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[PKMN OPEN] Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

Turnip

Magnificent Turnip
  • 693
    Posts
    12
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Compound Eyes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Anorith ♂ Dig | Water Gun | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor Swift Swim

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Luxury Ball
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Bug Net
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Wishing Star
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    A TON of cinnamon buns
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Spewpa Plushie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fanart of Simon
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heracross Knight Comics
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Piers & Marnie Album
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mew Book
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Badges: 6
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Grass badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Water badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fire badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ghost badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Psychic badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Rock badge
    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Xan
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Kass
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Jerry ♂
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Sphinx ♀
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chaperone ♂
    Circhester Except I'M POSTING IT So The Title Is Simon Delays Lunch And Aspires To Becoming A Menace PART THE FIRST

    Featuring HAHA FOXRALLY I STOLE YOUR CSS


    It was still pretty early in the afternoon and Simon and Xan had decided to meet up in a secluded part of Circhester, closer to the wilderness than the city. There weren't any league matches happening that day so the streets weren't busy regardless, which meant the two challengers had managed to sneak past without attracting any unwanted attention from fans (something which Simon found out Xan really didn't like). The encounter was not unlike the first time the two had met, where Simon initially spotted Jerry and used him as a discreet guide to lead him to Xan. A brief conversation with the psyduck revealed the Pokemon was indeed Xan's and not a random wild one - and as still as pleasantly confusing to talk to as before.

    After he'd reached Xan, the two had released their teams and plopped themselves down in a non-snowy part of the ground (thanks Jerry) sheltered by a large tree. Simon and the bugs were thrilled to see Kass again, and after a quick catch-up the Pokemon all left to happily play in the snow, giving their trainers some breathing room to talk. "Thanks for showing up on such short notice, by the way." Simon told Xan, "I thought you'd skipped town already."

    "Didn't know you were paying attention," the psychic shrugged, diving into the backpack at their side to retrieve a laptop. "Or I guess you weren't because I haven't, but- whatever. It's been complicated but things lined up and I could, uh… facilitate things, I guess."

    "Well, I was in need of a psychic and you're sort of the only one I've met, heh." Simon smiled sheepishly. "Besides Avery, I guess. That battle and the post-game show were awesome, by the way!"

    Xan's quiet but curt 'hm' and subsequent silence was a deflating but expected response. Judging by the stare he could barely see from behind the visor, Siimon had a feeling they wanted to get to business.

    "Okay, so… you remember how you asked me to take note of any 'psychoactivity' in my team for the future? And also to see if my own ability develops further? There's been, uh, developments." Simon began. "I found out who I inherited it from - my mom. She was a ranger, and she was able to talk to wild Pokemon the same way I do, alongside her partner Pokemon."

    He glanced at the Heracross, who was sitting beside them. "That partner was Ross. And when I was in Ballonlea, when he was trying to tell me something, there was a moment where I felt… some sort of link to him. Not just the normal way I understand mons, but something even deeper- I could feel emotions, as if… I was Ross in that moment…?" he struggled to explain. "It's as if I had read his mind rather than his explicit thoughts."

    "... Interesting," murmured Xan. Keyboard clattering continued incessantly, fingers and force darting across the laptop's surface in tandem.

    "And then, yesterday, during our battle, I felt something again. I heard Ross' voice in my mind, responding to my thoughts. I don't know how, but… for a short while, I was able to speak to him with my mind. The same way you do with your team."

    He sighed, "It didn't last long, but then it happened again at night - this time from Ross' Pokeball. I was having some terrible dream I couldn't wake up from, and he somehow sensed it - and spoke back to me." Simon added. Ross placed his hand on Simon's shoulder, buzzing out a word of reassurance.

    Another few seconds and the typing ceased sharply. The researcher's head angled up at Simon. "Any change with anyone besides Ross?"

    Simon looked at his team. "Um… not really. Mothim learned Confusion a while back, if that counts."

    Clacking resumed. "I'll make a note of that - pretty commonplace for Mothim as I recall, but interesting nonetheless. As for the supposed mind-speak, I should clarify; have you noticed any changes in your ability to communicate with other creatures, outside of the changes you have noticed with Ross specifically?"

    "No, not really." In the distance, he heard the faint sound of Snom boasting about her achievements to Kass.

    "Hmm, 'kay… Difficult to parse this when there could be several factors contributing. Don't have them in isolation. I'll think about how we can squeeze some more clarity out of this. If you have any questions or more information in the meantime, feel free."

    Simon crossed his arms, he was a little disappointed the psychic didn't have an exact explanation for the phenomenon, but he'd learned there rarely was exactitude in this kind of science. He thought about it for a second, then spoke up, "I know it might be a stretch… but do you think I could learn to do it with the rest of my team? Or at least, do it with Ross more consistently?"

    "Short answer: yes, I do think so," Xan paused. "That doesn't mean I already know how or that I expect it to be easy, just that… well, this field is one in which… well, I don't want to say there aren't hard limits, because there certainly appear to be, but I've come across many apparent limits that are softer than they appear. That probably isn't the clearest explanation - I don't know, whatever. I think it's worth a shot." The slightly deeper thrum of the Enter key rang out twice in quick succession. "Best way to figure out where we have to go is to find out where we are, first. Your more general ability - is it something that works with just Pokémon? All Pokémon? All the time? Give me an overview."

    "Yep, I can understand any Pokemon usually, as long as they're trying to actually communicate - so it's not really thought-reading. A bit like Kass' mind-image communicating, but more… direct? If that makes sense?"

    "Trying to communicate specifically with you or just in general?"

    Simon glanced in the direction of the teams. "Snom is currently challenging your Pawniard to a battle, and… Shedinja is stressing Jerry out."

    "Right, in general then. As for it being more 'direct'," Xan looked up from the keyboard again. "That doesn't make sense to me, hard to get more direct than psychotelepathy. If anything, being able to sense communication not meant for you makes it less direct - can you go into more detail?"

    Simon paused for a sec. "There's not much more to it, I think the idea is that if the Pokémon is 'intending' to communicate the thought I can catch it? Maybe that's what mons themselves do. I don't think all Pokémon actually speak the same 'language'… right?" He looked to Ross for confirmation, but the bug simply shrugged.

    "Okay, let's stay on topic," The researcher tapped twice on the side of their laptop to make a noise. "Like Kass' telepathy but more 'direct'. Let's focus on that."

    "Kass' way of communicating with us is through mental images that convey meaning, right? Then it's up to us to figure out what they mean, sort of like a puzzle. When I hear a Pokemon, I don't need to decipher anything- I just get the intention directly." Simon responded. Come to think of it, he thought, perhaps it was why he was better with mons than people.

    "Right, that makes more sense. There's a language barrier of sorts. Psychotelepathy bypasses it. Whatever you're doing solves it. For the record, Kass' psychotelepathy, like mine, deals with experiences and feelings, it struggles with language." More staccato typing. "Ever tried this language-barrier solution with humans? People speaking another language?"

    Simon raised his eyebrows. "Nope, never." He'd be lying if the idea didn't excite him though.

    "If you're comfortable, I can oblige some tests there. Compare and contrast with psychotelepathy, maybe steal Kass away to see the difference on that end, too. A reminder again: this is your perceptive talent, so you're the one who's going to be able to sense what's going on best of any of us. All I can do is use my experience to try to make sense of what you see within yourself."

    "Alright!" Simon responded, shaking his arms as if getting ready for some sort of physical trial. "Let's get experimenting."

    A joint post by Turnip and Foxrally
     

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Compound Eyes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Anorith ♂ Dig | Water Gun | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor Swift Swim

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Luxury Ball
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Bug Net
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Wishing Star
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    A TON of cinnamon buns
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Spewpa Plushie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fanart of Simon
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heracross Knight Comics
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Piers & Marnie Album
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mew Book
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Badges: 6
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Grass badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Water badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fire badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ghost badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Psychic badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Rock badge
    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Xan
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Kass
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Jerry ♂
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Sphinx ♀
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chaperone ♂
    Circhester

    "Are we doing the helmet again?"

    Xan's head tilted. "Didn't get yourself a focus?"

    "Oh. Uhh, I didn't realize there was homework." Simon smiled sheepishly.

    "The fu-?" They recoiled and shook their head. "Not homework, you don't have to, just- if you want one, go and get yourself one." A pause. "Unless you were hoping for no helmet in which case, sure, you never had to in the first place. I - none of these are compulsory assignments. It's not school - stop making me school, I don't want to be school."

    "Okay, okay," Simon tapped his chin and tried to recall what Xan said about psychic foci when they first met. "Something I have on me regularly…" he mused. "Oh!" He reached behind his back and grabbed his big net, extending it to its full length. "I'll use this for now. Doesn't have the fancy stuff you use, but it's some sort of focus item."

    "I-" They raised a hand for a moment, then let it drop. "That's what I said you should use if you wanted an object to practise on. I guess it's still the- okay," A couple of clips around their boots released themselves at the whims of barely visible force. Some blocky things with straps attached flew up toward Xan's outstretched hand, then out, offered to Simon. "Pop these on there or something if you want to borrow something, I guess - fuck knows I'm not risking my nose to this cold - and if you want to have one for your own, I was just saying…" A pause, a shrug. "You know. You want specific metals, crystal, incense for that. You're an adult, right? Go online and buy some, sort yourself out something that fits you. I've seen your battles; you can probably afford it - if you're not rolling in it I'd see a financial advisor or something."

    Simon completely ignored the second half of what Xan said as he excitedly grabbed the chunks of metal and held them up before strapping one of them to his wrist. He took the other and attached it to his net. He could already feel something different happening in his mind, similar to the sixth sense feeling he had with Xan's helmet. "Hey Ross, how do I look?" he asked, posing with the blocky metal on his arm like a misshapen bracelet.

    The bug buzzed back that Simon didn't look any different. Sure enough though, as he 'spoke', Simon felt an energy coming from himself and the Heracross. It wasn't unlike the psychic link he'd felt during their battle. Keyboard clacking resumed with greater fervour, then faded into the background.

    Simon closed his eyes and focused his mind the same way he had during his battle against Gordie, tentatively sending a 'message' for Ross to clap his hands. Ross looked at him for a moment… then gave his hands a little clap.

    "Whoa, it worked!" Simon exclaimed, thrilled. He tried again, this time going with something more complex. It took a second, but sure enough, the Heracross was now juggling several rocks in the air, knocking them aside with Megahorn one by one.

    "This might not be the most scientific of avenues," Xan laughed through their nose. "I'm not enough of a monster to stop you having your fun - if you could, though, narrating your process would be helpful."

    "It's hard to put into words, but I basically just… focus on the thought really hard, as if I'm screaming it in my mind."

    "Okay," Xan recoiled a little with a chuckle. "Maybe don't scream too hard. But yes, keep talking; insight into what I'm observing is very valuable."

    "Oh, oh, lemme do that thing Kass did!" Simon interjected excitedly. He conjured up an arithmetic question this time, two times three, just like Kass had done the first time they'd met. Ross looked down at his claws in confusion and raised up a five - wrong answer, but the fact he understood the question was more than enough. He tossed another one, this time in Xan's direction, a whopping ten times six.

    "I- sixty, six-zero." The researcher raised their head at Simon again, slower than they had previously. "Got a grasp of that pretty quick. Have you-? No, that wasn't the same at all. What the- what did you just do?"

    "The same thing I described earlier. I've been calling it a psychic 'link', since that's what it felt like with Ross the first time. It felt way more vivid than Kass' telepathy or how I normally understood Pokémon, it was like I could sense his feelings too. Helps that I did it a couple of times during my battle with Gordie." The bug catcher puffed his chest a little.

    Xan said, "... Right," and subsequently sent the laptop's rapid clacking into overdrive once more.

    As Simon progressively got more excited, the bugs seemed to gain an interest in what was going on. Larvesta flew over to Simon and asked where he'd got his cool new bracelet. "It's my new 'held item'." he boasted. "Neat little thing lets me do stuff like this-"

    He conjured up a mental 'hello' to the firebug, expecting a wowed response. Instead, the bug simply blinked back. Simon focused again, but again, nothing. He couldn't feel the same 'link' he did with Ross. Larvesta squeaked and tilted his head.

    "Looks like it doesn't work with anyone else…" Simon looked at Xan dejectedly.

    The more experienced psychic didn't seem as disappointed. They looked at him with an amused tilt of the head. "Did you just say that was a held item?"

    "Works the same way, no?" Simon shrugged. Larvesta held up own red crystal helpfully.

    Xan exhaled sharply through their nose. "So long as using specific competitive battling terms for the general and mundane doesn't get confusing. Just checking, and here's another reminder to talk through your process - what was it you tried that didn't work?"

    "I tried to send a 'hello', like I did with you, but it didn't… connect? I didn't feel the same energy I did with Ross."

    "Hm, okay, good. Checks out."

    As the researcher returned to typing, Simon caught the sound of rustled grass and energised movement at his back. Gracefully and with a performative somersault Kass the Kadabra bounded over, a curious Mime Jr. trotting up behind them. The jolly spoon-wielder had apparently noticed the increase in psychic activity over here and was keen to offer help.

    "Oh yeah, if you- thanks, Kass. Kass can- actually you're, uh," Xan turned from the Kadabra to address Simon. "The whole reason you're here means that Kass can explain it to you without trouble, huh? I should probably re-clarify some of these notes, so you two go ahead."

    Kass took over the explanation. Psychic Terrain! Kass had learned a new technique from a TM a while back after their Gym Battle at Ballonlea. By drawing on and attuning to the residual psychic energy of the surroundings themselves, they could create an environment that could naturally stimulate the psychic focus of all beings in contact with the ground. So long as Simon was ready and willing, prepared for the potential of new sensory experiences, the Kadabra could go right ahead!

    "Oh, you bet!" Simon nodded eagerly. In response, the Kadabra waved one hand and stretched their arms out, conjuring a pale pink field which rapidly expanded to the area around them. The snow and blades of frozen grass seemed to move in synchronous yet random patterns, just like he'd seen the mist do in the battle against Avery.

    "Whoa." Simon blinked. Maybe it was the thrum of recent psychic effort, but as soon as Kass had unleashed the move, everything around him felt much clearer. He could even hear the other mons' distant conversation better, almost like the volume had been turned up on them.

    "Feel free to settle in, get accustomed to it," Xan eased. "I'm guessing from your reaction that you, er… noticed. Go ahead when you're ready, just take me through your process."

    "Okay, same as earlier. Here goes…" Simon faced Larvesta again and tried another 'Hello'. This time it was the bug who jumped in surprise, realizing Simon had just spoken to him… without opening his mouth! The juvenile Pokemon waved his arms happily and squeaked the greeting back.

    "It worked!" he beamed. "This is so cool." Simon said, looking back at Xan, "Can you imagine if I could communicate with the whole team like this? We'd be like… a hivemind!"

    "Not really, I don't think," the researcher gave a half-shrug, typing. "It's just silent communication, doesn't change the way you guys think - nor indeed the concept of your individuality…" They paused, and a moment later they faced Simon. "...Or is it just relevant because you want to go for the bug theme?"

    The latter grinned eagerly and nodded.

    "Then fine. It's a hive mind. Sure." They returned to their keyboard. "Go nuts. Congratulations."

    "Yeah, hive buddies!" Simon gave Larvesta a two-finger high five. He suddenly felt a clear message come from Ross - realizing the psychic terrain must have empowered the bug's mind as well - and thought he'd relay it to Xan. "Actually… is there any way to train the rest of the team to perceive my messages without the terrain?"

    "I… potentially? Hard for me to say. I've never observed this method of psychotelepathic communication before today," Xan shrugged. "The method I've always used and seen is purely outgoing; all effort required is only the burden of the creature sending the message. What I'm seeing instead is… well, it's complicated. I'm still trying to parse it properly. There seem to be a few component parts to it. Would that I had the facilities to properly examine and document discoveries like these - I'm noting a couple of different parts on your side, different disciplines, same pseudo-translation deal working in tandem. Some other component listener-side, some kind of tether or throughline established in the go-between…"

    They took a deep breath before continuing. "If you want them to respond through the link it's probably going to require some training. If it's possible with a single boost, even one as potent as Psychic Terrain, it shouldn't be outside the realm of possibility with just a little bit of practice and effort - full disclosure, that's just a hypothesis." Another breath. "If you just want to communicate without speaking, and you don't mind them just speaking normally and you translating, we can just focus on you and try to teach you the method we know."

    "Whichever makes for the cooler battles." Simon grinned.

    "I… would advise against using telepathy to hide your commands in battle, if that's what you're talking about. Well, not in general - just in the league. I don't think there's a rule against it but you probably don't want to be the reason they make one."

    Simon rolled his eyes, "I'll find some other way to make it cool."

    "I don't really know what you're looking for in cooler battles from an explicitly nonvisual phenomenon, but teaching one promising psychic - that's you - will definitely be a quicker, easier time than teaching five, six- however many Pokémon you have. Considering your existing aptitude at something along similar lines, it might even be- oh, there's a thought I almost forgot." Xan paused, their trackpad clicked. "Comprenez-vous ce que je dis?"

    "You what?"

    "... Huh. Maybe I need to be a native or something - that, or translate is garbage. Well, okay then, ready to try telepathy? I can try to give a- actually, Kass is probably better at that. Going to give you a telepathic representation of how it's done, so long as you're comfortable with that."

    Kass gave a double thumbs up, looking expectantly at Simon. The Kadabra leaned down into a crouch, like an athlete ready at the starting line.

    "And when you're ready to give it a go," Xan continued. "Try to start a nonverbal conversation. With the new technique, ideally. Don't worry, I should be able to tell if you slip into the other one."

    The pair went at it for a while, under the watchful supervision of the more experienced psychic. Simon would tend to slip into his already-known method, but after a few tries, he got the hang of sending messages the 'proper' way, though it felt a lot less natural to him. After some time, possibly as a result of catching a wayward thought-message, Simon felt a message from the Mime Jr. beside them.

    "Hm? Oh, them?" he motioned towards Xan and Kass. "Pleasure's all mine- hm, I see- heh, nice." He looked at Xan. "Lil' man has something to tell your team."

    "The-? Huh. I was wondering why they hadn't got bored and wandered off yet - good on you for being patient. Would you mind translating, Simon? Probably does wonders for-" they paused to laugh, the Kadabra nearby displaying a highly exaggerated pout. "Shut the fuck up Kass- Yeah, uh, Simon, I need you to translate for me and you're permanently replacing Kass in every available position, if that's all right."

    Kass perished. Simon gave him a comforting pat on the shoulder, telepathically whispering that he could never handle working under Xan so their job was safe.

    As the Pokémon spoke, Simon repeated it back to Xan. The Mime Jr., as it turned out, was looking for something new. He was a performer of sorts, going by the name of Mimbo J. Very well known around these parts. But he was getting on in years, and it was time to see something new - a whole bunch of new things - in the grand adventurous expanse of retirement. He and the other three Pokémon in Xan's crew had got along well enough, so here he was to… formally announce his application?

    "I think it means he wants to join your team." Simon concluded.

    "Well… that seems pretty orderly," said Xan, leaning back a little. "You're aware of our role in researching psychic phenomena? My role in examination, assistance and consultation? Your access to shelter and catering - that being as ample as I can manage? Non-mandatory but encouraged battle participation?" The questions kept coming, each being met with a confident nod from the little mime Pokémon and a notable keypress from the researcher. "The use of a ball and the reservation of my right to use it in the interest of safety? Acknowledgement that injury is likely and that I am not to be held liable for damages outside of my direct control? That you may exit the agreement at any time, either immediately or with delay in a place of your choosing within reason?" A final nod, a final keypress.

    Simon and Kass looked at each other as the pair chatted. The trainer had never heard of a Pokémon signing a waiver before getting caught, and even though Kass was used to it, it didn't stop the pair from quietly snickering about the businesslike interaction happening in front of them.

    "Seems in order, then, seeing as there's apparently no objection. What are you working with, here?" Xan asked. Mimbo J wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. He gave the bug-trainer and the Kadabra a wry grin and a wiggle of the eyebrows - Simon heard him mention something about the crazy job market these days. Xan, meanwhile, had since retrieved their Pokédex from the bag behind them.

    "Right… so there's Calm Mind," - good mental preparation helps calm the pre-performance jitters. "Safeguard," - and of course it's not just you you have to worry about, the whole crew is important and they deserve being looked out for! "Mimic," - that's the act! To nobody's surprise, the Mime Pokémon did mime things. "Hypnosis," - absorb the crowd in the act, get them hanging on your every action! "Iron Defense…?" - and if the crowd aren't so keen on that, a good healthy stance helps weather the mid-performance barrage of thrown berries. No performer worth their salt hasn't had to take a tamato or two. "Aaand Baton Pass…" - and when such a thing happens, it's important to know how to make a stylish exit!

    "... Well," Xan said eventually. "Solo battles are probably out of the question, but I'm sure we can talk more on strategy later."

    So… Mimbo J was on board? The Pokémon looked at Simon and Xan, glancing at their Pokeballs expectantly.

    "Uh, yes. Sorry if that wasn't clear. We can go over fine details later - sorry about that, Simon."

    "You gotta make it official, mate!" Simon exclaimed. "Here-" he pulled out the last Pokeball in his bag, the luxury ball he'd received back in Hammerlocke. "As thanks for helping me with all of this psychic stuff."

    "The research is plenty payment enough," Xan waved a hand, catching the ball in a telekinetic grasp. They floated it in Mimbo's direction, an invitation. "Though with some recent happenings in mind, I'll gladly take a free ball with no strings attached."

    A press of the luxury ball's button and Mimbo J's new adventure began.

    "Now!" Simon clapped his hands. "I say we all get us some lunch!" He called out, and through either psychic or non-psychic means, all of the two trainers' Pokemon immediately took notice and swarmed around the pair.

    "About fucking time, I'm starving," said Xan. "Excuse my Kalosian."

    The bug catcher hopped to his feet and took off, "And I'm gonna order it from the cashier telepathically!"

    "I-" Xan faltered, tone sprinkled with amusement behind a curtain of suffering. "You really don't have to freak out strangers with your newfound powers… much less the long-suffering employees of the public service industry."

    A joint post by Turnip and Foxrally
     

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    .
    STAGE 19 - ROUTE 9

    Spoiler:

    As trainers descend from the sheltered peaks of Circhester and begin feeling the welcome warmth of the springtime sun, the next step in their journey is none other than Route 9. This stretch of ocean and sand connects directly to the river on Route 8, the warm land near Spikemuth, and the cold waters of Circhester bay. These conflicting temperatures coupled with a surprising early heatwave have resulted in the area becoming a tourist hotspot for swimmers and sightseers, and it's not rare to find sunbathers gathering in the sparse sandbanks littering the waters.

    While there's no harm in a little beach fun, the trainers of Wedgehurst academy still have one common goal in mind: reach Spikemuth and continue their gym challenge.

