most matches against Chet's viscous companion were measured in seconds, generally following a pattern of sorts. Run in blistering circles, aided along with Double Team, claw hopelessly dazed opponent to shreds. And Chet was actually proud of that feral cat, casually applauding its every performance, smirking all the while from behind his tinted sunglasses. Every opponent was given a customary tip of his slouch hat while he marked off another tally on his page and replacing it in his vest. His 'hit list' he called it. He had an ambition to take down every single Trainer in Castelia City at least one time each. So far, he was making startling progress in that.
"Me? Uhh…well…the thing is…" I stuttered out, glancing about frantically. Tepig looked up at me eagerly, practically begging to let him give it a shot. But still, the way that Liepard was glaring at me sinisterly while it licked what was most likely blood off of its claw. It soon turned its gaze back over to Tepig looking almost hungrily down at the fellow.
"Come on Brandon, come on," Chet goaded slightly, motioning over with his hand. "None of these people here have a clue what to expect! You know what goes on when Liepard is involved, don't you?" He was right, very right. The day I had learned what to expect from Liepard had been the start of a downward fall, and one that still left me scared. Tepig hopped up onto all fours again at the challenge though, blowing a little bit of fire from his snout eagerly. He really wanted his rematch with Liepard, it looked like.
"Look, we've done this before...right?" I asked Chet hesitantly, eyes going to his pocket. I knew I was somewhere on that page, but Chet liked to ask me on occasion anyways. "I...don't think I'm quite up for doing something of that caliber."
"Ah, don't be such a bore!" Chet commented, waving his hand. "I want a battle that will actually last! A battle that takes more than one hit to end!" I supposed he was right to ask me for one of those. Tepig had technically been harshly defeated in more than one hit. Maybe the little guy just didn't remember getting unavoidably hit with the initial Fake Out. Maybe he didn't remember vainly trying to hit Liepard with a flurry of Embers, only for the powerful Dark-type to gracefully avoid. If I were Tepig, I wouldn't want to remember the feel of dread and anticipation as it slashed its claws against one another, or how it suddenly mingled in among a trio of look-a-likes. And the jarring impact of the full powered Night Slash that hurled him straight into my arms might have disrupted a bit of that day for Tepig. But I certainly didn't forget, not in the slightest. The loss hadn't kept Tepig down, but I seemed out for the count in terms of morale. I didn't need a repeat of Tepig getting hurt that badly again, so...
"I think I might have to pass this time Chet…" I muttered, glancing at my watch. "I uhhh, have to go right now. Really important." Tepig gave a small groan of disappointment at this answer, giving me a slight glare.
"Stuff? You hear that fellas? He's got something important he has to do!" Chet smirked, turning back to his groupies with a cocky grin. "What's so important then?"
"It's…important. Gotta go. Now." I stammered out picking up myself before scooping up Tepig in my arms and hurriedly walking off.
"Awww…that's no fun, Brandon. Why even bother waking up in the morning if you're just going to scamper off ya great wuss? If that's how it's gonna be, then g'day to ya." Chet called after me. He didn't spend long calling after me, instead returning to his groupies with Liepard at his side. From where I carried him, Tepig turned upwards and gave me an un-amused look.
"Sorry fella, it's just that…well…Chet's tough. Liepard is more than powerful enough too. Wouldn't want you going in over your head in a battle again, would we?" Tepig simply gave another grumble of annoyance before beginning to squirm around in my arms, a sure sign that he wished to be set down. "Alright little guy. If you insist." I replied evenly, letting the little Fire Pig down onto the ground. "But now…what do you suppose we ought to do now? We've got to have something to do today, right?"
"I will take on the Castelia City Gym today!" a voice cried out, startling the two of us.
"Yeesh. Somebody's feeling enthusiastic today." I noted. Whoever was thinking about going up against Arti was insane. The man was crazy with those Bug-types and what not. Still, there was always a chance that they could do it. "If they're going to be so hearty about it, perhaps we might as well too. A nice change of scenery from these dreary skyscrapers…" I mused to myself. Yes, a Gym battle might be nice to watch, see a real professional at work and what not. Watching a battle, but not actively being part of it, would go perfectly with my personal kind of philosophy: Battle smarter, not harder. Then again, there wasn't much chance to utilize that principle, considering just how little I battled to begin with. Call me a sissy, wimp, weenie, whatever; I would take in those comments with a smile and open arms. Nothing but the truth for me in these cases. It gave me mixed feelings though, what with the fact that Tepig hated this. I had been told more than enough to just shut up and try out some battles, but all to no avail. I wasn't prone to change, even when willing. I possessed no drive of any sort to get out and adventure around the world, no urge to get acquainted with the sort that did. For the past couple of weeks, it had been just me and Tepig, and I had been fine with it. Tepig, on the other hand, had not. He had been a rather free-spirited fellow from the day we met.
Back in Professor Juniper's lab, Tepig had been the only one of the three that hadn't left some kind of negative impression on me. Snivy honestly had looked cool, very sleek and refined looking. From what Juniper had told me, this one in particular was quite a specimen, even by the standards of its species. I had liked that thought, a prime example of one's species. But beneath that elegant exterior burned a ferocious pride it seemed. I still didn't know if the numerous slaps I had received upon leaning in a little closer were well deserved either. Very haughty it would appear, not the most accepting specimen in the world. It had turned promptly and sauntered off shortly after our encounter, moving a distance away from all others as well.
"Errr…I think I'll take a look at the other two before deciding." I had shyly said, slowly rubbing my then beet red cheek. Oshawott was almost at the opposite end of the spectrum, being an absolute ditz more often than not. If it were clumsiness I were looking for, the choice would have been totally obvious. Sadly, I was looking more for compatibility, which was not something that the Water-type looked prepared to provide to anyone. Professor Juniper had recommended it for someone with a more forceful personality, certainly not me then.
"Seems a little bit out of control…you did say there was a third option, right?" I had asked, biting my lip hard upon finishing the question. Thankfully there was Tepig, a different mold in himself. Docile, charming, and amicable too. Perfect, simply perfect. But that initial joy had diminished slightly over time, as I honestly didn't know what to do with the fellow. The worst of it had come shortly after we came to Castelia. I was down, but he was wanting to go further and further up. But, Tepig was getting impatient with all of this, glaring back at me and letting little puffs of smoke out of his snout. He liked battles...but maybe watching one would be better in this case. A Gym match even. That one person had been yelling about challenging the Gym...why not?
C+C is, and will always be appreciated. Any way I can improve upon my writing is welcomed with open arms.
[size=1][color=#666666]This message was edited on 2011-09-17T08:11:20-07:00.
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Oct 12, 10 at 8:00am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Good to see you running it up, tk. ;D
P.S Kate will meet Brandon one day. xD
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Oct 13, 10 at 9:40pm ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Here I am, finally posting. It took me so long to post because Tkman and I made a mistake in the order of our posting. So to set things right, I'm posting two chapters in a row in this post. Which works because my first post is pretty short. Well I hope you enjoy
For fans of my other story, don't worry, I will still continue writing it.
Edit: thanks to Happ for the line thingy code
Intro part deux; The wonderful world of Castelia
I looked out at the water in front of me. The sun hit it just right, making the water gleam. Quite a beautiful sight. The beauty did not end there, the Alomola jumped out of the water and then right back in, rather gracefully. The Swana glided right over the water, feet grazing the water actually. The water pokemon here in Unova may be few but they really added to the scenery. It's amazing that how peaceful it is here. Amazing because I am in Castelia City. Castelia City is gigantic. Constant commotion, people running about, so busy. Yet all I have to do is come out here on the docks, and I'm instantly filled with peace. Don't get me wrong, I like Castelia City. It's my home, I wouldn't have it any other way.
My name was Jude. I live here in Castelia City in Unova with my mom. My father was never around, which defiantly hurts. But my mom and I have survived just fine. Pokemon battling is my favorite hobby. I've made good friends with Burgh, the gym leader oh Castelia. Just about everyday I make my way to the gym and watch a few battles. I usually then share a conversation with Burgh afterwards. I've always wanted to try my hand at the gyms. It's been decided, I will challenge the gyms, today, right now. I stood up from my seat at the end of the dock. Still looking at to the water I threw my fists in the air and shouted 'I will take on the Castelia City Gym today!' I turned around, now facing the city. The buildings towered over me. What a sight it is. As I began to stroll forward my pokemon had started to make noise. It was resting, probably sleeping, in my hood that was hanging off my back. The black fox jumped onto my shoulder and then jumped off. I caught it in my arms, hands around it's belly. 'Zor, zoru' it chanted. Zorua was my good buddy. It took him a while to warm up to me when we first met, but now he was quite loyal. I had now walked off the dock, the gym wasn't too far from here. I let Zorua know what was happening as we walked, he cheered a little. Zorua liked to battle as much as I did, which is a big reason why we get along so well. It was middle of the day, the city was quite busy. I maneuvered around people, getting an occasional shoulder check here and there. My trek was took me a few minutes and there I was. In front of me was the beautiful building, with the Unova Gym logo sitting on top.
The clear door of the gym made me see my reflection. I looked pro, my jacket was pure black and unzipped. Under it was a plain white shirt. My jeans were standard baggy and standard jean blue. I cleared the sweat off my brow. My hair was a deep, dark brown. My bangs were cut right above my brows. My hair was hung over my ears a little, still considered short hair. My eyes glowed a bright green. After my little look at my reflection, the automatic doors of the gym opened, it's game time.
Vs Burgh; His spirit won’t break
I headed into the gym, like I have many times before. But this time, instead of going up the stairs to the stands, I went straight to the battle arena. There was a lady at the gate to get into the arena. She had glasses, black hair, looked like a secretary.
“Hello, Welcome to the Castelia City Gym. Burgh has no challengers right now so feel free to walk right in” she greeted me. Her voice was welcoming, as was her smile. I thanked her and walked right to the arena. I had never actually set my feet in the arena before, it was just a good feeling. Burgh was at his gym leader side of the field, reading to pass the time it seemed. He was shocked when I came in.
“Hey hey Jude. I’m still on gym leader hours right now, go in the stands, we can chat later” commanded Burgh.
“I’m not going in the stands today, because today, I’m the challenger” I replied back, huge smirk on my face. Burgh just looked me up and down. He folded his book and stuck it in the back of his pocket. He let out a loud clap, which made me jump. I had no idea why he did that, until I looked over to see the referee. He looked sleepy, like he just woke up. He must’ve been sleeping while Burgh was reading, slow day here at the gym. Burgh focused back on me as the ref got ready.
“Hmm is that so? As of yesterday you only had Zorua though, are you sure you are ready for me?” I could tell from his voice he doubted me, which I expected.
“All I still have is just Zorua. And that’s all I need. I am sure as sure can be. Let’s get this show on the road Burgh!” With those words Zorua jumped from my hands and onto the battle field. It was on all fours, putting one front foot forward, it’s battle stance. The field was a grass field with large trees lining the both sides of the field. But the middle was just a wide open path of a grass.
“You are awfully sure of yourself. Well then, you know I won’t go easy on you. And to prove it, I’ll even start with my most powerful pokemon. Leavanny this fight belongs to you!” Burgh spun around and released Leavanny from the ball on his belt in stylish fashion. The Bi-pedal caterpillar pokemon came out as requested by it’s master. It stretched it’s long arms before signaling to Burgh that it was ready to go. There were no more need for words, it was battle time. All we were waiting for now was a signal from the ref. He held up his two flags and got ready to speak.
“This battle will be a match between the Challenger, Jude from Castelia City, against the Castelia City Gym Leader, Burgh.” He then looked at Burgh to see how many fingers he was holding up. That was their signal for how many pokemon would be used in the match. “This will be a 1 on 1 match. Trainers get ready, and commence!” My first gym challenge had now begun. Burgh was fast on the response though and made the first move.
“Leavanny, show them the sharpness of your razor leaf attack!” Burgh had a lot of energy in his battles, as did his pokemon. The caterpillar got right to it, summoning a swarm of sharp leaves and shooting them at Zorua. The fox didn’t need a command from me to know what to do. It jumped and weaved between the leafs, all while progressing towards it’s opponent. Zorua was quite agile. I wished there was something I could do right now, but there wasn’t. All I could do was watch as he dodged. There were too many leafs to dodge. Zorua got stabbed by the last few razors in the pack. My pokemon side back a few feet. It would take more than that to faint Zorua.
“Our turn to go on the offensive. Charge in with a Scratch!” Zorua took off running, jumped up and swung at Leavanny with one of it’s claws.
“Counter with an X Scissor!” shouted Burgh. Leavanny’s claws glowed and it meant Zorua’s scratch with it’s attack. The two attacks clashed but Zorua went flying back. It landed on it’s back and did a few rolls on the ground. Leavanny had much more physical strength, this wasn’t looking good. While Zorua struggled to get up Burgh planned his next move. “We have some time, strengthen up with swords dance!” Leavanny began to dance a very warrior like dance as it’s hands began to glow purple. Burgh was planning to end this with one more attack.
“Zorua! Please get up!” I cried out to my pokemon. Upon hearing those words Zorua jumped to it’s feet. That made me smile greatly, we were still in this. “Ok Zorua, we are going to have to take a risk. I know you haven’t mastered this technique yet but we have to try it. Dark Pulse!” Zorua began charging the blast. This attack usually didn’t need to be charged, but it was too strong of a technique for Zorua to spit out right away. Thus he has to charge it. Leavanny had finished dancing. Burgh commanded another X scissor and the pokemon charged in. It drugs it’s claws on the ground, tearing up the ground in an epic fashion. I crossed my fingers, hoping Zorua could fire the pulse in time. I quickly glanced up to the stands to see if anyone was watching this battle. Not surprisingly there was only one person. Nothing on him caught my eye but his pokemon did. The fire pig starter, a Tepig. I could tell by it’s facial expressions it was really into this battle. That pokemon must love fighting. I moved my attention quickly back to the battle. Leavanny was getting close and got ready to swing. Zorua grunted and fired the Dark Pulse. The attack was too high of a skill level for Zorua, it went wide left. Leavanny crossed his arms in an X shape and slashed at Zorua, dead on hit. Zorua flew back, stopped by hitting my feet. The ref waved the flag on Burgh’s side.
“Zorua is unable to battle, Leavanny wins!” I bent down and scooped up Zorua in my arms. I thanked him for the fight and then placed him in his favorite sleeping spot, my hood. He needed a good rest. Burgh and I met up in the middle of the field to exchange a handshake.
“I was truly surprised you wanted a gym battle, but I’m glad you did. I think this shows something. Jude you’re a really good battler, but you lack experience. Experience you won’t get staying here in Castelia. You need to get out and also catch more pokemon. Zorua alone won’t be enough if you want to win often” he kindly lectured to me. “I just really hope that this loss doesn’t make you afraid to battle again.” I just grinned at that last comment.
“Don’t worry Burgh, my spirit won’t break! I’ll take your advice into consideration too. See you later!” He just smiled and shook his head. I turned around and headed for the door. I saw the Trainer with the Tepig get up and start to head out too. I exited through the gate, saying farewell to the secretary lady. The automatic door opened for me once again and I left the gym. I decided to go home now, no where else to go. As I started walking I felt someone grab my shoulder. I turned around to see the trainer there with his Tepig.
Edit: Apr 17, 11
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Oct 13, 10 at 9:45pm ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
To do the line thingy, you use this code.
I haven't read through your fic yet, but I'll post a relevant comment soon.
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Oct 18, 10 at 3:22am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Would you, could you?
"Ooh…ouch." I muttered to myself as the battle progressed. "That one's got to hurt. And…downed." I felt some pretty genuine pity for the fellow who had just gotten thrashed down in the arena. Then again, it was partly his fault for the loss. Fellow sees a Bug-type Gym, goes in with a Dark-type. Not going to end well for him, no sir. This battle served to kind of reinforce my own paranoid thoughts as well. If somebody that actually looked like they knew what they were doing couldn't even land a single blow, then what would become of me? Granted, there were all sorts of factors that we had to consider with planning and preparing for a Gym battle, just some more paranoid factoids for me to juggle though. As Burgh returned to his leisure activities, the boy walked out with his poor companion resting in his hood. Even though he had been thrashed rather horrifyingly, he still had his chin held high, putting on quite the determined look as he strode out as confident as he had come. From down at my feet, Tepig glanced up eagerly at me, coiled tail wagging anxiously as if to say, 'Our turn now?'
"Uhhh…sorry fellow," I said, reaching up under my cap to scratch nervously at my dark brown hair. I usually kept it kind of disheveled, not wanting anybody to have to bother themselves with any particular style I tried it in. Hence the cap. "I think we should just give Burgh a bit of time to himself or so, let Burgh cool his jets for a little while and what not. Just to make sure he can handle you when we do give it a try and all…right?" Tepig glared at me again before inhaling sharply. I already knew what was coming, but I figured I probably deserved it after denying him yet another battle. I had time to close my eyes before a guff of Smog overtook me, leading to another coughing fit from me. If there was one move that Tepig had perfected, Smog was it. I had definitely spent my fair share of time with my head engulfed in the noxious cloud, but one got used to it after a while.
"…thanks a lot for that." I said, rubbing my watering eyes. Tepig gave a sniff, turning his head a ways from me. There was that kinda temperamental side of him again. Was it so bad to try to keep him out of harm's way? I couldn't imagine that Tepig wanted to let others hurt him, right? But that fellow down there that had just attempted to take on Burgh was something else entirely. That loss hadn't put him down; he wasn't moping about losing an awfully unbalanced battle; and he just encouraged his fallen companion. Perhaps if I…
"Maybe we could just, you know, see if his friend is alright." I said to myself, slowly getting up from my seat in the stands. Tepig was already following my lead down the steps to the main entrance. Apparently there was something about that guy that intrigued my little friend. I only was able to finally catch up with him at the entrance, where he had been stopped dead in his tracks by the automatic doors. As soon as the doors were open wide enough though, Tepig was bounding away after the guy, with me following close behind. I never could run well to begin with, so when I stumbled and grabbed at his shoulder, purely coincidental.
"Hm? Something you need?" He asked casually, turning to face me with a hint of a grin on his face. Tepig stopped running abruptly and stared up at the person with a clearly interested expression.
"Uhh…no, I'm alright. I was just watching you battle and I was wondering if…what's his name? In your hood?" I asked, pointing out the small black fox.
"Zorua. His name's Zorua. I think he'll be fine, just tuckered out from that battle. He did all he could, really." He answered, reaching a hand back to softly scratch the fox behind its ears. I kind of liked the way it looked and all, but it was clearly a bit fierce if the battle was anything to go by. It did look shockingly docile at the moment though, softly snoozing in the boy's hood. "But who's this little fellow here?" This question was directed down at Tepig, who first looked up in wonder at the stranger. Once he had begun ruffling the little guy's ears though, he was taken in entirely by the new person.
"He's Tepig, though I don't think you'll be having any troubles with him. He seems to like you a lot. And I'm Brandon." I nervously answered back. This guy practically seemed to exude confidence, even though he had just lost the battle. That was something to get me more than a little anxious about him. He was definitely not the kind of person I was used to encountering. So different from myself, yet here we were talking.
"Jude." He replied coolly, still focused more on Tepig than me. That kind of bugged me to be honest, but I couldn't do anything to stop it. If Jude took all battles like I had seen just now, then he was almost more compatible with Tepig than I was. That was more than a little depressing to me.
"Well, I just wanted to see how you were taking that battle and all. Nothing else really." I continued, eying Jude and Tepig a little sadly.
"Well, you might want to consider giving it a try yourself." Jude replied, now actually holding Tepig around the head and rubbing him behind the ears fondly. "Tepig looks really strong, and you'd have the advantage anyways. If I'd had a Fire-type with me back there, odds would've been angled more towards me. You think you'd be up for it?"
"Well, I…don't really know. I think there are other things I could do instead, like uhh…" My mouth locked up for a moment when Tepig turned back towards me, giving me an unconvinced glare. "I think I'd rather go through the Gyms in a more do-able order. Start off back in Striaton City and all, y'know?"
"Striaton City, huh?" Jude said to himself, a slight glint sparking in his eyes. "Yeah, that might just be the plan to go with after all. Start from the bottom and climb your way up. Yeah…" He was lost in thought for a while, just kneeling there idly and continuing to rub Tepig fondly. "I think that might be something to do. I've got nothing going on here in Castelia. You been to Striaton before?"
"Me? Yeah, I guess I have. I could probably go along if you wanted." I replied, just speaking whatever came to mind. I was trying to not come across as a blithering idiot, but probably doing exactly that at the same time. "I don't know, since Tepig seems to like you a lot, he'd probably like to go along too."
"Yeah, I'll have to do that. Nothing's holding me back here, so might as well. Ought to be nice getting out for a while. You want to tag along?" Jude asked casually, giving me a sort of smirk. Tepig looked back at me anxiously, tail wagging again. What inspired him to like Jude so much? It almost seemed like he was opting more towards him than I.
"I…guess so. You seem like an honest enough guy. I'll get you to Striaton, no doubt." I hesitantly answered, ruffling my hair again. "If you don't mind and all."
"Me, mind? Why would I mind?" Jude happily replied. "More the merrier, huh? I'd just need to run back and get a few things together. Meet back here in a little while?"
"Sure, I guess. I won't take long at all. See you back here then." I said back, prompting Tepig to reluctantly return over to me. I scooped him up in my arms again before walking off, Jude going his separate way. "So, what do you think of him fellow?" I asked Tepig once we were safely around a few corners. "Does he seem like your kind of guy?" Tepig gave an enthusiastic nod in response, back to happy again in a matter of moments. "Well, I guess we'll being seeing some more of him in a little while, huh?"
It barely took any time to gather what little I had from the small apartment where I lived by myself. Mom and Dad didn't have a permanent home of their own either, usually wandering from dig site to dig site, looking for the next big find. And since I was technically out on my own journey through Unova, It wouldn't do if I just tagged along with them the whole time. I had next to nothing, and it already seemed like time to move on. After compressing everything I had in my possession down into a rather over sized pack with Tepig pacing impatiently by my side, I stopped to quickly try to make myself a fair bit more presentable. I hurriedly began combing over my dark brown hair with my fingers before forcing a cap down on it, hurriedly straightening my blazer and folding down the collar while rubbing down any creases, and cinching down all of the straps on my pack. All of that took about ten minutes, prompting me to hurry along all the faster when I realized how long it was taking. By the time I got back to the spot in front of the Gym, Jude was already waiting for me, considering his watch with a grin as I walked up.
"Think you've got enough stuff in that pack of yours?" He jokingly asked with a smirk. I nervously chuckled along with him, cutting it off when Tepig went over to Jude's side…again. What made him so alluring to the fellow? No, what made Jude un-alluring to him, that was likely the shorter answer. "Ready to head out then Brandon?"
"I…I suppose so. You sure you've got everything sorted out?"
