"Linoone, they're using formation to try and box you in." I warned as Linoone quickly came to a stop and narrowly dodged as several Makuhita smashed their fists into the spot he'd been a moment before with "rock smash". "Instead of evading, use fury swipes to break their tempo."
Linoone shot toward the Makuhita abruptly, swiftly making the smallest of shifts in movement in order to dodge the bullet seeds flying at him from the Octillery in the background. The Makuhita attempted to rush Linoone at once and use "rock smash" again, but Linoone hopped lightly into the air and used their great bodies as a spring board, jumping over their punches easily. Linoone whirled around in midair, and the moment he touched the ground, he shot forward on his hindlegs, his claws a whirl of motion as he slashed at the Makuhita, dealing heavy blows. The injured Makuhita quickly retreated away from Linoone and another wall of them stepped forward. Using a vanguard to gauge Linoone's speed and strength before sending in the stronger group, eh?
"Belly drum." I ordered. Linoone drummed its forelegs on its stomach in a rhythmic motion, converting his health to physical prowess all at once. The Makuhita did the same, drumming their bellies with the same manuever, every one of them.
"It's like these guys have a counter for every one of my actions." I murmured, becoming irritated. "But they're still slower. Linoone, snipe them with pin missile."
Linoone's fur bristled as he finished restoring his health with the sitrus berries in his mouth and began to fire hairs like arrows from his tail, right toward the Makuhita. The Makuhita quickly sidestepped away and made room for the wall of Octillery, who fired a mass of "bullet seeds" to knock away the "pin missiles". Linoone and I promptly moved as the "bullet seeds" overwhelmed Linoone's attack and nearly hit us.
"Obnoxious...really obnoxious. If there's weren't so many of them..." I sighed, knowing that complaining accomplished nothing. They were here to fight, not battle. The semantics made a big difference. "Guess we'll have to really take the offensive. Linoone--extreme speed!"
Linoone didn't hesitate when I told him to use our special reserve move. We didn't like to show off such a unique attack for a Linoone, but now was hardly the time to make that a priority. Linoone rushed forward with me running directly behind him and plowed right through the force of Makuhita, chomping down on chople berry after chople berry every time one was lucky enough to land a strike before being knocked aside by Linoone's incredible velocity. Linoone knocked aside several Octillery as well, though they tried to get out of the way, and several of the Schola trainers, until we were on the complete other side. Linoone's "extreme speed" managed to tear a big whole the enemies' line of defense--in our wake, to be exact--but it didn't last long. All the ones who'd taken the heavy damage quickly retreated and had their place taken by a fresh batch of opponents, completely healthy. Linoone was going to seriously tire out at this rate--and exhaust his supply of chople and sitrus berries en route.
My yoyo came spinning back into my hand, which caught the attention of several of the Schola members. They knew that my six pokeballs, as well as any others that I carried with me, were built into this single yoyo. They were wondering what trick I pulled, no doubt.
"If you won't fight me with even numbers," I said calmly as I tossed my yoyo down once and caught it back in my hand. "Then I won't bother being fair either. Spinda, psybeam!"
Too late, the Schola noticed my Spinda standing among legion of Makuhita, mimicking their movements like the clown it is. Spinda fired beams of psychic energy from its hands, blasting all the Makuhita away at once with devestating damage. Linoone charged forward as the chaos ensued, slashing at the Octiller with "fury swipes" before they could barrage Spinda with long ranged attacks. Already, they were trying to switch out the weakened Pokemon with the healthy. I had to act fast.
"Spinda, teeter dance!"
Spinda was special--she was a normal type who could make use of both psychic and dark techniques. "Teeter dance" was a confusing move that utilized Spinda's powers of hypnosis to perform a mesmerizing dance to engross all who look at her and confuse them. Thanks to Linoone's persim berry, he was unnaffected, but the Schola didn't have anything to combat the attack. So can you imagine my surprise when they remained unnaffected completely? I doubt it--I completely expected that.