    Note:
    For this route, you will need a means of transportation through the water! This can be in the form of a water vehicle like a boat or rotom bike (purchasable at Circhester Bay), or by riding a Pokemon. The Drednaw Ferry service is available free of charge to league challengers, but you may also use your own Pokemon.


    WILD POKÉMON AVAILABLE THIS STAGE
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
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    Pokémon Available to those on Mission 1:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon Available to those on Mission 2:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon Available to those on Mission 3:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon Available to those on Mission 4:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]



    .
    MISSIONS:


    [OPEN][CATCH CHANCE] Mission 1:
    As a result of spring's early arrival and a subsequent heat wave, many of the ice sheets around Circhester's waters have begun to melt. These environments usually serve as habitats for ice-types, several of which have now found themselves fighting for reduced territory. This in turn has led to more aggressive Pokemon popping up around route 9, and rangers are warning trainers to be cautious.
    Reward: Snowball x 10

    [CATCH CHANCE] Mission 2:
    A swimmer informs you that she's spotted a slowpoke floating around the nearby beach, and is worried for the Pokemon's safety. She wishes she could do something, but without her Pokemon, only you can help! …wait, how come this one can swim?
    Reward: King's Rock or Rocky Helmet

    [CATCH CHANCE] Mission 3:
    It is a little-known fact that despite being bipedal mammals, the Oshawott line rarely ventures on land and spends most of their life in the ocean. Strangely, however, this one seems terrified to go back in the water, and has found itself stranded on a rock… surrounded by water.
    Reward: Shell Bell

    [MULTI][CATCH CHANCE] Mission 4:
    The Galar Fossil Research Lab's Circhester location has been conducting tests on recently-revived water types and examining their rehabilitation in the wild - namely, a Tirtouga and an Omanyte. With the tests complete, are looking to rehome these Pokemon with the hopes that trainer ownership may prove healthier for the Pokemon in the long term.
    Reward: Move Tutor: Ancient Power

    [OPEN] Mission 5:
    The Poke-job Drednaw ferry, a popular way to travel down Route 9, is experiencing heavy delays due to being overworked by tourists coming for the beaches, and eager fans headed down to Spikemuth. Any help in lightening the load is appreciated, and the company is offering TR rewards for trainers.
    Reward: Any Status move TR

    [OPEN] Mission 6:
    With the advent of spring and tons of newly-exposed sand ripe for investigating, Dowsing-Machine treasure hunters have taken to the beaches of route 9. One company is even offering hourly rentals of the devices, for those who want to try their luck at scouring for valuables.
    Reward: Any Physical move TR (power 90 and below)

    [OPEN] Mission 7:
    With spring now here at last and the icy waterways unfrozen, it's time for the return of the Circhester Bay Circuit. What is that? A high speed water race where participants on waterskis are pulled along by one or two of their Pokemon. There's always an exciting prize waiting for first place.
    Reward: Any Special move TR (power 90 and below)

    Mission 8:
    The freshly available sand isn't just of interest to treasure hunters. Spring also brings out sand castle enthusiasts looking to practice their art. With so many sandcastle fans gathered, it's only natural some might get a bit extravagant.. A particularly invested individual is even offering a prize for the best sandcastle on display.
    Reward: Soft Sand or Hard Stone

     

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Compound Eyes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Anorith ♂ Dig | Water Gun | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor Swift Swim

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Bug Net
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Wishing Star
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    A TON of cinnamon buns
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Spewpa Plushie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fanart of Simon
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heracross Knight Comics
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Piers & Marnie Album
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mew Book
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Badges: 6
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Grass badge
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    Water badge
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    Fire badge
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    Ghost badge
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    Psychic badge
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    Rock badge
    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2


    Route 9

    After a long trek down the slopes of Circhester, Simon and his team were finally at the foot of the mountain that the city sat on. The large stretch of water which loosely 'connected' the path to Spikemuth down south was known as Route 9, and though Simon had never visited, he'd always dreamed of seeing it one day. He could tell they were getting close by the distinct lack of snow-capped pine trees, many of which were giving way to more temperate and even some exotic trees, and the distinct smell of ocean water filling the air. The recent heatwave blowing through the area made the temperature difference pretty jarring as well, and the trainer found himself shedding his coat once more to avoid cooking under the sweltering sun.

    The bugs were definitely enjoying the warmer weather, buzzing around him as he traveled, making Simon look like a living, moving hive of bug-types (save for Snom, who complained about winter ending early). At this point, the only ones that regularly stayed in his pockets were Snom and Princess, since the others had all taken to flying around, with wings or otherwise. Not that it lightened his load in any way, though, as the bugs did not hesitate to use him as a convenient perch whenever they got tired of playing. Ross grumbled again about Simon being too soft.

    "Hey, while you tinies are buzzing up a storm, could you fly up and check how long the line for the ferry is? Map says we should be at Circhester bay any time now." Simon motioned upwards to Vivillon and Mothim.

    Since he had no ride Pokemon of his own, the plan was the take the Drednaw ferry down the route, stop halfway at some point to get a little training in, then catch the next one and continue ahead. He'd thought about getting a rotom-bike for the occasion (something which could be repurposed to make his whole on-foot travelling thing lot smoother), but immediately reconsidered once he saw the prices in comparison to his rather empty wallet. He was just happy the ferry was free for challengers.

    A few moments later, he felt a telepathic message from Mothim. The bug had picked up Xan's practice quite easily, likely due to his existing psychic-type ability, and didn't even need a psychic focus for it. Unfortunately, the message itself would toss a wrench into Simon's plans: the ferry was closed.

    "What?" Simon exclaimed as the two flew back down, "It's a Pokemon! How is it closed?"

    Mothim and Vivillon looked at each other and shrugged. The latter squeaked something about team yell fans and the ferry getting overworked.

    Simon sighed. "I guess we'll figure something out when we get there…"

    A little while later, the crew had arrived at Circhester bay, and could finally see the big blue expanse that was route 9. The ocean view was dotted with little sandbanks and boulders in the distance, creating a path-like shape which had evidently earned the place its 'route' title. Beachgoers and tourists were also scattered along the sand, many of them dressed in Spikemuth stadium jerseys. Simon tried his best to remain inconspicuous (a hard task with the gang of bugs swirling around him) and made his way to the ferry spot. He found several individuals waiting there, some of them arguing with a flustered Poke-Job employee.

    "I-I'm sorry, but due to risk of exhaustion, company regulation says we can only safely ride a Drednaw five times per hour!" the young woman stammered, reading off of an oversized employee booklet.

    "Exhaustion my arse! We paid good money for this service!" one angry client replied.

    "Think of the children!" Another woman screamed, clutching a confused, portly child.

    Meanwhile the Drednaw in the water beside them snoozed calmly, bubbling the water as it snored.

    Simon looked at the queue, did the math in his head, and sighed. "We'll be waiting for hours if we stay here." he said to the bugs dejectedly. "Might as well go somewhere comfortable until the crowds die down."

    The Pokémon agreed, and Simon headed to a more secluded part of the beach, miraculously avoiding recognition on the way. Once they were settled, he dumped his bag on the sand and quickly changed into a more beach-appropriate outfit, namely a pair of swim trunks and flip-flops that hadn't seen the light of day since Hulbury, and a snazzy straw hat (courtesy of his father).

    "Now who's up for a swim? I'm melting out here!" he beamed at the bugs.

    He was met with mostly unenthusiastic squeaks and a worried chirp from Larvesta.

    "Ah. Right. Bugs." he noted. "Not a big fan of going underwater."

    One member of the team perked up immediately in response, however. As soon as he mentioned the word 'underwater', Anorith's head popped out of Simon's bag. He figured it was one of the many strange 'trigger words' Victor had programmed the former fossil with, being part of a fish-themed kids show and all. "Woo! Hop on then, lad!" he cheered.

    Anorith scrambled out, clambered onto Simon, and the pair ran up to shore. The sudden feeling of cold water was a great relief from the blazing heat. "Race you to that rock!" As Simon dove in headfirst, Anorith leaped off of his shoulder with Aqua Jet and made an even larger splash, gurgling happily. A school of startled Luvdisc scattered and swarmed through them as the trainer burst out of the water.

    "Whoa, how'd you pull off a big splash like that?" Simon asked, laughing. No response. "...Anorith?"

    The Pokémon's head popped out behind him with an inquisitive chirp. The head was a lot larger than he expected though, and so was the body swimming below. Simon stared back in shock. "Anorith, you've…"

    Anorith evolved!
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Armaldo ♂
    Swift Swim
    Dig | Brine | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor

    The bug tilted his head and growled in confusion once more.

    "You've evolved! You're an Armaldo now!" Simon exclaimed, beaming.

    The Pokémon paused. He took in Simon's words, and looked at his own claws. He looked back at Simon, utterly confused about who Armaldo was.

    "It's… it's you! You're Armaldo!"

    Armaldo paused again. '…what?' The growl sounded more worried now. What happened to Anorith?!

    "No, you're-" Simon quickly realized explaining would only make things worse. "It's alright, you're still Anorith."

    'Anorith' grinned - an action he could actually take with his new face - and shot off again with his Aqua Jet.

    "I seriously need to talk to Victor about him." Simon muttered to himself. He followed closely behind the Pokemon, wincing as Anorith narrowly avoided bowling over other swimmers with his Aqua Jet-skiing. Suddenly, he got an idea.

    Perhaps they didn't need the ferry after all.

     
    Last edited:

    Fen-Fen

    Me but more fabulous
  • 359
    Posts
    8
    Years
    Haleigh Windsor
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Corey (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Coraline (♀)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Cornelius (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Captain (♂)

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Dart (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Orion (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Cerise (♀)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Reyna (♀)


    Spoiler: Memories
    --- --- Wedgehurst ---
    #1 - Meeting Corey
    #2 - Caught Coraline
    #3 - Catching Up at the Station with Melody

    --- Wild Area ---
    #4 - Meet Achille
    #5 - Camping out with Corey and Coraline

    --- Motostoke ---
    #6 - The Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
    #7 - Opening Ceremony pt. 2 [MEGA JP]
    #8 - Opening Ceremony pt. 3 [MEGA JP]
    #9 - Record Store Chaos

    --- Route 3 ---
    #10 - Found Orion
    #11 - Smuggler takedown
    #12 - Visions at the factory printing press
    #13 - Breaking down in the woods

    --- Galar Mine 1 and Route 4
    #14 - VS Oleana w/Melody
    #15 - VS Rosa
    #16 - Cerise "battles" Orion, joins the team

    --- Turffield ---
    #17 - Turffield gym mission
    #18 - VS Milo
    #19 - Hanging out with the girls

    --- Route 5 ---
    #20 - Corey has a nightmare
    #21 - A "platonic" dinner w/Achille
    #22 - Haleigh turns eighteen
    #23 - Rescuing Squirtle and Piplup
    --- Hulbury ---
    #24 - VS Nessa
    #25 - Corey runs away
    #26- Haleigh gets help from Catherine
    #27 - Haleigh gets help from Achille
    #28 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 1
    #29 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 2
    #30 - Going for drinks with Rosa, Ruben and Pia
    --- Galar Mine No. 2 -----
    #31 - Encounter with Rory ft. Aeliana
    #32 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 1
    #33 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 2
    -----Motostoke (Revisit) -----
    #34 - VS Ian
    #35- VS Kabu
    #36 - Simon and Haleigh pump steel and have a heart to heart
    ---- Wild Area 2 ----
    #37- Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 1
    #38 - Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 2
    #39- Befriends Dart
    #40 - Psychic things with Xan
    #41 - Eiscue mission
    #42 - Camping out with Achille
    ------Hammerlocke------
    #43 - VS. Catherine
    #44 - VS. Raph
    #45 - Reflecting on the journey so far
    #46 - Hitting up Strugglecon w/Achille
    #47 - Achille VS. Roland
    #48 - Haleigh comforts Valerie
    ----- Route 6 -----
    #49 - Haleigh and Pia clear the air
    ---- Ballonlea ----
    #50 - Catching up on the journey
    ---- Route 7 ----
    #51 - Pokemon adventure squad
    —----- Circhester —------
    #52 - A late night blacksuit encounter
    #53- Catherine offers her help
    #54 - Catherine helps Haleigh break in


    Coming Home


    Despite a part of her having expected something to go wrong and to see signs of Catherine being in trouble or that either of them had been spotted, as far as Haleigh was concerned, the plan was going without a hitch. Even from the other side of the property, she could hear the cries of Catherine's Pokemon, the clanging of metal, blasts of water, and the screams of various grunts. Whatever was going on over there, it was certainly making a proper ruckus that had given Haleigh the opportunity to sneak past several grunts under the cover of pine trees — careful to stay in the cameras' blindspots as best as she could remember — as they rushed to respond to it.

    Haleigh found herself on the covered porch of the back of the house, standing just a meter away from the door. This part of the estate looked eerily similar to how she had left it five years ago, with the red brick open-air fireplace matching the rest of the house's walls, the chairs and tables surrounding it, and the ornate vine motifs on the green wooden door.

    Haleigh reached for the door and tried to turn the knob, finding that she could turn it but with the door not budging when she pulled it. Haleigh reached into her jacket and brought out Cornelius and Coraline's Poke Balls. They materialized and looked at their surroundings, their senses on high alert.

    "Alright," Haleigh said, keeping her voice low. "I'm going to need you, Coraline, to phase into this door 'ere and see if the coast is clear around the doorway. Make sure you aren't seen. And you, Cornelius, keep an eye out and make sure there isn't anyone coming 'round to get us."

    Coraline nodded and disappeared into the door, leaving Cornelius to guard Haleigh while she figured out the locks on the door. They appeared to be the same standard locks that were on it last time, though obviously she no longer had the key to easily unlock them. That wouldn't be much of a problem for Haleigh, however, being used to picking locks to sneak out and cause mischief.

    Haleigh took out two hairpins from her pocket and started bending one of them until it was completely straight. She put that hairpin in her mouth and bent the untapered end at an angle using her teeth. She took the other hairpin and bent it into an L. By the time she fashioned her picks, Coraline came back through the door and gave Haleigh a nod.

    "Let's get ourselves in there. You two cover me while I get the lock."

    Haleigh took the hairpins and started inserting them into the lock, wedging the L-shaped hairpin into the bottom of the keyhole and turning it slightly to the right. She took the straightened hairpin and with the angled bit pointed upwards, inserted it through the top of the keyhole and started working to move the pins in the lock.

    Despite her best efforts, she didn't succeed the first time. It took another two tries before she managed to turn it to the left, unlocking it. She opened the door and found herself in the rear foyer. As she walked through it, she was immediately struck by how different the interior was. None of the paintings her father had put up were there, and the walls were now an angry shade of crimson instead of tan.

    Haleigh whispered, "Cornelius, Coraline, go on ahead of me and see if you find anyone else skulking 'bout the place, or if there's anything else that catches your eye. I'll keep in contact through me and Cornelius' telepathy. I'm going to look for information on these blacksuits, and then I'm goin' to see if I can find Snom."

    The two Pokemon looked at each other, and then back at Haleigh with a hesitant look.

    "Don't worry about me," she assured them. "I'll get Corey and Reyna to stick by me in case anything goes south and you all are too far away." Haleigh reached into her jacket and took out Corey and Reyna's Poke Balls to summon them. They appeared and took positions to both of Haleigh's sides.

    Cornelius and Coraline nodded, taking off ahead of Haleigh. Thanks to her strong emotional connection to Cornelius, Haleigh could still clearly register his presence relative to her own as a small "ping" of energy even from a fairly long distance away. With Cornelius' telepathic connection with her acting as a mental radar, and Coraline being able to phase through walls and doors, reconnaissance of the place was made all the easier.

    She couldn't help but smirk a little at the ingenuity of the setup. Never underestimate the power of Pokemon.

    Thinking as she walked, Haleigh racked her brain for what places to check for anything vital that she might be able to get her hands on. There were so many different rooms in the house, but she wasn't going to have time to check every single one and still have time to find Snom; there was only so long Catherine could distract the blacksuits, after all. Of all the rooms that she could think of, there was one place that came to mind when Haleigh thought of where her mother might have set up an office or a lab: the library. It was one of the largest rooms in the house, and based on the abnormally high amount of security for what otherwise should have been just a residence, Haleigh guessed that there was some kind of operation that was taking place in the mansion itself.

    After walking into the main dining room with her two Pokemon in tow, she took a left to get into the eastern wing where the library was located. Before long, she was at the end of the eastern hallway, with the same solid mahogany doors and the two Arcanine statues flanking either side of them guarding the entrance. As she looked at them, Haleigh was unexpectedly struck with a memory from when she was a child. The library was one of the places in the house she had enjoyed as a young child going around the house to go on grand "adventures." One of her favorite things had been running around and pretending that the Arcanine statues were her own, a pair of twin brothers named Firey and Growley; she couldn't have been more than seven or eight.

    Haleigh let out a wistful sigh. There were good memories that she had had of this place. There were the more innocent memories of childhood such as the ones the statues reminded her of, untainted by the tumultuousness of her teenage years. There were the holidays, where Haleigh could see different parts of the world and not feel as crushed by the control her parents tried to exert over her. There were even times when her parents had shown genuine affection toward her. So why, then, did it have to all end up like this?

    A warm feeling, like the comforting flame of a bonfire, started to reel her back from the melancholy of memory lane. She smiled a bit, thanking Cornelius for helping to ground her. The Kirlia relayed a few messages about the two of them still being okay, not having encountered anyone else so far. Based on where she could sense him, it seemed that Cornelius was covering the western wing of the mansion, where the ballroom and the other social rooms were.

    Before Haleigh could take a look at the entrance to the library, a vibration from her pocket prompted her to reach into her pocket and pull out her phone. On it, a message from Catherine showed up on her lock screen.

    Consider them distracted. I'll meet you at the PokeCentre. Don't get yourself killed.

    Breathing a sigh of relief, Haleigh quickly typed out a reply thanking her. Turning her attention back to the entrance, Haleigh was about to reach into her pockets for her lockpicks when something had caught her eye. On the right side of the doorframe, there was a keypad that had never been there before. She peeked into the gap between the doors and noticed that there were rows of metal bars running down the length of it. Shit.

    Haleigh scratched her head and looked at the keypad. There was enough space for four numbers on the display. Four numbers, four numbers…

    She punched in her mother's birthday, 0707. The display turned red. Then, she tried her father's birthday, 0929. It turned red again. Her parents' anniversary date, 0505. Red.

    Haleigh shook her head and stared at the keypad. Maybe it wasn't dates after all. Or maybe it was some date that she couldn't possibly know about because she had been gone for five years. Or maybe…

    She leaned forward and typed in her birthday, 0219.

    Green.

    Haleigh could hear the locks undoing themselves as she stood there briefly in a mixture of relief and disbelief. Her birthday? She thought the witch would have pretended she never existed.

    She turned the handle and let herself inside. Instead of the elegantly old-fashioned interior of a library from a bygone era, Haleigh found herself in looking at a disparate mix of old and new, with rows of monitors mounted on the wall, an ornate mahogany desk in the back, an old fashioned sofa and coffee table, and an assortment of scientific equipment scattered across several modern workspaces.

    Unfortunately for Haleigh, she wasn't alone in the room. A lone woman sat at the mahogany desk. Unlike all of the other grunts, this woman was wearing a red suit. Her brown hair was styled in a wavy bob-cut that went down to her shoulders. That familiar air of detached superiority was as palpable as the cloying fumes of a sickeningly sweet perfume.

    Haleigh felt every muscle in her body tense up. She was the reason why the past had haunted her like a specter in the night. She was the one that had given her scars that dug deeper than any knife ever could. She was the one working with the evil people who threatened the creatures that Haleigh cherished and loved.

    Before she even realized what she was doing, Haleigh started stomping over to the desk. She could sense Reyna and Corey on either side of her, tensing themselves as Haleigh was and preparing for her to give a command for an attack.

    "Haleigh Kathryn Windsor, my little girl. It's been too long."

    That familiar voice, though calm and honeyed, stabbed Haleigh like icicles in her chest. She stopped five meters shy of the desk and found herself face to face with none other than her own mother, Vera Windsor. Vera planted her elbows on the desk and rested her chin on her hands, staring back at Haleigh seemingly unfazed.

    Haleigh scowled and glared daggers at the other woman, trembling from the unadulterated rage that burned within her. She growled, "You've no fuckin' right to call me your little girl, not after what you did to me!"

    Vera sighed and shook her head. "Temper, temper. I'm not here for bloodshed or violence. Please, sit down, make yourself at home."

    Haleigh stepped forward and shouted, "Give me one fuckin' reason why I shouldn't have Reyna and Corey blast you in the face!"

    "Because, Haleigh, we're adults, and we talk through our problems. What would you really accomplish by assaulting me with your Pokemon?" She let out a humorless chuckle. "Not everything is a Pokemon battle. You've made it quite clear you have business with me, and I've made it clear I have business with you, so I insist, please sit down."

    Reyna and Corey had spread themselves out defensively in front of Haleigh, glowering at the other woman. Haleigh could sense Cornelius dashing over from the other side of the mansion, presumably alerted by her distress. She could so easily direct Cornelius to get Coraline in on a surprise attack in case her mother had tricks up her sleeve to deal with them. But, as loath as Haleigh was to admit, her mother was right. She needed Snom.

    Haleigh clenched and unclenched her fists, continuing to glare at her mother for what felt like hours. Then, without taking her eyes off of Vera, Haleigh motioned for Corey and Reyna to stand down. She "told" Cornelius to do the same, and for him and Coraline to stand guard at the entranceway to the library. Reluctantly, Haleigh moved forward and sat herself down in front of her mother, with Corey and Reyna standing tensely beside Haleigh.

     
    Last edited:

    Songbird

    Tonight, the marigolds bloom for her.
  • 554
    Posts
    10
    Years
    • Seen Apr 11, 2024
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Tinted Lens
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    [float='Anorith' ♂
    Dig | Brine | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
    Swift Swim]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    [/float]

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Bug Net
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Wishing Star
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    A fair amount of cinnamon buns
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Spewpa Plushie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fanart of Simon
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heracross Knight Comics
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Piers & Marnie Album
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mew Book
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Badges: 6
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Grass badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Water badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fire badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ghost badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Psychic badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Rock badge
    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chloe Hayes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Froslass
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Luxio
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Alcremie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fake Trick Un Swagapino the Gentleman Thief
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Popplio
    Route 9 was a unique path, unlike any other. Entirely composed of ocean water, with no land in sight save for the few scattered sandbanks, though there was no shortage of beachgoers and sunbathers, as the heatwave seemingly brought every tourist on this side of Galar to its shores. Simon was riding his newly-evolved Anorith as they traveled down the route, using his newfound Aqua Jet-skiing technique to trailblaze between swimmers and obstacles alike. The Pokemon cut through the waves with ease, its armored shell glistening in the sun. Simon himself had stayed in his swim trunks for the journey, unable to resist the temptation of a spontaneous swim as the weather got warmer and warmer.