"Positive. I've got nothing holding me back here. Ready whenever you are." Immediately after saying this, he was already walking off towards the entrance to the eastern entrance to the city, Tepig trotting along happily by his side. What a guy. I was left in the dust as I hurried along after them, though a certain sight stopped me in my tracks when we were just about out of the maze of skyscrapers that was Castelia City. Leaning with against a wall with his arms crossed and one leg folded over the other was Chet, readjusting his slouch hat while Liepard coolly licked its paws by its master's side. Once Jude and I were within range, Chet was quick to push his sunglasses back up his nose and readjust his hat before speaking out.
"Well, hello hello hello! Would ya look at what the cat dragged in? No offense to you girl." The last half of his comment was directed at Liepard, who had glanced with a miffed expression. "Brandon! Mate, where the heck have you been? I was just looking around to see if you were up to a go with Liepard now."
"R-really now? What exactly gave you that idea?" I stuttered in reply. My eyes wandered over to Jude, who was watching with a fair amount of interest, watching how I was handling the situation. Not very well, it seemed.
"Well, you had said 'maybe another time', didn't ya? If you're heading out with this muppet over here, why not give it a go before ya leave?" All of this was said with a sneer on his face. He knew that I wouldn't take him up on his offer. He was just doing this because Jude was here, humiliating me in front of my new acquaintance. "Liepard is getting anxious. Her regular prey doesn't put up enough fight before she finishes 'em off. She wants a real hunt this time around." His companion compounded this statement by giving a soft purr, raking one paw along the concrete ground and leaving a trio of thin scratches along the ground. It was seriously creeping me out at that point, but I tried not to let it show.
"I uhhh…I don't think now would be the best time to try out a battle." I responded, determined to not take this one lying down. Not while Jude was present at least. "Jude and I would prefer to just get out on the road while we can, put a little distance between us and the city. Maybe another time, right? Once we have a firmer grip on how to battle properly?"
"Yeah…I get what you're saying." Chet said, smirking more broadly. "Or at least, wait until you have a firmer grip on how to even begin battling. I've never even seen you go at it before, but maybe that'll change in due time. I'll be waiting for you then. Just remember: I've got you in my sights." That seemed to be a signature line of sorts for Chet, but at least it signaled that he was leaving. It didn't stop him from tipping his hat to both Jude and I before departing, Liepard slinking off after him with a menacing yowl.
"Now what exactly was all that about?" Jude asked me as soon as Chet was out of range. "A friend of yours?"
"I wouldn't go so far as to call him that." I said back, giving Tepig another apologetic look. "Let's…let's just get going." I promptly hurried off ahead of Tepig and Jude, hesitating at first before stepping out over the city limits. With any luck, something would come out of this little excursion between the two of us. I had only gone a short ways out into the field when I felt Jude grip my shoulder sharply. I couldn't do anything to suppress my sharp jump to the side, other than try to pass it off as a more elaborate turn around. The first thing I noticed was that Tepig was much more in my view, being held in Jude's other arm. That was almost too far, even by my own standards.
"Hey, why didn't you try taking him on back there?" Jude wanted to know. Before answering, I gingerly took Tepig from him. If anything, it at least asserted that the fellow was my close friend, and not his. "You probably could've done some serious damage to that cat of his. Tepig's a tough little guy, isn't he?" This was more directed at Tepig, and was coupled with a fond scratch under the chin. Another detail that put me off a little.
"Look, I'd just prefer not to get him into tight situations. You don't know that guy like I do, and I don't want Tepig to end up as a scratching post for that psychotic jungle cat. Is that reasonable?" I was well aware that Tepig was beginning to squirm a bit in my arms, but I was apparently making enough of a point to keep Jude's attention.
"So, what? You don't take him out in battles often or something?" Jude asked, cocking an eyebrow while continuing to tousle my companion's ears fondly.
"Well...not as often as he'd probably like." I returned, scowl dropping now. Tepig gave a slight snort of affirmation at my words, resuming his wriggling.
"Oh. Well we can't have that, now can we? You should try slackening up a bit on him, let him get out and about more. Get what I'm saying?" Jude continued, still casually playing with Tepig. With a sigh, I let Tepig down out of my arms and onto the ground, whereupon he promptly went to Jude's side again. With a defeated sigh, I turned to begin walking again, head towards the ground. Whatever kept Tepig happy would have to do then, wouldn't it?
[size=1][color=#666666]This message was edited on 2011-09-20T16:12:46-07:00.
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Oct 22, 10 at 4:36am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
So I realised TK and I were doing our chapters differently and it didn’t look good to me, so for now on I’m throwing on the chapter 1,2,3 ect and styling it his way. Though I’ll still keep the cooky titles
Vs Woobat; Jude's pokemon dilemma
I strolled casually, Tepig trotting at it’s side. Tepig had taken a quick liking to me, and me to him. I am glad to have someone to travel with. I’ve been practically friendless my entire life. I wouldn’t even consider my mom a friend. I watched as my feet crossed the border of Castelia City, felt so good to leave. We’d have to come back eventually, but not for a while. I tried not to bounce a lot in my walk, I didn’t want to disturb Zorua’s sleep. He shifted his little body around, kicking my back, searching for a different position to sleep in. Castelia City was now behind us! I turned behind me to look at Brandon.
“Brandon, Castelia City is in our rear mirrors, we are moving forward! To Striaton City!” I shouted energetically. My loudness made him smile a bit. I hoped we would get along. I turned my head back forward to look ahead of me. My head was slung back, I’d been hit. I stumbled back a few steps. Zorua shot up like a missile and jumped out of my hood. I heard it growl at me a little, not happy to be woke up. I’d focus on Zorua later, something else required my attention first. What the hell had hit me. Brandon came running up from behind me.
“Hey dude are you alright?” he was fairly concerned. Tepig got into battle stance, it was looking around, growling a little. I looked up to see my attacker. It hovered there, flapping it’s wings. It looked out of it, a bit disorientated. It’s body was fuzzy and light blue. It’s single eye was heart shaped. It had a single tooth hanging out of it’s mouth. Kind of cute actually, in a funky kind of way. It then hit me, paret of Burgh’s advice was to catch more pokemon, mix my types up. I recognized this pokemon as Woobat, the bat pokemon. They were quite common in Unova. Woobat was a Psychic/Flying, a typing that would go great with Zorua. I stood up fully, ready to capture this. I looked it right in the eyes.
“Woobat! I want to fight you to capture you! Are you ok with this?” I asked it, hoping it’d comply. Woobat hovered up and down, looked like a nod motion to me. “Alright! Zorua, get up and ready for a battle!” I stood there patiently, waiting for Zorua to jump in front of me. Several moment ticked by, I didn’t see Zorua in front of me. I turned around to see what was going on. Zorua had curled up in a ball on the walking path we were on and fell back asleep. I knew there was no point in waking it up, it wasn’t gonna obey me until he was rested. This was not good, now I had nothing to fight Woobat with. To my surprise, Tepig jumped in front of me, still in it’s battle pose. Hmm, I could use Tepig, but better check it off with it’s master first. Brandon was now to my side. I turned over to him. “Would you mind if I used Tepig against Woobat?” Brandon bit his lip, a bit hesitant to respond. But a response wasn’t needed for Tepig. It unleashed a stream of fire, ember, right at Woobat. The bat didn’t see this coming and took the hit hard. It then spiral towards the ground. Tepig began to charge at it with a Tackle. Brandon and I just looked at each other and shrugged. He flashed me the ok sign with his right hand. Tepig’s timing wasn’t very good. It reached it’s tackle before Woobat got to the ground, running right under it. Noticing his mistake, Tepig tried to turn right around but he was going too fast and ended up rolling over itself. Brandon didn’t like that at all, but I tapped his shoulder to comfort him. It was time for me to take control. I took a step forward, feeling quite cool. It was time for me to make a signature move for myself. I held my arm out in front of me, wiggling my fingers around. Then made a fist and brought my arm done a few inches quickly. I decided that was my new signature, I’d use it whenever I needed to do something cool in a battle. Woobat had stopped itself before hitting the ground. It now hovered a few feet in the air again. Tepig was getting back to it’s feet. I shouted out to Tepig “Hit it with another ember!” Tepig expelled another shot of flames towards the bat. Woobat saw this attack coming and easily avoided it with amazing speed. It decided to go on the offensive now. It began flapping it’s wings violently, forming a strong Gust. The attack made Tepig slide back, it tried to fight it but the wind was strong. This wasn’t good, I didn’t have any ideas to get out of this. Woobat followed up it’s attack with another attack, this time a it shot a Heart from its Heart eye. The attack was Woobat’s signature Heart Stamp, it looked quite weird. But weirdness aside, Tepig got hit straight on by the Heart, sending it once again rolling back. Brandon grabbed my shoulder this time.
“You got to forfeit this, I can’t stand seeing Tepig get heart anymore. Please forfeit” he pleaded, quite worried. I could see the worry in his face and see it in his voice. His care for Tepig was tremendous. I would have to listen to his request if I wanted to keep him as a traveling buddy. I looked at his sad eyes and gave an affirmative nod. Tepig heard this conversation between us, he did not like what we were talking about. Tepig growled like crazy and bounced around a little, showing it had energy to spare. Woobat didn’t wait for us to talk this out. It flapped it’s wings and fired off a Gust. Tepig probably wouldn’t know what to do. I had to keep fighting.
“Ember!” I screamed, feeling quite epic. Tepig just smiled and unleashed a stream of fire again, meeting Woobat’s gust of wind. The attacks met in the middle, both pokemon struggled to overpower the other. “Sorry Brandon, but it was impulse” I apologized. But he was watching his Tepig too intently to respond. Tepig was struggling more than Woobat to keep the strength of it’s attack power up. Then the ember grew intense in power and overtook Woobat, engulfing it in flames. Tepig was now glowing an orange-red. This must be it’s ability activating, Blaze. Blaze was quite powerful, but Tepig was so drained of energy by now I don’t think it would make a difference. Woobat flapped it’s wings to free itself of all flames. I guess that wasn’t enough, it needed more. To my surprise, Woobat flew towards me instead, not to attack, just to visit. It made some calls in it’s pokemon language, I think it was saying it had enough. I help out an empty poke ball and Woobat nodded happily. I threw the red and white ball into the air. It opened up and shot out a red light that engulfed Woobat. The ball closed and fell to the ground, it then clicked making it official. I had caught Woobat! I ran over and picked up the ball excitedly, hugging it close. Brandon was over with Tepig in it’s arms. He was inspecting his pokemon’s wounds thoroughly. I'd give him his space for now. Zorua was fast asleep on the ground still.
Pokeball still in hand I released Woobat. I needed to get to know my new capture. The bat did in a front flip right when it was released. It then just chilled, hovering above my head. With nothing better to do I had an idea. "Woobat, how about you show me the rest of your moves that I haven't seen" I challenged my new pokemon. Woobat let out a chuckle and started to fly up. I figured it was flying up so it wouldn't hit anything. It stopped at about 25 feet in the air. It started out simple, firing a beam of three rings. I knew that as the none damaging supersonic, could be useful if used right. It then swooped down, just flying, not a move. It came really close to me and began to sniff my shirt around. This move I did not reconize, if it was even a move at all. I'd have to ask Brandon about it later. Woobat's eye began to glow a pinkish. Then I noticed Zorua was glowing the same color. Woobat began to move Zorua up in the air with it's mind, Zorua didn't budge. It floated about four to five feet in the air. Woobat motioned me towards Zorua. I understood what he meant and it made me laugh. Woobat couldn't move Zorua back down and didn't wanna disturb his sleep by dropped him. I slowly moved over to Zorua and put my arms under it. Woobat stopped the Telekinesis. I got down on a knee and gently placed the sleeping fox back on the ground. Woobat seemed like he done showing off. He had an interesting set to work worth, not all attacking moves like Zorua. We should start moving soon. I'm hoping we can cross the huge bridge connecting Castelia and Nacrene city before night fall. Brandon had the same idea it seemed, as we looked at each other at the same time. He now let Tepig on the ground, who was moving just fine, maybe a little stiff. It jogged over to me with a huge smirk, very happy about it's win. I dropped down to my knees again and rubbed the little fella between the ears. "Thanks for your effort little guy" I thanked. I now have two pokemon so I hopefully won't have to rely on Tepig again.
"Well, I think we are thinking the same thing. Let's move onwards! Always moving forward right?!" Brandon laughed, he was acting happier than I thought. He must've enjoyed watching Tepig succeed. I replied with a thumbs up, it was time to move ahead. But first, I had a certain sleeping fox I couldn't leave behind.
Edit: Apr 17, 11
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Oct 23, 10 at 7:52pm ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
I HAVE C+C!
Three mighty huzzahs for what I'm seeing so far! You've both improved from the last time I've seen either of you. But you know what they say: With greatness comes greater responsibility! I'm sure that if you'll keep it up you'll receive constant thumbs up from me and many others. I'll be patiently waiting for the next installment!
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Oct 25, 10 at 12:36am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
A Vanity Affair
I'd be a pretty terrible liar if I said that I wasn't pretty worried about Tepig during that whole scuffle with Jude's new friend. That's to say, I had my own faith in him, but perhaps was overestimating his opponent. Now that I had seen a reaffirmation of what he could do, I was feeling a lot happier already. There was apparently plenty that he had to work on though, several errors in the battle being particularly glaring. Tripping over himself mid-attack was one that I kept replaying in my mind as I walked, feeling a bit uncomfortable about it. It did make sense as to why, what with his somewhat inexperience, no thanks to me. I guess Jude was right after all about easing up on him. Perhaps that was why Tepig seemed to like Jude a bit more than he did me. Couldn't be helped much though, could it?
"So, have you ever seen the bridge up ahead?" Jude spontaneously asked me as we walked, Woobat playfully flitting about his head. Zorua was back in his hood, but was at least awake now, watching Woobat with a faint bit of annoyance.
"Me? Just the once, on the way to Castelia. Pretty huge, it was." I weakly described. To tell the truth, just seeing the bridge was totally awe-inspiring. The massive construction was a true testament to Isshu's progress through the eras, being several thousand yards long at the least. It had taken me seemingly forever to cross it the first time, probably due to my own stupid dawdling along it though. Not that I could help but do it, that is.
"Sounds like it'll be quite the sight to see then, huh?" Jude replied, giving another grin from where he walked ahead. "It'll be quite the thrill, going over it and such." Down by Jude's side, Tepig was still trotting along with him, still looking a fair bit pleased with himself over his win. I figured it would be fine if I let him feel that way, but hopefully he wouldn't get kinda cocky next time. "Well, let's pick up the pace a bit more, huh? The bridge is waiting for us!" Jude called back to me, flashing that grin yet again. Weakly returning the grin, I did what I could to catch up with him in a timely manner, but kept stumbling along from my off balanced pack. Hopefully we'd still make good time by the end of the day…
We had been walking for what seemed like hours to me, though it was probably only one or two in all reality. Jude had been occupying the front section of our little band, Zorua and Tepig keeping him company. Woobat on the other hand was a bit less focused then they were, coming across as more than a little scatter brained. It would keep fluttering back and forth between Jude and I, grinning rather vaguely as it went. Klutziness was also evident from the numerous times it rammed into my head, jostling me around with each blow. As angry as I wanted to get with the klutzy bat, I couldn't bring myself to. To yell at it would be like yelling at a vegetable, though the vegetable likely would have had more of a response. Whenever I would glance up at it rubbing the back of my head, it would simply flutter there in front of me with its snaggletooth hanging out of its mouth with an air of naiveté.
"Whatever fellow. Just try to watch where you're going, 'k?" I recommended to the bat as it fluttered wobbly away from me after another collision, staring back like always. Gah, it looked like some kid at this rate, mouth hanging open dumbly. But he was Jude's choice of companion, so I couldn't stop him from going on with him. I guess I still had Tepig, in a way. My mind was continuing to wander around when Jude spoke out to me from up in the front.
"And there we have it!" he called, coming to a stop in the road. A short ways away was the start of the bridge, a large number of people already gathering along it to go across in a group. Most of them had cameras out, snapping shots of themselves and their friends and family going across the huge bridge, most of them with their own Pokemon out and about with them. Then again, who could possibly blame them? It's not every day that one goes across a bridge as massive as this one!
"It looks a bit bigger than when I first came across it." I noted, eying the massive construct with interest. "I don't think they would have added onto it though. That would be a lot of trouble for everyone crossing."
"If they made it any longer, then it's still fine by me." Jude said openly, never taking his eyes off of it. "I'm looking forward to every single second we spend on this thing. First time across and what not."
"Well, it'll certainly be something to remember." I replied, walking over to where the bridge first began to expand over the ocean below. Stooping down a bit, I picked up Tepig in my arms to allow him to look over the edge too, though he didn't seem to be affected by the dizzying height nearly as much as I was. It was only a few moments before I withdrew my head back over the edge and turned back to Jude. "So, ready to head across now?"
"Me? I've been ready for this since I heard we were crossing it. I was just wondering when you were." Before I could answer, Jude was already making his way along the bridge, face lit up with an enormous grin. I was quick to hurry after him, Tepig still held close in my arms as I went. "Well, would you just look at that, huh?" Jude asked, looking back after Castelia City as he walked. I couldn't help but nod in approval; the view that the bridge treated us to was fantastic, really showing off the skyscrapers. I felt kind of sad for thinking badly about them, when they were really quite amazing looking. Jude was staring out across the bay now, looking completely at ease. The same could not be said about the people having to alter their course around him as he walked along.
"To think that this was all made by people like us, right?" I asked, a little bit put off by his silence. "How do you think they did it all?"
"That's not really something that we need to think too much about, do we?" Jude replied, cracking his signature smile again. Something up ahead then caught his eye. "Brandon, what do you suppose that is up ahead?" He asked, pointing a ways ahead. Glancing up, I could see what he meant much better. There was a large crowd gathered around some point, large guffs of fire and smoke erupting from somewhere in the center to much applause from all present.
"A show or something? I don't know, I've only been across here once." I replied, moving forward with Jude to get a closer look.
The crowd was a lot thicker than we had seen earlier, though more people had likely joined the throng as we went. We eased our way through the crowd with little trouble, catching glimpses of crimson flashing about inside of the crowd. Finally we were through, revealing the source of the people's amusement. A stage of sorts had been erected on the side of the bridge, and a young man was standing upon it, back to the ocean in impressive fashion. He was wearing a pretty snazzy suit, complete with a bright red bow-tie. This article went perfectly with his amazing shock of red hair, sticking up in a crazy fashion. But the people's attention was centered on the stage's other occupant. It was a rather curious looking red monkey of sorts, with a hair-style matching its trainer. It was apparently taking a breather at the moment, but it quickly resumed at a snap of the young man's fingers.
"Next act Pansear! Come, come!" he called, motioning enthusiastically with his arms. The monkey, Pansear, I suppose it was called, gave a nod before leaping up and releasing a huge jet of fire into the air. From there, it moved into a series of complicated maneuvers, almost as if it were dancing along with an unheard song, releasing fire in complex patterns as it went. The people 'oohed' and 'ahhed' at each explosive surge of fire, and I gladly went along with them. Jude and Zorua didn't seem too impressed by it all, though Woobat and Tepig were both totally taken in by the display. Pansear continued to move along flawlessly, forming amazing stunts, each one being a show in its own, while its Trainer moved along with its movements. Something about his enormous grin and hyperactive movements was alluring, and his charm had all but Jude captivated. "And here we go!" he called, apparently signaling Pansear to something grander and even more impressive. With a jump and a start, Pansear landed on its back and began to spin up quickly; using its hands legs and tail to keep itself moving. A great spiral of flames erupted out, twisting and looping about spectacularly. "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" The guy yelled, one 'yeah!' per rotation of his companion. His enthusiasm was astonishing; nobody had seen anything like him apparently. The fiery headed dude clapped his hands sharply together, prompting Pansear to begin spinning in a rather different way, moving up onto something of a spinning hand-stand as the fire danced around it. Its arms tensed briefly, and then it was skyward, a red aura building up quickly around it. Just as the young man struck a pose, one clenched fist pumping skyward while the other was brought in close, Pansear released a large shot of flames straight up. It wasn't too impressive at that moment, but when it exploded in a huge shower of sparks, the crowd went wild! Well, everyone except Jude and Zorua that is. Pansear landed lightly on the stage, already midway through its bow as the trainer did likewise, both grinning insanely. Before the crowd had even begun to simmer down, Jude turned to me and asked aloud.
"Who does this clown think he is?"
Instantly, the mood of the crowd soured an amount, the crowd going quiet in moments. The fiery headed young man glanced up, straightening his bow-tie and locking eyes with Jude. Pansear and Zorua held a similar stare down.
"Would you mind asking again? I'm afraid I may not have caught that bit." The performer asked, giving his bow tie a tug on either end.
"I said, who do you think you are?" Jude replied, looking at him with distaste. "Is there some reason for doing all of this other than feeding that massive ego of yours?"
"No, I wouldn't put it that way. It's just that several people here just were dying to know who I was. Once the answer got out, it was only natural that I give all of you here a little something to remember this occasion by, no?" This last question was directed at the crowd assembled. Several occupants looked close to swooning, others dying for more of the performance.
"So you're saying that this is just a big case of fan service, huh?" Jude replied, folding his arms with a glare. I was practically sweating bullets next to him, put off by all of the attention being focused on the pair of us.
"Well, someone like you could certainly put it that way. I prefer to think of it as giving all of you loving fans a treat on this splendid day!" Again, there he went referring to the people assembled. This guy really knew how to play a crowd.
"Oh come on! You call this second rate side show a treat?" Jude replied, glaring now. Several gasps were heard from within the crowd's depths. That comment had seemed to hit a nerve with the performer, causing his brow to furrow a bit.
"Second rate? That seems more than a little improper, buuut…" The young man replied, voice trailing off as he slowly spun on his heel turning away from Jude and the crowd. "I guess that means you just don't realize who you're speaking with, eh?" This sentence was punctuated with another spin about, one clenched fist held up near his head as he gave a charismatic wink to the crowd.
"I guess you can say that." Jude replied unfolding his arms again to glower at his new rival. "Which leads me back to my earlier question: who do you think you are?"
"Me? Why…" He began turning away again. Pansear began to tense up slightly by his side, waiting for a signal of some sort. "You can just call me…Chili!" This last word was given with an eccentric spin on his heel, followed by a charming, open armed pose as Pansear spun behind his trainer and let off another burst of fire, giving this guy, Chili, a much more epic appearance. "Performer, entertainer, and Gym Leader of Striaton City!"
[size=1][color=#666666]This message was edited by tkman117 on Apr 17 2011.
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Oct 29, 10 at 5:40am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Vs. Chili and Pansear! Explosive Battle!
At Chili's announcement, another wave of 'oohs' and 'aahs' rippled through the crowd. There weren't many exceptions to this, only four in particular. There was Jude, who had gotten some strange glint in his eye at this, and there were a threesome of strangers, standing a ways back in their large coats. They hadn't moved about much, mainly looking back and forth among the crowd assembled here. Maybe they were looking for someone? They certainly weren't being very efficient about it. They were focused on the stage at the moment, one leaning in towards the center to mutter something incomprehensible. There conferencing brought my attention back up towards the stage, my mind filling with more stress. Hopefully Jude wasn't intending to make a total scene out of this; no need to risk the wrath of Chili's fans.