"Stay strong, you two." I said as the Makuhita rushed forward with their "arm thrust" attacks and pressured my Pokemon back. "We need to endure their numbers, so we can't give in yet."
The problem was, their numbers had no end. Even if we knocked them all out at once, they had back ups to send in. Meanwhile, they healed the injured in the back, too far for us to reach with the enemy facing us blocking the path. Just like Xansa, they'd come prepared with a highly effecient plan. It must have been the work of the Schola's tactical advisor, no doubt. But for these people to execute it so perfectly...
I was beginning to plan out my next move in my head when Linoone sniffed at the air and glanced behind me. He shot me a look that told me to turn around before he focused back on dodging the flying "bullet seeds". I turned and raised my eyebrows as I saw a petite figure in black robes standing some yards away. This person resembled Xansa, with the black robe and hood over their head, but was much smaller in comparison.
"So the ringmaster of this freakshow finally shows." I grinned slightly. "Linoone, I need you to handle yourself for a while on your own. Spinda, may you come with me?"
Linoone nodded back to me with a grin. He knew I was abandoning to handle the 'impossible odds' situation alone. If it was one thing normal types--no, my normal types--could do, it's stall using unorthodox tactics. Spinda didn't contest as I asked her to come over. She began to run over with her stubby little legs, tripped, and cartwheeled the rest of the way. I strode toward the cloaked figure, tossing my yoyo up and down a few times. The whirring sound it made was calming to me, due to nastolgia. The figure pulled their hood down as I approached, showing bubblegum color hair and luminous pink eyes as she stared at me.
"You're quite good." She commented politely as she watched me play absently with my yoyo.
"Thank you." I replied with a smile. "You're...Jasmine, correct? I don't know if there are any other females in the Schola's advisors."
"You're right. I'm the only one--and the youngest. You are Zephyr of the Elite Four, correct?"
"Even if I said no, would you believe me?" I sighed. She shook her head.
"Your yoyo was a dead give away."
"Point taken. Well, I'll get right to the point, then. Send out your Pokemon; I'm going to put an end to this endless fight."
Jasmine ignored me, tilting her head to the side to look around me to watch the fighting briefly.
"You're letting it fight alone?"
"Linoone was and is my first and most reliable partner." I said firmly. "Worry about yourself. Spinda, psybeam."
Spinda's attack was shredded instantly by an overwhelming invisible force that caused Spinda to whimper in surprise. I frowned at the water directly behind Jasmine. A low cliff cut off just a few feet behind her and the expanse of the sea was clearly visible. The foggy sillhouette of a large mountain was visible in the distance. My destination, Mt. Pyre. But a large tentacle of water blocked my view of it and I blinked as I watched the large figure extend out of the sea and curl through air, just above Jasmine, like a tube. In it, a Gorebyss was swimming gracefully back and forth. Hmm...pink hair, pink Pokemon. I was beginning to see a resemblence.
"Aqua ring...?" I murmured curiously as I watched the curling tube of water twine through the air, almost independantly.
"Close." Jasmine nodded. "Gorebyss has unique psychic powers, despite not being psychic--just like your Spinda. She's using it to create this lovely display. Pretty, isn't it?"
"I'm sorry, but I'm not fond of flamboyant things. Spinda, psycho cut!"
Spinda did a front flip and launched herself into the air, directly to the portion of the tube where Gorebyss was swimming at that moment. Spinda slashed her stubby, fingerless hand through the water that barely reached its target, but the water temporarily shimmered and splashed, as if Spinda had cut through it with an invisible cut. The attack, however, missed completely as Gorebyss easily swam out of the way.
"Swift Swim allows Gorebyss to move twice as quick in the water." Jasmine informed me calmly. "Your Spinda will have a hard time catching her."
Strange. That honest way of explaining how she had the upperhand without meaning to insult the person...it reminded me of someone. Sort of like me, but I tease. She had little to no expression, for some reason. A pokerface, maybe?
The sound of the fighting behind me echoed in my ears and I remembered that Linoone wouldn't last forever. We didn't have time to think things through and observe the opponent. Especially with Phoebe now so far ahead of us...