    The flying bugs had opted to stay in their balls, since saltwater was basically the worst thing one could do to a bug's wings (and Snom hated the heat). Princess had decided to stick around though, and was happily enjoying the sensation of the wind in her face, soaking up the sun atop Simon's straw hat. As they reached another cluster of rocks, Simon had an idea, and motioned for Anorith to speed up towards them.

    "Let's jump those!"

    The Armaldo gurgled excitedly and picked up speed, narrowing his eyes. Simon held on tight and heard a nervous squeak from Princess, but held his breath as he waited for the perfect moment. Once they were close enough, he yelled out, "Now!"

    But Anorith did not stop. Screeching, the bug raised his claws and crashed into the boulders with full intent, sending Simon flying (ironically enough) over the rocks and into the ocean behind them. As the boy resurfaced, he noticed the rocks had a large Armaldo-sized outline in them, and the Pokemon himself had seaweed hanging out of his mouth.

    "That's… one way to do it," he sighed. He hopped back onto Anorith's back and suddenly realized his hat was missing—only to find it floating beside him with Princess using it as a boat, completely dry inside, and just a little shaken. "Okay, let's take a break for now." Simon smiled sheepishly as he popped the hat back on and they headed to shore. Making his way back onto the nearest beach, he scanned the sand, hoping nobody would mention his little mishap. He spotted at least one person he recognized in his search, relaxing under a giant parasol.

    Chloe loved everything about the beach. However, as someone who'd spent much of her life in the bitter cold of northern Sinnoh, she wasn't an especially good swimmer. When it came to sinking, though, she was the queen. To that end, she spent much of her time underwater with Popplio, equipped with a rebreather.

    By the time Simon got to her, she'd dried everything except her hair, and was in the middle of reapplying her sunscreen. Thanks to Luxio's presence next to her, she'd gone largely unbothered and un-hit on, which was also how Simon found her.

    "Hey, Chloe!" Simon called out as he made his way to her, leaving Anorith to splash around in the water. Luxio knew him well by now, so while he kept an eye on him, the protective Pokemon made no effort to shoo him away as he'd done with several men so far. Simon suddenly slowed his approach regardless, because it didn't occur to him until he got close that Chloe was wearing a swimsuit, a blue bikini with bows tied on the front, the straps, and the sides of the bottoms

    It was obvious that she would be. It was a beach. But Simon didn't think about that, and—healthy young man he was—he caught himself staring a little too long. Chloe didn't seem to notice (or if she did, she didn't care) and greeted him happily.

    "Hey, Simon, what's up? Actually, good timing. Do you mind getting my back?" She gestured to the bottle of sunscreen beside her.

    Simon briefly shut down. "I, uh…" His mind raced with ideas for what the appropriate way to answer would be here, but inevitably just gave in to his instincts and responded with a sheepish nod. "Sure…!"

    "Thanks! I didn't really have anyone here I could ask, and it's such a pain doing it myself." The two had gotten pretty friendly with each other since they last met in Stow-on-Side, so the brunette felt no shame in asking him.

    Chloe shifted and laid down on her stomach, revealing that the bikini strap around her back was rather wide and ribbon-like, tied into yet another bow that swayed with the breeze. As Simon took the bottle of sunscreen in hand, she pulled on the knot and let the straps fall to her sides. Once again, Simon shut down.

    Simon spent most of his effort trying to look anywhere except directly at Chloe, focusing as much as possible only on his hands and hoping they wouldn't go any farther than they should. Once his job was complete and Chloe's back was sufficiently screened, he breathed out a shaky sigh of relief and moved over to let her back up.

    "So ah, it's been a while!" he spoke up, desperate to clear his brain, "How's your gym challenge holding up? I didn't catch you in Circhester."

    Smoothly sitting back up while keeping her top in place, Chloe answered as she tied the ribbon back together. "The test was nothing, but Melony was a lot of fun to battle."

    Simon remembered that Chloe wasn't actually in the gym challenge to become champion. She did it because it was interesting. Still, it made him happy to see that she was going at it seriously, and she pulled up a highlight video on her phone to save him the trouble when he asked for more details.

    As she said, the combination of snowstorm and sandstorm was like a Sunday stroll to her and Froslass. When she made it to Melony though, Luxio went down to Eiscue due to chip damage from Hail. If Luxio didn't look like he was about to kill Simon for saying anything he might regret, the latter would have poked a bit at the feline's inability to deal with his own team ace's signature. That same hail came back to bite Melony in the ass when the Snow Cloak-touting Froslass joined the fray. She made quick work cleaning up the penguin, and the hail remained on her side when Lapras came out. It was thanks to her gym battle in Stow-on-Side, Chloe explained, that they were able to take down Lapras before Perish Song's time limit ran out.

    "Oh? How did your battle with Allister help you?"

    "Cursola's Perish Body." Luxio grunt-growled as if the battle left a sour taste in his mouth he still wasn't over. "After I lost Luxio to that, I had a feel for how long we had when Melony whipped out Perish Song."

    "You managed to get 'a feel' for a whole different move… from that?" Simon asked, raising an eyebrow.

    "As far as I care, proof's in the pudding." Chloe replied. She punctuated this by slightly puffing out her chest, to which Simon averted his gaze again.

    The statement happened to give him an idea though, and he hopped to his feet. "If you're so sure of your skills… How about a real battle with me this time? You've got enough of a team for one now."

    Chloe looked up at him with a grin and replied, "Let's do it!" She was hoping to test her team against another gym challenger, so this was a great opportunity. They agreed to a three-on-three battle.

    "Let's make it interesting too. Just like our last wager. Whoever loses has to do whatever the winner says."

    "Sure. If you win, I'll do anything you ask." Unsurprisingly, Chloe didn't seem concerned at all. Simon was sure he imagined the emphasized "anything" in that answer. She grabbed her ball belt and moved away from her parasol, so Simon followed along to keep it out of the crossfire. Luxio joined them as well, taking a seat at Chloe's side.

    Simon reached into his pocket and narrowed his eyes at the girl; he wasn't about to let the result of their last bet slide that easily. The TR he'd earned that day would also come in handy. "I'll give you the opening advantage." he said confidently, tossing Ross' ball forward. The Heracross landed on the sand and looked around curiously, giving Chloe and Luxio a polite bow.

    A Morgrem emerged from his ball before Chloe could pull one out or order Luxio to step forward, evidently intending to be her first fighter himself. He faced Simon's side, then spun on his heel and met his own trainer's gaze, trying to have a conversation without saying a word.

    Chloe looked annoyed by his sudden appearance, exasperated as if she was used to it, smacked him on the head once after he slightly tilted his head—he dropped face-first into the sand and recovered immediately—then eventually gave in. "Fine. You're up first, Morgrem."

    Simon looked at Chloe's Pokémon then back at Ross, motioning towards it. "Think you can handle a mini-Grimms?" he teased, to which Ross punched a hand into his other fist and nodded, stepping forward.

    When the Morgrem faced Ross again, there was a fire in his eyes that implied he had something to prove... and he was about to prove it. He gestured and introduced himself in a manner Simon could only describe as impressively theatrical, as if it had been rehearsed before. The Morgrem's name was Fake Trick, and he was a gentleman thief… whatever that meant.

    "It's, uh… a pleasure, Mr. Trick?" Simon raised an eyebrow at the dark-type.

    Chloe picked up on this and interjected, "Whatever Morgrem's saying, just ignore him." The battle hadn't even started yet and she already looked sick of him.

    They didn't need any referee, although a few beachgoers had already gathered around the sandbank and were watching from a distance. Everyone loved seeing a good battle, after all, and the challengers were both celebrities. (And if Simon could toot his own horn for a second, they were both pretty hot.)

    "Eyes sharp, Ross!" Simon called out. He looked at Chloe and motioned forward. "Ladies first."
    A Stonxrally Foxbird production
     
    Last edited:

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Tinted Lens
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    [float='Anorith' ♂
    Dig | Brine | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
    Swift Swim]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    [/float]

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Bug Net
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Wishing Star
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    A fair amount of cinnamon buns
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Spewpa Plushie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fanart of Simon
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heracross Knight Comics
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Piers & Marnie Album
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mew Book
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Badges: 6
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Grass badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Water badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fire badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ghost badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Psychic badge
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Rock badge
    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chloe Hayes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Froslass
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Luxio
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Alcremie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fake Trick Un Swagapino the Gentleman Thief
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Popplio
    Route 9

    "Fake Out!" The battle began on Chloe's order. Morgrem zipped to his foe's side in an instant, an arm outstretched. Faster than the trainers could follow, he passed on by... and a handful of sand was thrown in Ross' face.

    "Oh, come on!" Simon exclaimed, tossing his arms up. It seemed like every time he was ready for one of these Fake Outs, he had to deal with some stupid new trick. He looked to Chloe to see if this was something she planned (since as far as he knew, Fake Out was a proper attack), but she just looked incredibly unamused. This may have been the first time he'd ever seen the girl scowl, it didn't really suit her.

    "Shake it off, Ross! Hit it back with Vacuum Wave!"

    The Heracross was in the middle of spitting up sand, but he quickly regained his composure. His vision caught up with the Morgrem creating some distance between them, and he raised his arm to attack. Vacuum Wave didn't care about distance, so he needn't chase his target down.

    Yet when he unleashed it, the Heracross felt a fist against his face, knocking the attack slightly off course, striking "Fake Trick" in the arm rather than his chest.

    Simon heard Ross mutter out a slightly unsavory comment, something about fighting dishonorably. He realized that Sucker Punch packed a lot of power though, and even if the Morgrem was relying on trickery, Simon still had to be careful about approaching him recklessly.

    "Wear him out! Rock Blast!"

    "Don't let it hit you!"

    Fake Trick's dexterity was also remarkable, just barely dodging each of Ross' Rock Blasts as if his life depended on it. His avoiding was quite comical, as the Morgrem struck various wild poses and stretched in incomprehensible directions to not get hit, dragging himself with his prehensile hair farther than his body could naturally.

    Soon enough it seemed like Chloe was getting as tired of his antics as Ross was. "Shadow Claw!"

    Suitable for his shady character, perhaps, but it meant Fake Trick finally needed to fight head-to-head. He rushed forward, slipping past Ross' defense by the skin of his teeth and digging three grooves into the bug's exoskeleton.

    Simon realized he'd been greatly overthinking the battle so far and let his instinct take over. "Grab him!" he yelled. Once Ross had Fake Trick's wrist in a vice grip, he began his Counter. He spun in place, swinging the Morgrem along for the ride. A few revolutions and some Arm Thrusts later, Fake Trick was being dragged rather unceremoniously through the wet sand. But he eventually countered with Thunder Wave, sending a paralyzing jolt through Ross' entire body. Forced to let go, Fake Trick was sent screaming back toward his trainer and crashed into the sand.

    Though he staggered briefly, the sparks around Ross' body were quickly replaced by an empowering red aura from Guts. Simon grinned, "Should've stuck with your trainer, mate—let's finish this, Ross! Megahorn!"

    Ross' horn glowed bright green as he charged up his attack. The Morgrem made it back to his feet, shaking the dizziness from his head and prepared himself for the final blow. He met Ross' attack with another Shadow Claw to the arm, but the Megahorn struck his gut and threw him sky high.

    When his back hit the sand, the Morgrem tried to lift his head, but couldn't raise it more than an inch, and so he let it fall back down. He was awake, though, staring at the sky, and briefly contemplated on his battle. Fake Trick the Gentleman Thief knew he'd lost.

    "One down!" Simon flexed proudly for the spectators.

    "Maybe I shouldn't have…" Chloe muttered to herself. Simon didn't pick up on the rest, but he at least knew she wasn't happy with the result of the first round.

    "What, are you regretting our bet already?"

    "My only regret is taking it easy on you. Don't worry, that won't happen again."

    "Hah, never pegged you for a sore loser…"

    As the two trainers spoke, another conversation was had between the fighters themselves.

    «I cannot say I approve of your methods, trickster. But I must admit you gave this old bug a good run for his money.» Ross slowly approached the fallen Fake Trick, and extended his good hand to help him stand back up.

    «I couldn't have asked to have been defeated more spectacularly,» the fairy replied through gritted teeth. He groaned as he took the proffered hand and rose to his feet.

    «Do not undersell your strength. Your strikes carried quite a punch when you fought me head-on.»

    «Ahaha, you flatter me. I'm truly not so great. In fact, I feel I must warn you: I am merely the weakest of the Big Four.»

    «Oho?» Ross was suddenly intrigued at the prospect of even stronger opponents on the human woman's team.

    «Thank you for a glorious fight,» Fake Trick continued, and he and Ross shared a solemn warriors' embrace. «But there is something else you should know...»

    «And what is that?»

    Fake Trick leaned in closer and whispered, «You should have gone for the head.»

    «Wh—gh!»

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Suddenly, Ross and Fake Trick both fell to the sand. A hole in their sides had been opened by the latter's hair piercing through his own flank like a spear.

    Everyone watching was agape at the sight, including the commanding trainers. If anyone were examining the scene, it would have only looked like the Morgrem's hair was swaying in the breeze until the final moment. It was his trump card, which he had been keeping secret even from his own trainer: False Surrender.

    The battlefield went completely silent. Perhaps it was only a few seconds before the sound of the ocean returned to their ears. Even so, it felt far longer before Ross' hand slapped against the ground, and he pushed his face up from the sand. Agonizingly, he stood back up. His opponent did not.

    Ross looked down at the Morgrem and narrowed his eyes indignantly. «Once a trickster, always a trickster.» Then he turned away. «Until our next battle… gentleman thief.»

    A few more moments passed. Simon looked more confused than anything, having missed most of the conversation during his banter with Chloe. "The hell was that all about?"

    "It's best not to think about it," Chloe answered, looking somehow exhausted despite her previous energy. "It'll only hurt your head."

    A Stonxrally Foxbird production
     
    Last edited:

    Fen-Fen

    Me but more fabulous
  • 359
    Posts
    8
    Years
    Haleigh Windsor
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Corey (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Coraline (♀)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Cornelius (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Captain (♂)

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Dart (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Orion (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Cerise (♀)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Reyna (♀)


    Spoiler: Memories
    --- --- Wedgehurst ---
    #1 - Meeting Corey
    #2 - Caught Coraline
    #3 - Catching Up at the Station with Melody

    --- Wild Area ---
    #4 - Meet Achille
    #5 - Camping out with Corey and Coraline

    --- Motostoke ---
    #6 - The Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
    #7 - Opening Ceremony pt. 2 [MEGA JP]
    #8 - Opening Ceremony pt. 3 [MEGA JP]
    #9 - Record Store Chaos

    --- Route 3 ---
    #10 - Found Orion
    #11 - Smuggler takedown
    #12 - Visions at the factory printing press
    #13 - Breaking down in the woods

    --- Galar Mine 1 and Route 4
    #14 - VS Oleana w/Melody
    #15 - VS Rosa
    #16 - Cerise "battles" Orion, joins the team

    --- Turffield ---
    #17 - Turffield gym mission
    #18 - VS Milo
    #19 - Hanging out with the girls

    --- Route 5 ---
    #20 - Corey has a nightmare
    #21 - A "platonic" dinner w/Achille
    #22 - Haleigh turns eighteen
    #23 - Rescuing Squirtle and Piplup
    --- Hulbury ---
    #24 - VS Nessa
    #25 - Corey runs away
    #26- Haleigh gets help from Catherine
    #27 - Haleigh gets help from Achille
    #28 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 1
    #29 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 2
    #30 - Going for drinks with Rosa, Ruben and Pia
    --- Galar Mine No. 2 -----
    #31 - Encounter with Rory ft. Aeliana
    #32 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 1
    #33 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 2
    -----Motostoke (Revisit) -----
    #34 - VS Ian
    #35- VS Kabu
    #36 - Simon and Haleigh pump steel and have a heart to heart
    ---- Wild Area 2 ----
    #37- Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 1
    #38 - Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 2
    #39- Befriends Dart
    #40 - Psychic things with Xan
    #41 - Eiscue mission
    #42 - Camping out with Achille
    ------Hammerlocke------
    #43 - VS. Catherine
    #44 - VS. Raph
    #45 - Reflecting on the journey so far
    #46 - Hitting up Strugglecon w/Achille
    #47 - Achille VS. Roland
    #48 - Haleigh comforts Valerie
    ----- Route 6 -----
    #49 - Haleigh and Pia clear the air
    ---- Ballonlea ----
    #50 - Catching up on the journey
    ---- Route 7 ----
    #51 - Pokemon adventure squad
    —----- Circhester —------
    #52 - A late night blacksuit encounter
    #53- Catherine offers her help
    #54 - Catherine helps Haleigh break in
    #55 - Haleigh breaks into the Windsor estate


    Breaking the Chains of the Past

    A satisfied smirk creeped its way onto Vera's face as she said, "See, was that so hard? We can be civilized."

    Haleigh deepened her glare. This, coming from the woman that had chased her out of the house with a knife.

    Vera cleared her throat. "Anyways, I must start off by saying that I truly am sorry for having dear old Ian invite you under such circumstances, but my business with you is not something I can just discuss over tea at the Hotel Ionia. I needed to make sure you would hear me out after you had departed on…less than favorable terms, shall we say."

    Vera's face shifted into a different expression as she shifted her hands to fold them on her lap. "That's not the only thing I have to apologize for, though. I've done a few things that I've regretted in my life, but one of my biggest was not supporting you going on your Pokemon journey."

    The words hit Haleigh like a bucket of cold water, dousing the burning anger she felt as it melted into sheer disbelief. Her mother was…sorry about not letting Haleigh go on her journey?

    "I was an ignorant fool," Vera said. "If I hadn't been so against you going off on your journey, that whole mess of your disobedience and having to discipline you could have been avoided."

    The spell of disbelief that had briefly overtaken her was now broken at the mention of the so-called discipline, uttered in that condescending, nonchalant tone. Haleigh clenched her fists again, restraining her burning fury so she wouldn't fly off the handle and do something she'd regret. Instead, she settled for a quip, said between gritted teeth. "So what, caught some of my matches on the telly, had a change of heart? Or you just trying to chase clout off someone else in the family?"

    Exhaling deeply, Vera replied, "No, Haleigh. Believe it or not, my motivations for having you here go much deeper than that. You were gone. Your father divorced me less than a year after you left. No matter what I told him, he just couldn't let go of you running away, and it took its toll on our marriage."

    She wrinkled her nose and scoffed. "He left me this old house as a peace offering and fucked off to Wyndon. I was bitter that he had left me, that my life wasn't going to be this fairytale, that I wouldn't have that perfect family." The last sentence was spat out with an undeniable note of venom, a look of malice flashing across her face.

    Haleigh's scowl faltered as she flinched a little. She quickly straightened back up and went back to glaring at her mother.

    Just as quickly as that look had appeared on her face, Vera reeled it back and recomposed herself. "One of the things I had realized since you've been gone was how wrong I had been to demean your dream. I was too caught up in the pageantry and frivolous things that I thought a woman marrying into wealth ought to have done, and I tried to mold you in that image. It was to both of our detriment. Now, however, I understand. I get what drew you to [/i]them.[/i]" She gestured to Reyna and Corey, who both growled at her in response.

    Haleigh scoffed. "No, you don't. You don't understand Pokemon. You don't understand why I love them. Not then, not now."

    "Don't I," Vera challenged. "You've clearly made a name for yourself as a trainer. You've gotten stronger, so much stronger than the weak, scared little girl that left this house. I see the strength that Pokemon gives us, and I have my old employers to thank for opening my eyes to that. After your father left me, and after he left the company, I was free to dedicate myself entirely to my work. The higher ups felt my talents were wasted on mere research and development for electronics, and that I was hungry for something more. They gave me an offer I couldn't refuse: a head scientist for a secret project, deemed to be of utmost importance by none other than Oleana and Chairman Rose."

    Haleigh could feel a pit form deep in her stomach as she started to have an idea of where this conversation was headed.

    Vera laughed heartily. "Ah, how it took me back to the days of my youth, a fiery, single lass ready to take on the world! I had rediscovered my passion for being in the lab all over again. There was a focus on energy production, with Pokemon being at the center of it. How to channel their power into energy, the power of Dynamaxing, the myth of the Darkest Day, the different kinds of power one could draw from different Pokemon. The more I delved into the nuts and bolts of how Pokemon operate, the more fascinated — no, enamored — with them I became. Oh, how wrong I had been to dismiss them. Such wonderful creatures!"

    By that point, Vera had gotten so animated that she had abruptly stood up out of her chair, startling Haleigh, Corey, and Reyna. Haleigh had nearly commanded her Pokemon into attacking, but stilled when the attack she had been anticipating never came. After a few panting breaths, Vera sat back down and calmed herself down. "My apologies. I can get so passionate that I lose track of myself and ramble."

    Nuts, bolts, how they operated, Haleigh's mother had said, like Pokemon were machines to tinker with. The thought made Haleigh sick to her stomach, knowing how the Pokemon the blacksuits had modified were. There was no longer any doubt in Haleigh's mind. Whatever shred of decency the woman once had disappeared the day she had chased Haleigh out of the house. Even after knowing who she worked for now, even knowing how cruel, manipulative, and deranged she was, her mother's involvement in one of the most infamous disasters in recent memory was something that was hard to believe. Haleigh exclaimed, "How could you?! You nearly wiped Galar off the map!"

    Vera hummed. "That was not a part of the plan, I can assure you. It was a grave miscalculation on our part. We were so close. That's why my current work is so important to me. It's why I have even more respect for the power of Pokemon, and those who can wield it. People like you, Haleigh."

    Vera reached into the blazer pocket and clutched something in it. "I can give you what you came here for, and so much more. You would be a great asset to me and my organization. We need strong trainers like you."

    A smile — a smile that Haleigh might have mistaken for genuine if it wasn't coming from her mother — spread itself across Vera's lips. "We can be family again. With our help, there's no telling what you could do — what we could do. You don't ever have to feel like you're weak ever again."

    Haleigh took a deep breath. She had a very good idea of what her mother was holding her hand. The offer, like so many others that her mother had made to her in the past, was filled with sweet words masking a bitter poison in them. Maybe this would have tempted her back when she was the scared, troubled kid that ran away to Spikemuth. She would feel strong having such powerful Pokemon at her disposal. She could have let all the horrible parts of the past be water under the bridge.

    But of course, that was then, and she knew better now. There was no undoing what her mother had done. There was no forgiving her mother for abusing and traumatizing her. There was no forgiving her past work with Macro Cosmos, or her current work with whichever organization the blacksuits belonged to.

    She needed Snom, though. She needed him safe, away from the hands of this vile woman. If Haleigh pretended that she was seriously considering the offer, she might buy enough time for Coraline and Corey to come through.