"Gym Leader?" I spoke up, still a bit rattled by the presence of one. "Aren't you a bit far off from Striaton? I thought Gym Leaders were supposed to maintaining the Gym at all ti-"
"Don't fret, there's no need to worry. The Gym is in good hands, I assure you." Chili interrupted, gesturing extravagantly with his hands. Man, this guy just didn't know when to quit. Jude seemed to recognize that as well, still glaring pointedly up at Chili. "Regardless, there can't possibly be any harm if we're just stopping for a little while on our trip back, eh?"
"Whether or not you're back at the Gym or not doesn't mean anything when it comes to your status." Jude growled, getting that look that I was already learning to watch out for. "You're still a Gym leader, right?" The crowd turned about, looking for the speaker, excited mutterings spreading like wildfire throughout. Only the three figures near the outside of the group said nothing, only continuing to mutter amongst them.
"Yes, I suppose I am still under that title. Yes…" Chili muttered, tugging absently at the cuff of one sleeve. "But, all work and no play makes Chili a dull guy, no? There's never any harm in getting out and about and all." At this, another group of fans chuckled heartily. This eccentric fellow's popularity seemed to know no bounds.
"But still, you should be open to challengers and all, regardless of where you are." I spoke up, still clutching Tepig close in my arms. "I mean, that's kind of what the Gym Leaders are for, to be able to provide a trial to prospective trainers to see if they are worthy of going on to the league."
"Textbook answer, I'd say." Chili replied, sending a point and a grin my way as he stepped down off of the stage a ways, one foot on the ground. "Yes, that would be the main goal of my establishment back in Striaton, but there's always time to take off and all." While he jokingly tickled Tepig under the chin, Jude stepped closer, still displeased by Chili's presence.
"If you're still technically working as Gym Leader, then you're practically obliged to accept this. I want to battle you, right here, right now." His last sentence was punctuated with a jab directed at Chili's bow-tie at every brief pause in his challenge. I quickly braced myself, expecting either Chili to burst out or his fans to. To my utter shock, Chili at first was silent, but then burst out laughing.
"You and me? Of course, of course!" He enthusiastically answered, taking a step back with an enormous grin adorning his face. The mere prospect of battling seemed to fill him with a new kind of gusto, pumping him up even more. With a quick hop backwards, he was back up on the stage, giving his bow-tie a hurried tug and smoothing. "Well, I accept your challenge! Granted, you won't quite be getting the true feel of how a Gym match with me ought to have, but this will be more than sufficient!"
"Jude? …are you sure about this?" I asked as my traveling partner gave a satisfied grin, already making for the stage. "I mean, you already lost a Gym match today, and…"
"Hey, I won't know if this one will go any different if I don't give it a shot, eh? Burgh's a whole different game from this nut. He's all talk, no game up here." Jude confidently replied, giving Tepig a cheery tousle over the ears and quietly reassuring him, "Next time little guy. Next match."
"I just hope you know what you're doing." I muttered, slightly tightening my grip on Tepig to keep him from wriggling out of my grasp to join Jude as he mounted up onto the stage. "Your fight, not mine." Chili's admirers seemed to have different ideas on how this would all go down, muttering things such as 'This won't take long,' and 'Get out your stopwatch, I want to see how fast this ends'.
"So, 2 on 2 I'm assuming?" Jude asked, Zorua already down at his side while Woobat fluttered idly around his head.
"Afraid not. Pansear is the only one present, a little setback of this match not being at the Gym. But that just makes the stakes all the higher! This match is 2 on 1, starting whenever you're ready!" Chili was quick to reply, Pansear already beginning to hop from foot to foot in anticipation of the match. I took a step back from the stage, not wanting to be near the blast zone of the coming scuffle. "Alright, just make your pick and let's get this show going!
"Let's see how well you handle a battle my way Woobat," Jude said, signaling for his recently acquired friend to take up a position on the field. From my place in the crowd, I gave an exasperated sigh. What an idiot Jude was being! Woobat was likely still a bit weakened from earlier, and Jude hadn't even been able to gauge out how it obeyed orders! Still, it showed plenty of confidence on his part, though it seemed unfair to place such a heavy burden on poor Woobat.
"Okay, get ready for some fireworks!" Chili called out, even more confident than Jude. "Readysetgo!"
"Alright! Start things off with Gust!" Jude ordered, swinging his arm down to signal his move. Woobat quickly fluttered up, rapidly flapping its wings to whip up a powerful wind. It was definitely a logical move to use, as Boappu would have difficulty avoiding something like that. Chili's hearty guffaw begged to differ though.
"A little wind isn't going to change how this battle goes! Pansear! Flamethrower!" At the drop of a hat, Pansear pulled back its head before letting loose a powerful torrent of flames, one much stronger than what I had seen Tepig using earlier. Woobat desperately began beating its wings faster in an attempt to ward off the powerful stream, but it wasn't having much effect. Without Jude's prompting, the bat quickly cut off its Gust and instead used its already rapidly beating wings to propel itself upwards and out of the way of the Flamethrower, still getting singed slightly by the flames though.
"Okay, let's work from there then! Try another Gust!" Jude called, clearly not put off by the damage Woobat had sustained from the previous attack. As Woobat began to beat up its wings again, Chili revealed his alternate arrangements.
"Trying to get a little out of reach? Then it's time for some Acrobatics! Now!" He called, giving an impressive gesture as he went. Pansear was quick to begin a series of flips along the length of the stage, prompting applause from the assembled fans. Woobat lost concentration at its opponent's display, all unintentionally of course. The big twist came when Pansear tensed up like it had during its show display, launching itself skyward again with a number of flips.
"Woobat! Dodge it!" Jude ordered, but it was practically in vain. Pansear was simply too fast to consider dodging, giving a quick flip in mid-air before planting its feet firmly down onto Woobat and forcing downwards to flip back off. Woobat hit the ground in about a second, bouncing back a ways with wings flailing while Pansear landed neatly a ways back. As Jude's little bat weakly got back up from the ground, Chili capitalized on the moment with vigor.
"Excellent! Follow it with some Fury Swipes!" He called, practically jumping around on his end of the stage. He almost seemed to be using Acrobat himself, moving so quickly and abruptly. Pansear was quick to follow up on the command, darting in to swing its arms about wildly, raining blows upon Woobat without restraint. By this point, my head was already in my hands. Jude was pretty much embarrassing himself up there, in front of all of these people. Even Tepig looked a bit doubtful about all of this, watching every blow that was made. With a sharp squeal, Woobat was flung back by Pansear's continuing barrage of attacks, recovering in mid-air before it could hit the ground again. Pansear was already on the way over to attack again though, practically making Jude's situation hopeless, at least the way he was currently managing the battle. Speaking during the match wasn't prohibited, was it? The fans were all cheering, so I figured I could try to lend something to him.
"Hey, Jude! Psychic-type, remember?" I called, pulling up what I knew on Woobat. Physically, it was like a sheet of paper, but its special moves could be used to great advantage. I saw Jude give a big smirk at this, probably getting a whole bunch of new ideas.
"Woobat, let's go with Telekinesis!" He ordered, prompting a sigh of relief from myself. Woobat's eye began to glow softly, then surrounding Pansear in a light aura as well. Its charge quickly slowed to a brisk jogging rate, then to a stop altogether, the fire monkey held in midair and thrashing wildly. "Now that your friend isn't moving about, Heart Stamp!" Woobat replied by releasing that now familiar heart-ray down at the immobilized Boappu, who was helpless to avoid it from Telekinesis' grip. The blow itself was powerful enough to knock Pansear completely free of the psychic clutch, sending the monkey sprawling across the stage before uneasily getting up, fidgeting defensively. Heart Stamp apparently could cause a pretty mean flinch it seemed. Pansear quickly recovered from the attack though, shaking it off before glancing back at Chili for directions as Jude smirked confidently at this new move. "So, that good enough for you, or should we try that again?"
"Touché, touché," Chili replied, stroking his chin now and tapping his foot. "Nice move! But will it work again? Pansear! Acrobatics once more!" Pansear was quickly back to rapidly jumping along the stage, flipping about with enthusiastic abandon. Once it was up in the air once more, on the way down towards Woobat, Jude acted once again with a sweep of his hand.
"Hold it right there! Telekinesis!" Jude ordered. As he spoke his command, I noticed Chili's smirk widen further. Not good. The moment Pansear was ensnared again; I realized what was going on. Telekinesis only prevented the movement of the unfortunate victim. But that didn't mean that…
"Now! Flamethrower!" Chili commanded. That was what I had been afraid of. Pansear swiftly inhaled a deep breath before launching another stream of fire out at Woobat, now from a perfectly stable position. The poor bat quickly covered itself with its wings in a sort of defense, but Telekinesis cut off abruptly. It was enough though for Pansear to quickly move in and grab Woobat by the wings and begin spinning on the spot. A few quick rotations later, Pansear released his opponent, sending Woobat spiraling skyward with a shrill shriek. Jude looked just as stunned as Woobat at this point, clearly not expecting his strategy to be foiled like that. "Now, light up the sky! Burst Flame!" Chili called, bringing one fist topped arm spiking down to his side while thrusting the other upwards, grinning insanely. Pansear drew back its head again, a mote of fire already building up over its mouth before releasing much like it had during its finale. The fireball soared upwards to meet the still flailing form of Woobat before erupting in a nova of fire just like before. As the flames cleared out, what looked like a guff of smoke detached itself from the main body to plummet down and strike the stage with another puff of smoke out from it. The last wisps faded away to reveal Woobat laying on the ground, body quite charred all over, scorched wings giving periodic twitches as its eyes swirled vaguely. Chili gave an almost mocking bow at this, still grinning widely as Pansear neatly cart-wheeled back to his side.
"…good effort out there." Jude said to Woobat after some hesitation, returning his smoldering companion. The loss of the round seemed to have had a major impact on Jude. He seemed awfully stressed now, and plenty irritated. The crowd seemed to still be on Chili's side, but those three people were still staying where they were, not moving away from their secluded mumblings.
"Well? Have you had enough yet, or would you care for another helping?" Chili called across the stage, enthusiasm multiplying once again. Jude looked in thought for a moment, lips moving but the sound blocked out by the cheering of the crowd. Finally, he brought his hand down in a rather impressive gesture.
"Me? Of course! I've still got a friend to introduce you to! Zorua, it's your turn!" Jude answered, Zorua already jumping out onto the stage with a somewhat mischievous grin. A few people in the crowd 'awww'd' at the sight of the small black fox, drawing a growl of indignation from it. Jude was taken aback as well, though Chili burst into chuckles. The three people hanging in the back considered Zorua thoughtfully before leaning in to continue quietly discussing.
"Alright! I like that in a person, never giving up! Though you still might want to consider, hm?" Chili half-mocked Jude, still tugging at his cuffs with a hearty grin.
"I'm not going to back down that easily! Not when I've got the chance to keep on going!"
"Excellent answer! Let's keep it going then!" Chili cheerily replied, jumping from foot to foot. Pansear was jumping about as well while Zorua took on a more combative stance, growling slightly at Pansear. From my arms, Tepig was getting excited again, watching the battle with rapt attention. There was no doubt that this round was going to be a lot different from the previous one.
"Alright, let's go!" Jude called, striking another stance from his end of the stage. "Start off with Scratch!" Zorua was instantly off and running across the field, locked on to Pansear's position. Like one would expect from a Gym Leader, Chili was more than ready for this kind of maneuver.
"Counter with Fury Swipes! Go! Go! Go!" He cheered, pumping his fists into the air with intense vigor. Once the two combatants reached each other near the center of the stage, things started to get a little messy. While Pansear may have had the more tactical move, Zorua seemed to be considerably quicker, able to launch just as many Scratches as Pansear could Swipes. In terms of strength they seemed pretty evenly matched, quickly smacking each other back and forth as they tumbled along the stage in a jumbled heap. It was more like an all-out brawl then a battle at that point.
"Okay, break away for the moment!" Chili ordered. Pansear quickly detached from Zorua, back-flipping a few feet away to steady itself. It's body was pretty much covered in scrapes and little scratches, though Zorua wasn't looking too prim and proper himself, tufts of fur sticking up all over the place and a few scrapes of his own. Both combatants used the moment for a quick breather before Chili drastically switched strategies around.
"Flamethrower! Let's see just how nimble your little friend can be!" He commanded, prompting the fire monkey to release another jet of fire towards Zorua. Chili's statement was quickly answered, as Zorua quickly began to dart away from the stream. Pansear kept the attack going trying to sustain it long enough to catch up with Zorua, but the fox Pokémon was simply too fast to be struck. The sustained stream of fire steadily petered out, Pansear slouching a bit to take another breather, giving Zorua another huge chance.
"Move in and Scratch him up again!" Jude called, seeing his opening. Thankfully he had seen that one. Missing it would have brought his logic into question. Zorua quickly bolted in with more of a tackle than anything, promptly getting to work on Pansear while his opponent was staggered. The fire monkey was taking a major beating, but it was still going despite taking on two foes in a row. Chili was still holding firm in this battle as well, despite the odds stacked up against him.
"Throw him off! You've got this handled!" He encouraged, still cheering on his companion. While Zorua continued to volley Pansear with Scratches, the monkey quickly pulled a reversal, catching Zorua's paws in his hands and quickly hopping up, mimicking how it had finished off Woobat. This time however, it did not seem to have the power remaining to fling the somewhat heavier Zorua that high again, settling for tossing the fox across the stage. It was forced to stop for another breather though, handing Jude yet another chance.
"Okay Zorua! Let's wrap things up with Dark Pulse!" Jude commanded, flicking his wrist with style. Zorua immediately began to prime up the energy needed for the attack, but the charge up time gave Pansear a chance of its own.
"Counter with Burst Flame! Quickly now!" Chili called, grin widening in anticipation. Pansear quickly pulled together what power it still had into another fireball, finishing in a matter of seconds before firing the blast back at Zorua.
"Release it now! Quick!" Jude shouted, disregarding the almost finished attack. Zorua gave a quick nod before firing off the large black mass of energy, watching it flux erratically as it flew in to intercept Pansear's fireball, resulting in another huge explosion. A fair amount of smoke blanketed the area for a bit, but it quickly cleared away, revealing a rather changed field. Zorua was still looking alright, though a bit tired out from the excursions so far. Pansear was down on one knee, panting for breath though, very much weakened by the two back to back rounds. Chili and Jude locked eyes and kept it going, the crowd focused entirely on them. All except for those three people again, who were now…moving? They had broken off from their secluded corner and were moving towards the stage with clear intent, and I seemed to be the only one noticing. It was a lot easier for the people to notice when they strolled around the back, quickly mounting up the steps to take up their new spots. The crowd was quite displeased at the interruption of their spectacle, understandably. 'Hey! Get off the stage!' or 'Down in front!' were popular phrases being shouted. Jude especially was looking as if there were something caught in his throat.
"Yo! What do you think you're doing!" he yelled out, pointing at the centermost of the three figures. All three quietly tuned towards him before averting their gazes again and reaching down towards the side of their coats. In one fluid movement, they were flung off with precise timing, a nice shock and awe tactic. A ripple of gasps ran through the crowd at this, a few crying out loudly.
"The same can be said to you, fool!" The center figure replied before shaking her hair back. The three people assembled on stage were a very odd lot, each wearing a pretty strange outfit. The two on either side of the center were wearing what could have been armor, complete with…a skirt? No, chain mail. Knights? Who would dress up like knights on a day like this? The figure in the center was a fair bit different. The lack of a head cover revealed a head of short, uniformly clipped blonde hair, and the face of a young woman who couldn't have been much older than 20. She too was wearing a similar outfit, but there was one aspect of the trio's uniform that stuck out the most. Emblazoned on each of their chests was a shield shaped emblem, a teal colored 'P'. Just looking at them, it was clear they weren't here for anything good.
"Our business does not concern riff-raff such as you!" The leader continued, shooting Jude a nasty glare.
"R-riff…raff…?" Jude asked, looking a bit confused. "Look who's talking! I'm not the one on the way to th-"
"Silence!" The leader snapped, cutting off Jude's retort. With her critic silenced, she turned to address the crowd. "All of you…just look at yourselves. You peasants could not possibly be cruder! Attending blood sport? And forcing your slaves and servants to come along with you as well, disgusting!"
"Slaves? What are you talking about? Slavery is unhea-" I started, staring frozen up at the woman.
"SILENCE!" She shrieked again. "You claim to know nothing about slaves, when you are surrounded by them! You abuse them, use them as labor, force them into unwilling battle, EVERYTHING! Just look down in your arms and you shall see what mean!" I could already see her point being made, but I obeyed anyway. Anything to make her stop shrieking. Of course Tepig was in my arms, staring back up at me curiously. But what did she mean by…oh.
"All of you are guilty of this crime! All of you here!" The woman snapped again, sounding as if she were about to start dealing out smacks.
"And just who do you think you are to be saying stuff like tha-" Jude was in the process of spitting out.
"I told you to be SILENT!" she shrieked in response, instantly striking everyone dumb with the echo alone. "You would do well to keep your mouth shut, peasant! I do not have time to trifle with you!" Turning back to the crowd, she spoke again. "You all have proven yourself unworthy of living harmoniously with your Pokémon! You are all unworthy! For this, you will hand them over as I command, for immediate release." This was too much even for me at this point.
"What? You can't just do that!" I burst out suddenly, startling Tepig.
"Who says that we have to give in to a couple of thugs, huh?" Jude said, thrilled at finally being able to complete his sentence. He was silenced again by another poisonous glare.
"I, Captain Elizabeth, am no common thug, boy! Nor is Team Plasma some gang! We are a just cause, and a cause that will not go unheeded! Silence them! Permanently this time!" She ordered her two henchmen. Upon Elizabeth's command, they both drew Pokeballs from their belts. Again, I couldn't stop from bursting out.
"What? And you call us bad people for simply having Pokémon of our own!"
"You, boy. You have spoken out just as much as your peasant there. A lone voice to be silenced as well, hm?" Elizabeth said, shifting slightly on stage before removing a ball of her own. "Perhaps my more trusted accomplice will be more willing to help seal those lips of yours. Krokorok, come!" A flash of light burst from the ball before manifesting into a very intimidating form. It resembled a large dusty brown crocodile, body covered in black stripes. It placed its two hands onto its hip area, silently grinning in such a way that revealed at least one row of razor like teeth. "Krokorok, quiet him down for me. Play with your food as much as you'd like. I expect a little less trash in the world won't make any difference." As the creature licked its lips hungrily and tensed up, my endearing thought was simply 'Oh, I am sooo screwed'.
Just a side-note for any readers out there. Guitarman91 had an interesting idea, to begin a 'reader poll' in order to get input from the community in a more unique fashion. Just cast your votes in thread, if you will.
Spoiler:This poll's topic is:
Of the two main characters, which would you say you prefer? Jude or Brandon?
[size=1][color=#666666]This message was edited on 2011-09-17T07:56:50-07:00.
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Nov 07, 10 at 11:46pm ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Readers don't forgot to participate in the Poll Tkman posted right above this post
Dire situation; Battle on the bridge
Things have taken a turn, for the worse. These people, as goofy as their costumes are, mean business. They appear willing to be violent is necessary. This crowd of full of civilians who probably can’t battle worth crap. It will be up to Chili, Brandon and I to fend these goons off. But Chili’s little fire monkey is dead tired and Zorua isn’t doing too hot itself. Ok I now have the situation comprehended, time to take action. The grunt who was in front of me had already jumped off the stage and was heading for the crowd. It had a Patrat out in front. He was demanding people to hand over their pokemon, getting in people’s faces. The crowd was backing up and that was pissing this guy off. Time for Jude to be a hero. Zorua jumped on my shoulder and I jumped off the stage. I am a pretty good athlete, good dexterity. I ran up and put my left hand on the grunts right shoulder. Using that I swung around, pulling 180, awful stylish looking if I do say so myself. Still in the air I took my right hand and swung, hitting the grunt with a nice punch in the left cheek. My pokemon aren’t the only ones that could fight. I was now standing between the grunt on the crowd, the crowd on my side of the captain lady at least. I couldn’t see what was going on with Chili and the other grunt.
“Get the hell out of here, I got this” I commanded the crowd in a bossy voice. I had to choose to be effective over being nice in this situation. Luckily these guys weren’t bright enough to block the end of the bridge off and we were close to the end. I guess they assumed they could just scare people into handing over their pokemon. These goons overestimated their ability. The grunt glared at me now as he wiped the blood of his cheek.
“Patrat! Go in with a bite and take him out” he harshly ordered, still keeping that glare. This action did not surprise me.
“Wow, so you get mad at us for using our pokemon to fight our battles and yet you’re going exactly that. Exactly that when I clearly showed I wanted to fight you myself” I pointed out, clearly unhappy. My sharp tongue didn’t help the fact that Patrat was coming at me, fast. Zorua wasn’t about to let it’s trainer get killed. My little wolf buddy jumped off my shoulder right as Patrat leaped towards me from the ground. Zorua easily avoided the jaws of Patrat and laid a good scratch right across the beaver’s stomach. It flung back and slide on the ground. Zorua landed perfectly and was growling in a very aggressive manor. Not only were these grunts stupid but they were weak, Patrat was already staggering from that one hit. I wondered how strong there boss was and turned towards Brandon to take a glance. The captain’s pokemon was towering over Tepig and size yet Tepig was putting up a decent fight from what I could tell. I would have this fight wrapped up in seconds and be right over to help him out if needed. While I was staring off Patrat was rushing back in with a tackle. This grunt’s tactic was too straight forward, always rushing in. “Zorua, rush in with another scratch!” Zorua zoomed forward to meet the already charging Patrat. Zorua’s paw met Patrat’s entire body. Zorua easily overpowered Patrat and it’s attack hit right on. Patrat went flying parallel from the ground. “Now, wrap it up with a Faint Attack!” Zorua nodded and jumped up in the air. He covered himself in black aura and took aim at Patrat. Diving in with his whole body my pokemon hit right on which I wasn’t surprised, faint attack never misses. With the angle Zorua attacked at it smash Patrat straight into the ground, adding extra damage. Zorua knew the right spots to hit. Patrat was full of spiral eyes after that attack. The grunt was sweating and panicking now. I was blocking it’s exit unless it wanted to run back across the bridge towards Castelia, the extremely long bridge. The world would want these grunts to be arrested but I really didn’t care what happened to them. After the beating I just delivered I doubt this buffoon will attempt to cause trouble again. Zorua trotted back to me as I turned my attention over to the other fights going on. The fire monkey caught my attention first as it delivered the final blow to it’s opponent, Purrloin, via fire punch. The person Chili was facing now had the same worried expression as the grunt I just destroyed. I noticed both of them exchange glances and take off running towards the Castelia, they’d pass out from exhaustion for sure. I focused back to the one left, this Elizibeth women, boy was she unpleasant. I was hoping Brandon would have her defeated but sadly the result was the opposite. Right as I looked Krokorok slammed against Tepig at full force with what seemed to be a Frustration or Return attack, they looked the same to me. Tepig skidded back on it’s belly all the way to a stressed out Brandon’s feet, coming to a slamming stop. Brandon swooped down with both arms and picked up it’s buddy who had the spiral eyes. I was surprised at this. Krokorok was panting a little but not a whole lot. And when the match seemed almost even earlier, that’s why I’m surprised. Something big must’ve happened. But I had no time to decipher that something was. Krokorok was licking it’s chops and moving towards Tepig. I wasn’t about to let the cute pig get eaten. I pointed at the huge alligator and Zorua got the memo. Neither Elizibeth or Krokorok noticed Zorua coming which is why I didn’t give a vocal command, didn’t want to screw up the element of surprise we had going on here. I noticed on the other side of Krokorok was a running Pansear. I smirked, Chili had the same idea I did.
