Pokemon: The Song of Jewels
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February 7th, 2013 (9:12 AM).
Make the Colors in the Sky!
At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Episode 10: "A fragile friendship! Mizuchi to the rescue!" (part 2)
Brock thought long and hard about how to get Mizuchi to at the very least, tolerate Terra.
I know she had a harrowing encounter with a Sandslash--whatever that entailed. Her fear of Sandshrews is completely understandable--even I am a bit skittish around Pokemon I've had bad experiences with...
"What'cha thinking about so hard?" Wendy's voice snapped him back to reality.
"I'm thinking of ways we can have Mizuchi at the very least tolerate Terra." Brock explained. "I'm also wondering how we can do a controlled introduction when we're outside...."
"Silly--what sense do mammalian Pokemon use to get to know each other primarily?" Wendy smiled.
The lightbulb went off in Brock's head.
Of course--mammalian Pokemon like Sandshrew and Vaporeon primarily use their sense of smell to get to know each other!
"Say..." he suggested as he rummaged in his bag for Terra's scratching post. "Why don't we start by having Mizuchi learn Terra's scent first?"
"Yeah--then have her associate that scent with pleasant things." Wendy went on. "If we can get her to learn the scent of a Sandshrew, step two will be to show her a doll or a picture of a Sandshrew."
"Some of the toys I packed for Emi are Pokemon dolls that double as puppets." Brock offered. "And one of the ones I packed is a Sandshrew."
"Great idea--if you perform it just like a real Sandshrew, Mizuchi may think it is real--and you can show her it's just a puppet if she does the threatening hiss." Wendy assured him. "Eevees and their evolutions have two different types of hiss--a soft hiss when annoyed or afraid, and a louder one if mad or threatened. If we hear Mizuchi do the loud one as you perform the puppet, that's when you show her that it's just a puppet."
"Then if she tolerates the puppet, then we can introduce Terra from a safe distance." Brock added as he set Terra's scratching post in the grass.
"Okay Mizuchi..." Wendy led Mizuchi over to the scratching post. "This is one toy Sandshrews and Meowths play with."
Mizuchi warily circled the scratching post, sniffing it all the while.
Interesting..I can smell the familiar earthy scent of a Sandshrew on here, but it's very faint, so whoever owns this scratching post hasn't used it in a few days.
After watching Mizuchi sniff the scratching post for a few tense minutes, Brock discretely retreated to a large rock by the forest's edge. "This is gonna serve as my puppeteer's wall, okay?" he called to Wendy.
"Okay." Wendy replied. "Remember--have the doll act realistically."
Brock nodded, slipped his hand inside a hidden hole beneath the Sandshrew doll's tail, and proceeded to have the Sandshrew perform some natural behaviors--lie on its back, "walk" on the rock, watch for predators, chase after something, curl into a ball to doze...
Mizuchi, meanwhile, noticed the "Sandshrew" and tensely approached the rock. [H-hi...] she stammered, snapping the puppet to attention. [Y-you're not going to hurt me?] Brock made the Sandshrew doll shake its head no in reply, then "sniff" the Vaporeon. [You must be a brave little Sandshrew if you're sniffing me...] Mizuchi giggled. [Most Sandshrews I know try to attack me, because I'm a Water type.]
[It's working!] Tenku smiled as Mizuchi continued her conversation with the puppet.
[And she doesn't have a clue it's really a doll.] Satomi agreed.
Brock's doing great with his little show...
Wendy smiled as she arranged some sticks into a campfire pattern.
It's decided--after dinner, we do a controlled introduction with Terra.
"Come on out, Terra!" Brock heaved the Poke Ball containing his own Sandshrew skyward, making Terra materialize on the grass. Wendy and Mizuchi stood a few yards away, watching how both Pokemon would react to each other.
Inspired, Terra unearthed a Pecha Berry from Brock's bag, and tensely walked over to the Vaporeon that was watching it warily. When Mizuchi didn't hiss at her, she took another step forward.
The two Pokemon eventually met each other in the middle of the plain, their masters watching just in case threatening behavior was displayed by either Pokemon. [T-this is for you...] Terra stammered as she offered Mizuchi the Berry. [I only want to be your friend...]
[You're not going to hurt me?] Mizuchi asked, her fur puffing up in fear.
[Nuh-uh--I would never hurt a friend on purpose.] Terra assured the jittery Vaporeon. [Not even after I evolve, whenever that may be. So if a mean old Ursaring were to crash through here and try to hurt you, or a Beedrill swarm was chasing you, I'd do anything in my power to protect you!]
[Honest?] Mizuchi was skeptical.
Terra nodded, and offered the Berry again. [This Berry is a sign of my promise that I would never hurt you on purpose.]
[Well...] Mizuchi was silent for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of the Sandshrew's offer.
Finally, she decided the pros were worth the cons. [Okay--friends.] she sighed, and started nibbling at the Berry.
Brock and Wendy grinned at each other--was this really friendship, or merely a sign of tolerance? Whatever it was, it was better than the threatening spray Brock had received a few days before.
Mizuchi, meanwhile, smiled as she savored the Pecha Berry's sweet taste. [This is very good...]
[There's more of them in the forest--I can get you more, if you want.] Terra offered, pointing out some Pecha bushes in the forest.
[Please do!] Mizuchi replied.
"Just come right back here, and don't go too far into the forest." Brock called after Terra as she disappeared into the forest...
Terra made good time through the forest underbrush, and before long, arrived in the grove where the Pecha Berries--and a few other Berries--grew.
]I have to hurry--the sun's about to set, and Brock's probably gonna start the sing-along around the campfire without me if I take too long...
she thought as she quickly picked as many Berries as she could carry.
She did not, however, see the Beedrill hive nearby a Berry on a high branch--in her struggle to reach it, her claws left a small gash on the hive--angering the Beedrills inside!
[AUUUGGHHH!!!] Terra yelped when she heard the low buzzing behind her. She gathered what Berries she could and raced as fast as she could back to the camp, ever aware of the buzzing Beedrill swarm behind her.
In her rush to get away, Terra tripped on a rock overlooking a stream, falling into the water and sending most of her Berries flying over to the other bank! [Help me!] she called as she splashed about--being a Ground type, she had no idea how to swim across and retrieve her Berries, much less swim in rushing water!
The Beedrills presumed the Sandshew flailing about in the stream a lost cause, and started heading back to their hive. [I didn't mean to damage your hive, honest!] Terra called after them as she gripped the edge of the riverbank in an attempt to resist the rushing water.
Minutes dragged by like hours, until Terra heard a splash that almost caused her to let go of the bank. [You can let go of the bank.] a familiar voice assured her a few moments later. [I'll take you across.]
Terra gasped when she saw who was ferrying her across the stream--Mizuchi! [Mizuchi? D-did you just...save my life?]
[How could I not save you? Friends help each other when one is in trouble, no matter what.] Mizuchi smiled. [I may be skittish around Sandshrews, but it'd be heartless just to leave you there alone--Arceus knows how Brock would react if he lost you.]
[T-thank you...] Terra stammered as Mizuchi let her off on the other side and gathered up her remaining Berries.
[Anytime.] Mizuchi replied. [Come on, let's get back to camp!]
TO BE CONTINUED....
The world will be saved by four heroes with a song in their hearts....
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