    Signal, attack. Coraline, through the door.

    Haleigh held out her hand and asked, "After all we've been through, you're really willing to forgive and forget?"

    Vera replied, "Of course. I'm your mother, after all." She took the object in from her pocket and clasped into Haleigh's hand, looking directly into Haleigh's eyes. It was smooth and spherical, though it felt different from a normal Poke Ball.

    Keypad, numbers, 0219.

    Just as Haleigh was about to snatch the ball out of her mother's hands, Vera pulled the ball back and stepped back. All of the friendliness disappeared instantly off her face as she narrowed her eyes and asked in a tone that was soft but menacing, "Haleigh, dear, are you plotting something? I can —"

    Before her mother could finish that sentence, a blast of ghostly energy came flying from the direction of the doorway, aiming wide of Haleigh and headed straight for her mother. The blast jolted her out of her chair, knocking her to the floor.

    Haleigh wheeled around and saw Coraline floating by one of the other desks, giving Haleigh triumphant smirk. Cornelius soon followed suit as the door opened and he dashed over to Haleigh's side. Corey and Reyna gave the Kirlia a high five — and Coraline a "high face" to not touch her polyps.

    Haleigh said, grinning widely, "You guys are the best!" She nodded her head toward her fallen mother. "Now let's go over there and —"

    Their celebration, however, came prematurely. The five of them could hear faint chuckling coming from the direction of where Vera had fallen. She croaked out, "You've got…nerves of steel…young lady. I reckon just a few more centimeters closer…and I would've been down for the count. But…not quite good enough."

    Even as Corey and Reyna dashed toward her mother to prevent her from getting up, the click of a Poke Ball and the emergence of a Pokemon stopped everyone in their tracks.

    A Frosmoth, every bit as beautiful as it was intimidating given the circumstances, hovered over Vera. Just like Simon's Scolipede and Ian's Arcanine, the creature had no discernable emotions or reaction to the situation it found itself in.

    Haleigh's eyes widened as her worst fears had been confirmed. It wasn't just any old Frosmoth that her mother had brainwashed. "You monster! You'll pay for this!"

    "Frosmoth…take out this wretched lot. Blizzard, on all of them."

    With no hesitation, the Frosmoth started flapping its wings and summoned a bone-chilling torrent of snow. Haleigh and her team mobilized themselves to get out of the way, but the move directly hit Cornelius, Coraline, Reyna, knocking Cornelius and Reyna out in a single blow. Only Corey — who was hit only with a glancing blow and resisted the move — and Coraline — with just enough bulk to weather a direct hit — and Haleigh — who leaped just far enough away to not be hit at all — were spared from the ice bug's wrath.

    Haleigh quickly recovered and put her mind back into the battle. Just before she could utter a command, however, looking at the Frosmoth weakened her resolve as she remembered that he was still sentient underneath all of the brainwashing. After a moment of hesitation, Haleigh said in a shaky voice, "C-Coraline, Ancient Power! Corey, charge at 'im with Flare Blitz."

    The moment of hesitation was all that it took for the attacks to land wide of the Frosmoth and break the window behind it. Vera commanded, "Use the opening and bury them with an Avalanche!"

    Even Corey wasn't able to get out of the way in time as all three of them were buried under a layer of snow and ice that knocked them to the ground with the force of an ocean wave. Haleigh groaned in pain as her head was knocked forcefully onto the floor, disorienting her as the weight of the ice and snow pinned her to the ground. After several moments, she managed to crawl her way out of the pile and rolled onto her back. Her head was throbbing. There was something warm running down her nose, her mouth filled with the metallic tang of blood.

    Vera propped herself back onto her feet and dusted herself off. A maniacal expression glowed on her face as she walked towards Haleigh, the Frosmoth following suit. She exclaimed, "Just as I had told you all those years ago, you'd be nothing without me. You wouldn't even be on your precious little journey without me. I made you, and this is the thanks you give me! Just like always, you make an enemy of me by being an insolent little shit! Now, you're going to face the consequences!"

    Haleigh looked at her Pokemon. All of them but Corey were unconscious. Corey looked to be on the last dregs of his health. She looked back at her mother and her Frosmoth, feeling frozen in place by the primal fear that started overtaking her in waves. She could feel her heart thundering in her chest. Her shivering from being buried in the Avalanche was transitioning into full on shaking. It was getting harder to breathe. The walls seemed to close in on her as that same maniacal expression that her mother had given her all those years ago froze her in place, and the emotionless gaze of a Pokemon that she had once loved, now preparing himself to finish her off, consumed her thoughts, preventing her from thinking about anything else.

    Corey panted, the leaden weight of exhaustion threatening to pull him down into unconsciousness. This was no gym battle, when being knocked out meant a little nap and waking up in the Pokemon Centre. Their lives were on the line, and he couldn't afford to faint. Even though he was scared like his trainer, even if he wasn't sure he would be able to triumph, he was Haleigh's Pokemon, and she, Reyna, Cornelius and Coraline were all relying on him to do something. He managed to drag himself back onto his feet, barely able to keep himself standing.

    "Frosmoth, finish the job. Ice Beam."

    Letting his instincts take over, feeling an odd form of zen as he took a deep breath, Corey was awash in a white glow as he could feel himself grow taller and stronger as he sprinted and leapt into the air. He could feel a ball of fire, unlike anything else he had ever made before, form at his feet. He kicked it in the direction that he could sense the Frosmoth being near.

    When the glowing stopped and he was able to see again, the fireball was melting the Ice Beam away, and heading straight at the Frosmoth, too fast for the Frosmoth to dodge in time. The fireball hit the Frosmoth dead-on, staggering it backwards. There was the slightest indication that the attack had caused serious damage based on the slower movements of the ice bug, but it was somehow strong enough to weather the four times effective attack. The fireball had been big enough to also graze her mother, who screamed as she dropped the ball and clutched the left side of her face.

    Haleigh was jolted out of her panic and back into action. Through the mess of soggy papers strewn all over the place and the displaced chairs and desks, she saw that dark ball sitting right next to her mother. This was her chance. She leapt back up onto her feet and sprinted for the ball before her mother could grab it. When she got to the spot where the ball was, Haleigh raised her leg and, with all of her might, stomped on it with the heel of her boot.

    As the ball broke with a resounding crack, the spell over the Frosmoth seemed to instantaneously dissipate. He fluttered around in confusion and fear, his eyes widening as he surveyed the scene and looked at Haleigh and her fallen Pokemon.

    Unfortunately, there was no time to console the poor Frosmoth. Haleigh reached into her pocket, got out an unused Poke Ball and threw it in his direction. Haleigh watched with anticipation as the Ball wiggled. Once. Twice. Thrice, before finally settling with a click. She quickly went over and retrieved the ball, stuffing it into her pocket and picking up a waterlogged folder that was right by it. Then, she took out the balls of her other four Pokemon and returned them.

    Haleigh could hear her mother still groaning in pain behind her. Vera started to snarl, "You impudent little…how dare you defy me —"

    "Save your breath, ye old hag," Haleigh spat, turning around to face her mother. "I've already gotten what I came 'ere for. It's already over."

    Vera could only seethe as she continued clutching her face, contorted into a mask of pure contempt.

    "But don't think that I'm done with you. I'll do whatever it takes to bring you and your organization down. For the sake of humans, Pokemon, everyone."

    Haleigh turned away and walked a few steps before stopping. "You may have given birth to me. You may have helped raise me. You may have even helped shape who I am, for better or worse, but you are not my mother, and everything that you did to me is not going to control my life anymore."

    Haleigh walked all the way to the door, and as she turned the handle, she said, "Goodbye, Vera."

     
    Last edited:

    Songbird

    Tonight, the marigolds bloom for her.
  • 554
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    • Seen Apr 11, 2024
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Tinted Lens
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    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

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    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
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    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
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    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    [float='Anorith' ♂
    Dig | Brine | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
    Swift Swim]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    [/float]

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
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    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

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    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

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    Bug Net
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    Wishing Star
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    A fair amount of cinnamon buns
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    Spewpa Plushie
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    Fanart of Simon
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    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chloe Hayes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Froslass
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Luxio
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    Alcremie
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    Fake Trick Un Swagapino the Gentleman Thief
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    Popplio
    Route 9

    When the shock of Fake Trick's secret move wore off, it didn't take long for the trainers to get back in gear. Ross and—unfortunately—Fake Trick were recalled and already on the mend with some timely assistance, and the battle continued. Figuring this was as good a time as any to test out his newly-evolved Pokemon's abilities, Simon whistled for his Armaldo to hop out of the water and called him onto the field, to which Chloe brought out her Popplio.

    "Quick disclaimer, by the way: don't call him 'Armaldo' yet, it stresses him out."

    "Wait, what? Is he okay?"

    "He's okay! Just, uh… a little special."

    Simon knew from League records that Popplio was Chloe's most recent addition, so they probably weren't completely in sync yet. He could take advantage of that. Anorith wasn't the smartest in the bunch, but he was good at listening to Simon's commands; and what he lacked in brains, he more than made up for in brawn. Plus, he'd get some practice with his new form.

    "Dig!" Simon called out, signaling to begin. The Pokemon hopped into the air, over a speedy Bubble Beam from Popplio, and in the next moment he was swimming under the sand. Chloe and Popplio had no idea where he was.

    However, seconds passed, and… no attack came from below.

    "Did it get lost?" Chloe wondered out loud to herself, tilting her head. Popplio matched the motion, having felt nothing happening beneath her.

    "Just keeping you on your toes!" Simon held his confident grin unperturbed. Although he mentally appended, I think…

    After maybe thirty seconds of waiting for Anorith to resurface, Simon asked, "Uh… Anorith?"

    The Armaldo answered immediately, his head popping out not far from where he dug down.

    "... What are you doing?"

    Anorith chittered, wiping sand off his eyes, saying that Simon had simply asked him to dig. Evidently the thought of attacking never crossed his mind.

    The bug master deflated a little as he pinched the bridge of his nose. Perhaps Xan's telepathic training was working a little too well. "You're supposed to attack, it's a battle!"

    Popplio turned back to her trainer with an incredulous look on her face. It was as if she was saying, <Are you mocking me?>

    Chloe didn't think Popplio would appreciate it, but she was aware of "Anorith's" brute strength. So while she acted apologetic for the moment, she thought it was good training and cheekily told her, "Just trust me, okay, Popplio?" She would learn eventually.

    "Let's try this again!" Simon recovered first. "Aqua Jet: the attack!"

    Anorith burst out of his hole and slammed into his opponent, sending her skidding against the sand. This time, Popplio could tell what kind of strength she was up against, and sucked in a breath as Anorith approached once more. When he made it close enough for a leaping strike, she hit him with an unavoidable Hyper Voice, repelling him into the air. Before he landed, she conjured an Icy Wind that raced along the ground, covering the soft sand in a thin layer of hard ice.

    Anorith shattered the ice easily, and used Dig again, remembering to properly surface and attack. Popplio was the one sent upward this time, but both trainers were quick to counter each other.

    "Ancient Power!"

    "Bubble Beam!"

    A few more ranged attacks were fired from each Pokemon without any connecting with their target. Changing tactics, Chloe steadily moved the battle closer to the ocean, where the tides rolled in over the sand. Icy Wind froze it all the way through, making it far harder for Dig to break it.

    Popplio quickly took control of the battle from there; and with his main dodging move rendered unviable, Anorith was in danger. "Rapid Spin!" Simon called out, hoping to break up as much frozen sand as possible, but that only made an opening to get hit.

    Things weren't looking good, he thought to himself. Even with the evolutionary advantage, Anorith was clearly still unfamiliar with his new body, and Chloe's field advantage had him on the back foot. They hadn't set any rules for switching out, so long as they stuck to three Pokémon… and he was pretty sure Chloe's Luxio would be up next if he did that. Perhaps it was best to preemptively fight electricity with electricity.

    He readied himself to switch Anorith out and bring Princess in, only to realize his head felt oddly lighter than usual.

    "Huh?"

    Simon reached up to touch his hat—the only spot where a bug could've been besides his swim trunks—and felt nothing but fabric where there should have been a fuzzy bug.

    "Princess? Princess!"

    Meanwhile, Popplio's trainer was thinking to herself as well. It looked like Simon was going to switch out, but until he did, she'd press the advantage. And in case he did switch the Armaldo out, she would…

    "Huh?"

    Chloe had let herself relax after limiting Anorith's mobility, confident in Popplio's success. With the tension gone, though, she felt an unfamiliar weight. She turned her head down to her chest, and was overcome with a sense of déjà vu.

    "Princess? Is that you?"

    Nestled comfortably into her cleavage, just like the last time they'd met, was Simon's Joltik. Chloe wasn't sure it was a safe place to be at the moment, given she was only wearing a bikini, so she held one arm under her breasts to prop them up and make sure Princess didn't fall out. When she looked at Simon, he was searching around, presumably for the Joltik she'd just found.

    She pointed her out to him with her free hand. "Are you looking for this?"

    "Princess! Yes—oh." Simon flailed and turned his head firmly away from her, his face turning bright red.

    "Should we stop for a minute?" she asked him, although their Pokemon clearly felt no need to. They kept fighting regardless.

    "I-It's fine! It's fine! Anorith, X-Scissor!"

    Simon couldn't help himself from glancing at Princess repeatedly… and by extension her. His eyes flickered back and forth between Anorith and Princess' peach-coloured pillows, and his focus suffered horribly from a newfound appreciation for his exceptional eyesight.

    The girl herself noticed in no time, of course, and didn't hesitate to seize the opportunity. He did say it was fine.

    As the battle went on Popplio's vitality dropped, but not taking her down with a single strong blow was a mistake, and her power surged from her ability. "Bubble Beam!" The atmosphere around the water-type filled with energy as the combination of Torrent and ocean water resulted in what looked like more of a Bubble-Hydro Pump.

    Thus, partly due to the unfortunate incident of Princess choosing a new pillow, the battle between Anorith and Popplio met a swift end. Popplio handily tied the score one to one, looking rather pompous over her win. The beach-goers' cheering her on only made her worse, though it wasn't clear if it was actually Popplio that the men in the audience were cheering for.

    "Good work, boy…" Simon let out a sigh as he handed Anorith a Sitrus berry, which the bug happily gobbled, completely clueless about why Simon looked so flustered.

    Much to the young man's relief, Chloe took the opportunity of a short intermission to carefully walk back to her things and retrieve her sweater. Closing it up to her chest helped keep Princess from sliding anywhere, and she freed up her arm.

    Simon desperately needed the break as well, plopping down on the sand and breathing deeply to settle himself until Chloe got back. He genuinely couldn't tell whether the girl was dangerously shameless, or if she was just dangerously defenseless. Either way, it was bad for his heart, among other things.

    As Simon predicted, Luxio came out as Chloe's final Pokemon. It was somewhat comforting to know it wasn't Froslass, as much as it hurt knowing she still didn't consider him a threat. Vivillon offered herself up to fight in place of Princess, ultimately turning the third round into something of a grudge match.

    His mind drifted to the memory of his first battle with Chloe before graduating, when he'd challenged the random then-tourist and didn't take no for an answer; but Vivillon—a Scatterbug at the time—was mercilessly toyed with by Luxio. They'd all come a long way since then, and Vivillon felt good about her chances this time around.

    "Let's show 'em how much we've learned, yeah?" He nodded to the bug, who squeaked back confidently.

    The two Pokémon moved onto the field and faced off. Only the beating of Vivillon's wings and the crackling of electricity along Luxio's fur were audible over the midday tide rolling in.

    Then Chloe and Simon broke the silence at once.

    "Rain Dance!"

    "Poison Powder!"

    Clouds darkened the sky as shimmering purple spores filled the air. Rain fell and dampened the effect of poison powder before it could hamper Luxio. Some spectators briefly groaned in annoyance, before remembering that they were on a beach and mostly soaked already from being in the water.

    Vivillon was lacking in attacking moves, relying mostly on applying status effects. However, Chloe knew that didn't mean she was helpless without them. Simon also knew Luxio's strengths well, and Vivillon buffeted him with Gust to keep him at a distance.

    Luxio tried to charge through it and use Night Slash, only to graze Vivillon's wing. Even with the water weighing her down, she was measurably faster, and managed to pull herself away whenever Luxio got close.

    "String Shot, and keep flanking with Gust!" Simon doubled down on the speed advantage.

    At first, it looked to be a stalemate. Luxio took little damage from Vivillon's attacks, but he couldn't catch up and make a clean hit of his own. After several failed exchanges, however, Vivillon finally took a Psychic Fangs, but her stacked speed advantage opened Luxio up to counters from Draining Kiss, and she slowly but steadily started to pull ahead.

    As one trainer plotted to land a decisive blow and the other plotted to whittle their opponent down, their battle was interrupted by a massive explosion in the water.
    A Stonxrally Foxbird production
     
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    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Indra (Male, Swift Swim) - Rain Dance, Hypnosis, Bubblebeam, Hydro Pump, Earth Power, Refresh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Stampede (Male, Poison Point) - Hydro Pump, Smokescreen, Twister, Focus Energy, Dragon Pulse, Icy Wind
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Holo (Female, Lightning Rod) - Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Electric Terrain, Rising Voltage, Flame Burst, Flash

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vessel (Female, Dry Skin) - Fury Cutter, Giga Drain, Poison Powder, Spore, Rain Dance, Protect
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Lancer (Male, Dry Skin) - Rock Climb, Revenge, Sucker Punch, Poison Jab, Rain Dance, Toxic


    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
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    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Inventory:
    - ATC
    - Expensive PokeGear
    - Pokedex
    - 800 Poke (On ATC)
    - TM Icy Wind
    - TM Flash
    - Wishing Star
    - TM Protect
    - TM Rain Dance
    - TM Rock Climb
    - 1x Heavy Ball


    Badges:
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    CATHERINE CARLISLE & HALEIGH WINDSOR
    Reconvening
    "Well, mission accomplished."

    Catherine was crouched between two thick bushes in a small local park, peering through an elegantly designed iron fence the shrubbery was growing around and through. Stampede was pressed in close to her, keeping guard. He snorted in response, focused on bodyguarding.

    Catherine had spent a good while in the grounds bombarding the blackspear grunts acting as security with water, spores and lightning from a position of cover not unlike the one she was in at that moment. As the grunts had started closing in, her team had moved back towards her position and she had gradually returned them until it was just she and Stampede, who had been closest to her since he had the longest range. The guerilla team sufficiently downsized, she had managed to sneak all the way out of the grounds before a handful of the grunts had spotted her and given chase.

    This wasn't a bad thing necessarily, so long as she didn't get caught. It meant that there would be less security on the premises while Haleigh was looking around. The distraction had been prolonged, she supposed.

    She looked at Stampede, the Kingdra all business. There were other benefits to the scenario too. Stampede's hesitance had been mostly forgotten. He had steadily defaulted back to his typical nature as the process had gone on. She was sure that this wouldn't be the end of things on that front but, for the moment, he was his usual self. She couldn't help but smile just a little despite the severity of her situation.

    She pulled out her phone and checked for a reply from Haleigh. There was nothing. That was a little disconcerting, but she figured that the other girl probably had her phone on silent given the stealth mission she was on - and was also likely focused on that mission.

    Catherine put her phone back in her pocket, watching as two of the grunts that were searching for her came to a halt at the mouth of a nearby alleyway at the corner of her vision. It was a good thing she wasn't particularly tall or she would never have been able to cram herself and Stampede both into her hiding place. Still, it was only going to be a matter of time before she was found where she was. She had to get to the meeting place and with only two grunts around, this was probably her best chance.

    "I need you to knock those two out, then we're going to make a run for it."

    Stampede exhaled, then gave a nod. Together they backed out of the shrubbery. A moment later, the grunts were both blasted by torrents of water and left slumped against a brick wall.



    It was a good fifteen minutes later when Catherine finally made it to the allocated meeting spot, a nearby PokeCentre. It hadn't been quite as smooth a getaway as she had expected and she had ended up having to take out another grunt and run from the rest.

    She showed up out of breath, covered in bits of shrubbery that had left her hiding place with her and looking very much like someone on the run. Still, the skeleton crew of staff didn't seem to question it. They were probably used to trainers showing up in the middle of the night covered in miscellaneous crap and looking worse for wear. That was standard procedure during gym challenge season, Catherine suspected.

    There was no sign of Haleigh yet though. Catherine had hoped that Haleigh might have managed to arrive at a similar time to herself given the detour she had to take… but apparently not. Catherine spotted a small counter with tea-making supplies left available for late night visitors to the centre and made use of them before finding a reasonably comfortable chair in the back corner of the room - out of view of the windows to wait.

    It wasn't the short wait that she had hoped for. It was another twenty minutes before Haleigh finally appeared through the door and Catherine had been close to getting up and returning to the mansion to lay siege to the place.

    Haleigh was out of breath as she burst into the PokeCentre like a Tauros in a china shop. She looked considerably worse for wear than Catherine had been, being wet, having a swollen nose and dried blood on her face. Her gaze darted around frantically before making her way to the counter, where she quickly got five Poke Balls out of her jacket and dumped them onto the counter. Out of breath, she said, "Heal…them…please…"

    The concerned looking nurse said. "Of course. Are you okay, though? Do you need a referral to the clinic next door?"

    Haleigh shook her head. "No…I'm fine…please…heal them. They should be…fine…knocked out…in a battle…but fine…"

    "Do you have any headaches, nausea, dizziness, or sensitivity to light?"

    Haleigh replied, "Got a bad headache…but that's it."

    The nurse examined her face for a bit, before nodding to herself. She said, "Your nose looks swollen, but it still seems to be straight. You've got a busted lip as well. Let me get you some ice, a blanket, and something to wipe all that blood off your face."

    Haleigh nodded and watched as the nurse went back to grab the supplies. Once she came back up front, the nurse handed them to Haleigh and grabbed the Poke Balls off of the counter to put them in the healing machine.

    While she waited for the machine to heal her Pokemon, she took the wipes she was given and wiped the blood off her face. In her haste to heal her Pokémon, she had forgotten that she was supposed to be meeting up with Catherine at the Pokémon Centre. She looked around and found her hanging out in the corner.

    She called over to the other girl and said, "Made it, just gimme a sec to let my Pokémon heal."

    Haleigh waited another minute before her Pokemon were returned to her. She took the bag of ice and blanket with her and walked over to the back corner, plopping down on the seat next to Catherine's.

    "What happened?" Catherine asked. "Are you okay?"

    Haleigh exhaled as she peeled off her wet jacket and wrapped the blanket around herself. "Yeah, I'm fine. I ran into her while I was looking around the place. I ended up getting into a fight, tried to get the jump on 'er, but she ended up sending out one of her brainwashed Pokemon and nearly got me."