“Now Krokorok, eat up that Tepig!” devilishly laughed Captain Elizabeth. Brandon was backing up but Krokorok was getting closer. So they wanted to save pokemon yet this Captain just ordered her pokemon to kill another, this was bogus. Krokorok was stopped in it’s tracks. Zorua unleashed a Scratch to that snout as Pansear hit the other side of the snout with a Fire Monkey, sandwiching the gator’s head. Krokorok growled in pain as it grabbed it’s snout. “What, that was uncalled for!”
“Uncalled for?” I questioned. Then with a huge grin I replied “you mean heroic! Chili, I hate you, it’s simple, we have to work together to win this.” Chili gave me a thumbs up and Brandon smiled at this behavior. Elizabeth just scowled, but who cares about her. Krokorok opened it’s large mouth and lunged forward, hoping to take a bite out of both it’s opponents. Pansear gracefully flipped back and released a strong Flamethrower right into the open mouth. Zorua leaped upwards and came down on the nose with another scratch. Zorua didn’t have the widest move pool but it was effective at this level. Pansear dropped down to both knees when it landed, the poor monkey was barely hanging on, only able to keep one eye open. Zorua was breathing heavy now but just from exhaustion, hadn’t taken a bad blow yet. But I spoke too soon. Krokorok started bashing and thrashing about using all parts of it’s body, head, arms, even tail. The tail is what caught Zorua unguarded. Now that Zorua was hit Pansear was aware. Krokorok went towards the monkey who flipped and maneuvered over and under flawing limbs. But Pansear was too tired too keep the exhausting actions up and got caught by a backhand. It went skipping on it’s back and stopped next to Zorua. Zorua was struggling to get back to a standing position. The Thrash attack was very strong but not without a painful side attack. Krokorok’s head spun around, it’s eye’s gave a confused and lost look. Krokorok wasn’t doing as good now but Zorua was taking way to long to get up. It was just one hit, not even a super effective one at that. Pansear had one eye open, but wasn’t moving very much. Brandon must’ve noticed I was trying to figure this out because he answered my question without me asking.
“During my battle Tepig activated it’s anger point ability, so it’s a lot stronger now!” he informed Chili and I. Now that I knew that, I noticed a red aura coming off Krokorok which I think that’s been there the whole time, radiating mostly from it’s eyes. Man I felt so stupid for not noticing it earlier. I needed to pick out things like that if I wanted to be a winning trainer. Both sides were injured, next move would decide this match. I don’t want to imagine what will happen if we loose, we’d loose our pokemon and our lives I am thinking. But I am not going to find out.
“Pansear!” I shouted out, much to Chili and Brandon’s surprise. “You’ve put up a good fight today and I know you’re just exhausting, but I need one last favor from you. Give Zorua back up support with your flamethrower, aim for the eyes!” Chili raised his hand to his chin, thinking about the order I just gave. I am glad he didn’t object, which I probably would’ve. Pansear was still on it’s hands and knees. But it forced it’s other eye opened and shot out another Flamethrower right at the Gator’s eyes like I asked. The tactic was dirty but effective. “Zorua you know what to do! Scratch it up!” Zorua started to run in, gaining speed.
“Defend yourself by taking it out first with another Thrash!” Krokorok shook it’s head and snapped back into it’s body, the confusion seemed gone. Of course fire was still being shot at Krokorok, it couldn’t see Zorua coming. It began flailing about, though it’s movements were slower than before. Zorua easily dodged the tails and elbows that were being thrown and made it’s way to Krokorok’s stomach. With a deep breath Zorua scratched as hard as it could. Just then the flames from Pansear stopped, it was really out of energy now. But that didn’t matter, the Gator stumbled back and then collapsed. Elizabeth was probably thinking about this the whole time because right when Krokorok hit the ground she recalled it back in a red beam of light. She then headed to the side of the bridge and jumped onto the railing. She was smarter than her grunt buddies, she knew her best way out was the water and she dove in, head first. The water down there was really calm, she just had to tread for a while and then climb onto one of land from many obvious areas. But we had bigger issues on our hands. All the observers had taken off now, leaving just Chili, Brandon and I. Chili had taken care of Pansear, holding it’s butt and leaning it against his shoulder. He already started walking off the bridge, puzzling Brandon and I.
“Um Chili, shouldn’t we go towards Castelia where there is a pokemon center, our pokemon were hurt badly and there is no denying that” Brandon questioned. He had a uncertain look on his face.
“You were walking on the bridge, you know how long it is. It’s getting close to night time anyway. So just avoid all battles and set up camp within the hour and you’ll be good. And don’t worry about me, cause I’m a gym leader. And Jude, I better see you at the gym within the week so we can finish our battle.” The fancy dressed gym leader then walked off the bridge and slowly fell out of sight.
The sun had set now in the land of Unova. Our camp was set only a few hundred feet from the bridge. The camp was a few dozen feet off of the main road but not too far in the wilderness. We had a burning campfire going. Brandon sat across the fire from me. Our chair of choice were decent sized logs, neither of us brought camping chairs along. Zorua was fast sleep in my lap, my hands placed to the side of the small fox. Tepig was sleeping flopped over on it’s side next to Brandon’s log. Woobat was also asleep but it slept different. It hovered in the air right above my head, a sleep hover. We knew the funky bat was asleep because of the occasional snore that was let out from it. We didn’t mind our pokemon were asleep, they deserved a good rest after such a demanding day. Brandon placed a tin can at his feet. He had just finished his portion of dinner. Dinner tonight was stew, though more so broth than stew. We wouldn’t be eating the best on this journey but we’d be eating. Brandon stretched his arms in the air and let out a yawn.
“Today was been quite eventful, I think I am going to catch some sleep” he told me. He reached down to his backpack that was on the other side of the log as Tepig. He pulled out a sleeping bag and a pillow from the bag. He started to unroll the bag along the ground. There was no better place to sleep. I went for my bag too.
“I guess I got nothing better to do, I’ll do the same.” I picked up Zorua gently from my lap and placed him down on the ground next to me. I did that so I could move around freely to set up my bed. Zorua stirred a little but then just went right back to sleep. It amazed me how heavy he slept. While I set up my sleeping bag I noticed Brandon scavenge for some water bottles to put out the fire. “We really need to get a water type to save money on water” I joked. I heard him laugh at it. The fact water types were so rare in Unova made the joke even funnier. After I had unrolled the sleeping bag there was only one thing left. I had never slept outside before and I didn’t want anything to happen to my pokemon. I reached for my belt and took out two poke balls. I aimed at my pokemon and engulfed them both in a beam of red. Zorua didn’t really like the ball but it for the better. Seeing that my bed was settled Brandon put out the fire. After that was all taken care of, the food was all put away, it was time for sleep. I wiggled my way into my sleeping bag. It was too dark I couldn’t tell the color of my bag. I reached for my pillow and gave it a quick fluff being laying my head down on it. “See you in the morning” I called out to Brandon.
“Like-wise” he replied. He let out another yawn and that was the last I heard from him this night. I was tired but didn’t pass out right away. I just stared at the stars for a little bit. The night sky was such a beautiful sight to behold. This was really my first experience ‘camping’. And I quite enjoyed it, it was just so peaceful. And that peace drifted me to sleep.
I felt something bump my feet. This was the first time I remember waking up all night. I only managed to get one eye open. I saw an orange thing walk right by my face. It was hard to tell what it was at this time of night but it looked kind of like Tepig. And that was all the energy I had in my, my body drug my mind back to sleep.
Edit: Apr 17, 11
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Nov 11, 10 at 11:17pm ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Awww... =( It's sad to see how you guys haven't received many comments, especially with what I'm sure is a great lengthy story. Actually, I think it's because it looks sooooo long that people haven't commented on it. That's also why I've been putting reading this off for later. But since it's Veteran's Day and a free day here in the U.S., I was able to at least get through the first post.
THERE TK I READ THAT MUCH STOP PESTERING ME ABOUT IT UGH
Anyways, I'll keep comments to myself until I read further. I don't want to jump the gun in any way.
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Nov 21, 10 at 8:23am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Forest of Surprises
Admittedly, it wasn't the greatest night camping for me. I had a good spot picked out for sleeping, but it was after I fell asleep that it started to go bad. Elizabeth's Krokorok had left a rather…bad impression on me. It had been quite a long time since I had been that frightened of what was going on. That demonic croc had been the star of my dreams that night, going through its disturbing transformation of sorts before opening its horrible jaw wide and…end. I had just been laying there on the ground and just stared up at the trees for an hour or two after waking up, not wanting to try going back to sleep. When the sun was starting to crest up a ways, I finally decided to start moving again. Slowly sitting up from the ground, I massaged the massive kink in my back, glancing around our fittingly small camp. Jude was where he had been last I checked, still sleeping away inside of his bag. From what I could tell, he was wrapped up pretty tightly, probably to fend off the chill hanging about the forest. Tepig seemed to be the only one unaffected by the chilly morning, still laying docilely by my side and giving off a faint amount of warmth. That was more than a little odd to me, since he usually was up and about at around the same time I was. Then again, I couldn't really blame him after yesterday. The little guy had been pretty battered after the battle, but seemed to be recovering from it all. There was another detail that put me off a bit though. When I had gone to sleep, he had been sleeping on the log next to where I had been, but now he was right next me. Moved during the night, maybe? That seemed to be the only logical way to think on it, unless Jude had decided to move him. Reaching over from where I sat, I gently started scratching Tepig behind the ears, causing the fellow to begin stirring slightly. After a few moments, Tepig gave a few sleepy blinks, considering me with his now open eyes.
"Hey fella. Feeling alright?" I asked, picking him up and holding him a little ways in front of me. Tepig only gave a drowsy yawn before expelling a small guff of sooty black smoke from his snout. I felt my brow furrow slightly, already bringing Tepig a bit closer. "I guess that's a no then, huh?" Soot was something of a sign I had caught onto with Tepig, generally being the equivalent of a warning light blinking on a car's dashboard, or an irritating tone being repeated when some measure of well being dipped too low for comfort. Embers or small flames meant he was doing pretty well, sparks said 'I could be doing better', but soot or smoke was bad. "Alright fellow, what's up? Tired, sick, hungry?" I asked, giving Tepig another fond scratching behind the ears. He responded with a slight wriggle, though it wasn't as strong as usual, but I set him down anyways. Once back on solid ground, Tepig gave a few tottery steps before promptly laying down again and releasing another little puff of soot. With a slight sigh, I promptly got up from my spot and set about getting ready to head out while Jude snoozed on. I already had all of my stuff packed up and ready by the time Jude even started to move. Once he had rolled over to face me, I offered a slight wave from my spot on the log, Tepig sitting directly next to me on the log and nodding off every few seconds.
"…morning already?" He mumbled, considering Tepig and I through half closed eyes. Jude sat himself up on his elbows before partially unzipping his bag, then stopping for a moment to shiver a bit. "Pretty cold out, hm? A fire would be nice, even a little one."
"Sorry, but I don't think it'll work Jude. All that mist is just damp wood, makes it all the harder to ignite and all. Nothing really to do about it though, sorry," I explained giving a slight shrug.
"Eh, shame that." Jude grunted as he pulled himself free of his bag, stretching out a bit and reaching over towards his pack to scrabble for the two Pokeballs set down next to it. "Well, wait. We've got Tepig, and he-"
"Is not feeling too good at the moment." I replied, finishing his sentence for him. Down on my lap, Tepig was still nodding on and off, not making the effort to head over to Jude.
"Huh? Something wrong?" Jude asked, making his way over before squatting down in front of Tepig with a slightly concerned expression. Tepig looked up with a bit of effort and gave Jude a kind of smile, followed by a few shakes of his head to clear it up a bit more. "Yeah, he seems okay to me. Maybe just a little tired is all." Tepig nodded a little bit before giving a slight start and sneezing yet another guff of powdery soot from his snout before settling down again, looking a bit put out.
"That's the problem, see?" I pointed out as the soot cloud settled slowly. "I'll take care of him; just you get ready to head out soon." Jude gave a shrug at this before rubbing Tepig over the head, tousling his ears before walking back over to his side of camp. A pair of *clicks* made me glance up, just in time to watch Jude let Woobat and Zorua back out of their balls. Zorua stretched out sleepily before promptly hopping up onto the log and curling up again while Woobat stared swiveling about in mid-air, glancing all around rather absently. With a sort of sigh, I returned to putting something together for Tepig. If we were just barely on the edge of the forest right now, it was going to take us a long while to get through it, possibly more than a day if we weren't focused on keeping a firm pace going. There wasn't exactly a solid way to chart all of it, and I was really hoping that Jude had a map of some kind on his personage. Now didn't seem like the time to ask him though, as he was grumbling a bit about the cold morning. There was something of a weird snuffling sound about our camp too, sounding quite strained in fact.
"Jude, is there something up? Woobat, maybe?" I asked still rearranging my things to fit properly now. The bat was a possible suspect, considering that neither of us knew all of its little nuances just yet. There was quite the chance of Woobat being the perpetrator, or there was also…
"Hey, what are you up to now little guy?" Jude asked behind me, finally drawing my attention over in his direction. He was crouched down by where the fire had been going last night, looking evenly down at Tepig, who was determinedly sucking in sharp breaths before trying to get out any amount of flames from his snout. So far, only a few sparks and soot were bursting out, as much an improvement over soot alone. After another strained effort, Tepig sat himself back against the log, breathing a little heavily. Jude promptly reached forward and ruffled up his ears again, to my slight annoyance. "Good try, good try. Just take it easy for now, huh?" Tepig didn't give much of a response just sitting back against the log again with a sigh. The moment Jude had turned his back though, the small Fire Pig was right back to trying again, earning him an un-amused glance from me. With Tepig, anything for Jude it seemed…
Some time later in the day, the biting cold had finally given away, the sun finally hanging overhead and seeping through the openings left by the tree branches. Jude was keeping a solid pace a little ways ahead of me, Zorua still in his hood and Woobat fluttering around somewhat aimlessly. Tepig was lying just inside of my pack, making good use of the room available to take a nap of his own. I had slowed down a fair amount, reaching back with one arm to fish about with my fingers, trying not to disturb Tepig's rest in my search for what I had placed back there earlier. There were a few trace bits of apple in the pack, the remains of several at that. I hadn't been feeling particularly up to eating at the time, so Tepig naturally had inherited it all, unbeknownst to Jude. I felt a little bad about it, but Tepig came first in my book. Taking a moment to pause in the middle of the road, I softly scratched behind Tepig's ears, a little smile going across my face as I did. He seemed to be improving now; the edges of my pack steaming a little as the slight precipitation gathered on it gradually fizzled away thanks to the warmth projected by Tepig. I probably could have stood there all day, calmly scratching away, if it weren't for the inevitable:
"Yo, Brandon! Anything the matter?" Jude called back to me, never breaking stride as he went.
"Huh? Uhh…nothing, nothing." I answered, hurrying to catch up with him after a moment's hesitation. When I was back alongside him, I couldn't help but notice how he was glancing around at the surrounding forest, taking it all in with obvious fascination. "Is…there anything up with you?"
"Me? Nah, it's just such a weird feeling, being out here in the forest like this." Jude replied, rubbing the back of his head with one hand. "I mean, I've heard about what it's like in here, but this is really a first time experience going through it and such."
"Seriously?" I asked, my curiosity piqued. "No joke? Everyone's been out into Pinwheel Forest at some point, right?" This was pretty much true as far as I could tell. The forest was just kind of there, something for everyone to explore of their own right. Of all people, Jude seemed the most likely to go hang out around here.
"No joke. Life in the city was how I went about it," Jude confirmed for me, still looking around. "I guess this isn't your first time through though, huh?"
"Not in the slightest." I replied, hitching up my pack a bit and unintentionally jostling Tepig awake. The little pig poked his head out of the opening with a rather indignant growl, giving me an annoyed prod on the back of the head for my troubles. I hurriedly pulled him back out again, holding the fellow squirming slightly in my arms before continuing. "When I was little, I was always coming out here with my family. I can't even count the number of times we were all here." Now it was Jude's turn to glance incredulously at me, eyebrows almost vanishing into his bangs.
"You don't really seem like the kind of person that would be way out here in the middle of all this, no offense," he said, turning back to the path with an expression of surprise still evident.
"Eh, none taken. Family matters and all. We were always coming out here, having a grand old time camping out here. Sitting around the fire, thinking up stories to tell, that kind of thing. I'm sure you know what I mean." When Jude didn't answer back, I felt myself get a little suspicious. "…is that a 'no'?"
"…sort of." Jude replied evenly, still not shaking his gaze from the trail. The next few minutes were spent in silence, save for the slight fluttering of Woobat's wings and Zorua's soft stirring. It was getting unbearable, and I quickly made to break it.
"So…you never did anything like this before?" It was admittedly a pretty weak question, even earning a glance of bemusement and a squirming from Tepig.
"Pretty much. Never really got around to it, I guess you could say." Jude answered, still not showing much emotion or interest in my questions. He was just making me want to know more, and I was that he knew it too. I was opening my mouth to ask further, probably to no avail, when some odd sort of shrill shriek rent the air, sending both of us glancing about for any sign of a disturbance. "I don't suppose that was any of us, was it?" Jude asked, before another shriek burst out. Definitely not something human and it sounded awfully close too. There were other noises now too, a sort of chittering sound. Jude was already jogging off in that direction, giving me enough time to heave a sigh and follow after.
From my short distance behind Jude, I noticed him glancing up into the branches around the area we were moving through, and then darting over towards a certain spot when another shriek rang out. There was definitely something moving through those trees, glimpses of it flashing through the leaves. A speckly purple-ish color seemed to dominate whatever was causing this racket, the owner racing across the branches with shameless abandon. A few branches over, something rather greenish was darting about, moving much more precisely than the first. That could probably be blamed on the radically different body sizes of the two subjects; the first being somewhat bulky looking, to a point of awkwardness, while the second was more slim and angled from what could be seen of it. Hot after the two was a third form, much larger than them. It was going much slower, allowing it to be more readily seen for what it really was. After it awkwardly leaped onto another branch, it was fully in view for Jude and me. The thing was a Galvantula, a rather big spider looking thing, though it was tinged yellow and blue in color. The way that it glanced around somewhat hungrily all but gave away its motives too: hunting whatever the two, more agile beings were. Its forelegs quickly began to move rather quickly, rubbing one another in front of where its mouth clearly was as sparks began to fly about it.
"Is that thing…?" Jude began, all eyes on the Galvantula. Was he unfamiliar with this species too? "Bug for certain, but Electric too?" His question was answered when the rotund spider quickly swung its forelegs and mandibles forward in a sweeping motion, letting fly a spider web of sorts, though there was a subtle difference about it. The second target, the rather green tinted one, glanced back hurriedly before giving a quick leap and vanishing up into the thick leaves above it, a slender green tail quickly following it up. The first target was not nearly as swift enough, its own tail and lower body getting snared in the web. As it gave out another shriek, it quickly went up in pitch as the net flared with electricity, sending the trapped victim into a series of spasms as it was shocked. Giving a sharp downward tug, the Galvantula sent its victim over the edge of the branch, still writhing in the electrical web. Just as this was happening, Jude jumped forward, Zorua hopping out of his hood. "This thing looks like a good catch, huh? Zorua, you're up!"
Right off the bat, Zorua already had an element of surprise on his part. The Galvantula was more intent on reeling in whatever it had snagged, not even seeing the small fox coming. "Okay, Scratch!" Jude called, Zorua giving a slight nod before darting in closer. Zorua quickly dashed up the trunk of the Galvantula's tree before bouncing off of a branch and swinging its paw down to smack the bulky spider at one of its leg joints. With a somewhat deeper kind of shriek it recoiled from the blow jittering back before Zorua followed up the Scratch with several more quick blows. In its haste to retreat, the Galvantula dropped off its web in order to free itself up more before jumping back again to prepare its own counter offensive. The odd bug creature that had been snared by it had managed to struggle free as well, skittering off shrieking as it did. Jude seemed more focused on dealing with the Galvantula though, as did the other species that had been running from it, poking its head out of the brush with a rather astonished look. Another shriek from Galvantula brought me back to reality though, and in time to watch Zorua easily avoid a stream of webbing to deliver another punishing blow to Galvantula's head. Looking at it now, it was proving to be much less of a threat than it looked, getting almost literally slapped around by Zorua. It hadn't even noticed that Zorua was backing it up towards the edge of the branch either, futilely trying to avoid any hits while covering up its compound eyes, which Zorua was taking steps to nail.
"Looking good! Faint Attack ought to do the trick!" Jude suggested, clearly pleased at how effectively the battle was going by. With a bit of a smirk, Zorua was enveloped in a black-ish aura before dashing in and slamming Galvantula at full force. From where it had been before the attack, even a little tap would have sent it over the edge. Faint Attack proved to be overkill though, knocking it off with a shriek that abruptly cut off when it struck the ground below with a thud, Zorua riding out the fall on top of the bulky arachnid. The small fox quickly jumped back, poised to attack again, only to stop short as Galvantula gave a few slight twitches as its legs curled up. "Yeah! That's the way it's done!" Jude crowed, shooting one fist up into the air. From down in my arms Tepig gave a cheer of his own, more than happy about seeing Jude win. I noticed Jude reach down for a Pokeball on his belt, then hesitate.
"Is there anything wrong?" I asked, cocking an eyebrow. He had been so enthusiastic about catching Woobat yesterday, but now he was hesitating upon having a total 'gimme' of a catch? "It's certainly not going anywhere now, not after what Zorua did to it."
"…I think I'll let this one pass." Jude said, kneeling to let Zorua up onto his shoulder. "Something like that doesn't really seem to float my boat."
"Huh? But…why? It's certainly strong, wouldn't you say?" I asked, Tepig just as confused as I was.
"Yes, but it was only strong against opponents that were running away. If it's the kind of thing that goes around eating others too, I don't think it'd settle well with either of us. Take way too long to tame, and by the time that happens, we'll probably have run into something better by then."