Possibly sensing my impatience, Spinda hopped into the air and used psycho cut once more. Jasmine kept her eyes on me as Gorebyss glided through the larg tube of water, evading each of Spinda's fiercely repeated psycho cuts. I glanced up at Gorebyss' fish face and looked back at Jasmine's. No expression whatsoever. I couldn't tell what she was thinking. Honestly, a little arrogance would have been nice. This was just...creepy. Then I thought, the way she had her hair pulled into a ponytal, like the fin over Gorebyss' head, the color...she was clearly imitating Gorebyss' appearance. Was she mimicking Gorebyss' expression as well? Wait, but that meant...dear god, this girl was making fun of me!
"Stalling is unsportsmanlike." I sighed, trying to contain my laughter. Honestly, it frustrated me a little, but I felt the urge to laugh nonetheless. This girl was quite unique, to say the least. "Instead of waiting for your cronies to help you out, why not fight me with your own strength?'
"I am fighting with my own strength." She assured me, and I sighed again. "If I beat you with my strategy, there is no difference."
"There is a difference. In the interest of personal pride--"
"What use do I have for personal pride?" Jasmine cocked her head curiously. Religion is meant to refute those sort of things."
"Hmm." Though I would love to argue with her or a normal occassion, I didn't have the time now. One glance toward Spinda told me she was ready. All that moving had given Spinda to accurate guage Gorebyss' speed and reflex, and to crush a berry I'd given her and wipe it over her hands and feet. We couldn't keep up with Gorebyss speed even with a berry to increase our velocity, but there was another, better way. This berry was meant to be used defensively, nullifying super-effective psychic attacks. But thanks to the way it had been grown, it was strong enough to be used offensively as well. Spinda jumped into the air and backflipped in midair, kicking at the Gorebyss once more. Gorebyss dodged it easily, speeding to the left, and the slash cut harmlessly through the water. All the floating water in the air on the right side of the attack lost its ability to fly and drenched Jasmine, who blinked in surprise. Spinda spun in the air with its arms and legs spread-eagle and she cut through the water on the left side of Gorebyss, forcing the Pokemon to move to the right. The water on the left fell and soaked the ground as well, trapping Gorebyss in a short cylinder of suspended water now.
"How did you--" Jasmine exclaimed, an actual expression of shock breaking through her stoic and childish face before she sniffed at the air with a frown. "A Payapa berry?"
"Didn't Xansa tell you about my prowess with berries?" I asked in mock surprise. "I am the 'Hyper Deductive Berry Expert', Zephyr Rainsville of the Elite Four. Being so near to my master's home, it would be a shame if I didn't perform some impossible feat with his fantastic berries."
I grinned, proud with how grand that sounded. That was how you sound arrogant and awesome all at once. Now I could only hope that this girl could grow an ego from the seeds I was planting. Though it would probably take a while, as she wasn't even fazed by my words.
"Usually people just turn berries into pokeblocks of poffins." She informed me.
"Shut up." I grumbled. Jerk. "You know what I meant. Spinda, skill swap!"
I tossed my yoyo out in Gorebyss direction for effect and Spinda did the exact same movement, only without a yoyo. Gorebyss squirmed as it attempted to do the same movement, failing as it had no limbs. Aesthetics aside, I was happy (and relieved) when Spinda pointed her hands toward the Schola members behind us and the fighting ceased immediately. Both the Pokemon and the trainers took a step back and ceased moving entirely. Linoone immediately collapsed, exhausted form all the battling. I spun my yoyo in his direction and returned him to give him a rest. Jasmine stared at me with unfathomable eyes.
"You're a liar." She told me bluntly. "You said you don't like flamboyant things, but just now you used your zeal and essentricity to distract me and somehow outwit me."
"It was not flamboyance!" I spoke over her as I folded my arms over my chest. "It was class! I do things as I like to do them. I don't care if I'm essentric or subtle while I'm doing it, so long as I don't get killed because of it."