    She used one hand to keep the pack of ice over her nose, while the other reached into her pocket and pulled out a Poke Ball. She looked pensively at it as she explained, "It was a Frosmoth. Not just any old one either, but my Snom. My mo — Vera — knew that I had come back for 'im, and offered 'im to me if I joined her side. That's why she got Ian to kidnap me in the first place. She said that I had become this strong trainer and that Blackspear needed people like me."

    Haleigh sighed. "At least I managed to save him. I broke the Dark Ball he was in and used one of my empty regulars to keep 'im in."

    "I'm glad you got him back," Catherine said. "Nobody should have their minds taken from them like that. Did you find anything else?"

    Haleigh reached into one of her inner pockets and pulled out a crumpled, water-damaged folder. "Yeah, I managed to nick this on my way out. Didn't have the time to read it, and it's not in great shape either…"

    Haleigh looked around to make sure there wasn't anyone who was paying them any mind. Once she was satisfied that no one was looking at them, she opened up and hummed as she examined the contents. There were some text documents with explanations of how the current Dark Ball worked, with plans to improve the design, but couldn't make out more than that on account of some of the text being smudged. There were some schematics as well that fared better, but Haleigh couldn't make heads or tails of them.

    "This is definitely important," Haleigh said. "But I doubt this is all that she's up to. She told me that she was involved with the old Macro Cosmos plan to resurrect Etaernatus, so this is probably a secondary project to her."

    "Well, I know what I'm looking at," Catherine said, "But I don't understand any of it. It's not useless, it links her to those evil pokeballs… but it doesn't incriminate her bosses at all. I was hoping for something that would be irrefutable proof of their identities. It's better than nothing at least."

    Haleigh nodded. "Yeah. You reckon anything would come of this if we turned this over to the authorities?"

    Catherine shook her head, then half-shrugged. "I don't know. But I doubt it. They've got too much money, power and influence. Simon and I left the rangers with evidence already and I haven't seen any news suggesting it went anywhere."

    From the way Catherine was talking, it sounded like she already had an idea of who was behind the blacksuits. Vera never disclosed who she was working for. Haleigh asked, a skeptical tone in her voice, "Who's 'they?'"

    Catherine sighed. "I should have been more careful. I guess you're someone who it's easy to let your guard drop around. Well, part of that is that I don't think you'd make a particularly great actor or liar - and tonight would have been a bit extreme for that."

    She hadn't been planning on filling Haleigh in but, at that point, it didn't seem like there would be too much harm in filling her in to Catherine. As long as Haleigh didn't go around blabbing to anyone who would listen. "It wasn't exactly a surprise to hear it, but I only know because of everything that happened with Simon. These blacksuits that keep showing up are working with - or are part of - Blackspear. But before you start grilling me with questions, that's about all I know. I have no idea why they're doing any of this. Honestly, it makes no sense to me. It doesn't seem like they have much to gain when they already practically own Galar."

    Haleigh was taken aback by the answer. Blackspear? Even though she wasn't someone who followed the news or current events all that closely, she knew that Blackspear was the biggest conglomerate in the aftermath of the Darkest Day. They had their hands in pretty much any industry one could think of. Nothing that Haleigh had ever heard would suggest that they were the ones behind all of this, and, as Catherine had said, they already had so much power and influence already.

    Still, the part about having tons of money and influence would certainly make sense as to how they seemed to have such a large, clandestine operation. As Haleigh knew all too well, Galar already had one major corporation with very evil people having worked for it, so having Blackspear be the ones to take their place made a lot of sense.

    Haleigh gave a dry chuckle as she replied, "I don't blame you for not telling me. I'm definitely not someone who's the best at deceiving people or who gives off an air of seriousness."

    Her expression turned serious and an edge started creeping into her words. "I'm not one to treat this kind of stuff lightly, though. Not after how I've seen them try to endanger my life, or how they treat Pokemon."

    She looked back down at Frosmoth's Poke Ball and rotated it in her hands. It was still hard to believe that she really had him back, after so many years apart.

    Something didn't quite feel right, though. It wasn't that she wasn't happy that he was out of that woman's hands. There was something about the way that Vera saw Pokemon, as nothing more than weapons or tools, that made Haleigh think about her own journey up to this point. Battling, fun as it was, didn't feel nearly as important to her as the relationships she had to her Pokemon. Corey, Coraline, Cornelius, Orion, Cerise, Reyna, Dart, Captain, and now Frosmoth.

    Knowing that Frosmoth must have been through horrible ordeals on account of that brainwashing the dark ball subjected him to was a poignant reminder of how many other countless Pokemon were suffering a similar fate at the hands of Blackspear. It wasn't even necessarily just Blackspear, either. There was the merchant she and Achille rescued Orion from. There were the unknown smugglers whose shipment of Pokemon Haleigh and Val had rescued Reyna and Squirtle from. Beyond even her own Pokemon, there were countless other Pokemon out there in need of help.

    Haleigh said to Catherine, without looking up. "Hey, mate. I know we still don't really know each other really well or anything like that, but can I…ask you about something?"

    "I don't see why not."

    "You talk a lot about becoming Champion and using your position to help improve Galar, that you want to inspire people to follow your lead. From what I've seen in your matches, and what you've helped me to do with getting Frosmoth back, I'm starting to believe you really mean it. Me, on the other hand, I never really gave it much thought about what I would do. I was so set on this journey to become champion, and yet now, I feel like I'm starting to feel that maybe there's a different way of fulfilling that ideal of making Galar a better place."

    Haleigh straightened up and looked Catherine in the eyes. "I think protecting and caring for Pokemon is what's really important in my life. Not the fame, not the badges, just that. And well…I don't know if being a trainer is the way that I can best do that. At the same time though, I don't want to just give up so close to the finish line. If you were me, if you felt this calling, what would you do?"

    "Do what you want," Catherine said. "I'm not about to complain if more of my competition drops out. But, if it were me, I'd keep going until there wasn't anything left to gain from the experience. The more information you have the better, right? So if continuing the gym challenge is providing information that will be useful to future endeavors, there's no reason to stop. Especially since the chances of you accidentally becoming champion are zero with me around. But if it's not useful, don't waste your time. So long as whatever you're doing leaves the world better off in the future than it is now."

    As Haleigh sat there and mulled over Catherine's words, thoughts of what she did want to do instead of being a Pokemon trainer entered her mind. She had spent so much time in the wilderness of Galar and, despite the dangers, loved the feeling of being part of the natural world. Helping Pokemon was something she was very passionate about, whether it was something as small as tending to an injured Pokemon's wounds, or as grand as taking down a smuggling operation. She was someone who enjoyed exerting herself and pushing her physical prowess.

    To that end, it seemed like a Pokemon Ranger was Haleigh's calling. It just felt right, given all that Haleigh has been through.

    Would continuing on the journey help her with that goal? She had already learned so much, about the world, about herself, about other people. But of course, there was always something new to learn.

    Haleigh said, "I think I have my answer. I want to be there at the finish line, to tell myself that I'm not limited in what I can do. Even after all this, whether as the champion, or a Ranger, I'll keep moving forward, keep growing."

    She smiled warmly. "I really have to thank you, by the way. What you've done means the world to me. Not just with helping me get Frosmoth back, but for pushing me and inspiring me to be better when I was still struggling. Maybe you're surly and blunt, but you got a good heart underneath it."

    She gave a nervous chuckle as she added, "Sorry for getting all sappy there, I just…I don't know, I feel like I trust you a lot more now."

    "I haven't done anything special," Catherine said. "I'm just trying to do the right thing - and I'm trying to give others the chance to do the right thing. I haven't changed my mind about the world or anything, but people have to have the capacity to do better otherwise there'd be no point to anything I'm doing."

    Haleigh nodded. Same old Catherine. Haleigh wasn't really sure if she could ever be friends with her in the same way as Mel, Simon, or Achille, but she felt that there was at least a mutual understanding that was a far cry from hostilities that had defined their relationship in the past.

    Haleigh smirked and said, "Now that I've figured out that I'm not going to drop out and make this easier for you, what's your plan for the gym? Goin' to take on Gordie, or Melony?"

    "Gordie probably. He's weak against nearly my entire team and from what I've seen doesn't have any particularly great countermeasures against water-types. If Melony would put me at a theoretical disadvantage I'd consider her instead for the statement but she's not in a much better position than her son. Probably wouldn't be worth the small extra effort. You?"

    Haleigh shrugged. "Probably Melony, but I know that she'd probably try and wash Corey away with her Lapras. Still, with Electro Ball, some clever strategies, with Reyna as a backup or Coraline to wall her off, I reckon I could work past that."

    "I wouldn't suggest winging it like that - unless you already have these clever strategies planned out. Her whole team has countermeasures for fire types - some of which cover a wide area. The terrain is going to hinder maneuverability and make your hit-and-run tactics harder - especially when you mostly favour glass canons who aren't going to appreciate having to constantly shift in and out of battle to avoid getting Perish Songed into oblivion with that jagged battlefield causing problems. Meanwhile her team are going to be used to dealing with that battlefield so it won't hinder them as much. You should do something about the battlefield and take out her Lapras quickly."

    "Yeah, that's a good point." Haleigh grimaced as her head started throbbing again and used her free hand to massage her forehead. "This whole bloody thing's got me too knackered out to think about it though, and my head's killin' me.

    Catherine thought for a moment. This could be a good opportunity. She could help someone out, spread a message of cooperation and maybe even keep Stampede focused on what he liked doing so he wouldn't slip back into his more doubtful mindset he had fallen into. It… wasn't exactly comfortable territory for her, but she had to be willing to push her boundaries.

    "What if you didn't have to think too hard about it then?"

    "Mmm?" Was Catherine really suggesting what Haleigh thought she was suggesting?

    "Well… we clearly function fine as a team. We could partner up. I can deal with the battlefield and cover for you. You can do what you do best and run amok."

    She was suggesting that! Though, maybe it wasn't that much of a surprise in light of everything that had happened. Though Haleigh had dipped her toes in playing around with the environment, there was no doubting Catherine's prowess when it came to controlling the battlefield. Having that, on her side…

    Grinning widely, Haleigh replied, "I reckon we've got ourselves a deal then! When do you want to do this?"

    "In the morning. No point drawing it out."

     

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Tinted Lens
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    [float='Anorith' ♂
    Dig | Brine | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
    Swift Swim]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    [/float]

    Spoiler: Inventory
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    ATC
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    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

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    *
    held by Larvesta

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    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

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    Wishing Star
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    A fair amount of cinnamon buns
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    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chloe Hayes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Froslass
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Luxio
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Alcremie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fake Trick Un Swagapino the Gentleman Thief
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Popplio
    Route 9

    Aa a pillar of water rose into the sky, a swimmer was knocked upwards and came hurtling out toward the beach.

    "Vivillon! Gust! Soften the landing!" Simon sprung into action immediately, creating a cushion of air that stopped the victim before he hit the ground.

    "What the hell is that?!" someone screamed.

    The man was bloodied and bruised, attacked by whatever caused the explosion. The spectators moved to help him right away, but the scene devolved into screaming and evacuating when they got a look at what caused the chaos.

    An enormous blue Samurott, at least several times the regular size of one, emerged from the water. Its arms and head were covered in sharp, razor-like black shell protrusions, and its massive claws were tinted a deep crimson. Most concerning, though, was the red, misty glow coming from the Pokemon's skin, and the blank red stare in its eyes. This was a shadow Pokemon.

    "Crap! We have to lure it away!" Simon called out to Chloe.

    "You know what's up with that thing?!" Without waiting for an answer, she brought Froslass out.

    "I wish I didn't!" Simon replied. "Vivillon, Gust!"

    "Thunderbolt!"

    Both Pokemon's attacks seemed to barely affect the Samurott, as it took the brunt of the damage but didn't flinch or recoil. Instead, it turned its soulless eyes and glared at the two offending trainers. The shadow mon roared as it rushed horn-first towards the sandbank.

    "Yep, we definitely have its attention now, run!" Simon shouted, sprinting by Chloe and grabbing her arm as he passed to help her along. Sand was blasted into the air behind them on their way to another shore. With a quick whistle, Anorith jumped into the water, and Simon leaped on his back. "Hop on!"

    Knowing Popplio didn't have the speed she needed, Chloe climbed on right away. Luxio's Pokeball went off and recalled him as they sped away from land with Vivillon and Froslass flying closely behind, hitting Samurott with another volley of attacks to keep its attention.

    While Simon was looking ahead of them, he heard the sound of a camera right behind him. He glanced back to find Chloe with one hand around his waist and her phone in the other, flipped open and snapping pictures galore even as she directed Froslass.

    "Chloe, what are you doing?!"

    "Photos." She suddenly seemed a lot less panicked now, for reasons Simon couldn't fathom. "What, should I take a video too? Oh, that's a good idea."

    "Where were you even keeping your phone?!" He wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer, but Simon blurted it out anyway. He also tried to ignore the soft, pleasant sensation against his back that was very inappropriate for the situation.

    "Dodge right!" Chloe shouted. She clung to Simon's back as he directed Anorith, and a Hydro Pump blasted the space they just left. Just like the Pokemon, the move was several times bigger than normal, and the water it blew into the air obscured them and Samurott from each other until it charged through. Another Thunderbolt ran through its soaking body, redirecting its anger back to Froslass.

    "Listen, this isn't a normal Pokemon! These things will stop at nothing to kill us, I've faced enough of them to know that!" Another roar from behind and the Samurott was gaining on them. Simon suddenly veered Anorith to the side, spraying the riders and their pursuer with water as he redirected course. He spotted a cluster of boulders in the distance and sped towards them.

    "Anorith, we're gonna 'jump' it, just like last time!" he called out, to which the bug chirped excitedly. Simon looked back. "Trust me on this one—hold on tight, and get ready to jump when I tell you!"

    Chloe did as he said, following his lead as Simon tried to stand. She moved her grip up to his shoulders and gave him a little room to move, though he still bumped against her while he did. Both trainers unsteadily got to their feet atop the Armaldo's back, tenuously holding on in a crouching position. As they got closer, the Armaldo picked up speed and Simon held his breath, praying to every god that this would work. At the last minute, he yelled, "Now!"

    Both he and Chloe leapt forward, off of Anorith's back and above the rocks. They soared over the boulders as the bug pierced through and emerged on the other side. Keeping their momentum, the trainers smoothly landed back onto their ride, shaken, but not stirred.

    They couldn't help but let out a relieved but adrenaline-fueled laugh as they sped away, but they were quickly brought back to reality by the roar behind them. With an explosive crash, the Samurott charged through the entire cluster of boulders, sending fragments of rock flying everywhere.

    "... Shit." Simon muttered. It barely even staggered.

    "At this rate we're gonna have to fight it," Chloe began, "but we need it back on land." Neither of them had the roster for a battle in the water.

    Simon scanned the area for a remote beach, one that was free of people and Pokemon but also large enough that the Samurott would have to be far from the water to get to them. After a while, he spotted one. "There!" He pointed it out, and Anorith changed course and headed to shore.

    Whatever distance they'd put between them and the Samurott was quickly closing, and Vivillon and Froslass were no longer able to slow it down. As the trainers reached land they hopped off of Anorith and sprinted away from the water. The Samurott leapt out and crash-landed onto the sand, red fumes billowing from its jaw.

    The trainers whirled around as their Pokemon finally caught up. "We'll keep it distracted, you guys attack!"

    "Let's do it." Chloe additionally called Luxio back out, while Anorith joined from the water.

    "Vivillon, Stun Spore!" The bug flew around the Samurott and attempted to spray it with shimmering yellow sparks. The water-type snarled and swiped at her, blowing away most of the powder with wind from the sheer power of its swing. It followed with an ear-splitting roar, calling down a thunderstorm that quickly grew out of control.

    "Thunderbolt!" Froslass struck with another bolt of lightning, much stronger now with the storm in play. When she got its attention, Anorith flew in with Aqua Jet, crashing into the side of Samurott's head and pushing it face-first into Luxio's Night Slash. It countered quickly, grabbing two Razor Shells from its leg guards and repelling the melee fighters with a single swing.

    Vivillon and Froslass chipped at it during the chase, but now that it was embroiled in an all-out battle, the damage was finally starting to stack up, on both sides. However, the Shadow Samurott's massive size conferred an equally massive health pool.

    Once it reached the threshold of its ability, its power ballooned, accompanied by the swelling of its crimson glow until it looked like it was corrupting the air around it. It felt oppressive even from far away. Another earth-shaking howl damaged its surroundings, intensifying the storm and bringing it just shy of a hurricane.

    "If we don't take it out now…!" Simon yelled, but the rest was drowned out by the raging wind. Chloe tried to respond, finding her own voice unable to make it far either.

    Luxio retreated to a distance and barked something out—not at his trainer or opponent, but at Froslass. The ice-type rose high into the air as Vivillon was nailed by a vicious Hydro Pump. Simon's quick reaction got her back in her ball before she hit the ground, but she was out of the fight.

    "Simon!" Chloe's voice barely reached him over the gale. "Back us up!" He answered with a thumbs up in lieu of more yelling.

    "Thunderbolt! Luxio, Spark!"

    "Anorith! X-Scissor!"

    Anorith rushed in, his glowing arms clashing with Samurott's shells. With it distracted, Luxio started running, gathering more and more electricity around his body each time his feet left the ground.

    Up in the sky, the storm clouds focused on Froslass; once she was prepared, she sent down a single great lightning strike. Instead of Samurott, though, it landed on Luxio. His body absorbed the attack, speeding up and covered completely in arcing white and gold.

    Anorith's X-Scissor gave out, the shimmering blades shattered by a Razor Shell sweep. Simon had his Pokeball at the ready, recalling him before he took the finishing blow. It caught Samurott by surprise, slashing through thin air, and it paused for too long to react to the last Pokemon on the field.

    A ball of lightning met Shadow Samurott's bloody aura in the next moment, engulfing the eye of the storm in a flash of light that made the blackened sky look bright as day.

    By the time the trainers were able to open their eyes, the wind was slowly dying down, and the clouds were beginning to clear. Samurott lay unmoving on the sand. It was dissolving, as if it were being eaten away by the vestiges of the red mist that covered its body. And towering over it, Luxio—Luxray—stood tall, golden sparks still flying from its pitch-black fur. Under the light of the afternoon sun, he looked downright majestic.

    As Simon heaved the longest sigh of relief of his life, Chloe tossed her phone to him. "Get whatever photos you can before it's gone!"

    "What? Why would…" The young man began but quickly realized he'd never actually kept any photo evidence of these creatures, and dutifully snapped a few at various angles during its disappearing process. As he did, Chloe ran up and hugged her Pokemon for a job well done, unfazed by the static prickling her skin. However, she quickly realized something was wrong.

    Because in an effort to kill the mood, Luxray fainted on his feet.

    A Stonxrally Foxbird production
     

    Songbird

    Tonight, the marigolds bloom for her.
  • 554
    Posts
    10
    Years
    • Seen Apr 11, 2024
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Simon Pearburgh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vivillon ♀ Draining Kiss | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder Friend Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Mothim ♂ Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb | Quiver Dance | Air Slash | Confusion Tinted Lens
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Ross ♂ Megahorn | Arm Thrust | Rock Blast | Vacuum Wave | Calm Mind | Counter Guts

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Shedinja Shadow Claw | Confuse Ray | Spite | Mud-Slap | Endure | Phantom Force Wonder Guard
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Snom ♀ Icy Wind | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear | Fairy Wind Ice Scales Nevermeltice (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Princess ♀ Electroweb | Sticky Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Giga Drain | Thunder Wave Swarm Metal Flower Crown (held)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Larvesta ♂ Trailblaze | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel | Leech Life Flame Body Heat Rock (held)
    [float='Anorith' ♂
    Dig | Brine | Ancient Power | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
    Swift Swim]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    [/float]

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    ATC
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Nevermeltice
    *
    held by Snom

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heat Rock
    *
    held by Larvesta

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Metal Flower Crown
    *
    held by Princess

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Bug Net
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Wishing Star
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    A fair amount of cinnamon buns
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Spewpa Plushie
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Fanart of Simon
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Heracross Knight Comics
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    Piers & Marnie Album
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    Mew Book
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    Spoiler: Inventory

    Spoiler: Memories
    Spoiler: Act 1

    Spoiler: Act 2

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Chloe Hayes
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Froslass
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    Luxray
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    Alcremie
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    Fake Trick un Swagapino the Gentleman Thief
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    Popplio
    Somewhere on Route 9

    It was mid-evening when Simon finished telling Chloe everything he knew, from the very beginning. She listened quietly without judging him, absentmindedly petting Luxray for most of it, and only interjected when she had a new question that needed answering. The orange glow of the sunset should have felt nice, but there was a somber mood in the air throughout Simon's story.

    "So… that's the whole thing. As far I know, only Catherine and Raphael know." He debated starting at only the first time he saw what he called the "red shadow Pokemon", but decided against it. He went all the way back to when he joined Blackspear—before that, even, to his encounter with a newly-christened Shadow Glalie in the middle of the night. Mothim came out to vouch at the time, though Chloe could barely understand his gestures, and played up his personal heroics. (Simon shut that down quickly.)

    Telling her about the Scolipede situation left him with a heavy aftertaste of guilt. Recalling the events of that night brought back all of its feelings. Not just for what he'd done as an unwitting Black Suit operative, but also for what he'd done to his team and those around him. Catherine's words still rang in his mind—just because he left, didn't mean he could be forgiven so easily. He cast a glance at Shedinja's ball and sighed. "...I know this is a lot to take in, and whatever impression you had of me is probably ruined, but… I can't keep it a secret anymore."

    Rather than disillusioned or displeased, however, Chloe stared him in the face with a gentle smile. "You know, you're really cool, Simon."

    "H-Huh? What do you mean by that?" He was so blindsided by the straight admission that he forgot to act like he had an ego. Chloe giggled, then her smile faded as she turned her eyes back to the water and continued.

    "I think most people would double down when they fuck up. Like, they already committed to it, so they have to see it to the end. Or they don't know how to apologize and change… Or they don't even think they're doing anything wrong in the first place." She nearly spat out the last part, but she softened up right after when she looked at Simon again. "But you're trying to make it right, and you're even fighting overwhelming odds to do it. You should be proud of yourself."

    Simon kept forgetting that Chloe had a few years over him, but now it sounded like she was kind of acting her age. The salty ocean breeze suddenly felt a little bit warmer, and Simon gazed out beyond the shore with her. A few long seconds later, he managed to choke out, "Thanks, Chloe."

    "Any time." She got up and stretched, having been sitting in a sidesaddle position the entire time. She bent over to brush the sand off her legs (giving Simon a view he wasn't going to forget any time soon) and he scrambled to his feet to do the same. After raising her arms as high as she could along with a low groan, she asked him, "So, do you wanna finish our battle from earlier?"