Jude had a solid argument if I ever saw one, and I couldn't think of anything else to say, just staring at the crumpled spider where it lay. It just seemed so weird, leaving such a boon to lay there. With any luck though, Zorua's beating would teach it a lesson. "Alright, let's…let's go." I said after a short pause. Something had caught my eye just then, a ways behind Jude. The little bug from earlier, a Venipede I realized was peeking out around the corner of the tree, glancing between Jude and the fallen Galvantula with a look of awe. Tepig had sighted it too, but even with the two of us staring over Jude's shoulder he didn't notice what was behind him. Instead, Jude simply hitched up his pack with his signature grin, heading back towards the road, the Venipede still staring after Jude as he went. Something in my gut told me that this wouldn't be the last time that little bug would be seen.
This prediction turned out to be truer than I could have thought in the next while. At the very least, the Venipede kept things interesting. It seemed to be quite into Jude now, and it wasn't trying to hide it. As we walked along the road, it was making no attempt to be even slightly subtle about itself, scuttling along the middle of the road behind us. What really got me was the way that Jude didn't seem to notice it following along in the slightest.
"Umm…Jude?" I asked, giving the bug another glance as it picked up its pace in attempt to catch up with us. "It's…following us." By this time I had stopped for a moment, to see what it would do upon reaching Tepig and I. At first it scuttled on undeterred, until it passed by Tepig. My little friend had rarely seen this kind before, only once or twice in passing on our first trip through the forest, so being up close with one had his curiosity piqued. Leaning in a bit, Tepig was quick to start looking over the Venipede, stopping it dead in its tracks when it noticed. With the bug frozen in place, more out of fear than anything I supposed, Tepig quickly hopped forward and released a small burst of Ember, sending the Venipede scampering off in terror. "Err…was it all necessary?" I asked the little fellow as he vented a bit more fire with a satisfied expression. This quickly turned to dismay when the Venipede popped out from behind the tree it had fled behind. After a pause, it began heading after Jude again, who had stopped to flip through his map of the forest. As it made its way past again, trying to sneak behind Tepig, the fire pig merely turned on the spot and frightened it off with another short guff of Embers.
"Hey Brandon, is anything up?" Jude asked, face hidden behind his map. "Is Tepig making that noise over there?"
"It's…yeah. Just a sneeze, nothing more." I answered after a slight pause. If Jude hadn't already noticed the Venipede scuttling along after him, he'd find out on his own in due time. It was probably best not to ruin his mood with the news that he was being stalked by some bug. On that topic of evasive followers, it seemed that there could be another following as well. Unlike the Venipede, this one was being far more subtle, only being glimpsed a few times as it slunk through the treetops. I had lost track of it repeatedly as we walked, as it dove inside of leaves that matched its own coloration. It was a very clever follower, quite unlike the Venipede. As it so happened, the bug was making another attempt to reach Jude, going slowly at first before making a mad dash to past Tepig, or at least try to. It had barely cleared Tepig when the little fire pig quickly jumped forward to tackle it to the ground, taking care to press its head into the dirt and silence its shrill sounds. By the time they had finished sliding, they were only about 5 or 6 feet from Jude, who still hadn't noticed what was happening on the other side of the map. I was already making my way over towards the pair with an exasperated sigh, not really approving of this scuffle.
"Come on little guy, no need for something like that, right?" I asked Tepig as I gingerly picked him up off of the Venipede. Tepig didn't even seem to care that he was being picked up again, simply glaring down at the Venipede with disdain. As the battered bug picked itself back up, Tepig gave a quick growl, one with enough meaning to it to send it scampering off once again.
"Something the matter now?" Jude asked, finally pocketing his map. "Tepig acting up or so?"
"Y-yeah, nothing more. He's just being…a little hyper, I guess." I answered weakly, still staring at where the Venipede had fled. Doubtlessly, it would be coming back in a bit.
"Hyper? He was acting really tired earlier though." Jude pointed out with a bit of a smile. I silently blanched; he had a good point. I still didn't want to force the point of the Venipede onto him though, not just yet. Thankfully, Jude petered off on a different topic without pressing me further. "So, uh, where's Woobat? Did he wander off now or something?"
"Umm…I thought he was with you. I wouldn't be surprised if he wandered off though, seems just like him if first impressions are anyth-"
"Sweet!" A voice rang out from nearby. "Flying-types would be perfect practice targets! Let him have at it Karrablast!" A short screech followed, likely from Woobat if experience was anything to go by. Without stopping to consult anyone, Jude and Zorua were quick to start moving off towards this new disturbance, Tepig and I tagging along after a quick glance up. Before either of us got far though, Woobat had come tearing out of the brush in terror, followed closely by another trainer. Upon seeing us though, he skidded to a halt in seconds, eyes darting between Woobat and us. "Ah shoot…this is really awkward..."
What followed was a rather new experience so far in Pinwheel Forest, the first time we'd met another trainer on the way through. Jude and Zorua weren't too happy about it though, as well as Woobat, who was fluttering in a frightened manner behind Jude's head. What held my interest more though was the other trainer, who was stills attempting to placate Jude. This newcomer was not too out of the ordinary, sporting a closely fitting jacket, more of a track suit then anything, and a casual pair of jeans. The extremely disheveled head of dirty blonde hair was more than a little disorienting though, especially the two short 'spikes' of hair that stuck up just above his forehead. That detail alone was almost distracting me from his more sharply defined facial features, along with the wristband he had around his arm.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, look, it's all just a little misunderstanding on my part, 'k?" He said, waving his hands at Jude while his companion watched from the ground below. It was a really odd looking one, resembling some kind of beetle. It was on two stubby legs, barely poking out from its carapace, the only real opening in the shell being the small, fang-y face exposed. The carapace itself looked completely solid, probably making for any kind of strategy. It also bore an intimidating horn on the tip of its carapace, barbed at the end to resemble something like a spear. Had this been what the boy had been calling too earlier?
"Yes, it was on your part!" Jude retorted, looking more annoyed than angry. "What gave you the idea to just start attacking anyways?"
"Look, look, look, my little friend here was just doing some training and all, okay? He's a Karrablast, see, a Bug-type. I saw the little bat come bungling along, and thought 'Hey, Flying-type! That's a good practice target there!' Y'know?"
"Grr…I guess so. It's not your fault he went wandering off and all." Jude conceded. "Just try to watch it first, please."
"Right, gotcha, sorry about all that." The boy replied, scratching at the back of his head with an embarrassed expression. "I'm uhh, I'm Jeremy, by the way. Jeremy Bastion."
"Well Jeremy, I'm Jude, but you can call me Jude." My traveling partner replied, not making any move towards this Jeremy figure. "This here is Zorua, and you've already met Woobat."
"Oh, come on! I said I was sorry, didn't I?" Jeremy protested, back to rubbing scratching the back of his head.
"Yeah, Jude, I guess he kind of did after all." I piped up, if anything to get my two-cents in on the matter. "I'm Brandon by the way." Jude gave me a slight nod for a moment, apparently passing the conversation on to me now while he checked over the frightened Woobat behind him. "So, what brings you out here?" I asked Jeremy, trying to act as casual as possible.
"Me? Just training with Karrablast is all. We're getting all set to take on the Gyms, y'know?" Jeremy replied. "I'm from Nacrene and all, so the forest was pretty much just asking to be trained in. Lots of opponents to try out my patented strategy on."
"Hm? You have your own strategy to go by?" I asked. I had heard about different types of team 'builds', but hadn't actually seen any of that in action. "Would you uhh…"
"No can do, Bob." Jeremy replied, folding his arms over his chest and smirking. Brandon, I thought to myself, Brandon is my name. "You see, we don't like to just rush right in, so there's your hint on how Karrablast and I roll, see?"
"I guess so, but why out here in the forest? I mean, it's awfully risky out here, lots of stuff that could do some serious harm. He's a Bug, so what about all of the things that can d-"
"That's already settled," Jeremy interrupted, flicking an imaginary fleck of dust off of his jacket. "Heck, that's why we're here. What's life without risk, huh? I figure that if we want some real training to be done, it ought to be against something that's got the upper-hand. Make it all the more worthwhile to train against. Speaking of which…who's that little guy right there?" As Jeremy asked this, he motioned with his foot down at Tepig, who promptly replied with a glare and short burst of fire.
"Oh, this is my own little friend. Tepig is my first and all, so…yeah." I replied, quickly running out of things to say. Tepig apparently had volumes left to speak though, hopping forward and glaring at Karrablast and Jeremy. The beetle-y creature by Jeremy's side cocked its brow slightly, and then gave what seemed like a scoff, serving to annoy Tepig more. "Hey, come on, play nice," I said to the fellow, giving him a pat on the head. Jeremy was still intently staring at Tepig with interest before breaking off on a tangent and suggesting what I hoped he wouldn't.
"Fire-type, am I right? He's cute and all, but can he actually battle?"
"Well, I guess so," I answered automatically, then attempting to bite back my words. "But I don't know if he's all better from yesterday." I quickly followed up with. "He got pretty hurt yesterday, and I want to make sure he's recovering."
"Yesterday? Bah, that's yesterday though!" Jeremy replied, giving a scoff of his own. "That's plenty of time to recover. Come on, one round won't hurt between you and me, will it?"
"Just go for it Brandon," Jude suggested, holding Woobat in his arms now, the bat still quivering slightly. "I'm kind of interested myself. I couldn't really see how you did yesterday because, well, you remember." Tepig, like I expected, quickly glanced back at me, looking pretty sincere about this request. He hadn't been out for a causal battle in who knows how long, so…
"Al-Alright. I guess we could." I muttered, though the response I received wasn't quite what I wanted.
"Sweet! Karrablast's gonna fight himself a Fire-type!" Jeremy crowed. "Wanna go extra though? Two on two? Three on three maybe?"
"Umm…Tepig's all I've got." I answered shyly, Tepig already getting into a battle stance as I talked.
"…seriously? Alright then, one on one. Don't expect me to go easy though!" This last statement was said with a sly wink before a quick motion with his hand sent Karrablast hopping awkwardly onto the field. Hopefully this would work out alright…
There they were, the two combatants squaring off before the round even began. Tepig was eagerly kicking up a little bit of dust, expression taught with anticipation. Karrablast was looking bored, maybe even unimpressed. I couldn't shake the feel that this Bug would be tougher than it looked though. Jude was standing between us, glancing back and forth between us before slowly raising his arm up. Tepig tensed up eagerly, while Karrablast gave a small yawn. "And…GO!" Jude called, dropping his arm quickly. Unwilling to fall into what Elizabeth had caused in our battle the day before, I quickly made the first move.
"Tepig, Ember!" I called, leveling my arm at the beetle in the same way Jude did in his battles. With a quick hop back Tepig inhaled sharply before releasing a shower of burning embers at the small beetle, which wasn't reacting at all to this attack. Jeremy then kicked off his plan with flair.
"Okay, time to Protect!" he called, snapping his fingers as he flicked his wrist. Karrablast gave a smirk before its horn began to glow yellow, then releasing a surge of energy which coalesced into a dome around its body. Tepig's Ember reached its position an instant later, but instead of connecting, the attack simply hit against the shield with a distorted sort of *ping!*, each ember sending a ripple across the translucent shield.
"Wait, what?" I asked, caught totally off guard by the move. Against a Bug-type, Ember should have been huge, but his had done nothing! Tepig was probably just as stunned as I was, but was currently panting for a quick breath, a little put out from keeping Ember going as long as it had.
"Follow that up quick! Take Down!" Jeremy ordered with a quick gesture. With startling speed, Karrablast lunged forward, crossing the divide in only a couple of jumps, on a total collision course.
"Alright, let's try Tackle!" I suggested, still a bit shaken from the earlier move. Had this been Jeremy's strategy, to use defensive moves to create openings? Tepig quickly shook his head a few times before crouching low, followed by his own move. Tepig's sudden launch caught Karrablast mid-jump, providing something of an edge, though Karrablast still had momentum behind it. As such, both combatants were flung back a ways, Tepig recovering already while Karrablast was still on its back. "Tackle again!" I called, though Jeremy's smirk made me want to eat those words.
"Protect, once more!" was his order, and Karrablast was quick to comply. Hopping up from where it laid, the familiar yellow shield forming again. Like Ember before, Tepig smacked full against the shield with a much deeper *ping!* giving a slight yelp as he rebounded from the shield. "Now, Megahorn!" Jeremy said again with a snap of his fingers. Karrablast's horn took on a more violent red shade as it grinned wickedly before giving a sharp jump upward to strike Tepig in mid-air with astonishing force. While it was technically ineffective, the blow still packed a huge punch, enough to send Tepig sprawling across the improvised field.
"Hey, you alright?" I called to my injured friend, regaining a little feeling again when I received a strained nod as Tepig picked himself back up again, shaking off the hit. Karrablast had resumed its old position, giving a cocky smirk again.
"That's all?" Jeremy asked with a smile. "That can't really be the best you can do, right?" I couldn't tell if he was joking or not, but it was really bugging me. Truth be told, that was almost all I had at the moment, Tepig's moves being a little limited in all reality. If Karrablast was going to be hiding behind that shield of his, then there had to be some logical way to get through it. Was it on a timer? Did it use up energy? The only way to found was to test it, it seemed.
"Okay, Tackle again!" I ordered, feeling more into the battle now. Tepig didn't pause to question this already moving in.
"Ptch, Protect." Jeremy ordered in response, looking almost bored himself. Just as the shield was forming though, I moved in with my own plan.
"Hold up! Let's try Smog!" I called, feeling my own smile forming. Quickly digging his feet into the ground, Tepig sucked in another breath before releasing a thick cloud of dark smoke. The shield kept it out, but that didn't stop it from blocking Karrablast's vision. Not even Jeremy could see into it, unable to even see Tepig through the dense cloud. The shimmering of the shield could be barely seen, and then it faded after a few moments, allowing the Smog into the unfilled gap. A hoarse coughing sound came from inside it, probably Jeremy's little bug revealing itself unintentionally. "Okay, Tackle now!" I ordered, feeling all the better now. A quick smack and shriek were heard from inside the cloud, and then Karrablast came flying out, unable to protect itself again from Tepig's surprise attack. It hit the ground with an equally thick smack, my own little friend quickly bounding out from the smoke to keep up the offensive. I didn't even need to give orders from this point, watching Tepig deliver Tackle after Tackle to the helpless beetle. But why wasn't Jeremy giving orders to it? Surely this was an unpleasant development for him, right? That was when I took note of the white aura forming around Karrablast, growing in intensity with each hit it took. Tepig wasn't noticing it apparently, too caught up in keeping his combo alive. Before I could give warning, Jeremy took the initiative.
"Time for our trump card!" He called with a laugh. "Bide!" Just before Tepig could land another hit on Karrablast, its eyes shot open mid-wince. The white aura around it coalesced strongly, fitting like a second layer over its body. It didn't stay there for long though, abruptly twinkling once and erupting in every direction. The surge of energy was short lived, but it was enough to knock Tepig flying back, finally smashing him into a tree by the sides. Just like that, the plan I had thought bulletproof had been riddled with holes. Bide was a huge gamble, considering the toll it had taken on the battered Karrablast, but it had apparently been worthwhile in the end. Tepig wasn't looking very good at the moment, especially after that huge Bide. He had been left lying at the base of the tree, sprawled on his belly with his eyes scrunched shut and covered in scrapes and bruises.
"Tepig, you okay?" I called, probably sounding as crushed as I felt. My companion wearily opened up his eyes and painstakingly struggled to his feet, panting for breath again, little puffs of soot coming from his snout in his classic warning sign.
"Well, will that be all or should we just call it in now?" Jeremy asked, shrugging innocently when I glanced at him. He wasn't paying attention to the way Karrablast was slouched over, carapace covered in dents and cracks from Tepig's assault. This fight probably wouldn't be lasting too much longer on either side, if it was even going to keep up at all. Normally this would be where I effectively threw in the towel by personally taking Tepig off the field, but this was his fight as well as mine.
"Hey…fella? Think you can keep it up just a tad longer?" I asked my battered team-mate. Tepig gave a weary nod before taking on a look of focus, scrunching up his eyes again. This had happened yesterday as well, though Jude was probably the reason for it. After a few moments of concentrating Tepig gave a slight start before a red-ish aura began to expand around him: Blaze. It was practically his competitive spirit given some amount of form, his own way of showing that he wasn't quite done yet. At the same time, Blaze was the start of a last stand, giving the user that last kick to muster their last efforts. It was still a good sign on his part, hopefully a sign that gave Jeremy reason to watch his back in the next minute. "Okay, let's put that to use now! Ember!" I called, directing the attack towards Karrablast. Tepig gave a quick jump forward, the end of his snout already beginning to heat up intensely before expelling a jet of wholesale flames, rather than the usual ember shower.
"Nice try, Brandon!" Jeremy said, smirk spreading again. "Protect again! We can wait out this storm!" Karrablast quickly threw its shield up around itself again, in time to meet the Tepig's own attack. Unlike before, the shield was beginning to give off one continuous ripple along its surface where the jet struck, beginning to flicker and dissolve around the edges. Gone was that confidence that Karrablast had previously borne, its expression strained at the effort of keeping the shield up as Tepig advanced forward while maintaining the attack. Continuous use of Protect apparently didn't do the user well, as the shield began to falter entirely now, collapsing all over just like Jeremy's expression. With one final surge, the flames broke through the shield altogether, but were still held in by what remained of the force field. Karrablast had essentially placed itself inside of an over in using the move.
"Tackle while it's occupied!" I called, confidence spiking. This time I knew that I had Jeremy on the run. Tepig took full advantage of his nearly fire-proof qualities to charge in through the furnace that had been a shield once before, meeting Karrablast with an overly satisfying *crash!*. Now the rest of the shield broke apart, both Tepig and Karrablast flying out of it in flames. Karrablast hit the ground near Jeremy with a dull thud, a few burnt chunks of its carapace breaking off on impact. Tepig skidded to a halt not too far from his opponent, Blaze flickering a bit before cutting out.
"Well, that's about it then. Karrablast isn't going anywhere, so the match goes to Tepig and Brandon!" Jude announced rather epically, crossing his arms in a satisfied way. With a tired grin, Tepig turned back around to meet my huge smile. I didn't exactly know if what followed was sportsmanlike, but I could've cared less at that time.
"Yes! Yesyesyes!" I cheered from my side of the field, arms shooting up into the air. I had won! Or rather, Tepig and I had won! My companion was already over at my side again, prompting me to quickly pick him up and grasp him close, thanking him quietly for the effort. Across the field, Jeremy grudgingly returned Karrablast to its Ball, pocketing it with a look of distaste.
"Hmm…I've seen worse." He conceded, tapping his brow and smoothing over his hair. "I guess it still isn't quite the perfect strategy I initially thought it to be, huh? Got a little carried away and…thhppth. Whatever. A loss is a loss is a loss."
"Well, you can't possibly keep going with Karrablast left like that, can you?" Jude asked, hands now in his pockets with a questioning look.
"Me? Nah, it's not a biggie. I've still got two more in back-up, just in case. Back to Nacrene for me, sirs. But I think we'll be seeing each other again, count on that." Jeremy replied before turning back towards me. "Brandon, fill out that team of yours. I want to introduce you to the rest of the crew properly next time, got it?"
"Umm…okay, I got it. We'll uh…see you around then." I answered, trying to keep in my bursting amounts of happiness. As Jeremy walked off through the thicket of trees surrounding us, I gave one last prolonged 'whoo!', Tepig joining in from my arms while Jude chuckled slightly from where he stood. I figured we both deserved this little display, at least this once.
[size=1][color=#666666]This message was edited on 2011-09-17T07:58:28-07:00.
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Dec 05, 10 at 1:29am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Lame title this week, I apologize, enjoy the chapter
Expansion through crazy events
Night fell and we set up another basic camp. We were still well into the forest, it would take a good chunk of tomorrow to get through it seemed. We had another small fire put together, thanks to the plenty amount of wood in the forest. Though we couldn’t find any sitting longs so we had our butts on the ground. Tonight’s dinner was hotdogs over the open fire. Brandon was sitting across from me once again, Tepig snug in his lap. Zorua was next to me, awake for once. He was nibbling on hotdog while rolling it in the ground. He liked to add the flavor of dirt to his hotdogs it seemed. My lap was occupied by Woobat oddly enough. The little guy didn’t have to fly all the time. He was a great lap buddy too, being extremely fuzzy and warm. His wings were tucked into his body, he was in a perfect ball.
“So we will reach Nacrene tomorrow?” I asked Brandon across the flames.
“We should. Clear the forest by mid day then its only like a few hours to Nacrene from there. We might reach Nacrene today, if not today early tomorrow.” he replied. I could tell he was tired from his voice. I was too, today was a pretty active day, a lot of walking. Though walking was something my body would have to get really used to. We will travel the entire region, by foot. I wonder how many steps that is.
“What is there to do in Nacrene?” I asked another question. I’ve never been to a city not named Castelia. I was quite curious what there was to do in the other cities.
“Nacrene isn’t the biggest city, there isn’t a whole lot. You got the museum and the gym. And that’s really all the city has to offer. But it’s a nice looking city, be a good visual experience for you.” He was looking down at Tepig, scratching his buddy behind the ears. My ears perked up and what he said.
“Gym you say?” Zorua’s head perked up when I said this. We both looked at Brandon with a growing excitement.
“Jude, do you not know about the gym ranking system?” I shook my head side to side. I knew gym leaders were amongst the best trainers in Unova and beating them just made the way for fights with even stronger trainers. I didn’t even know how many gyms there were. “Well, there are eight gyms in Unova. They all have a rank, 8th being the easiest, 1st being the hardest. The gym leader in Nacrene is rank 7. In Striaton, right past Nacrene, is the 8th rank gym, Chili. Beat Chili first, get the badge, get stronger and then take on the Nacrene gym.” Zorua’s ears drooped and he went back to his hotdog. I sighed and slumped my head. I knew he was right but I want a good intense battle. I didn’t really get to battle yesterday, besides having Zorua beat up that Galvantula. Brandon wouldn’t even spar with me. But that reminded me.
“So changing the subject. Do you want to have a training battle tomorrow? I know you said no earlier today. But that was before you had a battle with that Jeremy kid” I asked with a grin.
“Uhhh” was all he could respond with. His eyes darted around, not sure what to say. I laughed out loud, sensing he wanted to say no.
“It’s ok, you can say no” I answered for him. “But I will slowly crack open your shell, revealing a strong battle spirit you have hidden somewhere.” Tepig flew fire into the air as a response, showing his battle spirit. Brandon and I laughed together at this, though Brandon’s laugh seemed a little forced.
