Ripples formed on the surface of the water as the Magikarp went to work playfully nibbling the air above it. Umbra leaned over the edge of the minuscule lake, her mouth agape as she stared in wonderment at the little fish. It was odd for Solomon, the whole world seemed new again when watching Umbra react to it. Every little thing garnered a reaction, no matter how small it may seem to him. She wasn’t unlike a baby in that way, often dashing off without his notice, only to come back with some new “discovery” of hers. He humored her of course, often pretending to have interest in whatever it was that second. It didn’t much bother him, sometimes the little treasures she brought back had some use. The occasional berry or what have you.
Umbra reached out with one of her tiny, two clawed hands towards the Magikarp. The fish didn’t seem to pay her the slightest bit of attention as she extended herself precariously over the water. Solomon knew exactly how this was going to end; a wet Sneasel. He didn’t intervene, you learn by the consequences of your actions. One quick swipe of her palm and Solomon’s prediction came true. With an unceremonious splash, she fell head first into the water. The Magikarp that once held her rapt attention, scooted safely away as she doggy paddled just to stay afloat. Umbra let out a devious and cheery laugh as she climbed her way back up the embankment. She was soaked, the water cascading off her body and further drenching the marshy ground below.
“Happy now?” Solomon asked her with a self-knowing smirk on his face. Umbra only looked up and beamed him a radiant little smile before nodding. “I’m afraid we would need a fishing pole to have any hopes of catching such a Pokemon. You aren’t exactly the greatest swimmer.” Umbra took to resenting that comment and seemed to give off an indignant little pout. “Anyway, we really need to keep going. It shouldn’t be much farther now. You’ll dry while we walk.”
The dense trees and luscious grass provided nice cover for the wild Pokemon of this route. So far, they had only encountered a Caterpie and a few Weedles. All things considered, he was pretty fortunate not to have Umbra be poisoned yet. In the portable games, their dreaded poison sting never failed to inflict his Pokemon with its insidious toxin. Hopefully they would find this Mr. Pokemon and his cottage soon enough. The route was massive in comparison to its former incarnation. What used to take seconds to traverse, now took a much greater portion of time.
“Snea, Sneasel!” Umbra shouted, her lithe figure jumping up and down excitedly, faint remnants of water still flying off her body. She pointed at something in the distance, it was hard to see exactly what she was trying to tell him. It seemed like a tree, no different than any of the others in the area. He was just about to tell her to calm down and move on before he spotted what she was so excited about. A little Hoothoot lay nestled on a branch within the safe confines of the tree’s reach. Its eyes were closed, only the black rings around them were visible as it snored the day away. Another perfect chance to get some more experience, just like the Pidgey on route 29.
“Ok, Umbra. Let’s keep this short and sweet, we have a quest to finish after all.” Solomon and Umbra approached the tree, stopping but a few meters away. “Let’s take it by surprise,” he leaned down and whispered into Umbra’s ear. “Faint attack, now.” Umbra seemed to disappear into darkness, almost as if she began to melt into the scenery that surrounded them. She appeared right near the Hoothoot, and hit it squarely between the eyes. The bird fell from its perch, hitting the ground below it with a sickening thud. Faint attack wasn’t an overly powerful attack, that was for sure. But its strength came through its accuracy. It never failed to make an impression. This battle would be over before you know it.
Hoothoot jumped to its feet, large red eyes glaring at its assailant and her human. “Okay Umbra, let’s finish this. Icy Wind.” The same gale from route 29 gathered itself, even Solomon felt the chill as his digital skin reacted with goosebumps. Umbra sent the wind rushing toward her opponent, only for the Hoothoot to go flying and dodge the attack with surprising agility. “Huh... Seems the little bird has some fight in him. Umbra, again.” Another wind built, only for the same result to happen. The Hoothoot simply dodged and circled Umbra, almost as if he was taunting her. It swooped in quickly, its beak glowing as it crashed into the Sneasel and began to peck like mad. Umbra tried in vain to wave off the pecking ball of feathers, her health falling little by little. “Come on, shake it off,” Solomon called out to her, trying to shake some sense into his Pokemon. “Quick attack.” Umbra launched at her attacker, connecting but not knocking it out. It only seemed to further infuriate the owl as it hovered above her and began to inhale deeply, its body seemed to swell with air. It opened its beak and Solomon doubled over as he covered his ears. An eardrum shattering cacophony was let loose, nailing Umbra and sending her to her knees.
Solomon recognized the attack, Uproar. Once started, this Hoothoot wouldn’t be able to stop itself for a little bit. He had to do something. At this stage in the game, Uproar could be incredibly powerful, even knocking out Umbra and causing him to white out. Not a horrible consequence in a normal game, but here, it was game over...forever. He reached into his bag and pulled out a pokeball. Before this fight started, he had no intention of catching this Hoothoot. Due to necessity, it looks like he would need to however. “Umbra, faint attack.” It took a second for Umbra to recover from the attack, but she responded dutifully as she was trained to do. Again the attack connected, but the Hoothoot remained living. The second wave of sound had to be coming soon. Umbra probably wouldn’t survive such a strong attack a second time, not at her current level at least. He threw the pokeball with all his might, the little ball growing as it sailed through the air and made contact with the owl. Hoothoot disappeared into a beam of light, only to make the pokeball shake ferociously in its attempt to escape. Solomon hoped he had weakened it enough, or they could be in serious trouble. Finally, the shaking stopped. The little menace was caught, securely locked away.
“You okay, Umbra?” She simply nodded her head and walked over to grab the now full pokeball. Handing it to her owner, she sat down with a sigh and rested while Solomon looked on with curiosity. “Good fight, little bird. I guess you’re part of the team for now,” he grumbled, his voice directed at the pokeball. “You’re either very scrappy or very lucky. Maybe both.” He stuck the pokeball next to Umbra’s inside his coat, clipping it securely in place. “I guess we’ll find out.”