    It was then he remembered that they made a bet, and the score was tied one to one. Vivillon had had Luxio on the ropes the first time, but Simon had no idea how things would go now that they would be up against the (quite literally) bigger and better version. Even so, both of the Pokemon were recovered now, and both of the trainers wanted to see what they could do.

    "Hell yeah! We're gonna wipe the floor with ya!"

    The unfortunate reality was that Simon would be on the floor, and Vivillon got wiped out.

    Luxio's evolution gave him a substantial buff. It was more than just a massive stat boost. Night Slash boasted greater range; Vivillon remained on the faster side, but where she got away with grazing before, she had to put all her effort into dodging when Luxray charged in. Even when she kicked up a huge cloud of sand to try and gain some ground, Luxray's eyes saw through it like it was open air. His oft-neglected Bite had been given up for Electric Terrain, and it turned his normal chomps into something resembling Thunder Fang.

    Chloe finished the battle with Wild Charge, upgraded from Spark. Between the overload he experienced against Samurott and the effect of his new terrain-changing move, both Simon and Chloe thought it deserved to be called Volt Tackle instead.

    "Ugh…" Simon dropped his shoulders and hung his head low, looking more like how he did during their very first battle with Scatterbug. Vivillon sat on the sand beside him, rubbing her head as she munched on a consolatory poffin. "You win this time," the bug catcher mumbled.

    "What was our wager, again?" Chloe teasingly put a finger to her chin, then balled her hand into a fist and smacked it on her other palm. "Oh yeah! Loser has to do whatever the winner says, right?" It was as if all the kindness and maturity that she showed earlier never existed.

    It turned out that if Samurott hadn't interrupted their first battle, she would have resorted to some nasty tricks. Not least among them was using Night Slash to throw clumps of wet sand at Vivillon. Chloe was a veritable demon, and Simon couldn't help but think to himself, Maybe that gentleman thief mon was a good match for her after all…

    However, Luxray had been suffering loss after loss before today, such as in the battle against Melony. Even though Chloe generally won in the end, she actually didn't like busting out Froslass too much. He felt like he was dragging their whole team down, as few combatants as it had. Going mano a mano with another gym challenger was an extremely valuable opportunity for him. In the end, unlike a certain self-proclaimed gentleman thief, Luxray felt pretty good about himself now.

    Meanwhile, Simon slowly, painfully resigned himself to his fate. "Okay… What do you want?"

    "Alright, so…"

    "There is no way I'm doing—"

    "Anything~"

    "Gnnngh…" Simon just about cracked his teeth from the gnashing as he writhed. He finally sucked in a deep breath and answered, "Fine! But how am I even supposed ta pull that off?"

    "You can leave the hard work to me. I just need…"

    "You cannot be serious, mate!"

    "I mean, do you want to be a laughingstock instead? Or, I could think of something else."

    Simon eventually gave in to her terms. Waiting for whatever else she would come up with would have been hell on his nerves. The devil you know and all that, he reasoned. With their bet settled, much to his dismay, Simon looked up with dead eyes until he remembered they needed a way back. He brought Anorith the Armaldo out once more to give them another lift to get their things—a ride that felt much longer than it was to Simon, for several reasons.
    A Stonxrally Foxbird production
     
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    Fen-Fen

    Me but more fabulous
  • 359
    Posts
    8
    Years
    Haleigh Windsor and Catherine Carlisle
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Corey (♂)
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    Coraline (♀)
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    Cornelius (♂)
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    Captain (♂)

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Dart (♂)
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    Orion (♂)
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    Cerise (♀)
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    Reyna (♀)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Frosmoth (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Indra (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Stampede (♂)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Holo (♀)
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vessel
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Lancer (♂)

    Spoiler: Memories
    --- --- Wedgehurst ---
    #1 - Meeting Corey
    #2 - Caught Coraline
    #3 - Catching Up at the Station with Melody

    --- Wild Area ---
    #4 - Meet Achille
    #5 - Camping out with Corey and Coraline

    --- Motostoke ---
    #6 - The Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
    #7 - Opening Ceremony pt. 2 [MEGA JP]
    #8 - Opening Ceremony pt. 3 [MEGA JP]
    #9 - Record Store Chaos

    --- Route 3 ---
    #10 - Found Orion
    #11 - Smuggler takedown
    #12 - Visions at the factory printing press
    #13 - Breaking down in the woods

    --- Galar Mine 1 and Route 4
    #14 - VS Oleana w/Melody
    #15 - VS Rosa
    #16 - Cerise "battles" Orion, joins the team

    --- Turffield ---
    #17 - Turffield gym mission
    #18 - VS Milo
    #19 - Hanging out with the girls

    --- Route 5 ---
    #20 - Corey has a nightmare
    #21 - A "platonic" dinner w/Achille
    #22 - Haleigh turns eighteen
    #23 - Rescuing Squirtle and Piplup
    --- Hulbury ---
    #24 - VS Nessa
    #25 - Corey runs away
    #26- Haleigh gets help from Catherine
    #27 - Haleigh gets help from Achille
    #28 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 1
    #29 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 2
    #30 - Going for drinks with Rosa, Ruben and Pia
    --- Galar Mine No. 2 -----
    #31 - Encounter with Rory ft. Aeliana
    #32 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 1
    #33 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 2
    -----Motostoke (Revisit) -----
    #34 - VS Ian
    #35- VS Kabu
    #36 - Simon and Haleigh pump steel and have a heart to heart
    ---- Wild Area 2 ----
    #37- Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 1
    #38 - Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 2
    #39- Befriends Dart
    #40 - Psychic things with Xan
    #41 - Eiscue mission
    #42 - Camping out with Achille
    ------Hammerlocke------
    #43 - VS. Catherine
    #44 - VS. Raph
    #45 - Reflecting on the journey so far
    #46 - Hitting up Strugglecon w/Achille
    #47 - Achille VS. Roland
    #48 - Haleigh comforts Valerie
    ----- Route 6 -----
    #49 - Haleigh and Pia clear the air
    ---- Ballonlea ----
    #50 - Catching up on the journey
    ---- Route 7 ----
    #51 - Pokemon adventure squad
    —----- Circhester —------
    #52 - A late night blacksuit encounter
    #53- Catherine offers her help
    #54 - Catherine helps Haleigh break in
    #55 - Haleigh breaks into the Windsor estate
    #56 - Confrontation with her mother


    Odd Pair, Great Battle

    The sound of the cheering of the crowd, boos of detractors, signs and memorabilia and the familiar air of anticipation. It was all pretty much the same as always. Catherine scanned the crowd, looking for the patch of yellow raincoats and umbrellas.

    She spotted a few such groups, noticing the first not by the colour but because she saw her face on an umbrella. Evidently, her number of supporters was growing even in a stuck-up rich city like Circhester. That was a good sign. Although she was less than pleased about the umbrella.

    She turned to Haleigh, who was standing next to her, also looking over the crowd. "Not a word."

    Haleigh laughed heartily and chirped, "Ah cheer up mate, they love you!"

    She turned and saw another corner of the stands with her own supporters, a mix of black and purple, some sporting Team Yell logos. She waved fervently at them and flashed a "rock on" gesture, earning a roaring cheer of approval from the fans.

    "It's time folks!" The announcer called over the speaker system, her voice amplified enough to be heard over the roaring chorus of voices. "The surprise team up of challengers 41 and 861 have completed the gym mission and will now take part in a tag battle against leaders Gordie and Melony!"

    The volume of the crowd nearly doubled as they cheered for their hometown heroes. Across a battlefield of jagged and cracked stone, pillars and blades of ice and rock rising up across it, the mother and son pair of gym leaders were striding onto the battlefield with an air of confidence. Gordie beamed at the crowd, waving at them and shouting greetings while his mother, Melony was all business, laser-focused on the pair of challengers.

    "I hope you know what you're doing," Melony said. "A hastily thrown together pairing is going to struggle against a partnership with years of training together under their belt."

    "Yeah." Gordie grinned. "I'd have loved to take either of you on alone to show off how cool my Pokemon are for the audience, but I'm not going to go easy on you in a double battle either. This is going to be rough for you if you're not careful."

    Melody nodded. "I have a reputation for being rather severe and I taught my son well."

    Gordie half-scoffed, half-laughed. "Give me a little credit here."

    Catherine sighed, looking across at her teammate. "I always hate this part. The grandstanding."

    Haleigh looked back at Catherine with a confident smirk and replied, "They can say whatever they want, but all the trash-talking in the world isn't going to change what's going to happen."

    She turned her head back to face Gordie and Melony, punching her fist into her palm. "You wanna talk rough?! We'll be standing strong even if you throw a whole mountain our way! Me an' Catherine will rock you right out the stadium!"

    "In that case," Melony said, smirking. "Let's begin."

    In unison, the gym leaders sent out their opening Pokemon. With twin flashes, the towering stone behemoth that was Gordie's Coalossal appeared next to Melony's smaller, block-headed Eiscue.

    "Well, that's annoying," Catherine remarked. "She's planning to get into a weather war with me from the beginning. Not that it will be enough. I hope you're ready for this, Haleigh. We're going to completely shut them down. No casualties."

    Catherine tossed out her own Pokeball, Indra taking to the field.

    Haleigh nodded, a determined gleam in her eye as she cranked her arm back and threw her Pokeball out on the field. Corey appeared from it and came out mirroring her trainer's confident cross-armed pose.

    "No casualties? Someone is confident," Melody said. "Hail and then Surf!"

    "How exciting. I can't wait to see them try!" Gordie added. "You know what to do!"

    Shards of ice began to fall over the battlefield as Gordie's Coalossal blasted a searing stream of water into the air over its head, causing a billowing of steam before it all crashed back down over the top of it. It was extremely weak to water damage like that, but barely seemed to flinch.

    There wasn't much time to ponder that thought though. The Eiscue's follow through attack suddenly erupted into being, a surging tidal wave that rushed towards Indra and Corey.

    "Earth Power, block it off," Catherine commanded.

    Indra stepped forward as the Surf rushed forward and stamped his foot into the ground. Between two of the sharp spires, pillars of thick, gushing mud exploded up forming a wall. Some of the water got through the tiny gaps or splashed over the top, but it was mostly harmless and for the most part the Surf spread out and around the battlefield in a thin and slowly dissipating layer.

    "Getting rid of that Eiscue is the top priority," Catherine said to Haleigh. "Don't worry about enemy attacks. We won't let them break through and hit Corey, just get rid of that thing so I don't have to spend the entire fight fighting for control of the weather."

    "Got it! Corey, let's try out that new technique of ours!"

    Corey nodded as he took off with a running start, sidestepping the wall and deftly charging towards the Eiscue.

    With a smile of glee on her face, Haleigh shouted, "Pyro Ball!"

    A large ball of fire started materializing by Corey's feet. He dribbled it back and forth, as much for show as it was to line up the shot. Soon enough, Corey found just the right angle and once the Eiscue was in sight, he kicked the projectile right at a curved angle.

    Despite the Eiscue's best efforts, it was no match for Corey's raw speed and finesse as he was forced to take the flaming ball straight on, staggering backwards. Even though Haleigh could tell the impact had caused major damage, she'd need more than that to secure the blow.

    "Sur -" Melody started to voice her counter-attack, but Catherine had already been issuing a command of her own.

    "Hydro Pump!"

    As the Eiscue started to conjure a close-range super-effective retaliation, its plans of retribution were cut short. From across the battlefield, Indra blasted it with a deluge of high pressure water, knocking it off its feet and across the arena, disrupting the attack.

    "Don't let up." Catherine glanced at Haleigh. "Once the Eiscue is out, we win."

    "I'm here too, you know!" Gordie declared. "You won't get away with ignoring us. Tar Shot that Cinderace!"

    "Earth Power, Indra." Catherine wasn't about to let Gordie slow down Corey. The Cinderace needed its speed.

    The Coalossal spat out globs of inky black tar as another wall of mud geysers shot up between the Rock type and Corey. The tar struck the mud, merging with it into an oozy conglomerate as the geysers gurgled to a halt, but Corey was free to keep pressing the attack.

    "Ha! You're not gonna slow me down that easy! Corey, get the Eiscue with a Double Kick."

    Corey used the opening Indra gave him and got close to the Eiscue, leaping up and using his momentum to land a kick. The impact shattered the Eiscue's ice cube head, to which Corey immediately followed up with a second kick that directly connected with its now exposed head.

    "Keep on your guard, Corey!"

    "Forget guarding. We'll guard you. Just take it out," Catherine said.

    The Coalossal was approaching again, only to be shunted back across the battlefield by a second Hydro Pump from Indra, taking his queue from his trainer.

    "You can't defend against both of us," Melony called across the battlefield. "Surf!"

    "Earth Power."

    Another massive wave exploded up from Melony's Eiscue as a series of muddy geysers shot up in front of the wave. The Earth Power was holding the attack at bay, but the Surf attack was starting to break through and Gordie's Coalossal was fast approaching again.

    "Hit the mud with fire!" Catherine instructed. "Indra, behind you."

    "Corey, hit the wall with some Embers, quick!

    Corey redirected his attention to the wall and spewed bursts of flame on it. The wall noticeably hardened as the flames hit it. The wave crashed over the wall, holding strong and allowing Corey another opening as it started retreating.

    "Let's make this count, Flame Charge!"

    Moving in a blur, Corey dashed toward the Eiscue, fire engulfing his entire body. He was a blur as his already high speed was boosted as he headed straight for the Eiscue. No evasive maneuver that the Eiscue could do would be able to get the Cinderace off it in time, forced to take another head-on blow.

    "Hit it with Bubble Beam, Indra." With Corey handling the Eiscue just fine, Catherine turned her attention to Gordie's Coalossal. While Water moves did huge damage to the behemoth, they did also make it faster. But Bubble Beam would sometimes reduce the speed of its targets. Catherine smirked as Indra released a seemingly infinite surge of bubbles at the Rock type as it charged.

    Taking the hit head on as it charged, the Coalossal made it about halfway to Indra before it was forced back by the continuous attack.

    "Let's try a different tactic then. Heat Crash!" Gordie called across to his Pokemon.

    It was, admittedly, a bit of a surprise when the enormous Pokemon managed to leap well into the air as a field of intense flames formed around it. Like a meteor it came crashing down, forcing Indra to dive out the way and abandon his bubble barrage. The Poliwhirl copped a glancing blow, but resisting the damage type was able to roll back to his feet as steam billowed up from where fire and water had met.

    "I can work with steam. You don't have any wide reaching attacks like we do. Earth Power."

    Hidden in the cloud of steam, Indra had more of the muddy geysers exploding up out the ground all over the place. They wouldn't all hit the Coalossal since Indra couldn't see either, but they weren't going far enough to get in Corey's way. "Time to wrap it up with that Eiscue I think."

    The Eiscue looked to be on its last legs as it just barely managed to keep itself standing, every bit as hardy and determined as her own Eiscue. It couldn't take much more, though. Once Haleigh got the finishing blow to connect, the match would be as good as theirs.

    "Alright Corey, let's finish this! One last Flame Charge!"

    Corey turned himself to face the Eiscue once again and started dashing towards it. This time, the Eiscue had just barely been able to dodge the blindingly fast attack thanks to a small falter in Corey's trajectory after stepping on a patch of slick mud. Corey let out a noise of surprise as he looked to his left and saw the Eiscue right beside him, undamaged by the attack.

    Melony called out, "Zen Headbutt, now!"

    "No, Corey -"

    Before Haleigh could finish her command, however, the Eiscue had already charged itself up with psychic energy and headbutted Corey directly, causing him to stagger back. Despite the impact clearly having landed, however, it was only a moment later that the Eiscue was the one that ended up flying through the air as Corey charged back at him with a resounding boom. Everyone watched in awe as the Eiscue landed back down on its back, not moving or making a sound.

    The announcer called out, "What a way to turn that around! With a Counter from Corey, Eiscue has been knocked out!"

    Haleigh exclaimed, "Great work, mate! Cheers!"

    "Don't get too excited," Melody called across. "This is far from over."

    Melony tossed out another Pokeball and a second later, the elegant form of Lapras materialized. Melony was quick on the draw to give it an order. "Perish Song!"

    "You might think that's a problem for me too," Gordie said, still grinning confidently even as the Lapras let out an eerie, almost discordant melody. "But my team are plenty used to switching in and out of this battlefield and they're hard as rock. It won't be a problem.

    "It isn't going to be a problem for us either," Catherine replied flatly. "Time to put the plan into action. Indra, Rain Dance!"

    Without waiting, Indra started twirling and leaping across the battlefield in time to the Lapras' song, storm clouds quickly forming above and a downpour beginning.

    "What's this meant to do about Perish Song?" Gordie asked. "Besides, isn't the rain going to be a problem for your partner?"

    Haleigh chuckled as she said smugly, "Oh don't worry 'bout me, mate. Flames aren't the only thing in my arsenal."

    "Besides," Catherine added, "It's not meant to do anything about Perish Song. It's about your battlefield. Good work, Indra. Time to tag out with Stampede."

    Catherine returned Indra to his ball and then released her Kingdra onto the battlefield. He winced, the jagged ground digging into him, but held firm.

    "Looks like it's still working to me!" Gordie declared.

    "You get one," Catherine replied. "Time to do what you do best, Stampede. Your job is to protect Haleigh's team. The other side doesn't get to lay a finger on them. First step, control the battlefield."

    "Am I missing something?" Gordie asked, glancing at his mother.

    "They're definitely up to something. Don't give them a chance to do whatever they're planning. Hit the Kingdra, Ice Beam!"

    "You heard the lady, Stone Edge!"

    "Icy Wind, Stampede."

    Blades of stone flew out of the ground towards Stampede from one corner of the arena as a chilling Ice Beam shot at him from the other. Both missed as, with his Swift Swim kicking in during the rain, Stampede bounded out the way using his tail like a spring. From the air above, he called forth a freezing Icy Wind and spread it down across the battlefield.

    With a little unintentional help from Melony's Ice Beam, the Icy Wind froze solid all the rainwater that was collecting in the pot holes and divots between the jagged parts of the arena. In a moment, the battlefield was a lot more level than it had been a moment prior, now covered in mostly flat layer of wet ice.

    "I guess you haven't been paying attention to the other gym battles. If you did, you'd know what I told Kabu. Every arena I walk into belongs to me. And speaking of paying or not paying attention…"

    "Corey, Electro Ball!"

    An electric ball rocketed toward the Lapras from seemingly out of nowhere, its source coming from a rapidly skating Cinderace. There was nothing the Lapras could do as the ball instantaneously hit it with a resounding impact, crying out as it took a devastating amount of damage as it reeled back.

    Haleigh let out a laugh of exhilaration and pumped her fist in the air as she shouted, "Now that's what I'm talkin' about! A proper hattrick!"


    She took out Corey's Poke Ball and recalled him before the Perish Song could take effect and swapped him out for Reyna, energized and ready to go. Haleigh said, "Alright, let's snipe that Coaloassol with a Bubble Beam, get yourself in there quick with the ice."

    Reyna nodded with a smirk, flopping down on her belly and propelling herself towards the large Pokemon. She propped herself back up again and shot a Bubble Beam towards the Coaloassal. She had been fairly quick on the ice, but not quite as quick as Corey, so Melony had a chance to exclaim, "Freeze it with Ice Beam, Lapras, press the attack."

    "Dragon Pulse." At Catherine's command, Stampede shot out the blast of flame-like violet energy, his own attack colliding with the Ice Beam. The attacks exploded on impact, showering the surrounding area in shimmering ice crystals and flecks of violet and purple.

    The Ice Beam didn't reach its target, but Reyna's Bubble Beam did. Gordie's Coalossal staggered back against the deluge of bubbles. It wasn't getting as many speed boosts as Gordie would have liked even though it was taking Water hits thanks to Bubble Beam's secondary effect and it was having trouble moving on the extra slippery, rain-soaked ice too.

    "Tar Shot!" Gordie instructed. Once more, his Coalossal spat globs of gooey tar - this time at Reyna. Unfortunately for him, Stampede was on-the-ball. The Tar Shot was struck out of the air by a Hydro Pump.

    Melony wasn't going to waste that opening though. "Psychic!"

    Stampede was encased in psionic energy and lifted off the ground, then launched back down into the ground below, leaving a crack in the ice.

    "Now the Prinplup!" Melony continued.

    "Don't let it!" Catherine called out.

    Laying on his side on the ice, Stampede shot out a Hydro Pump towards the Coalossal, letting the force of the attack shoot him across the battlefield towards the Lapras. He slammed into the Lapras, shaking its concentration and interrupting its Psychic attack. Meanwhile, the Hydro Pump collided with the Coalossal, knocking it over at last with a splintering sound and leaving it vulnerable for Reyna.

    "Finish 'im, spray 'im with Brine!"

    Reyna quickly got herself into position by sliding on the ice, got back up, and opened her beak, shooting out a spray of ultra salty water at the Coalossal. Having only a few speed boosts, the Coalossal simply wasn't fast enough to dodge as it took the spray directly. The attack was all the more devastating due to its low health. The large Pokémon collapsed with a thud, signaling another victory for their battle.

    "Hell yeah," Haleigh cried. "Another down!"

    "Okay," Gordie said. "I have to give it to you. Not bad. But how will you handle this!"

    Gordie withdrew his Coalossal and then released his next combatant. Another towering Rock type took to the field with a roar, sand billowing out from around its green, armoured body to create a sandstorm that canceled out the rain.

    "It's not like we weren't ready for the possibility of Sand Stream stopping my rain," Catherine said. "But that's going to hurt your mother's Lapras too and the battlefield is already how we want it."

    Catherine gestured to where Gordie's Tyranitar was standing gingerly on the frozen battlefield, not making any moves. Like the Coalossal before it, its massive weight didn't pair well with the slick and slippery ground.

    "He won't have to move around if your Pokemon are asleep," Melony said. "Sing!"

    Her Lapras began vocalising once more, this time a much more pleasant rhythm, lilting and hypnotic.

    Catherine saw Stampede's eye start to droop, the Kingdra being right by the Lapras. She was having none of that. "Twister!"

    A tornado sprang into existence, with enough force to throw Stampede away from the Lapras. The Lapras itself got caught in the vortex, the howling gusts drowning out the sound of its singing.

    Both Haleigh and Reyna had noticed that the Tyranitar was having a difficult time with keeping itself steady on the ice. The two gave each other a mischievous look, seemingly thinking the same thing; one didn't always need telepathy to be on the same wavelength.

    "Let's go in quick for a Metal Claw!"

    Gordie called out, "Keep yourself steady, counter with a Thunder Punch."

    As the Prinplup flopped down on her belly again to gain momentum for the strike, the Tyranitar started cranking his fist back for a punch, which crackled with electricity. Reyna got back up and held out her right flipper that started to harden and shimmer. However, instead of striking the Tyranitar directly in front of her, she ducked back down and slid right through the creature's legs. The Tyranitar punched thin air where the Prinplup had been just a second before, prompting it to grunt in frustration as it started turning itself around.