Something had jostled me awake again. I opened my tired eyes to see Tepig walk passed me, like he did the night before. This time my curiosity to see what was up drove me to get up. But I waited until he was off in the distance a bit. I'd follow him from afar. Woobat and Zorua were in their balls again so I didn't have to worry about them. It was still really dark, like one am. I had decent night vision, well enough to make out shapes and stuff. But I could tell for a fact that was Tepig. I slowly moved out of my sleeping bag and rose to my feet. From there I took long, slow strides to follow him. He kept going for maybe 5 minutes in the woods before stopping. I got within like twenty feet and stopped, hiding all but my face behind a tree. I stood still and watched. He fired a blast of Ember into the air. Right after that he sprinted forward and used Tackle against a tree. Was he training himself? That's what it appeared to me. I just kept practicing his three moves at random. This went on for a good twenty minutes and I had scene enough. I wouldn't interrupt his training and I needed my sleep. I slowly and quietly made my way back to camp.
It was morning now and it was still cold. I might start sleeping with Woobat in my arms to get more warm. Just like last night we didn’t stay very long. Shared a little bit of bread, packed up our sleeping bags and heading right back to the road. Tepig was really tired again so he started the walk in Brandon’s pack, same as yesterday. I now knew why Tepig was so tired though. That training he was doing late night. Zorua was walking at my side, surprisingly enough. Must’ve slept well enough last night. Though I figure it will only be a batter of minutes until the little guy jumps right back into my hood. Woobat was fluttering about. He constantly changed speeds, and direction. The little guy sure was absent minded. But I had already gained a bond with him. Well at least I think it’s a him.
We had been walking for a few hours now and it was approaching lunch time. Brandon insisted on waiting to take a lunch break until we cleared the forest. That didn’t stop me from gnawing on a piece of bread and throwing pieces to my team. I walked ahead of Brandon like usual and the walk was pretty silent, like usual. I looked down to my fox, still trotting at my side.
“Hey Zorua, how do you feel about learning a new move?” I asked. Zorua chanted and jumped up. New move meant becoming more powerful and Zorua was always up for getting more power. Brandon didn’t really like what he was hearing.
“Jude shouldn’t you focus on having Zorua master Dark Pulse before throwing another move at it” he told me.
“It’s ok Brandon. The move I had in mind is a physical move, Zorua can learn those in a snap. It’s those dam special moves Zorua has a problem with. I think we’ve been working on Dark Pulse for like two years now.” I heard Brandon was ‘wow’ under his breath. I return to the conversation with Zorua.
“I was looking through your pokedex entry and it mentions a move you can learn called Foul Play. Where you use the opponents strength against them. I figure we can just insert this baby occasionally in training, see how it works out. Though Brandon is right, we still need to get your Dark Pulse down.” Zorua just jumped again and chanted it’s name. The little fox was ok with pretty much everything I said. We had so much in common it is ridiculous. I don’t think we have ever disagreed on anything before.
About two hours later I notice Brandon stop behind me. I cocked my head to see he was letting Tepig out of his pack. The little pig walked on its own and ran to catch up with me. I kind of felt bad for Brandon with how much Tepig seemed to like to be around me. I have three pokemon up here with me and Brandon has none back there. I agreed with what Jeremy said yesterday, Brandon needed to catch some pokemon. There was some wrestling in the trees that had been going on for the entire walk today. But it seemed like it was a lot closer now. Just forest wildlife I figured. I’d love to catch a bug type here. I kept my eyes up incase a bug presenting itself, ripe for catching. A nice bug type that I could raise to rival the bug types that Burgh owned. That would be quite cool. The noises in the trees seemed to behind me now but were still loud. The loudness reached it’s peak when I heard a big crash. Zorua and Tepig turned around first. Woobat didn’t even seem to notice the loud sound, just kept fluttering about. I turned around to see only a few feet from Brandon was a large branch. This branch must’ve fell. Brandon quickly went to the branch and tried to lift it up. I wasn’t sure why but started jogging his way to find out. Tepig was already there helping Brandon out. Brandon lifted up one side of the branch and Tepig grabbed something with his mouth and drug it out. That something was a pokemon. It was small, lean and green. It had reptile features, mostly snake features its seemed. The little guy was knocked out with swirling eyes. Brandon was looking it over for any big wounds. I removed my pack from it’s perch on my back. I unzipped a pocket on the side, where I kept my healing items. I had a three potions in there just incase something happened on the road. This seemed like a good time to use one. I removed one of the vials and handed it to Brandon. He gladly took it. He lifted up the pokemons head with one hand and poured the potions contents into the creatures mouth with the other hand.
“That should help it recover. I don’t see any huge injuries. Though we can’t just leave it here. I’ll carry it around until it wakes up. Do you mind?” Brandon was extremely worried. I guess the care he had for pokemon went beyond Tepig.
“Doesn’t bother me at all. Heck I wouldn’t even care if you caught it” I hinted. I then zipped up my pack and slung it over my back again. Brandon scooped up the pokemon and held it in his arms like a baby. Tepig glared at the new pokemon. It was not happy about his master holding another pokemon in his arms. Tepig stayed back with Brandon once we resumed to walk. I figure he did that so he could keep a close watch on the new pokemon. I really didn’t have a huge knowledge on different pokemon species. I had maybe 20-30 species memorized. This was not one of them. “Hey Brandon, do you know what species that is?”
“Seriously? You don’t know the starter species. I studied them like crazy before making my decision on which starter to pick.” I looked back and him, then looked at Zorua.
“I never had to prepare to get a starter pokemon because I never had the opportunity. But yeah seriously, what is it? I appears to be grass type but that’s all I know.”
“It’s name is Snivy. And yeah, it’s grass type. It’s the first pokemon in it’s evolution chain. If you didn’t guess it, it’s the grass type for the starter pokemon of Unova” Brandon informed me.
“So if that thing is the grass starter and Tepig is the fire starter. What is the water starter?” I asked just for conversation. And this was somewhat interesting. I did need to expand my knowledge on different species.
“Oshawott, the otter pokemon” Brandon continued to inform.
“An otter, sounds cool. So if you had the option of the three starters, what made you decide to go with Tepig?”
"Well when picking a starter you get to pick from one of each species, each with their own unique personality. The Snivy was just way to serious for my taste, very smug looking. The Oshawott was too much of a clown and too clumsy for my taste either. Tepig was the most tolerable one and the cutest. So naturally he was my choice" Brandon informed. I noticed Tepig smirk when people told he was the cutest starter. I bet he was thinking 'dam right'.
"Ah, interesting story. Can't argue that though, he is pretty dang cute" I complemented. I felt a tug at my pant leg once I said that. Zorua wasn't too happy with that comment. I felt something slam my head too. Woobat wasn't too happy with that comment either. "Hey now, both of you are very quite too, no need to get jealous." I heard a small laugh from Brandon. Woobat flapped back into the air. I felt Zorua jump onto my shoulders. The little guy was very agile, that high jump wasn't too hard for him. I felt him dig his nose into my hood, opening it up. He then squeezed his little body into the hood. He must've gotten tired of walking.
"Say, why does Zorua sit and sleep in your hood a lot?" Brandon asked curiously. I was surprised he didn't ask sooner.
"The answer is a lot more simple than you might think. Zorua loves to sleep but isn't a huge fan of the pokeball. So the only way for him to sleep but stay with me no matter what I'm doing is to sleep in my hood. He used to sleep in my arms but whenever I had to use my hands that would wake him up."
"It makes a lot of sense I just don't think I've ever seen a pokemon in someone's hood before. Since I told you how I got Tepig and we are on the topic of Zorua. Then you should tell me how you ended up getting Zorua." That was very bold coming from Brandon. It seemed like more of a commandment than a question. He was awfully curious when it came to my history I could tell.
"Well, if you really want to know. I'll tell you." I heard snoring in my ear now, Zorua had officially falling asleep. I noticed out of the corner of my eye his body was in my hood but his head was resting on my shoulder. "Long, long ago, when I was about four years old. A man with red hair and odd black apparel come to my house. I remember his appearance distinctly to this day. It was just me and my mom living at home. He visited with my mom in the kitchen as I hide behind the couch to listen closely. Being so long ago I don't remember all the details but it is the oldest memory I have. He mentioned something about being from a far away land and having a similar job to my father. He brought by a basket of food and some money, which my mother refused at first but eventually took. On his way out he noticed me. He asked if I had any pokemon, which I said no. He then gave me a pokeball and told me 'to take care of this one for him.' I also remembering my mother telling him never to return, not even thanking him for the gifts. I thanked him though. Zorua was that pokemon. As young as I was I still got along with Zorua very well. We were both blank slates as far as personality goes. I like to believe we developed together through the years. I still never got the name of that man." I didn't plan on telling that to Brandon, didn't really plan on revealing much of my history to him. But if we were to form a friendship I couldn't keep dodging his questions, I'd have to answer. And answer I did.
"That's defiantly a different way to come across your first pokemon. Then again you're not very conventional are you?" I sensed that was rhetorical. Brandon laughed and so did I. Then our laughing stopped, as we noticed something up ahead, the exit! I picked up pace, eager to get out. I noticed Brandon still walking slowly and delicately, not wanting to disturb the injured pokemon in his hands. Zorua could sleep through a storm so I wasn't too worried about moving around more. Woobat fell behind but he was still around Brandon so it was alright. I got past all the trees and bugs to see, even more trees. The scenery didn't change a whole lot, except the fact I could see the sky now, which was great. The air felt more fresh out here. I took in a deep breath and waited for Brandon to exit as well. He did about a minute later, with my bat in tow. He and Tepig both took in a deep breath of sure air. That was when the little Snivy began to stir. It opened it's eyes, frightened by it's new surroundings. Brandon held it softly and tried to comfort it. It was still very scared. Brandon gently let it down. He stayed down on one knee to talk eye to eye with the creature.
"Your forest is right there" he told Snivy, pointing to the forest entrance. "You were hurt so I nursed you back to health. But if you're feeling up for it, go back home." It was a lot for Snivy to take in at once but I think it got the message. It slowly walked back on it's tiny little legs. I didn't like that at all, it seemed like a great fit for Brandon's team.
"Wait" I called out. The little snake turned back and looked at me with it's giant eyes. I too dropped down to one knee to talk to it better. “Have you ever had a Trainer before?” I softly asked the little fellow. It shook it’s big head side to side. “Would you want one?” Brandon paid close attention to my actions. Snivy placed it’s small hand on it’s chin as to ponder my question. Then it slightly shook it’s head up and down. I then got up to a standing position and wrestled through my belt for an empty pokeball.
“Are you going to catch it?” Brandon asked me, he seemed disappointed.
“No, you are” I answered, handing him the empty pokeball. “I just took the initiative for you, got the ball rolling.”
“But don’t I need to fight the pokemon first to catch it? Like you did with Woobat.”
“Depends on the pokemon, talk to Snivy, not me.” Brandon seemed very nervous. He got down to a knee again, Snivy stood in the same spot.
“I feel like I need to battle you to earn the right to catch you” Brandon said, still in a soft voice. The little guy didn't seem so happy with Brandon's request. It took a few slow steps back. I was about to intervene again but Brandon made a move.
"Ok I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought that up. If you want me to be your trainer, then I will catch you." Brandon was very soft and gentle around Snivy, which was what he needed to be. Snivy is obviously very shy, being to loud or rough by scare it away. Brandon got back to his feet and got ready to make the catch. He threw the empty pokeball in the air. On it's way down it opened up and enveloped Snivy in red light. The pokeball closed and landed on the ground. Just like with Woobat a few days ago, the ball rocked back and forth three times. I've heard if the pokemon doesn't want to be caught they will break out. But that wasn't the case here. The ball clicked, signaling Snivy was caught. Brandon picked up the wall and quickly released his new pokemon.
"You now have two pokemon, very nice" I congratulated. Brandon smiled as did Snivy. Tepig was even more jealous now, he had some competition. I bent down and scratched behind his ears.
"Relax little guy, who knows, you might make friends" I whispered to him. That didn't change the unhappy scowl on his face. Brandon broke his focus on Snivy for a moment to talk to me.
"The town is still somewhat far away. If we keep walking now we can get pretty close by nightfall. Close enough that we should be able to reach Nacrene by early morning tomorrow" Brandon reported. I smiled, that sounds like progress.
"Well, let's get to it now" I said and started to walk forward. Tepig decided to stay up with me for now. Zorua was still in my hood sleeping. Woobat fluttered between Brandon and I. Brandon was back behind me a few feet like usual, but this time he had Snivy walking by his side. I liked this scenery much better than the forest. The occasional flock of Pidove would fly by. There was Deerling around grazing on the grass. There was also more people around, just doing their own thing. The all too crowded Castelia and then the way to empty forest, this was a perfect mix of both.
We set up camp at nightfall like usual. Brandon said we were only 1-2 hours from Nacrene. I wanted to keep going, get there tonight. But we couldn't really see so it wasn't very safe so I just settled with camping for the night. I told Brandon to take Snivy to go get wood and it was a good idea. The little guy picked out perfect wood for a fire. Tepig lit up the fire still, great way to save matches. Since we would restock at Nacrene I decided to let loose my specialty for dinner. Though I’ve never been camping before I had to almost always make my own meals at home. So I knew how to cook and I knew some interesting meals. I held a frying pan over the fire. I then unloaded a Ziploc bag full of chopped vegetables and fruits into the pan. Vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, even some zucchinis. And then mixed in was some fruits like apples and pears. Brandon didn't seem so excited about dinner.
"Trust me, I'm an expert" I reassured him. All the pokemon were delighted by the smells, they were certainly excited for the meal. The food was done after about ten minutes. I dished out to everyone on paper plates. Brandon and I got more because we ate more, but the pokemon got a fair share. Watching them eat interested me, because they ate different. Tepig just went at it, chowing it down. Snivy sat down and slowly put bite by bite in it's mouth. Zorua stood on all fours to eat much like Tepig. But the fox ate a slow pace, enjoying each morsel slowly. Then Woobat was just a total oddball. He would hover down and take a mouthful, then hover up while he chewed. He repeated that exact process for his entire meal. Brandon seemed to enjoy the odd meal. It was one of my favorites and it was a good source of vegetables we haven't really had yet this trip.
After a few hours of camp we took down the fire and set up our sleeping bags. I returned Zorua and Woobat to their balls again. I noticed Tepig and Snivy were almost right next to each other cuddled up next to Brandon. Tepig was so tired it seemed he didn't care who he was by, he wanted sleep. It was a cute sight to behold. It didn't take me long to go lights out.
I was woken up again, third night in a row. Tepig nudged me again while sneaking off. I had been thinking about what to do all at this moment all day. I quietly got my groggy body out of bed and followed him again. Just like the night before Tepig found a spot away from camp and started to practice his moves. I didn't stay behind like before, this time I approached. Tepig was surprised and a little scared to see me.
"It's ok buddy, I'm not here to stop this secret training, I'm here to help it" I said very calm. Tepig's tension dropped a little bit. "You want to go stronger, I understand. So if you're doing this every night, I'll do it with you. I'll offer some tips and advice and best of all, I'll offer you opponents. But when I say it's done for the night, you have to comply" I tried to bargain. "So do we have a deal?" The little pig nodded with a smile and chanted it's name. "Good, well each night we are going to focus on just one theme, physical attacks, special attacks, speed, power, stamina, fighting with the advantage, against the advantage and maybe once my team expands do themes like fighting against an opponent much larger than you. Tonight let's work on your speed, sound good?" Tepig nodded affirmative. I smiled, I'm glad he was so willing. I decided to test his speed today because I knew Woobat would be the only pokemon I'd use since Zorua would be sleeping. And no one better to test speed against than the high flying Woobat. It was dark but I could still see somewhat. I had brought my pokeballs along, wouldn't go anywhere without them. I released Woobat with a flick of my wrist.
"Hey buddy, I know your tired but would you mind waking up and helping out in some training with Tepig?" I kindly requested. Woobat shook his body around, trying to wake up I presumed. “Whenever you’re ready Woobat take off in a straight line at strong sprint, but not max power. Tepig follow him and try to keep up!” I said this all with a smile. I didn’t want either Pokemon feel they were being forced. Woobat stayed in place, flapping about for a few moments. Then without warming he took off like I said. Tepig had picked a nice spot to train, a big wide open area. Tepig took off running after Woobat. Woobat was really fast, it still amazed me. His tiny wings carried him at amazing speeds. Tepig’s tiny legs couldn’t carry him near as fast. It appeared Tepig was pushing at max speed now but couldn’t come close to keeping up with Woobat. I stuck two fingers in my mouth and whistled. The two pokemon heard me and made their way back. Tepig trudged along, it had exhausted itself already it seemed. Woobat was just fine, moving at that speed was nothing to him. “We are also going to have to work on your stamina sometime” I said to Tepig as he got closer. “Ok let’s try something more effective. Woobat, get about ten feet in front of Tepig. Use a light Gust attack. Tepig try to move against the wind and reach Woobat. Once you do I’ll give you a break, then have Woobat increase the power of Gust and repeat a few times. Sound good?” I proposed. Both pokemon let out their little chants and a smile. For Tepig there was heavy breathing between his chants.
It was a tired Woobat sending a Gust at an even more tired Tepig. Tepig’s body had enough, his legs gave out and the wind slid him back. We had been going at this new night training thing for what seemed to be an hour.
“Ok guys, let’s call it quits for the night. Woobat return!” I held out the bat’s pokeball and he disappeared in a flash of light. Tepig didn’t seem like he would make it back to the camp. I picked him up and held him in my arms. “You’re going to be so exhausted tomorrow, try to rest well” I whispered into his large ears. He feel asleep in my arms, the guy was just exhausted. Back at the camp I slowly and gently placed Tepig next to Brandon’s chest. Snivy had sprawled out, stretching across Brandon’s entire belly. I then made my way back to my sleeping bag. I hoped I wouldn’t be too tired in the morning, guess I’ll find out.
I felt myself being kicked in the side. It wasn’t a hard kick but it made me roll over and wake up.
“Jude, get up! I keep getting you up but you keep falling back asleep, just like Tepig. What’s up with you two today, did you sneak out and party?” Brandon asked annoyed. I groaned and woke up the most effective way I knew how. I slipped out of my comfortable sleeping bag. Once I was out and about I felt some activity going on in my hands. I slept with my pokeballs in my hands and noticed I was still holding on to them. The activity going on was Zorua busting out. It was tired of being cooped up in their. I let out Woobat was well. It clicked the empty balls on my belt. I took a step to help clean up camp but I stumbled. I was just so tired. I notice Tepig laying on the ground trying to keep his eyes open. But his eye lids were winning the fight.
“Let’s get a move on, I figure no breakfast right now. If we leave now we should be at Nacrene in an hour, we can eat a nice meal there. My stuff is packed up. I leave in five minute, don’t get left behind. I let out a large groan. During the day I was always in more of a hurry than Brandon. Always a few steps ahead of him. But not in the mornings. It didn’t help that I stayed up late with Tepig last night. I was just not a morning person. Brandon kicked my ass in the morning. I forced my exhausted body to roll up my sleeping bag. I didn’t want to get left behind.
There was a big, large city in my sights. It was none other than Nacrene City. I increased my pace, excited to get there. Brandon was right, it took us no longer than an hour to arrive. Zorua was asleep in my hood again. Woobat was fluttering about back towards Brandon. Tepig and Snivy were both at Brandon’s sides. They still hadn’t interacted. Tepig was cute and had a great battle spirit but I could tell he had a mean jealous side. He didn’t want to share Brandon with any pokemon. I could really see the city now. It wouldn’t be more than a minute until I passed the ‘Welcome to Nacrene’ sign. But something caught my eye. There was a path running perpendicular to the city entrance. It was a grassy path. I saw something that looked like an interesting pokemon. Nacrene city would have to wait.
“Brandon, I’ll meet you in the city” I told him as I immediately took off running. I didn’t hear any response from him and he wasn’t following me. Zorua got woken up from my movements and jumped onto my shoulder. I was sure it feed off my emotions. It looked excited as was I. I saw the pokemon that I was targeting not too far away. I did not recognize this species but it looked really cool and powerful. It had a grey, muscular body. It held in it’s hand a 2x4 and had a red clown nose. Definitely a pokemon fit for my team. With my long legs and it’s short pokemon legs it didn’t take me long to catch up to it. It turned around and looked right at me. The clown let loose a huge smirk. That made me want it even more. “I want to fight you for the right to capture you!” I declared. The pokemon wasted no time and responded with a nod. It flung it’s 2x4 in the air. The wood plank did a few flips before landing pack in the pokemon’s right hand. He was in a battle pose now. His facial expression said ‘bring it’. Zorua was leaning forward on my shoulder now, growling. He got ready to jump but I held my hand out right in front of his face to stop him. The little fox shot me a half angry, half curious look. I could tell from the posture of this clown pokemon that it was a Fighting type. Not a good matchup for Zorua. But a great match up for Woobat. I looked up to call my bat to battle. But I only saw sky when I looked up. I turned my head around, no Woobat. That’s right, he stayed back with Brandon. No time to go back and get him. Zorua would have to do. It got me worried a little though. This pokemon seemed like it wouldn’t be allowed to be caught unless I won. It wouldn’t be caught with just a good effort shown like Woobat was. If I lost I’d loose this great opportunity. I removed my hand from Zorua’s face. He got ready to jump into battle again. But he was once again interrupted, this time not by me. A burgundy colored bug hurried around me and stopped in front of me. Zorua growled and got ready to attack it. I held him back again with my hand. He bit my finger tips. It hurt but I deserved it so I didn’t do anything pack. The little bug looked back at me very happily. It was a little creepy looking I’m not going to lie. But it also looked kind of cool. It jumped back on it’s back legs, of many legs, and then went back down. It looked really eager and seemed like it was getting ready for battle. It gave me an idea.
