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Obsidian Blade
February 12th, 2005, 10:03 PM
Okay, excuse the first terrible sentence or two (the parts in italics) because that was the prompt I had to go from for this to be entered in a contest on TPT. *holds up hands in mock surrender* They ain't my words.

Twisted Hierarchy

The big day has come- it's time to battle the hardest you've ever battled in your life! You walk into the battle arena, people are cheering for you and you squint from the bright lights. You look up to see your opponent, and it's a Sandslash. The simple sight of its sandy hide, those silvery claws, the mahogany brown spines down its curved back... it makes every sense in your lithe Rattata body scream in terror.

This is the enemy.

Even with the presence of your trainer behind you, even with four years of training and fun times separating you from the wild, your instinct still sings high pitched and feral, wailing danger, danger, danger!

In the wild, that Sandslash would kill you. There is no changing that.

And so it is with tingling nerves that you take up your place in the battle arena, it is with a mind screaming for you to run that you await your trainer's commands. You lower your head and square your shoulders in preparation, trying so hard to hide your terror as you narrow your angular crimson eyes and bare your sharp fangs. The Sandslash simply moves one clawed foot forward and leans its weight on that leg, the black oblivion of its predatory eyes betraying no emotion but casual confidence as it clicks the claws on its hands together in a bored fashion.

Your heart beats faster.

"You ready, Rattata?" says the disembodied voice of your trainer from somewhere behind you.

Her voice is comforting, even with the hint of nervousness that comes with it. She believes in you and that gives you some confidence. Not enough, but some.

The roar of the crowd increases: the battle is about to begin. Sweat is already trickling between your shoulder blades.

"Begin!" the referee orders from the sidelines and you just catch sight of his flags as he swings them through the air.

"Rattata, quick attack!"

There it is: the order. Going against everything you know, you hurl yourself at the natural enemy. Your claws provide decent traction in the dust of the arena surface but the screaming of your instinct is making it difficult to keep up the normal pace. Ahead of you Sandslash's bored visage remains unchanged as it brings one dual clawed paw back in a languid arc over its shoulder; almost whipping yourself with your long, curved tail you demand that extra burst of speed that will gain you the advantage of first hit.

You should have listened to instinct.

Instead of landing the blow and darting out of the way of the predator's powerful slash your inhibitions have made you sluggish. Even as you lurch into the air, twisting your body so as to plough into the enemy with your shoulder, Sandslash's blow is falling, those razor sharp claws slicing easily through your violet pelt and into muscle and flesh. The horrified cry of your trainer mingles with your own as you land on your side at Sandslash's feet. Its paw is wrenched brutishly from you with the indifference of a killer, leaving you lying stunned, wounded and vulnerable in the shadow of a hunter.

The instinct is going crazy now, its cries of fear merging together with the desperate plea to retreat in a mindless babble of confused sound. Your large ears ache as you struggle to get up - it's difficult to hear the orders of either trainer over the roar of the crowd and the burble of your brain. Unable to decipher your trainer's words you concentrate on getting up and away, giving the blank and unresponsive face of your foe one last glance before you unwisely turn your back and scamper a safer distance away.

Turning hurts, your wound stinging as though laced with burning fire, but not as much as the calculated slice that sheers straight across your forehead before your brain even has the chance to process the attack. You wail and try to back away as those murderous claws rip across your defenceless face repeatedly but it is as though your back legs have turned to jelly. Your hindquarters give way, instinct scarily silent, and you tumble over, baring your creamy underbelly which Sandslash instantly goes for. The pain is incredible and you actually reach out to instinct for a source of direction but to no avail: you are on your own.

Terrified by the pain and the remorseless, dead look that not even a hungry Houndoom could muster but is currently dominating Sandslash's gaze, you jerk your head forwards blindly, trying desperately to catch the other Pokémon in your teeth for a powerful super fang. Out of sheer dumb luck your sharp fangs sink deep, causing Sandslash to jerk involuntarily. Biting down harder you open your crimson eyes once again, only to find that you've somehow locked onto the shrew's throat. Your small rat's mouth is filled with a metallic taste it is not accustomed to as a scavenger: fresh blood.

Uncertainty has now replaced your muddled instinct and you release your opponent without thinking, completely overcome by the wrongness of the situation. You are not the predator. And yet it is now Sandslash who is reeling back, its previously soundless maw snapping open in a bone chilling screech as its fleshless claws grope for the wound. Unable to feel anything through the sharp protrusions, it is only making matters worse by gouging its own flesh as it tries to staunch the bleeding. Its eyes contain nothing but fear now but a chance glance at its trainer's face shows that the true glare of a predator has been transferred to him.

It takes you a second, thoughts hard to process in the din of the other Pokémon's dismay, but now you realise why your instinct has deserted you: you were not fighting the predator. That is obvious from the Sandslash's bawl of fear as its trainer gives a roar of frustrated anger and returns it to its Pokéball. You were fighting prey, a creature so twisted by the perversion of natural hierarchy that it could not feel the rush of the hunt when it first set eyes on you. Overcome by the realisation that one man had done such a thing you stagger back, spitting blood from between your teeth, until your hurting body is pressed against the comforting warmth of your own trainer's legs. As she picks you up carefully, her arms wrapping around your small body in a comforting gesture despite the blood that is discolouring her front, you realise that you have, for once, defeated the predator.

But only when it too was reduced to victim.





Hn, I need to get off my lazy butt and start reviewing again. Devoting more time to writing?! Piffle.

SilverBlaze09
February 13th, 2005, 12:57 PM
o_0 o_o 0_o 0_0 Sorry, had to go the full round for this fic. And what a doozy! Your spelling was great, your grammar was great, and your skill was impressive. You didn't turn this into a "all trainers are evil" fic, nor a "nasty predator, let's kill it, my precious, hmmm?" fic. Loved it. So overall, you get an A-. SB

Geometric-sama
February 15th, 2005, 10:14 PM
Content: Well, the battle theme was kinda set, not much to say.

Language: Love love love the voice. There are far too few second-person fics around and yours is one of the best I've ever seen - I could really feel that Rattata's pain. Dude, that really rocks. Spelling and grammar is excellent as well. You were descriptive but not so much as to slow down the action - the story's full of tension and moves really well. Just watch the use of 'but' to start a sentence, although it's acceptable in this case as it's in a second-person voice. Also comma placement.

You turned what could have been the most boring theme ever into a really exciting fic. I don't really know what to say. How about 9.5/10?

Lily
February 17th, 2005, 08:39 PM
Right...like whoa. Obsidian Blade- you have a true marvelous way of putting your words together. *envy* >>;
It's like, I'm IN the scene, rather than surveying it alone. Details and descriptions were so splendid, as well as the battle effectively put...certainly ff of the week. =]

*sticker.

Geometric-sama
February 18th, 2005, 04:04 AM
Oh yeah! Go OB! *pats on back forgetting there was a penguin with a sharp beak in my hand* Uh, sorry XD

Obsidian Blade
March 2nd, 2005, 10:16 AM
*blinkeh*

Wow, many many many thanks, SilverBlaze, JA and Lily. Obbeh feels special. ^^

*huggles Twisted Hierarchy and hands out random items of confectionary to reviewers*

'Tis odd, the way my one-shots do so well. Especially since I never really plan them out: this one was going to be Just Another Boring Battle Scene until the idea of the predator/prey relationship jumped last-minute into my head. I suppose spontaneous-ness is better than people make out. ^^

More of those many many many thanks to yas all,
~Obsidian