    "Now!" Haleigh shouted.

    Before Tyranitar could fully turn around and go for another swing, Reyna quickly jumped to her feet and spun around, striking the Tyranitar's right leg from behind with her hardened flipper. The effect was immediate as the impact forced the large creature to lose its purchase on the slick ground and fall hard on its face, a resounding boom echoing throughout the stadium as it did so. Before Reyna could do a brief celebration at successfully tipping the Tyranitar over, however, a harsh blast of sand buffeted her and forced her to cover her face.

    "Keep at it!" Catherine called. "Stampede, Twister again. Keep that Lapras out of the way."

    Stampede did just that, adding more power to the tornado that was keeping Melony's Pokemon at bay. Every now and then, an Ice Beam or Hydro Pump would break through, but they would go wide, thrown by the windcurrent.

    Despite being knocked on its face, Tyranitar still had plenty of fight left as it glowered at Reyna, scrambling to get back on its feet. Haleigh didn't waste any time in trying to press the advantage she had against the Tyranitar and instructed, "Let's get some more Metal Claws in there, keep 'em down!"

    "Get up, retaliate with Crunch!"

    As Reyna dashed by to deliver another strike, Tyranitar managed to get enough purchase to get back up onto its feet. Reyna was forced to change her course as the larger Pokémon sidestepped and avoided the brunt of the Metal Claw. Tyranitar took the few second window that Reyna was skating by and chomped down on her, holding her in its jaws for a brief moment before jerking its head and tossing Reyna aside, leaving her vulnerable for a follow-up.

    "Press it with another Crunch, don't let them get up."

    Her eyes widening, Haleigh called out, "Get up, spray him with some Brine!"

    Reyna quickly scrambled to her feet as she spewed the water attack directly into its mouth, forcing it to cancel the attack as it reeled back and held its mouth with a grimace on its face.

    Haleigh exclaimed, "Alright, don't let up, let's get in some more hit and runs!"

    "Enough of this," Melony said. "Psychic."

    This time, the attack was of a very different nature. The Lapras' psychic attack pushed back against the Twister in the opposite direction, breaking it apart with a rumbling noise not dissimilar to thunder.

    "Now the Kingdra," Melony continued.

    Once more, Stampede was levitated into the air and then slammed down into the ice and stone beneath. It wasn't going to stop at just once though, Melony had the Lapras repeat the process, levitating him and dropping again and preparing for a third time.

    "Dragon Pulse!" Catherine ordered while Stampede was still in the air. He twisted to a better angle and blasted the Lapras with the attack, shaking its hold on him and letting him drop to the ground with far less force. "Now Hydro Pump that Tyranitar, that sand is getting annoying."

    Without moving from his spot, Stampede whirled around and targeted the Tyranitar that was still struggling to get a lock on the slippery Reyna. He unloaded a Hydro Pump sniper shot towards the Rock type, catching it off guard and knocking it over much like he had done to the Coalossal earlier, leaving it as easy pickings for Haleigh and Reyna before turning his attention back to the Lapras to prevent Melony interfering.

    "Bubble Beam, Reyna, give it all you got!"

    Reyna stopped in her tracks and shot out the attack. Before the Tyranitar could recover from the Hydro Pump, the Bubble Beam buffeted it with devastating force. Though it stubbornly tried to keep standing, the Tyranitar had simply taken too much damage and fell back onto its back, knocked out cold.

    Gordie recalled the fainted Pokemon and pushed his sunglasses further up his face. With a smirk on his face, he said to his mother, "It's all you now."

    "No need to remind me," Melony replied tersely. "Lapras, use Psychic on the Prinplup, we don't want her getting close."

    The Lapras, not impeded by the ice like the Tyranitar had been, started moving and set her sights on Reyna. Once it was in range, the Lapras sent out a wave of psychic energy that was heading straight for Reyna.

    There was little that could be done about a Psychic attack as far as obstruction, but that didn't mean that Catherine couldn't reduce its duration. "Dragon Breath, Stampede."

    Even as the Psychic was striking Reyna, Stampede was letting loose another of the violet energy blasts. The attack collided with the Lapras an instant later, knocking it skidding across the ice and breaking its hold on Reyna.

    Once Reyna was free from its hold, Haleigh exclaimed, "Metal Claw, you know what to do!"


    Reyna took off dashing towards the Lapras, taking advantage of it being hit by Stampede's Dragon Pulse. The Prinplup leaped up in the air and carried her momentum forward as she swung her flipper down right onto the opposing Pokemon. The Lapras cried out, looking to be on its last sliver of health as it righted itself.

    Haleigh shouted, "Just a bit more, Brine 'em!"

    "Ice Beam, freeze the Prinplup to the ground."

    The Lapras opened its maw as it let out a beam of ice aimed at Reyna's feet.

    "Hydro Pump," Catherine ordered.

    Stampede leapt forward, shooting a torrent of water directly into the incoming Ice Beam, the two attacks canceling each other out with a burst of freezing air and a spray of sleet and ice crystals.

    With the Ice Beam neutralized, Reyna was free to shoot the Brine attack at the Lapras unimpeded. The spray of salty water hit Lapras with full force, compounding the damage it had already suffered. Before the blast had even finished, the Lapras collapsed in a heap.

    Roars of cheering erupted from Catherine and Haleigh's sides of the stands as the announcer called out, "How incredible! A completely flawless victory for the gym challengers!"

    Haleigh turned to Catherine, a look of pure exhilaration on her face as she shouted, "Cheers mate, we did it! We killed it out there!"

    "We did," Catherine said. "Losing wasn't an option."

    Melony and Gordie both came forward to meet the two challengers. They both held out their respective badges. Gordie remarked, "You two are an odd pair, but there's no denying you both make a hell of a team."

    "Indeed," Melony added. "You've both trained well. Not everyone can claim a flawless victory, let alone over two experienced gym leaders."

    Haleigh looked between the two badges and said to Catherine, "I'll take the Ice Badge, if that's alright with you."

    "Doesn't really matter which one I take, so go ahead."

    With the euphoria of victory washing over her, Haleigh jumped in the air and held up her badge for everyone to see. Another wave of cheers erupted from her section. "I'm coming for Spikemuth next! Piers, Marnie, don't think I'll take it any easier on you!"
     
  • 25,607
    Posts
    12
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Indra (Male, Swift Swim) - Rain Dance, Hypnosis, Bubblebeam, Hydro Pump, Earth Power, Refresh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Stampede (Male, Swift Swim) - Hydro Pump, Smokescreen, Twister, Focus Energy, Dragon Pulse, Icy Wind
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Holo (Female, Lightning Rod) - Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Electric Terrain, Rising Voltage, Flame Burst, Flash

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vessel (Female, Dry Skin) - Fury Cutter, Giga Drain, Poison Powder, Spore, Rain Dance, Protect
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Lancer (Male, Dry Skin) - Rock Climb, Revenge, Sucker Punch, Poison Jab, Rain Dance, Toxic


    Inventory:
    - ATC
    - Expensive PokeGear
    - Pokedex
    - 800 Poke (On ATC)
    - TM Icy Wind
    - TM Flash
    - Wishing Star
    - TM Protect
    - TM Rain Dance
    - TM Rock Climb
    - 1x Heavy Ball


    Badges:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    CATHERINE CARLISLE
    Biproducts
    Catherine sat on a small sand dune overlooking the churning waves of Route 9. The snow was gone now, apart from the places right around Circhester or at a particularly high elevation. A cool sea breeze was blowing and the scent of salt was in the air.

    Indra and Stampede swam about a short way ahead while Lancer was entertaining himself with pushups in the surf. Holo was curled up at Catherine's right side while Vessel stood silently sentinel on her left.

    It was idyllic. Peaceful. Catherine had long since learned that as much as she craved the comforts of civilization, she was most at ease when people were few and far between. It was easier than trying to navigate who was or wasn't trustworthy, dealing with social politics and fame. She had come a long way from being who she was at the beginning of her journey in many ways, but some things weren't going to change in a hurry and, she reasoned, shouldn't necessarily have to change at all.

    Besides, her visits to the cities tended to be eventful. Circhester had certainly been eventful. Too eventful. Running into Haleigh and helping her deal with Blackspear and her mother had been intense, but at least it had meant positive change for someone. Navigating the discussions after had been difficult, but she felt like it was a good sign that she had managed to be true to herself without pissing Haleigh off overly much. The gym battle had gone exactly as smooth as she had hoped it would. But that too had taken a lot out of her mentally.

    The interview though? That had been the straw that broke the Camerupt's back. Catherine had already been done with Circhester before the paparazzi had found her. She was significantly more so after the impromptu interview she had been subjected to.



    "Excuse me, Catherine?!"

    Catherine had expected to have to interact with some of her yellow-clad fanbase. What she saw when she turned around though was even worse. A team of three. A scruffy man with a camera, a balding sound guy lugging equipment around and a pristinely-presented woman in a suit carrying a microphone.

    The press.

    By-and-large, Catherine had managed to avoid them. They had failed to corner her outside a single gym since they had started looking for her post-Kabu. But now, it seemed that her luck had run out.

    "I hope you don't mind," the woman said through an artificial smile, "But you are a hot topic right now and I would love to ask you some questions."

    "And if I don't want to answer questions?" Catherine had asked.

    "Well, we wouldn't be able to run the interview when discussing you later. You would lose your chance to give your side of things and we'd be stuck with other sources and hearsay."

    Catherine grit her teeth. Of course it wasn't going to be that way. The threat was implicit. She complied or they would consider that free reign to present her as the villain. They would likely try to anyway, since that would net them the most views. Catherine lived on the internet, she knew damn well how many people would love to see her burned at the stake. Her number of supporters were growing, but that didn't mean the hate aimed her way was decreasing.

    "Just a few then," Catherine said. "I want to get Indra and Stampede checked over as soon as possible."

    "Of course!" the presenter beamed. "I wouldn't dream of keeping you from the Pokemon centre too long. Your team is clearly important to you."

    "They are. Everyone's should be."

    "Are you implying that other competitors don't look after their teams properly?"

    And so it began. The attempts to get her to say something that would fan the flames. Well, knowing that wasn't going to stop Catherine from giving the blunt and honest truth. "I'm sure there are those that don't. Plenty of gym challengers look at their teams as tools to bring them victory. It comes with the nature of the competition. I'm not saying every other challenger is like that. I've seen people who started that way and got better. I've seen others who had the right attitude from the start. But it would be stupid to pretend the darker side to all this doesn't exist."

    The presenter nodded her head, smirking ever so slightly. She clearly thought she had found the controversy gold mine. Catherine figured she probably had.

    "What about your recent battle partner?" The presenter asked.

    "What about her?" Catherine replied, "Do you think I'd willingly partner with someone who mistreats their Pokemon? Haleighy does right by her team."

    "And was she someone who was good from the start, or did she get better?"

    "Does it matter? She's doing the right thing now."

    There was a hint of annoyance in the journalist's eyes at that, but she was a professional and pressed on regardless. "She must be for you to be willing to partner with her, given your philosophy. It was quite a surprise to see you engaged in a team battle. In fact, some people are already whispering that you're betraying your own ideals."

    Catherine couldn't help but scoff. "If you think cooperation is against my ideals, you haven't been paying attention to anything I've been saying and don't understand my philosophy as well as you think you do. Galar is a corrupt and broken place. I want to fix it. How exactly are we going to fix anything if we refuse to work together? I'm selective, but I fully support cooperation and teamwork. That is going to be needed going forward. I'm trying hard to keep to that even though I am clearly not naturally a people person."

    The reporter opened her mouth and then closed it, seemingly at a loss for what to say to that.

    "I'll say it again: I'm focused on doing the right thing and I want others focused on doing the right thing. You should always be mindful of what people's ulterior motives might be, but we can't move forwards as a society if everyone is enemies."

    This time, the reporter had something to say. "Were you mindful of Haleigh's ulterior motives? How do you know she wasn't just using you to achieve victory? What about you? Did you have ulterior motives?"

    "Haleigh can handle herself just fine and neither Gordie nor Melony was much of a challenge. She'd have been fine without me. Besides, if you knew anything at all about her, you'd know that she isn't really someone capable of scheming like that."

    "What about your motives then?"

    "I wanted to show the world what good cooperation looks like and I was curious about teaming up with her. That's it. I'm upfront about what I want from things."

    "So you wanted to try the paired battle? Is Haleigh a friend of yours?"

    Catherine sighed. "Maybe? I don't know. I also don't see why it matters or why it's any of your business. Stop looking for stupid gossip to report on and focus on the important parts of what I'm saying."



    The interview hadn't gone on much beyond that. Which was good, because Catherine had become progressively more inclined towards homicide as the reporter had continued her probing.

    Unfortunately, this hadn't exactly done her any favours with the press. The interview itself had gone viral and videos of it were a constant source of debate between people who supported her, people who despised her and those who were just there to fan the flames and feed on the chaos. Catherine disliked that last group the most.

    In that moment though, while the interview and related articles were certainly present in her mind, Catherine was calm. She had never really cared what people thought of her. She still didn't really. All that mattered was if her public image was hurting her message and, as best she could tell, it wasn't. If anything, her continued honesty was helping.

    The theories and arguments were annoying, but they weren't a hindrance. So, despite the memory of the interview lingering in the back of her mind, Catherine was able to enjoy the peace.

    Right up until Stampede indicated someone approaching and the sound of boots sinking into soft sand came to Catherine's attention shortly thereafter.

    The source of the steps was a young brunette woman in a ranger's uniform, a Rookidee perched on her shoulder.

    "Can I help you?" Catherine asked.

    "No, I don't think so," the ranger replied. "Actually, I'm here because you need to leave. There's a lot of territorial, violent Pokemon around here. Happens every year when the ice starts melting. Local Ice types start brawling over the reduced territory all over the place until the ice is gone and they head back up into the mountains."

    Catherine nodded. It made sense. The fact that the ranger said all this while scowling irritably at her made less sense unless she had been recognised.

    "Thanks for the advice," Catherine said. "I'll be leaving shortly anyway. I have a ferry to catch."

    "You'll be leaving now." The ranger's scowl deepened.

    Catherine hadn't meant to defy the instruction. She wasn't particularly worried about handling any wild Pokemon that jumped her given her team were all present, but she didn't want to cause trouble for the ranger either. Now though…

    "There's no need to get angry about it. I didn't mean I was going to ignore you. We're just finishing up here anyway so we'll be out of the way soon."

    "Look," the ranger said, "I've seen your interviews. I get that you think you're hot shit. But when a ranger instructs you to leave, you leave immediately."

    "I just said -"

    "Immediately."

    Catherine sighed, standing up and starting to recall her team. "Certainly, ma'am. I wouldn't dare question the authority of a clearly rookie ranger, nor dare to put myself at risk when someone far less capable is here to protect me. I'll be on my way."

    And she would be. But she had time to kill before the ferry was due back so she figured she might as well go clear out some of the troublemaking Ice types. Partly to do a good deed. Just a little out of spite.
     

    LinearAxel

    That Dream...Make it Come True!
  • 391
    Posts
    8
    Years
    Video Did What?
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    After months of adventure, after miles upon miles hiked on foot, through plains and mines, through snow and deserts, through city after city and trial after trial, the only thing standing between Melody and her hometown was… a beach.

    The look of the unnaturally pale girl with the resting b*tch face standing at the shore, arms folded, did bring something of a one of these things just doesn't belong thought to mind. At least she was dressed lightly enough not to look physically uncomfortable. Her Spikemuth trial tank top was short enough to pass as a bikini top, and she had begrudgingly traded her usual jeans for a pair of black shorts (sand is the mortal enemy to pants.)

    The punk teen looks down at the pair of Pokemon in front of her: Spike the Toxel, and Shredder, the newly caught Wimpod that she had found during the trial's holiday break. Had it not been for the sand crab looking so excited to be around, well, sand, Melody would have made a b-line for the docks and rented a boat to leave this beach as soon as she got here. Though, she had to admit, the look on the two Pokemon's faces as they constructed a Pilosand-castle together was endearing enough to make a little pitstop worthwhile… even if it was a pitstop that involved a blaring sun and an obnoxiously high number of people. Loud people. Overly cheerful people.

    "I think you need one more shell," Melody says as she points to the center of the Pilosand-castle's head. The pair of Pokemon look down at a small indent they had dug in the sand to put all their decorations. Spike makes a displeased huff upon realizing that there are no more shells. It's followed by a little pout that makes Melody snicker. "C'mon, let's find another one."

    The punk teen hoists the lizard into her arms and begins to walk along the shoreline. The skittering sound of tiny claws pitter-pattering along behind her is indication enough that Shredder is following along, making soft, happy sounds when the waves brush against the shore and surge underneath tiny legs.

    As the group walks along the shoreline, Melody's attention is quickly taken away from the shell-search. She blinks slowly, her eyebrow raising in curiosity as a group of sunbathers, who had not moved in the last forty-five minutes, suddenly abandoned their umbrellas and towels to charge inland. Following them with her eyes, she soon sees why: There's a stage up there, and from the looks of all the people now excitedly trying to rush over, someone's about to perform. That suits Melody just fine: She's more than happy to walk along the beach without having to sidestep people lying in the sand and try not to get knocked over by kids too focused on their Itemfinders to look at where they're going.

    The cheering crowd fades into the background as the trio continue to scale the shoreline for a properly colored and shaped shell. Melody barely registers the shouting crowd or the voice of the person speaking through a microphone. Even the music that starts playing serves only as background noise-- until the person begins singing. It's then that Melody stops abruptly, a perplexed look on her face as she looks at Spike and then back to the direction of the stage. That voice, the one playing through those speakers… that's her.

    An autotuned, digitized version, but that's unmistakably her voice. "No f*cking way." The jarring sensation quickly fades in lieu of confusion. While this tune is familiar, these words aren't. She's never sung them. So how-- That thought doesn't have time to be completed before the punk teen takes off in a sprint toward that stage.

    By the time she arrives, a decent chunk of the beachgoers have encircled the platform. Impatiently, the punk teen pushes her way through by lightly elbowing a large, shirtless man in the side. When she was finally close enough (and had managed to find people short enough that she could see over) the sight that laid out before her, while not shocking, was instantly infuriating.

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Not only was her voice (at least a bastardized version of it) playing through those speakers, but parading around on the stage was a girl, not much older than her, moving her mouth along to that voice as if it were coming from her mouth.

    "Did that cotton candy b*tch seriously pirate my throat?" Melody thinks aloud, though the sound of her voice is quickly dissolved by the louder sound waves. Two things happen simultaneously: A bright light flashing from the corner of her eye signals that Shredder has activated his ability and put himself back into his Pokeball, and a loud, threatening growl plays in Melody's ear. As she looks at the Toxel hanging onto her shoulder, she sees a look in his eyes she's never seen before: His body tensed, his eyes narrowed into a baleful glare, and the bolt-like mark on his head glowing a vibrant yellow. He looks from the girl parading around the stage to his trainer as his tiny hand balls into a tight fist.

    Likewise, Melody feels her own hand tightening, her nails digging into her palm, before reaching the same conclusion her electrical reptile had come to the second he saw that girl spinning around on stage:

    It's time to make a scene.
     

    Orx of Twinleaf

    Branch into Psyche
  • 273
    Posts
    8
    Years
    Team:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Rij
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Henj
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pelj
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Kolj
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Tonj
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Silj
    Tim T
    Tim stood atop the Wailmer, stretching his arms. He stepped off of it back onto Kolj, who had finished her own brief rest. The Wailmer—that had submitted to being sat upon either from fear or as thanks for Tim's disposal of the Carvanhas that had been harrying it—promptly disappeared under the water without fanfare. Tim gripped Kolj with his legs and sat up straight as the Relicanth chose her own direction.

    Things had changed with Rij's Evolution. The now-Rhydon had stepped up to act as a leader to the other mons, and even over Tim. Rij had made it very apparent he considered himself not just senior to the other mons by virtue of his experience but also to Tim by virtue of his age. For a creature that had spent all his life prior as a quadruped, Rij was very animated when he spoke as a Rhydon, gesturing so widely and emphatically it would make a silent film actor seem positively droll. With no shortage of theatrical scoffing and arm-crossing, Rij had demanded Tim ball the team but for Kolj, and cross the route with her alone. The other mons had supported the idea and between the combined charades of Rij and Henj had managed to communicate to Tim that they felt that this would be a more proper manner of doing things here, rather than for Tim to just prowl the coast for a while before hiring a ferry as he'd originally planned.

    Kolj wasn't completely hogging the field though. The occasional little sandbank broke up the monotony of water travel enough for Tim's other mons to have a turn when Tim challenged what passersby he found. Tim's Rocks were not shy of water as most of their species would be, with the exception of Silj the Sudowoodo, who had not yet had an opportunity to be put through the same water training the others had gone through.

    When a sandbank was not to be found, Tim dismounted to tread water. It was exhausting to do so in his heavy boots, but Tim made himself do it as an act of solidarity—it didn't sit right with him that Kolj should carry him about the entire time, after all. Tim still felt a certain hesitation to be in the ocean. Sometimes he felt the phantom grip of an anchor over his shoulder. He was determined, however, not to be cowed by such things. He trusted Kolj to be able to guard him from any such maneuvers, and besides this stretch of water didn't seem to harbor the same degree of danger. Carvanhas and Basculins were well within the size category that Tim considered "comfortable to melee," even in the water, and anything else that might attack him would be doing so in the usual territorial feral fashion, not trying to get a taste of his fingers.

    The place was attracting a wide array of tourists, who brought with them all sorts of mon, even those not native to the area. It was valuable experience to be able to battle on such restricted terrain, how much more valuable for Tim and his mons both to battle such varied creatures as Sandyghast, Tandemaus, Kingler, even a nonGalarian Farfetch'd. Tim would bring Kolj in along coastlines to challenge any there willing to battle. Tim was careful to not come into crowds, so his opponents weren't exactly other League challengers, but he liked to think that the experience was worthwhile all the same.

    Tim had started battling other Trainers in the field even before challenging Gordie, but now he had decided to make it a focus, at Rij's encouragement. With a demeanor more fitting an unhappy nanny than a drill-horned rock monster, Rij had made very plain his disapproval of Tim's state of living. Tim had to wonder why it should be so important to Rij when he never cared before, but regardless Rij's insistence wasn't completely overridden. Tim had agreed with some exasperation to at least buy himself some clothes at the next opportunity. Tim considered this a wild and irresponsible waste of money, and the increase in Trainer battles would help offset this perceived reckless spending. Tim didn't demand payment of course, but it was something of a tradition here as in Unova—and apparently in a whole lot of other places—to forfeit some small sum to the victor after a Trainer battle, so most of Tim's opponents would pay him without even being asked. It was of course pocket change compared to what matches between carded Trainers could turn up but it was more than nothing. Sometimes one of his opponents even had their own card and offered to do things the official way. These payments together with the payouts for Tim's Gym victories would hopefully be enough to allow for maybe a new pair of pants and another coat at the least.