"How did you figure it out?"
"I had a guess earlier on, but your hint gave it away. Those guys were clearly acting under a collective conscious when fighting. That was why they could pull off that strategy so flawlessly. Spinda was meant to test to see if that guess was right, and I was. I couldn't put them under a hypnosis because they were already under one. I didn't think it was Gorebyss at first, but than I wondered what it would mean if another Pokemon capable of controlling minds used its hypnosis on those guys and transferred control over to you with skill swap. 'I am fighting with my own strength'. In other words, you had control of their actions. So I used Spinda to commandeer that control with her own skill swap after restricting Gorebyss' movements."
"You're everything she said you would be, and more." Jasmine smiled faintly. "Your hyper-deductive talent is just as dangerous as the others."
"My talent...as in my piece of Arceus?"
A slow smile spread across Jasmine's face as she drew a Pokeball out and returned Gorebyss into it. The water floating in the air fell to the ground with nothing to support it.
"Exactly. How much do you know?"
"The story says it all. Or so I thought. I'm still not certain as to why you want to do away me with, or the others. But now I'm conserned about this 'she'. Why does 'she' know so much about me? Aren't you the only female advisor in the Schola?"
Jasmine simply continued to grin as she turned her back to me, striding to stand directly by the water.
"Whoa, shameless much." I murmured as Jasmine pulled her black robe off over her head and held it draped over one arm. Her body was completely exposed, save for the essential areas that were covered by a pink bikini. I now saw that she had a big purple bead that held her hair together instead of a hairtie, which really resembled Gorebyss. She really had a child-like physique--it would be a serious let down for a curious person.
"A few months ago," Jasmine told me without turning. "A woman who claimed to know everythign approached the Schola, claiming to be from the future. She told us about her ability, the Dimensional Scream, and about how five people in our time would cause planetary paralysis if nothing was done. Three decades from last week, the whole world will cease to rotate. The sun will not rise, the wind will not blow. Warmth will be forgotten and the cold with be our eternal companion. All of mankind will be unable to survive in the harsh climate and be wiped off the face of the earth, save for the few who natural selection work in favor of. In other words, this world will become the desolate land the Distortion World is now. I can tell by looking at you, Zephyr Rainsville; you aren't the type who'd be interested in a literary device like meaningless 'self-sacrifice'. But what if your sacrifice wasn't meaningless?"
Without waiting for a reply, Jasmine hopped into the water, dissapearing beneath the waves. I tossed my yoyo out angrily, letting it spin up and down with a furious whirring sound. Just when I'd though I was figuring things out, something like 'planetary paralysis' was thrown at me? The sad thing was, it made perfect sense. The research I'd been doing in Sinnoh had pointed toward the same result. All the signs were there--distortions were appearing. This world would die, just like the Distortion World had before this world even existed. That put me back at square one, with the same questions. Was it our fault? Me and the five others--were we really the cause of it all? If so, then the Schola would indeed have a reason to attack us after all. At the same time, however, it made no sense. No sense at all...
"Agh!" I roared angrily as I caught my yoyo back in my hand. "Spinda, send those Schola guys back to my master's home and release their hypnosis. When you get back, we're going straight to Mt. Pyre."
Spinda nodded to me as she began waddling downhill. The Schola followed after her, mimicking her strange movements. Now that was a freakshow. But refreshing all the same. Good thing I could find some humor after all of this. A priestess of the future...no amount of hyper-deduction would help with something like that.
"Don't do anything stupid, Phoebe." I muttered darkly as I stared at the looming figure of Mt. Pyre. "We may be in over our heads with this one."
Dun-dun-duuuun! Answers are given, questions are raised! Next time, we head north to see the progress of the first two toward Mt. Pyre! Will they be as epic as Zephyr? Probably not! But they should come close! Some of you may hard-core Pokemon fans may recognize the references to my favorite spin-off game. Don't mind them--it makes the plot easier to understand using those references. It'll have a completely different plot developement, I assure you.