“Hey little guy, this is a fight I need to fight. But how about you fight under my command, sound good?” I asked the newcomer. Zorua was still nibbling on my hand. The bug smiled and let out a ‘Fufushiiideee!’ That must be it’s pokemon cry. I caught Venipede from that. “Venipede, is that your name?” The bug smiled and nodded. I noticed the clown banging it’s plank against the ground and yawning. It was getting bored. I’d have to change that. “Venipede, show me your favorite physical attack and charge in with it!” I called out. Zorua wasn’t a fan of watching battles and I felt him climb back into my hood. I focused on the battle ahead of me. Venipede’s little antennas glowed purple and he rushed in to attack. The little guy was actually quite fast. The clown lifted up his plank and swung down to smash the bug. But Venipede was too fast and hit it’s opponent in the chest before the clown could attack. Venipede didn’t attack very hard though because the clown just flinched for a moment and then continued it’s attack. The grey clown stopped it’s attack again though. It looked like it was battling pain. Venipede took this moment to dart back. The clown appeared to be poisoned, it had a faint purple glow now that I remember. Zorua got poisoned once from a Foongus, not a good time. That move Venipede used must’ve been Poison Sting. I’m guessing it’s a bug/poison type. This guy might be useful after all. But I couldn’t forgot how it’s attack was seemingly ineffective. If it didn’t get the poison in it would’ve got smashed hard. The clown took in a deep breath and charged in. It got ready to swing it’s plank. “Dodge it!” I ordered. I didn’t know if Venipede had any range and didn’t want it to try to go head to head with this thing. Venipede moved to the side out of the way. But the clown’s plank had good range. The butt of the wood just caught the bug and sent it skidding. Even though the attack barely made contact Venipede seemed pretty hurt. Either the bug was pretty weak or the clown was very strong, or a combination of both. But the clown was persistent. I could see by the strain on it’s face the poison was still hurting. But it charged in switching again none the less. Venipede didn’t have time to dodge this. I feared it would be knocked out. But the clown swung and hit a blue-ish-green force field. I knew that move as Protect. As fast as Venipede was having a nice blocking move as Protect would come in handy. The clown jumped back now and tried to catch it’s breath. This was our chance. “Venipede, sprinkle him in your most powerful attack!” The bug complied happily and let out something purple from it’s mouth. It was spewing poison for sure, but it looked different than Tepig’s smog. It travled pretty fast two and covered the clown. The force of the liquid made the grey clown stutter back. But even more so made the clown shriek in pain. It was really hurting the clown. It was almost bonding with the poison that was already on the clown. I had heard of this move before. Venom Shock, it applied more damage to an already poisoned foe. A nice move to have there. The clown was focusing on making the pain pass so it was once again open. “Ok Venipede, go in with a nice, fast attack, something new!” The bug once again looked at me before attacking, like it had done every time so far. It curled up into a ball and rolled forward. The clown went up to block with it’s plank, most likely Detect. But it’s body was weak from the poison. Venipede’s rolling blew past it’s half-ass guard and blasted the clown down. The clown was flat on it’s back now with swirled eyes. I walked over and Venipede walked by my side. I scratched the bug on the top of the head. His skin was really weird feeling, he was very squishy. I pulled a potion out of my pack and sprayed it on the clown. After a few moment it rose up, still sitting on the ground. Both new pokemon looked at me, waiting for my next move. I pulled out two empty poke balls. “I want both of you, to join my team, how about it?” I proposed. Venipede jumped up excitedly, I took that as a yes. Timburr grinned and nodded, also a yes. This was already a great day.
Edit: Apr 17, 11
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Dec 13, 10 at 6:12am ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Me oh my, how this is true. IT WORSENS MY EYES, THERE'S SO MUCH TEXT!
I liek, though. Keep pumping it out, it's extremely intriguing. I'm debating whether or not actually bothering to get a look at any of the Gen 5 stuff would be good. You seem to describe things well enough.
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Dec 22, 10 at 9:22pm ^re: Conflict of Interest; 4.5/5 on PokeFiction Reviews!
Not Your Average Day on the Town
When Jude took off running again just as we were reaching Nacrene, I couldn't help but let out a sigh of exasperation. Why did he have to go leaving me hanging like that, again? First there was his slow start this morning, and now this? He had even left Woobat with me, fluttering idly by my head again as it gazed after Jude. Snivy was staring after Jude in a rather surprised way as well, blinking in confusion before looking up at me with a questioning gaze.
"Yeah, he seems to do that a lot," I replied, watching Jude vanish entirely into the tall grass beyond. "I guess you'll get used to it overtime, huh?" All Snivy could do was give a slight nod in response, holding one hand up to its chin in thought. Bringing the fellow along with us yesterday had been a rather interesting move, but I was definitely seeing the perks to it. I had another companion at least, a new little someone I could get along with pretty easily. Our little trip out to find some wood for the fire last night had proven rather enlightening, as Snivy had been quite silent the whole while. Not a peep, though it had kept close to me as we walked, never straying into the dark around us. It had moved in close as well when we hit the sack for the night too. I guess there was some kind of attachment going on between us, and I felt the tug on my end as well.
"Alright guys, let's just head into town. Jude's going to be on his way…eventually." I continued, picking up Snivy and letting the fellow onto my shoulder. This got a bit of glare from Tepig, who was apparently still a bit miffed at bringing Snivy along. That was going to have to change though, since the snake was here to stay. "Come along, let's find a spot to sit down and wait." Walking through Nacrene was certainly a nice change from the bustling streets of Castelia and the cramped feel of the forest. This place was much more humble, down to earth, almost like a village rather than a city. There were a few big buildings here and there, but there wasn't anything that really stuck out too much. It was hardly a few minutes before we were almost across the town, so we quickly pulled a u-turn to head back around towards the south entrance. When we got back though, still no Jude. "Alright, we'll just wait it out here then, hm?" I suggested, settling down on a little bench a ways back. Snivy hopped down from my shoulder with a slight stretch out before taking a seat next to me, twiddling its tiny fingers on its lap. Tepig quickly hopped back up onto the bench with me before quickly positioning himself on my lap, staring at Snivy the whole time. A test, it seemed, to see how Snivy reacted. If Tepig was trying to rile up Snivy though, it wasn't working, the little snake just sparing Tepig a glance before returning to look at the rest of the city. Clearly annoyed, Tepig nestled back against me, following Snivy's gaze before giving another glance over and hopping over to face the snake directly. As soon as Tepig landed about half a foot from Snivy, the grass snake jumped back in a startled way, head snapping back around to face Tepig with surprise. That apparently was the kind of reaction that the little pig was looking for, prompting him to sit back a bit and consider Snivy, receiving a coy look in return. With a little sigh, I set about shuffling through my pack for something that I felt like slapping myself for forgetting: my Pokédex. I had left it down in my pack for a while, getting all too familiar with the usual finds around Castelia, and it was dawning on me now to check what data it had on Snivy. Woobat fluttered down beside me as I dug around, and then quickly moved away at the sounds of a scuffle going on nearby. Quickly glancing back up, I could see that both of the two members of my team had taken their leave from the bench, though that wasn't what I was complaining about. Tepig had taken to chasing Snivy around the little patch of grass that we were sitting by, in a rather playful manner, but I'm pretty sure Snivy didn't see it that way. The more strained expression and wide eyes were a bit to the contrary, but it didn't seem to have much to worry about. Tepig was being hard pressed to catch up to Snivy, though the fellow was going faster than I had seen him go before. Rolling my eyes at Tepig's little game, I returned to digging through my pack again, finally getting my hand around the familiar rectangular shape. Fishing it out at last, I gave it a quick dust-off before settling back and trying to focus it on the sprinting Snivy. Up came a little window on the screen showing the now familiar grass snake, another half of the screen being filled with scrolling text. The remaining bit seemed to be a small log of moves known by the specimen in question. I couldn't really say that I was familiar with most of them though, not having battled with Snivy since, well, ever. My attention was brought back up towards the two 'playing' Pokémon when Tepig finally looked about out of steam, trudging to a stop with his ears drooping low, breathing heavily. Snivy looked only a little winded from all of that sprinting just now, but it came to a halt nonetheless too, glancing back at Tepig with a hint of concern. The grass snake quickly pulled a u-turn on the field, heading back over to Tepig before stopping a foot or two in front of the fellow, tilting its head curiously. Tepig didn't make any effort to meet his teammate's gaze though, head angled down at the ground as he continued panting for breath. This prompted Snivy to advance a little bit closer, but the ploy was quickly unveiled when Tepig gave a quick jump forward to tackle Snivy onto the ground. This caught even me off guard, but I just watched on, wanting to see what Snivy might do. The grass snake was completely pinned down though, only being able to squirm underneath Tepig's weight. It was kind of sad, Tepig looking more than a little disappointed at this. Snivy continued to squirm for a few seconds more before settling down against the grass for a quick breather, Tepig hopping off with a slight huff. As Snivy uneasily sat up to dust off, a glance down at the Pokédex gave me something of an idea, and I hurriedly brought up the list of moves one more time before turning to the pair again.
"Hey, are you both still in the mood to play around?" I asked, giving a quirky smile as I did. Tepig hopped back around at my question, expression lighting up in moments while Snivy glanced over with a confused look. "I'm thinking we could see about some practice or so, maybe see what Snivy can do. Both of you up for it?" Tepig quickly began jumping around energetically before turning to Snivy, who was looking a lot more worried now. "Aw, it'll be fine. I'd just like to see what you can do, and I won't think of you any different for it." I encouraged, finally getting a very hesitant nod from the snake before it jumped up to its feet. Tepig was already kicking up a bit of grass in preparation, giving me a moment to gloss over the move list again for Snivy. Before I could even say anything, Tepig gave a quick hop forward before taking off towards Snivy.
"Okay, let's see what this Vine Whip is all about, hm?" I suggested. Snivy gave a quick nod before clenching its eyes shut and focusing, a pair of slender green vines uncoiling quickly from the collar like fringe on its shoulders. Before Tepig could come within Tackle range, Snivy gave a step forward as both vines swished out, one from above and one from below. Tepig instinctively ducked under the overhead swing, but that was apparently what Snivy had planned, using the other vine to snap forward and knock Tepig's legs out mid-sprint. With another step to the side, Snivy neatly skipped out of the way as Tepig went tumbling past, vines retracting as the little pig scrambled back up and shook off. If he hadn't been riled up before, this little stunt certainly did the job. Tepig quickly replied to the mid-range attack with one of his own, sucking in a breath before expelling a familiar stream of red hot embers from his snout. Snivy quickly blanched before jumping out of the way in a more panicked way, allowing Tepig time to start moving in on his opponent. "Another Vine Whip, maybe?" I suggested, starting to get a more clear idea of how to work this out. Snivy quickly unfurled both vines again, sweeping them down at Tepig, but apparently the little Fire Pig had his own ideas. The first swing was dodged entirely, though the second slapped him in the face rather annoyingly, not interrupting the Tackle in progress. Just before Snivy could land from its jump, Tepig caught it around the mid-riff with a Tackle, knocking the fellow back a ways to skid along the ground for a few feet. Just after that one hit, Snivy was clearly having a bit of trouble getting back up, arms trembling as it pushed itself back onto its feet. The poor guy blanched again upon getting up, as Tepig was already closing in with a bit of a smirk. Glancing down at the list of moves again, I feverishly scanned for one that sounded good for the situation.
"Alright then, let's try out…Glare!" I called, picking one from random on the list. Snivy again gave a hurried nod before taking a step back, sweeping its slender arms upward to almost cover its face. When Tepig had drawn closer, Snivy whipped down its arms, eyes locked in a menacing glare, giving a scarlet flash as they were revealed. This move wasn't damaging in the physical sense, but it certainly had its purposes. Tepig quickly adopted a very much shocked expression, skidding to a halt mid-attack as if the Glare had locked him up. "Now, try out a Slam!" I called, getting more pepped up at the snake's success. With Tepig effectively paralyzed by the Glare, Snivy gave a slight step forward before moving in it a startling speed, swinging back its large tail before giving a twirl to smash Tepig across the face. Unlike Snivy though, Tepig was pretty tough, capable of taking more than a couple hits at a time. The little pig was swatted to the side, but only slightly, forelegs barely leaving the ground. Before Snivy could deliver another Slam or jump back out of the way, Tepig had already delivered another powerful Tackle to the snake, knocking it back a few feet to sprawl on its back. Snivy uneasily got back up onto one knee, squinting slightly as Tepig took up a more solid stance, tilting his head with a bit of a smirk.
"Come on, you've got this Snivy!" I encouraged, hoping to get a little more out of the fellow before calling this little training session a wrap. Snivy gritted itself before lashing at Tepig with its Vine Whip again, but Tepig was a fast learner from the previous two attacks. The little pig began running forward as the vines swung down, but quickly dove to the side a moment before he would have been hit, rolling once before hopping back over and clamping his small mouth down on the vines. Snivy had time to gasp in surprise before Tepig put all of his weight behind a solid tug, sending Snivy flying with a shriek. I scarcely had time to swing my arms up before the small grass snake cannoned into me, knocking me back a step but cushioning the fellow's impact. Right after that toss, Snivy slumped over, upper body hanging over my arms as it panted in exhaustion. Tepig toddled over looking pretty happy with himself, seemingly satisfied with what the new member of the crew could do.
"Hey, you did good little fellow," I complimented Snivy, turning it around to face me. The little snake looked really put out of it, but managed a slight smile nonetheless. "I guess we'll have to see what these other moves of yours are later, hm? We've got Leech Seed, which sounds fun. I've never heard of your other one though, Leaf Tornado." This certainly got a response out of Snivy, causing the little snake to perk up in my hands. Woobat was still present, idly flapping by the bench where we had been sitting, suddenly reminding me. "Hey, Woobat? Still no Jude?" I asked the kooky bat, receiving a weird sort of head shake in response. You have got to be kidding me… I thought to myself, placing Snivy up on my shoulder again while scooping up Tepig in my arms. "Alright guys, Jude apparently isn't waiting up. Let's go check out the town again, hm?" Tepig gave a little cheer from my arms, Snivy nodding wearily as Woobat suddenly began to move again, fluttering after me as I headed away. As I we strode through the town, another little fact dawned on me. There didn't appear to be a Gym of sorts around here, at least not one that was marked as such. Had I been wrong about that little detail? I couldn't exactly recall seeing one on my first time through, nor any of the times my family had come here on our trips. Jude certainly would be disappointed about this. I personally wasn't affected too much by this turn of events though; Gyms seemed to be Jude's thing and not mine. I could find something to amuse myself in this city other than battling at the Gyms, like spending time at the museum. I had loved that old building, always spending hours going through it. Just glancing at the building, I was caught by the hook of nostalgia, slowly reeling in towards it. "Come on guys," I began. "There are a few things I want to show you in here."
Inside the hallowed museum, things were just like they had been before. There were the familiar stones out on display, giving off their strange glows in the cases. That held the trio accompanying me's attention for a while, staring into the cases with mesmerized expressions. The fossils were interesting as well, always a favorite of my family. After a while of doing what they did though, you almost didn't need a museum to see the fossils. These seemed to really pique Snivy's interest, the fellow hopping down to size itself up with the display case's contents. That got a few chuckles out of me, but there was someone else who apparently enjoyed the sight, giggling along with me.
"He's awfully cute, y'know?" came a voice to my side. Snivy and I quickly glanced over, meeting eyes with a girl looking about my own age. She wasn't exactly tall, but she wasn't short either, donning a head of straight brown hair over her fine features. She seemed very much like a city kind of girl, dressed for the occasion with shorts and a t-shirt. A cap of sorts was placed over her hair, which was hanging loosely by her ears. "What's he called?"
"Little guy here?" I asked as all heads on my posse turning around to face the newcomer. The girl was now focused on me, wringing her hands slightly and bouncing on the balls of her feet. Before I could answer, she had quickly reached forward and picked up Snivy, much to both of our surprises, holding the fellow a bit closer than arm length and looking over the grass snake.
"D'awwh, cute little guy, aren't you?" the girl cooed, grin spreading as she continued examining Snivy.
"Uhhh, e-excuse me? C-could you please put him down?" I asked, stammering slightly. Either she was really bold, or just really clueless about personal space, regardless of whom is concerned. "I don't know if Snivy really likes that and all…"
"Huh? Oh, sorry. He's just too cute for his own good, y'know?" The girl replied as she handed Snivy back over, the little guy still bearing a confused look. "I'm sorry," she repeated while not looking it, clasping her hands behind her back as she gave a little smile. "But you just can't exactly resist, can you? I'm 100%, absolutely, completely sure that you held him too when you first met him." This last sentence was spoken with a slight finger-point, almost accusingly.
"Yes, well, um, err, I-," I stammered, feeling a bead of sweat running down my forehead. The tension quickly evaporated when she dropped the act, settling back a ways and fingering the brim of her cap, sticking out her tongue at me in a quirky way.
"Nah, I'm just messing around. Now who's this little guy here?" The girl replied, swooping down and picking up Tepig before I could reply. Following her hands, I glimpsed something behind her legs, awfully fuzzy looking, but I was more focused on her manhandling of my Pokemon. "D'awww, now this little guy's just adorable!" Despite her slim frame, she apparently had a pretty firm grip on Tepig, the fellow having no success in wriggling out of her hands.
"Err…could you please put Tepig down too?" I asked, setting Snivy on my shoulder.
"Aww, just a little longer with him?" She asked, flashing a pair of big watery eyes at me. "Nah, just joking again. Here you go little guy," She followed up quickly, setting Tepig down on the floor. "And then who's…?" Her question was marked with an extremely awkward pause and put-off expression as she set her eyes upon Woobat. The little bat gave a goofy grin as she stared blankly at it, completely still. "…this?" she finally got out.
"Oh, you mean Woobat? It's uhh… a friend's. I'm just keeping an eye on it for a while." I answered after a moment. I wasn't about to claim Woobat as my own and all. Not only would I be lying, but I'd probably be leaving a bad impression on the girl. "So all in all, there's Snivy, Tepig, Woobat, and Brandon." I went on, pointing out each of the names I mentioned.
"Oh, we're taking names now?" The girl asked, turning slightly before scooping up what had been hiding behind her. With it now in clearer view, I could see that it was undoubtedly one of her Pokemon, a small dog-like being, covered almost entirely in cream colored fur, only its eyes being exposed. From behind her head popped up another member of her little posse, but it wasn't nearly as cute as the first. This one was a rather scruffy looking bird, its head being an off pink and topped off with a large black feather on its crown. The rest of its stocky body was covered in black feathers, its stubby wings and stumpy legs sticking out of some sort of diaper wrapped around its waist, one that looked uncomfortably like a repurposed skull. "So, this is Lillipup," The girl spoke up, motioning to the little puppy like creature in her arms and getting a happy bark in response. "And this here is Vullaby," she continued, motioning to the vulture on her head. "Which leaves me, Alex."
"Oh, um, well, I'm Brandon," I replied, glancing around for inspiration. Hopefully I wasn't looking like an idiot, but Alex's expression begged to differ.
"You already said that, Brandon," Alex giggled as she set Lillipup down onto the ground while Vullaby remained perched on her shoulder. Tepig almost immediately took an interest in the small puppy, both moving in closer to each before exchanging curious looks. Snivy remained a ways back from the pair, looking a little uncertain still. The poor little guy would need to make friends eventually, I would think. Alex's cheery smile brought me back to her though, forcing me to remember my stupid error. "C'mon, are you like this around everyone?" she asked.
"Well, erm, not exactly everyone, I guess," I continued, glancing around a bit again.
"You guess?" Alex asked me again, walking forward a bit. "Well, if that's what you guess, what are you sure about?"
"Sure about? Well, I'm sure that…" I trailed off. How does someone answer to that kind of question? You don't. Before I could answer, Vullaby gave a sort of squawk before hopping down from Alex's shoulder to land near Snivy. The fellow shirked back a bit at this, taken by surprise at the vulture's sudden appearance. Vullaby suddenly had a crafty look in its eyes, one that either Snivy or I liked. "Umm…is Vullaby, you know, good?"
"Oh, of course she is!" Alex replied happily, back to bouncing on the balls of her feet. "She's an absolute sweetheart when you get to know her. And cute too!"
"Riiight…" I answered uncertainly, eying the vulture uncomfortably as it began fishing around in the skull it wore for something or other.
"There you go again, with that uncertainty." Alex piped up, giving me something of a cheeky grin. "Can't you just answer straightforward?"
"Well, it's kind of just the questions you're asking me and all." I answered back, but was quickly cut off again by Alex's look.
"It's 'kind of' the questions? Well, then let me show you how to answer definitely." Before I could say anything to cut her off mid-stream, she had cleared her throat before saying evenly: "You're sweating, and your eyes are going all over the place."
"Wha-? Th-that's-," I began, only to be cut off again.
"And you're stuttering. Now you're rubbing the back of your head with your hand. And fingering your cap too. Like this, see?" Alex went on, imitating my nervous habit perfectly with her hat. I was running out of things to reply with, when a slight bonking noise rang out, followed up with a slight cry. I quickly glanced around at our members, Alex almost not noticing as she continued to imitate my nervous habits. Tepig and Lillipup had begun playing around on the ground, weaving around among the display cases. Snivy was standing a ways back though, eyes locked shut in a grimace of pain and clutching at the top of his head. Vullaby was standing not too far away, hastily trying to hide something behind itself, something that looked a lot like a bone. When it noticed me looking, it quickly took up a cutsie pose, flashing a pair of innocent eyes at me. Snivy gave me a very much different look at the same time, pointing out the vulture while continuing to massage his head. "…she didn't-," I began, only to be cut off by Alex, again.
"Nah, Vullaby sometimes plays just a teensy bit rough. But she's so sweet when she isn't, aren't you?" This 'cooing' was more directed at the scruffy bird than me, earning another cute pose from it while Snivy slinked away to go play with friendlier crowds.
"So," I began, taking advantage of the opening Vullaby and Snivy had unintentionally made for me. "My turn to ask a question."
"Alrighty then, shoot." Alex replied, clasping her hands behind her back and giving me that smirk again. Her willingness was quite bizarre in all honesty, but at least I could talk now.
"Okay, uhhh…what brings you to this museum?" I asked, eager to change the subject away from myself.
"Simple," Alex quickly replied. "I'm always coming by here. Mrs. Lenora likes it when I stop by to help around here."
"…Lenora? Who's that?" I asked, caught off guard by the unfamiliar name.
"Oh, she's the curator of the museum. She's really nice too, and makes a perfect Gym Leader." Alex cheerily replied before stopping mid-bounce.
"So there actually is a Gym here in Nacrene, huh?" I followed up. "If you could tell me where, that'd be a huge help to my frie-"
"Nope. Secret." Alex replied quickly. "He wants to challenge Mrs. Lenora, he's got to find the Gym first."
"…you mean it's hidden? Is that really fair? I mean, all of the people who want to challenge it-,"
"Have to find it first. That way you're being tested in more than just raw battle talent. Pretty sweet, huh?" Alex replied. Looks like Jude was out of luck in this sense, since I don't think he was in the mood to go for a treasure hunt in order to find a Gym.
"Well…I don't suppose you could even give me a hint? I'm not interested in the Gyms, just traveling around." I began, rubbing the back of my head again.
"Nope. If you really want to get a hint, you go ask Mrs. Lenora. Even then, you've got to ask reeeally nicely, but she'll probably say 'no' anyways." Alex replied, sticking her tongue out in a rather cheeky way once more. "So, no guarantees." Before I could respond, there came that bonking sound once again, followed by two small cries. Peering behind Alex's shoulder, I could see both Snivy and Tepig covering their heads in pain again, Tepig with more difficulty than Snivy was having. Vullaby was standing a ways away, this time her item in plain sight. It was indeed a large bone, of good size for smacking around others. When the vulture glanced up and saw me watching it, it quickly attempted to cover up for itself, but I wasn't idiotic enough to fall for something so obvious. Alex though…
"Come on, I'll let you meet her," Alex piped up, not even noticing the bonking noises. Just like that, she was off skipping through the museum again, Lillipup running off after her while Vullaby gave a sly wink and fluttered after Alex on its stubby wings. I was left with my motley trio of companions, Tepig and Snivy glaring wistfully after Vullaby in particular.
"She's certainly…excitable." I said to nobody in particular. "I don't think I've ever seen someone so pecu-"
"Come on, chop-chop!" Alex called, jumping up and down a ways back into the museum. With a slight sigh, I walked after her at a much slower pace with my group. It took only a while to catch up to Alex, forced onward by her insistent calls. When she finally came to a stop, it was beside a rather tall woman, her back to me as she talked quietly with Alex. Alex didn't seem too eager to simmer down though, practically jogging in place.
"Alex, dear, there are other people here you know," The woman was saying, giving a knowing finger wag to her over-anxious assistant.
"I know, I know!" Alex protested, still jumping in place. "But that's what I'm trying to tell you! I want you to meet someone here!" Turning towards me, I was quickly tugged around to join her. "Mrs. Lenora, this is Brandon!" To be honest, this wasn't exactly the image I had for a Gym Leader standing before me, at least at first glance. She had quite dark skin, and a large apron covering most of her front. On second glance though, I picked out a few details that seriously had an impact. There was the knowing glint in her eyes, the partially concealed smile, and the attentive look about her. With a quick movement, she undid the apron and slung it over her shoulder, eyes giving that knowing glint again.
"Hmm…Brandon. Charming name." Lenora answered with a slight smile. "Something about you seems more than a little bit familiar, that scruffy brown hair of yours mostly. Perhaps you've stopped by our little museum before?"
"Err…not recently ma'am. I think that might be someone else. Mitche-" I began hesitantly.
"Oh, Mitchell Palm, what a character he is!" Lenora replied with an exasperated smile. "I can't count the number of times that man has nearly demolished some part of this museum. Let's hope you didn't inherit that scrappy attention span, hmm?" There was that glint in her eyes again, almost warning.
"N-no, I hope not," I replied hesitantly. "I uh, wouldn't want anything wrong to happe-" I was abruptly cut off mid-stream again with Lenora and Alex's shared laughter at me.
"Of course you wouldn't, boy. You've got that bright look about you. I can see you getting somewhere around here, not like your bumbling father," Lenora laughed.
"Yeah, Mr. Palm is really good at knocking stuff over, isn't he?" Alex giggled. I felt myself blushing uncontrollably at this, trying to shrug it off.
"Well, uhh…I actually had something I wanted to ask you about, ma'am," I tried to get out.
"Aww, Brandon, that's not what your Pa would say!" Alex blurted, smiling cheerily. "What is it that he's always saying again? 'I've got it all covered, pal!' "
"Now Alex, I think we've done enough to the poor boy," Lenora said at this point, flashing Alex a look that quieted even her down. "So young man, what is that question of yours? I'm sure that I can help you in some way."
"Well, it's to help out a friend of my own and all, see." I began, surprised at Alex not cutting me off or finishing my sentence for me. "You see, his ambition is to challenge the Gym Leaders and reach the League, and since Alex told me that you were the Leader of Nacrene City, I was wondering if you would accept his challenge." Alex was quickly given a rather exasperated look from Lenora, replying with a rather coy one. Apparently that information was also privy to only the 'need to know' group of the city.
"Well Brandon, as I'm sure Alex has also informed you, not just anyone can walk in and challenge my Gym. Finding it is required as well."
"Umm, Alex mentioned something about a hint from you as well," I replied, hoping to get something of use for Jude.
"Now that is not quite true," Lenora answered, giving that knowledgeable finger wag again. "But if you ever find yourself with a hankering for a visit for any advice, I'll always be waiting here at the Museum. It might be good to tell your friend that too." This last sentence was spoken with a sly wink. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few other matters I need to attend to today. Feel free to come by anytime, Mr. Palm." With another little flick, Lenora had her apron back on again and was walking off muttering something about kids these days.
"So, does that answer your questions?" Alex wanted to know, right back to her perky self now that Lenora was gone.
"I…I guess so," was all I could answer with. This had been a lot different from meeting Pod back at the bridge. This encounter with a Gym Leader had felt more…meaningful, at least to me. "Jude certainly isn't going to be happy about this though."
"Jude? I guess that's your friend then, huh?" Alex replied, giving her cheery smile once more.
"Uh-huh. I was just keeping an eye on Woobat for him…and…" I trailed off. As my luck would have it, Woobat had wandered off while I was talking with Lenora and Alex. I got sight of it again, across the Museum though. It was fluttering by one of the windows, apparently very excited about something or other. When somebody walking in opened up the door of the building, Woobat bolted outside in a flash. Turning back to Alex, I could feel myself beginning to blush a bit more. "Look, I-I'm really sorry, but I-,"
"Have to drop off the bat?" Alex finished for me. "Fair enough. I've probably got some stuff that I should be doing anyways. But it was fun talking to you. Next time you come by I'll be sure to show you how to be more definite, y'know? And work on all of those nervous habits. And make you stop getting so embarrassed over every little thing. And…y'know." Before I could make a move to follow after Woobat, Alex had quickly stooped down and picked up Tepig and Snivy one more time before they could react, giving them both a huge squeeze and smile. "And be sure to stay adorable, you little guys!" When she released the two, Tepig scampered back over to me with an annoyed expression and shook himself off quickly, but Snivy just sort of stood there for a moment before turning back to walk over to me. Upon closer examination, the little fellow had a very slight pink tinge growing around where his cheeks would be a somewhat vague smile upon his face. Picking up Snivy again, I gave Alex something of a wave as I turned about.
"Well, I uhh, guess I'll be seeing you around then, Alex," I got out, feelings pretty mixed on this matter.
"Be sure to stop by again next time you're passing through!" She called after me, and then I was outside.
By the time I made it outside, I could see what Woobat had been so riled up about. Jude was standing a ways away from me on the sidewalk, looking pretty happy about Woobat coming back to him, as well as something else I couldn't quite make out from his expression alone. Hurrying over towards him, I skidded to a halt with an exasperated look on my face.
"Jude, where did you run off to?" I burst out all of a sudden. "It's been who knows how long, and you just went off without even telling me when or where you'd be coming back! I want an expla-" Before I could finish, Jude answered my question by reaching down onto his belt and pulling out a pair of Pokeballs, giving a little flick of both wrists to toss them out. With twin flashes of light, two completely new shapes appeared, causing me to coming to a screeching halt mid-stream.
"Do you like 'em?" Jude asked, giving a smirk at my expression. "This one here's Venipede," he said, indicating the burgundy colored bug next to him. I instantly recognized it from back in the forest, the very same one that had been stalking Jude since a few days back. Snivy appeared to recognize it as well, shrinking back a bit with a distant glare at the little bug. "This one though, I'm not so sure about," Jude went on, indicating his fourth team member. That was an oddity even to me, boasting a surprisingly brawny grey body and an almost fittingly large nose. The wooden plank in its hands was a little unsettling, as was the smirk it was giving as I warily drew out the old Dex. Alex certainly wouldn't have had any nice things to say about them, that was certain.
"Okay, I guess the beefy little guy is what you call a Timburr. It's a Fighting-type, though you could have guessed that easily." I informed Jude. "It's got a little log of moves, if you want to see."
"Really? Sweet." Jude replied, walking over and gingerly taking the Dex from me. There was something kind of creepy about the smile that was growing across his face as he read down the list, but I didn't ask about it. I was more interested in seeing how these two new members of Jude's responded to an unfamiliar face like mine. Snivy was still looking very brooding at the sight of Venipede, apparently very uneasy around it. I couldn't blame him for it; the bug made me really perturbed as well. Tepig wasn't hanging back though, walking straight up to the pair without any hesitation. The Venipede shirked back a bit, prompting Tepig to send it scrambling for Jude with a small guff of Embers again, further confirming its identity as Jude's stalker. Timburr simply exchanged glances with Tepig, both staring evenly at one another. Very slowly, the brawny clown was shifting its hefty 2x4 around before leveling it evenly at Tepig's head. Before the little pig could react, Timburr had raised up slightly to deliver a light bonk. Before the clown could pull back for another bonk, Tepig had skipped back out of the way, glaring wistfully and kicking up a little dust in an angry manner. Things weren't starting off friendly it seemed. "So, Brandon? What exactly did you do the whole time I was gone?" Jude wanted to know.
"Well, I got to meet a lot of different people at the Museum and all," I began, smile beginning to spread across my face as I envisioned Jude's response. "Including one Gym Leader for this city. Pretty neat, huh?" Like I expected, the information caught Jude completely by surprise.
"Seriously? I didn't see a Gym of any kind out here though! Where is it?" Jude asked, getting up close to me.
"Oh…umm…I can't tell you. It's a secret." I replied shyly, quietly taking my Dex back from Jude. "I can't even tell you who the Leader is. You have to find out where it's hidden on your own, supposedly." Jude looked completely torn at this, slowly stepping back with a lost look on his face.
"But…aww…that's not fair." He said, looking down at the ground. "I was looking to test out Venipede and Timburr there too…"
"Well…I'm not exactly sure what to say," I replied. "I suppose you could always try going to the Battle Club, huh?"
"The…the what now?" Jude asked. There was no mistaking the new interest on his face, probably upon hearing the word 'battle' in my sentence.
"Battle. Club. It's a pretty cool place, I guess you could say. Think of it like, well, like a club. They're all around the region, and you're pretty much welcome there any time. I went there plenty when y family stopped here, watch the battles."
"Sweet! Where to then?" Jude asked, back into a peppy mood. Zorua popped out of his hood again at this change in tone, bearing a grin as big as his Trainer's. That apparently was the end of our discussion, wasn't it? "Let's go check out this Battle Club!" Jude crowed, turning to walk back in the direction he had come from.
"…Jude, it's this way, you know." I calmly stated, pointing behind me. "Just a moment more and we'll be there."
The Battle Club was just as I remembered it from last time through this city. Very sleek and clean, opening up into a pleasant little lobby, the familiar consoles set up overlooking the arena below.
"Alright, so here's how it all works out. You just sign up here, put in your team, the works. Then you just search up people that you're interested in going against, nothing more. Totally easy." I instructed, watching Jude plug away at the screen. Timburr was still giving Tepig a bit of a smug look, the little pig shooting back a haughty one from my arms. Snivy was even more uneasy around the clown than he was with Venipede, looking more worried than uneasy. Faster than I could believe, Jude had finished punching in all of the information that was required, and was already zipping through the other members of the Club system, looking for a match.
"No...no...his team's too small...that team's too big." He muttered, glancing over each pasing profile. I peered slightly over his shoulder, kind of eager to see if I saw anyone familiar on the list. Surprisingly, Alex actually flashed past, taking a formidable record with her as Jude cruised by. I was seeing a few people I might have recognized, until a face that I knew I couldn't possibly forget came up on the screen.
"Whoa, hey, let's just skip over the next couple, huh?" I suddenly burst out, sweating nervously again. It came a bit too late, as Jude had already frozen on it.
"Brandon, you never told me that you were actually part of this!" Jude rang out happily. Sure enough, there I was up on screen, a little window showing Tepig next to me. The record I had going couldn't have been simpler to remember: 1-0-0. "So, you won a match here too, huh? But just the one?"
"Y-yeah. I wasn't really looking to hang around much longer here, y-y'know?" I replied hesitantly. Tepig was giving a huge grin at the moment; he probably remembered that battle pretty well. If memory served, he had done excellently, better than I could have hoped.
"Well, do you want to give it another spin?" Jude asked. "Add another digit to that tally, huh?"
"Ummm...uhh..." I began, eyes darting around like they usually did.
"Come on, come on, just say it. Yay, nay?" Jude asked, giving me his signature grin. "It would be good practice, wouldn't it?"
"Well...okay." I conceded after a long pause.
"There you go, that's the spirit!" Jude crowed, getting up from his seat and clapping me on the back. "How about...double battle?"
"Yeah, yeah, sure." I continued, pretty much going on auto-pilot. I mostly did it in order to make it up to Jude, not being able to tell him anything about Lenora and whatnot. A battle was probably what he needed, and since there didn't seem to be anyone here at the moment, that left me. "Uh-huh, yeah, double battle." Jude let out a prolonged 'Yesss...' as an answer before jogging off down to the arena below. With a bit of a sigh, I took his seat to hurriedly punch in what little information needed updating on my own before hitting 'Submit' with a neutral expression. Hopefully Jude wasn't expecting too much out of this. I'd do what I could to help him out though, at the very least.
Down on the field, I quickly took my place, the scoreboard up above already lit up with the only two members of my team: Tepig and Snivy. Jude was still getting warmed up on the opposite side, his part of the board lit up with Timburr and Venipede already. The clown Fighting-type was apparently getting warmed up as well, placing its 2x2 against the ground and stretching against it. Tepig was doing likewise on my side, limbering up with an eager expression. Snivy simply stood still for the most part, twiddling his fingers together with a worried expression. Venipede didn't have any such expression, but it certainly wasn't embracing the batle like Tepig and Timburr were. I figured that there was still a couple of moments remaining before Jude was finally prepared, so I quickly kneeled down by my pair of companions, giving each a pat on the back.
"Okay, here's the plan," I began glancing between the two of them. "Snivy, you can definitely afford to hang back, we don't need you getting in striking range of either of those two over there. So, Tepig is going to cover you instead, while you back him up from mid-range. That good for both of you?" Before they could reply, Jude had struck a confident posture, huge grin on his face.
"Okay Brandon, you ready?" he called from across the field. "Just don't expect me to play it casual, just saying."
"If you say so…" I muttered back, though Jude likely didn't hear it.
"Okay, and…go!" Jude called, wasting no time in opening up the battle. "Venipede, start things up with Rollout! Timburr, let's see that Wakeup Slap of yours!" At once, Venipede scuttled forward quickly, curling up into a wheel-like shape as it went, picking up speed at a quick rate. Timburr brought its plank down with a bang before hitching it up again and dashing forward, but not nearly as fast as Venipede was moving.
"Okay Snivy, you can handle Venipede, right?" I asked, receiving a quick nod from the grass snake. "Okay, let's get to work with Vine Whip then! Tepig, you handle Timburr!" Snivy quickly unfurled the now familiar pair of slender vines from his collar, snapping them forward with a quick movement as Tepig darted forward to intercept Timburr, weaving back and forth craftily. However, Snivy's Vine Whip wasn't nearly as effective as I would have like it to be, both vines glancing off of Venipede mid-attack and hardly slowing it down. Grass against Bug/Poison definitely wasn't a match-up I was happy about taking part in, but I wasn't sure if Snivy could necessarily go toe-to-toe with Timburr and come out in one piece. Snivy managed to dart safely out of the way before Venipede could hit him, quickly skipping back to put some more distance between the bug and himself. Tepig was having a pretty decent time against Timburr, who was almost fruitlessly attempting to land a blow with that 2x4. Tepig was surprisingly nimble though, hopping away from the overhead swings with ease but not yet countering. That plank was making it difficult to get past, but I felt confident about the fellow's abilities. I was more preoccupied with Snivy's predicament, focusing a fair bit more on that aspect of our battle. Venipede had curved back around, keeping the Rollout going strong as ever, if anything going even faster. Snivy was still able to dart clear, if narrowly. It was the third time around that was the problem. Venipede was practically a burgundy blur by this point, and was swerving slightly on its path. Snivy made to jump in the opposite direction Venipede was swerving, only for the bug to bank slightly, clipping Snivy by the side and catching his tail underneath. The fellow gave a suppressed yelp upon being flung down and struggling back up, Venipede unfurling on the way back. The little bug looked awfully dizzy from the move, but it quickly shook it off before glancing back at Jude for further orders.
"Nice one Venipede! Let's follow up with Poison Sting!" Jude called enthusiastically. Venipede's antenna quickly took on a violet tinge, as it again darted forward towards Snivy. The snake was still recovering from the Rollout attack, and was quickly caught around the mid-riff by this attack as well to be sent skidding back.
"Hey, you alright Snivy?" I called over to the fellow as he uneasily got up again. Venipede was already on the offensive again though, another Poison Sting on the way. "This seems as good a time as any, so let's see that Leech Seed!" I called, Snivy giving another quick nod. In a moment the fellow's tail began to glow slightly, as damaged as it was, before Snivy gave a quick hop back and a spin in mid-air, hurling a volley of small glistening seeds after the attacking Venipede. The damage to his tail threw off Snivy's aim, but a couple of the small seeds connected with the insect, embedding into it and quickly sprouting a number of green tendrils around their impact zone. Venipede quickly skidded to a halt as the seeds gave off a sudden green glow, giving a stifled shriek of pain as the same faint green glow appeared around Snivy. The grass snake gave a slight sigh, more out of relief it seemed as a faint amount of energy was slowly transferred over. "Alright, now let's go with Glare while it's busy!" I called, getting back into the swing of things. Snivy quickly pulled back his hands to cover up his face for a brief moment before whipping them down like before, eyes giving a menacing red pulse. Like Tepig before, Venipede looked up as the move was executed, immediately locking up entirely, paralyzed in place. With Snivy's Venipede problem safely under control now, I diverted my attention back over to where Tepig and Timburr were still brawling, but what I saw wasn't exactly heartening. Both of the two were looking pretty beat up, Timburr bearing numerous burns and scorches over its body while Tepig was smattered in bruises and scuffs. Both had split off for a quick breather, but Tepig quickly dashed in for another attack.
"Timburr, how about Detect?" Jude suggested, still looking completely absorbed in this battle. Timburr quickly tensed up, clenching and unclenching the 2x4 at its side, smirk widening rapidly as Tepig darted in for a Tackle. When the little pig bounded forward to make the hit though, Timburr effortlessly swung up the board to block, taking care to ram Tepig in the belly with it at the same time. The counter-guard was quickly followed up with a side swipe of the board, knocking Tepig flying back a ways. Timburr gave its board a quick toss upward before catching it evenly and rushing in with the intent of scoring a few more hits on the stunned Tepig, something I wasn't feeling up to.
"Snivy, right there!" I called, pointing out Timburr for him. The snake was definitely smart enough to put two and two together, and apparently had no intentions of getting left to tackle both Timburr and Venipede at once. A few quick glances around the arena were all that the fellow needed to get it together, Vine Whips unfurling again. Rather than lash out at Timburr though, both vines were directed at the still paralyzed Venipede, coiling around the helpless bug like ropes. Snivy then took a few steps back, putting as much force as possible behind the tug, and yanked Venipede bodily off of the ground. A quick spin was made to build up momentum, and then Snivy tossed Venipede entirely away, straight at Timburr. The clown scarcely had time to glance up before getting knocked over by the flung bug, buying a few seconds for Snivy to dart over and rejoin Tepig as the fellow unsteadily got up. "Alright, swap opponents!" I called, having nowhere else to go at this point. "Tepig, see what you can do about Venipede. Snivy, you've got Timburr."
"That works out fine by me, let's see how it goes!" Jude enthusiastically called out in reply. After Venipede and Timburr had regained their footing, it was straight back to battling, with differing match-ups of course. Once again, I was more focused on keeping an eye on Snivy; Tepig could definitely handle Venipede without much fuss.
"Okay, just like before Snivy!" I encouraged, earning that little nod again from the snake. "Let's go with Vine Whip!" Once the vines unfurled, Snivy set to work swinging them deftly after Timburr, some swings getting blocked while others smacked against Timburr with a crack. The clown was more than tough enough to take a few hits like that though, barely getting knocked off balance when the blows did connect.
"Timburr, try out that Wake-up Slap you've got!" Jude called. With a flick of its wrists, Timburr swept its 2x4 horizontally to knock both of the attacking vines aside before crossing the distance between it and Snivy in a single bound. Before Snivy could even react, the board was swung down again with a great smack, knocking the snake spinning back. At the very least, Snivy hadn't been asleep when Jude called for the move; that would have almost certainly been lethal. That's not to say that Snivy wasn't hurting though, barely getting back up after that blow. "Okay, now for a Rock Throw!" Jude ordered. At once, Timburr drove its plank down into the ground, and then quickly withdrew it, taking a moderate sized chunk of rock with it. A quick spin to get momentum was all that was needed, and then it was flung, breaking apart shortly after. Each rock hit Snivy with a harsh sounding thud, sending the already injured fellow stumbling back at each impact. Once the last of the rocks had finished doing their job, Snivy weakly tottered a few steps back before collapsing onto his hands and knees, barely keeping it together. "One more ought to wrap it up, and then you can go give Venipede a hand, huh?" Jude suggested to Timburr. True enough, Venipede was quite literally getting tossed around by Tepig, the bug being practically toyed with. It almost wasn't fair; the way Tepig had its tail clamped in his teeth, throwing it around like a rag-doll. "One more Wake-Up Slap, come on!" This wasn't good, not at all. I wasn't about to let Snivy take any more pain than he already had. There was only one other option I could think of right now, and that was…
"Snivy, Leaf Tornado!" I called, ready to see what Snivy's mystery ability had in store for Timburr. The little grass snake gave a slight start at this before tensing up and jumping back and up. The fellow squinted his eyes shut, as if he were bracing himself for something big, and then began to spin up in mid-air. With a slight flip to turn upside down in the air, Snivy's tail went awhirl, a large amount of energy running along it as he went. Another second passed, and that trail of energy quickly grew into something much larger, a veritable mini-tornado of energy. Everyone in the arena instantly froze, Jude included, all staring up at the rapidly building green vortex, multiplying in scale with each passing moment. Down by the base of it all, Snivy was still whirling about, barely visible amidst the storm. A brief stutter ran through the Leaf Tornado, and then it swerved down into a low arc. One sweep around the room was all that was needed, effortlessly sucking up Timburr into it all with a yelp. That wasn't to say that Tepig and Venipede weren't both in range too, twin yelps begging to differ. This obviously wasn't an easily mastered move, the move pretty much having mastered Snivy already. The vortex was continuing to go on, but now a number of tremors were running along its being, and then it simply burst apart entirely, sending its contents flying everywhere. Timburr and Venipede went hurtling in one direction, Tepig flung spiraling in another. The little guy hit the ground rolling, skipping along for about half of the field before finally coming to a rest near me, knocked out from the huge misfire of Snivy's attack. The summoner of the huge attack was quick to join me by Tepig's side, the snake fluttering down to the ground still spinning rather quickly from the move. Upon landing, Snivy gave a few tottering steps, still spinning slightly before flopping onto the ground in front of me, eyes spiraling around their sockets.
"Snivy…that was really something else." I muttered to the exhausted snake, giving him a slight pat on the back. Snivy gave a dizzy moan in reply, attempting to get up off of the ground. "No no, it's fine. You both did great. Just…get some rest." I muttered, scooping up Tepig and Snivy off of the ground. Jude had similarly returned his pair of contenders and was making his way over to me as I continued checking over my own companions.
"Whoa…that last move was really something," Jude said with a low whistle. "I've got to hand it to Snivy, I did not see that one coming. Little guy is full of surprises it seems." I couldn't do anything but silently agree with Jude. Snivy's power was definitely something we were going to need to look into a bit further. All of that power in such a shy little fellow; the world sure had a weird sense of humor.
"Yeah…let's just go get them healed up, yeah?" I quietly suggested. Jude apparently took my mood as a hint, giving me a nod before heading out alongside me, both of our heads awhirl with the events of this battle.
Edit: Apr 22, 11
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