    Tim had to keep in mind that his opponents were not especially-amazing Trainers in the grand scheme of things. Tourists or just mundane passersby who happened to have mons with them and at least a surface understanding of battling. This was the only satisfactory explanation for why Tim had yet to lose any of these battles, no matter how exotic and unpredictable the teams in play could get. They were more involved than fighting groups of Skrelps or a Clobberpus ambush or something sure, but Tim didn't think they were particularly more difficult. Tim wasn't going to suppose for a moment that he might just be especially skilled at battling. He was no slouch but he didn't consider himself very good either.

    Tim bent and tapped Kolj on the side of the head, turning her towards a sandbank he managed to see through the glare of the sun. Tim hadn't ridden Kolj before—honestly she was almost too small for it, Tim felt—but there were few better ways to learn such a skill than doing it. Tim's thighs had been burning since shortly after sunrise having to cling to the fish under him as she squirmed and wiggled through the water, but he would suck it up and deal with the expectable crippling pain he'd wake up with in the morning. It was the least he could do when he wasn't running or sparring here.

    Tim found his mind drifting. He wondered what his friend would have said to him and Rij if she were here. In the end though, he realized it didn't matter. It was a what-if. If Rij could stand up and assert himself now why shouldn't Tim be able to? Rij had known her all his life—for longer than Tim had even been alive. But even as a Rhyhorn, Rij had applied himself for Tim, given himself over to his training, learned new things and overcame new challenges. What had Tim done though? Wallowed in despair, wandered listlessly. It was no wonder the other challengers were so reviled by him. It was pitiful behavior.

    Honestly, Tim had to wonder how he'd let himself fall into such a slump. So what would his friend have said to him were she here? No doubt she would have jabbed him in that playful way she always had, chided him for being such a downer. She would have told Rij to try and pick him up and help him. And of course, with his apparently newfound mental faculties, Rij was doing that now. Because Rij would and did know what she would have said to them. Rij had known her better than Tim ever had, and he had managed to get his life back together and move on. If Tim weren't able to it would be shameful indeed.

    Kolj reached the shore and let Tim clamber off to wade the rest of the way in as she followed behind. Tim missed his friend. He imagined he likely always would. But she wasn't coming back. He would never get to know her any better than he already had, never get to make more memories to look back on. But here, now, were others to know and make memories with.

    Tim's mustached face swiveled around the sandbank and then further to sea. After some scanning he spotted what looked like a Drednaw ferry some distance away. Kolj got back into the water and Tim mounted up. Tim's friend had been the best Ranger she could have been. She had never doubted her abilities or worried about appearances. She had just been a Ranger. Tim had admired that about her. It was why he had followed her here to this foreign, friendless land.

    Tim wasn't a Ranger. Tim was a Trainer.

    "Ahoy the ferry," Tim called from Kolj's back as she drew closer. There was a spindly young man riding it with the look of a tourist, and a few balls visible on his belt besides the Milcery he was cradling in his arms. "You'd oblige me to a battle, sir," Tim said, pointing to the sandbank he'd come from. "Liven up the day a bit, ah?"

    Tim didn't consider himself a good Trainer.

    He doubted if he'd ever pass as a good Trainer, even if he still felt he was at least an adequate one.

    But Tim was going to be the best Trainer he could be. For his mons. For himself. For her.

    The young man looked down at his Milcery and spoke with a strong accent Tim couldn't place. "Leche was start getting bored anyway." He looked up at Tim. "I am Wenceslao. Who is your name?"

    "I'm Tim."
     
    Last edited:

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    .
    STAGE 20 - SPIKEMUTH

    Spoiler:
    As the spring months continue on, the academy graduates find themselves reaching Spikemuth, the smallest city in Galar. That is not to say that Spikemuth is unimpressive though, thanks to Marnie's efforts leading up to the second Darkest Day and continuing thereafter, Spikemuth has experienced a few years of much better publicity and is steadily growing and improving - especially now that a lack of a Power Spot isn't such a detracting feature.

    Many areas of Spikemuth are now in the process of being reinvented and rebuilt, replacing the dusty and old with the shiny and new to better fit the new Spikemuth image. It also meant that the dingier, shadier parts of town only became more obvious as remnants of Team Yell and local street gangs crammed themselves into such places.

    Spikemuth is a place of duality. A cramped city where one side of a street will be lined with neon lights, shops pressed side by side windows full of new merchandise and lines of people gathering outside clubs; and on the other side, the lights are dim and the buildings abandoned but for illicit gatherings in the narrow alleyways and underground punk shows held in ramshackle basements.

    Towards the back of the city, a stadium stands tall… and unfinished. Not yet ready for use, it is simultaneously a monument to Spikemuth's progress and to how far it still has to go. Instead, gym battles here are held at an outdoor concert venue until construction of the new stadium is completed. Only time will tell what the graduates will gain from their experiences in a place of such transition.

    WILD POKÉMON AVAILABLE THIS STAGE
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
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    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
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    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
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    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon available to those on Mission 1:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon available to those on Mission 2:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon Available to those on Mission 3:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]




    .
    GYM LEADERS:


    Important Note:
    For this stage, as well as any following stages with two gym leaders, you will have the option to take on both gym leaders at once by teaming up with another player. The same rules as a solo battle apply and both gym leaders have the normal amount of Pokemon. You can also take on the gym mission with the other player. You cannot take on both gym leaders at once with a single character.

    Gym Mission:
    Spikemuth's straight, narrow alleyways are known for their dangerous Pokemon street races at night. However, rather than outlawing them, its gym leaders have decided to make them a feature of the gym mission. In order to pass, challengers must beat an opposing Team Yell member's Pokemon in a street race. Rotom cameras follow the racers and each Pokemon is equipped with an earpiece for trainer communication. The track itself goes through the entire town and the first to complete a full loop wins - be warned, however, as Spikemuth racers are not known to play nice…

    Battle!
    Since her debut as Spikemuth's gym leader, Marnie has kept her brother's rock-band aesthetic for the Spikemuth arena. Both she and her co-leader Klara use this area for concerts as well as battling - as such, it is outfitted with several pieces of equipment that can be used for both. The stage itself is extremely dim, only lit up by bright pink neon signs and a few spotlights. Challengers must battle in this near-total darkness, all while being surrounded by bombastic pyrotechnics, overzealous Team Yell fans on the sidelines, and blaring speakers blasting out the respective leader's music. This is the Spikemuth way of battle - get used to it!

    [OPEN][GYM] ★1:
    Marnie took over the Spikemuth gym from her older brother Piers shortly after the second Darkest Day and has been spearheading the efforts to put Spikemuth back on the map ever since - and arguably before then too. When not participating in league battles or exhibition matches, she can usually be found adding her talents to Spikemuth's renaissance in other ways.

    Marnie tends to shy away from the limelight, but don't let that fool you into thinking she's soft. Marnie is calm, composed and tough as nails. Behind her static exterior is the soul of a fierce competitor who is dedicated to Spikemuth's future. While she is difficult to rile up on her own, her well-hidden competitive streak can come out during battle and she tends to get caught up in the enthusiasm of her Pokemon.

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Unlike her brother, who was known for his aggressive and ruthless fighting style, Marnie is a more more methodical and controlled fighter, rarely letting her emotions show in the heat of battle. She uses the stage to its fullest extent, often relying on surprise tactics to gain the upper hand. Her strongest Pokemon, Grimmsnarl, uses a powerful combination of Trick Room and Hammer Arm to wear down foes and outspeed even the most dextrous opponents. Scrafty is an endurance fighter with strong coverage, intimidating opponents before catching them off-guard with its surprising speed. Finally, her Morpeko's cuteness should never be confused with weakness, with a devastating arsenal of bite moves and a second wind from its berry - just beware its hanger once that berry is gone…

    Marnie's Pokémon:


    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Play Rough | False Surrender | Stomping Tantrum
    Burning Jealousy | Hammer Arm | Trick Room
    Ability: Pickpocket

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Aura Wheel | Seed Bomb | Scary Face
    Psychic Fangs | Fire Fang | Super Fang
    Ability: Hunger Switch
    Held item: Sitrus berry


    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Throat Chop | High Jump Kick | Drain Punch
    Poison Jab | Head Smash | Zen Headbutt
    Ability: Intimidate

    [OPEN][GYM] ★2:
    Unlike her contemporary, Klara thrives on being in the spotlight and loves being the centre of attention. Originally a struggling pop singer with limited popularity, she turned her goals towards becoming a gym leader instead.

    Although there were hiccups along that road too, Klara proved to be dauntless and soon found herself joining the league circuit as the second leader of Spikemuth. Klara can come off as ditzy, but this is an act for the sake of the public. In reality, she is calculating, cunning and devious and determined to bask in the glow of the spotlight for as long as she can.

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Klara's battling style can be described in one sentence: she will poison you, and once that happens, the battle becomes a ticking time bomb. This simple strategy has been known to bring even the strongest fighters to their knees, and this late in the challenge, Klara knows how to use it with deadly effectiveness. Her Weezing and Drapion, special and physical fighters respectively, set up the poison using clever tricks and the stage's blind spots. This sets up her quick-drawing Slowbro, who then quickly disposes of any stragglers with its devastating nasty plot and shell side arm combo.

    Klara's Pokémon:

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Shell Side Arm | Psychic | Surf
    Foul Play | Focus Blast | Nasty Plot
    Ability: Quick Draw

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Toxic Spikes | Toxic | Venom Drench
    Cross Poison | Night Slash | Ice Fang
    Ability: Sniper

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    Toxic Spikes | Toxic | Sludge Wave
    Strange Steam | Heat Wave | Dark Pulse
    Ability: Levitate



    [CATCH CHANCE!] Mission 1:
    There are rumours floating around town that a Spikemuth perfume store is using illegal exotic ingredients to make their products more valuable. One such ingredient is Ivysaur nectar, a highly-sought additive in Galar. Will you investigate the truth of these claims?
    Reward: Black Sludge

    [CATCH CHANCE!][MULTI] Mission 2:
    For years now the dastardly Gliscor nicknamed 'Shadow Bat' has been terrorizing the people of Spikemuth, hiding in the darkness and always evading capture. Its archnemesis, 'Sword Claw' the Scizor, is the only one capable of standing up to the Bat's villainy. Will you side with the villain or hero of this story, and will you recruit them into your own justice (or injustice) league?
    Reward: Razor Fang (Gliscor) or Razor Claw (Scizor)

    [CATCH CHANCE] Mission 3:
    You're enjoying a leisurely stroll down the tall grass around Spikemuth when suddenly you trip and fall over an invisible obstacle. You look behind you and realize it's… a floating stripe? Oh! No, it's a Kecleon. The Pokemon seems angry at you, and is pointing at an item you seemed to have stepped on, then at your pockets. You've heard of a coin-collecting Pokemon from a distant region before, but this is the first time you've heard of one demanding coins as payment.
    Reward: Light Clay

    Mission 4:
    Wait… why is that Zigzagoon brown? Why are there so many brown Zigzagoons hanging around? The Galarian Zigzagoon are not happy about these Hoennian imposters invading their territory, and they're doing everything in their power to drive them out. It seems something (or someone) is keeping them here. Maybe they're aiming to make a profit at this invasive species' expense?
    Reward: Silk Scarf

    Mission 5:
    You know what they say: Hyperfans ruin everything. The Pokemon Center staff find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place as two groups engage in a battle of petty insults and references. What's the topic of debate this time? Who is Best Girl obviously! Are you Team Klara or Team Marnie? You might not be able to definitively settle the dispute, but it would be nice if you could get these fanboys and fangirls to take their arguments elsewhere so people can heal their Pokemon in peace.
    Reward: TR Hyper Voice

    Mission 6:
    Club Soundwave has a problem! Their scheduled bouncer, Lenny, threw his back out and can't make it to work. The club can get a little rough, and with no one to keep the customers in line, something's bound to get broken fast. You must be pretty tough to have made it this far, you want the job? The pay is decent, and you get a cool pair of sunglasses for keeps.
    Reward: Black Glasses + 1,000 Poke

    Mission 7:
    Marnie is working hard to make Spikemuth a better place, but not everyone's on board. In fact, a small group has been roaming the streets at night trying to undo what's been done to improve the look of the place. They could really use your help cleaning up, and maybe, if you come across the crew that's messing everything up, convince them that a little change might be good.
    Reward: TR Encore

    [OPEN]Mission 8:
    "Máquina Técnica Co.", a foreign TM and TR retailer and manufacturer, has recently opened a large shop in Spikemuth ahead of the incoming wave of battle-hungry tourists. Challengers can browse their selection of high-power TRs at their leisure… but at a (probably exorbitant) price.
    Reward: Any move TR of 90+ power (you must have at least 10,000 Poke on hand).


     

    LinearAxel

    That Dream...Make it Come True!
  • 391
    Posts
    8
    Years
    Video Did What? Pt. 2
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]

    "Power-Up Punch!"
    The order is given before the Toxel is tossed toward the stage. While in mid-air, he balls his hands into tiny fists and aims for one of the massive speakers. The piece of technology shrieks in high-pitch feedback as it spits out electricity, which the electrical reptile happily absorbs.

    The attack had several people leap back while others reached for their phones and rushed over to see what had caused the sudden explosion. This cleared the way for Melody to run over and hoist herself onto the stage.

    "You've got eight seconds to tell me why you're using my voice in your fake-*ss glamour show or you're next." Melody fixates her gaze on the trainer before her as Spike hops down from the speaker and back onto her shoulder.

    While the blonde teen hardly looked pleased, her expression read significantly more annoyed than frightened by the threat (and the flying lizard baby punching things.) However, as she pivots on her toes to face Melody properly, that look of annoyance morphs into a smug smile. "Haven't you heard? It's free real estate."

    "Excuse you?"

    The blonde rolls her eyes and makes an expression that reads she's trying to look annoyed, but is far too smug to really pull it off. "You can take all sorts of things from people: Words, styles, art, no one cares as long as you don't charge money."

    In a way, she had Melody over a barrel. She had never paid any attention at all to how… any laws work, really. This girl could be right, she could be making it up, she could be telling a half-truth. Not that she really needs to understand to beat the highlights out of this girl until she agrees to stop doing what she's doing (overlooking the fact that that is, in fact, very illegal.) She's also thrown for a loop on the why of this whole thing. If this girl's not trying to make money, and she can't use it for clout (she's outright admitting all she's doing is flapping her lips to lyrics--) "Then what the f*ck do you want with it?"

    The blonde looks at the punk teen as if she's about to say the most obvious thing in the world. "To give the people what they want."

    She's said this before-- but it bears repeating. With slightly more indignation this time. "Excuse you?"

    The blonde teen shakes her head in faux dismay before extending her hand towards the crowd-- which had grown in size considerably since the explosion. "Have you ever heard the expression, video killed the radio star [i/]? When someone has a nice voice, but won't-- or can't, make the right look and act the right way, the people get bored." She crooks her finger as she looks at the punk teen with a look of pure superiority. "So I'm borrowing what the people like about you and adding it to a package that they can get behind." Raising the microphone back to her lips, the blonde spins on her toes once more to face the audience. "Tell me who you love!"

    The audience, who had begun either talking amongst themselves or taken out their Rotom phones to record or blog about whatever the h*ll one could even call this exchange, suddenly jumped to attention.
    "V-E-R-A!"

    "Thaaaat's right, and I love you!" She says with the cutest (most fake) giggle Melody had ever heard. Vera turns to face the punk teen and lowers her mic once more. "See? They don't care what's real. They care about the image: A nice voice, a pretty face, a star that loves them as much as they love her. That's what they want to see. "

    Melody folds her arms over her chest, her nails digging into her upper arms in frustration as she looks out at the audience. What Vera's saying isn't exactly news to her. From the beginning of this journey, she knew she wasn't the type of person anyone could get behind; She wasn't a charismatic underdog like Simon, she wasn't an energetic, supportive superstar like Valerie, she wasn't drop-dead gorgeous and graceful like Pia, and she wasn't endearingly stubborn and brave like Haleigh. H*ll, she spent her entire schooling trying not to be seen as anything like that. She always thought it was better to fly under the radar, never being noticed and never getting any expectations pinned on her… rather than show she might be decent at something and eventually fail, disappointing everyone who thought she might be able to put Spikemuth on the map.

    … And she didn't honestly know when she stopped being the person that let the fear of disappointing a faceless mass of people control her, but somewhere along this journey with these charismatic, supportive, stubbornly brave people, she got sick of it. This is her life, and she was sleeping through it, ducking away from it, because some chuckle f*cks in the audience might say Oh, look, the Spikemuth girl's got a Zigzagoon. Never seen that before.

    Looking back on it now, it… seems completely ridiculous to walk through life pretending to be something or someone she isn't. If the many, many ghosts she's come across have taught her anything, it's that this life is just too damn short to spend any more time of her time not being herself because she might not be a good enough version of herself to appease… someone.

    Cutting her gaze away from the audience, she rolls her eyes at Vera. "Okay, first of all: Video did what? It didn't kill anything. Radio still exists, and second, I didn't ask for your brain-fried, bleached-blonde philosophy on the quickest route to celebrity rehab. I asked why you auto-tuned the piss outta my voice to do it."
    Twirling a strand of blonde hair around her finger, Vera looks from Melody to the audience and back again. "How about this? These people came for a performance, which you ruined, so let's give them a different kind. If you win, I'll stop using those vocals."

    And what? If she wins, she gets to keep them? No, that's not happen--

    "TOX-TOXEL!" Spike shouts from Melody's shoulder, pointing an accusing finger at Vera as the symbol atop his head sparks with anger.

    …He just agreed to this for them, didn't he? "What kind of performance?"

    Vera smirks before raising the mic to her lips. "How would you all like to see a double battle?!"

    The cheers, whistles, and frantic claps answer that question quickly enough. Melody looks at the purple reptile on her shoulder, who encouragingly taps his forehead against hers.
    "I guess we're doing this."

    "Fan-tastic!" Vera practically squeals before spinning towards the complete opposite side of the stage, making Melody question how she didn't fall right off the side. With all that hair, there's no way she could see. "Show me what'cha got, Miss Phantom!"

    Before Melody could so much as consider which of her Pokemon had the best synergy for a double battle, Spike slides off her shoulder and-- on his back two legs, trots towards center stage.

    "Spike--" Melody attempts to call the little creature back, yet he continues. Once he reaches his destination, he turns back to his trainer, his body sparkling with electricity as he gives a thumb's up. He can do this. He wants to do this.

    A tiny smile threatens to take shape on her face. "Okay, then… let's do this, Ren!"

    She grasps the single Duskball from her collection of Pokeballs before holding it out towards center stage. The Lycanroc appears, glimmering in the light of the vibrant sun before letting out an excitable, eager grin. His shining pink eyes look down at his youngest counterpart as he holds his much larger fist out to the young electric type, earning himself a fistbump.

     
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  • 25,607
    Posts
    12
    Years
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]


    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Indra (Male, Swift Swim) - Rain Dance, Hypnosis, Bubblebeam, Hydro Pump, Earth Power, Refresh
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Stampede (Male, Swift Swim) - Hydro Pump, Smokescreen, Twister, Focus Energy, Dragon Pulse, Icy Wind
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Holo (Female, Lightning Rod) - Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Electric Terrain, Rising Voltage, Flame Burst, Flash

    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Vessel (Female, Dry Skin) - Fury Cutter, Giga Drain, Poison Powder, Spore, Rain Dance, Protect
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Lancer (Male, Dry Skin) - Rock Climb, Revenge, Sucker Punch, Poison Jab, Rain Dance, Toxic


    Inventory:
    - ATC
    - Expensive PokeGear
    - Pokedex
    - 800 Poke (On ATC)
    - TM Icy Wind
    - TM Flash
    - Wishing Star
    - TM Protect
    - TM Rain Dance
    - TM Rock Climb
    - 1x Heavy Ball


    Badges:
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    Pokémon Spear [M] [IC]
    CATHERINE CARLISLE
    The Battle of the Brawn
    Catherine watched as the Darmanitan scurried away with its metaphorical tail between its legs. Stampede hopped back to her, looking almost smug. He'd been shaken for a while after the mishap with the Gabite pair, but the events in Circhester and subsequent gym battle seemed to have put him right again. He wasn't quite as gung-ho as he used to be, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Still, he was plenty enthusiastic about helping out with the Ice-type encroachment. He'd fought off two weaker Pokemon and now a fairly tough Darmanitan. Catherine decided it was time to switch him out for Lancer.

    The Kingdra protested somewhat, but eventually gave in and returned to his ball without further fuss. A moment later, he was replaced by the purple form of Catherine's Croagunk, eagerly awaiting what he hoped would be a battle.

    Catherine was happy to give him what he wanted. "There's a bunch of territorial Ice types causing problems in the area. We're going around clearing them out so they stop endangering people and each other. I take it you have no complaints?"

    A smirk was quick to form on Lancer's face. He shrugged his shoulders and cracked his knuckles, eager to test his strength.

    First though, they had to find one of the aforementioned Ice types which turned out to be easier said than done. Evidently, she and Stampede had been doing a very good job because the immediate area around where she had switched Lancer in was devoid of any Pokemon looking to get into a brawl.

    Lancer was starting to get irritable as the few Ice types they did come across were the timid sort aiming to avoid confrontation. Catherine wasn't going to chase them down and force them into a battle they weren't looking for.

    It was in the wake of a pair of Darukama jumping into a hole behind some shrubbery and Lancer very nearly diving in after that something major finally caught their attention. A very loud, very human scream.

    "Well, Lancer, maybe that's the fight you're looking for. Come on."



    The site that Catherine and Lancer found before them minutes later was in some ways exactly what Catherine had expected to find. In others, it was something of a surprise.

    As expected: a hulking white-furred Beartic was looming over a cowering young woman and her fallen Pokemon.

    What was not expected: the woman in question was a familiar upstart ranger and the fallen Pokemon was her Rookidee. Stranger still though, the Beartic wasn't making any further moves to attack. It was just standing there menacingly. At closer inspection, it almost looked bored or unimpressed.

    With Lancer at her side, Catherine strode into the sleet-filled clearing this scene was playing out in. "Having some trouble there, Miss Ranger?"

    The Beartic and the ranger both turned to face Catherine at the same time. The latter with eyes going wide with shock and horror.

    "What are you still doing here?!" the ranger shrieked. "You need to get away. It's dangerous. Didn't I tell you to leave before?!"

    "You did," Catherine said, "But I decided to do something more productive and clear out some of those problem Ice types for you."

    "Go!"

    Catherine sighed and shook her head. "If this Beartic was as dangerous as you're saying, it would have eaten you before I got here."

    The Beartic was ignoring the ranger entirely now, focused on Catherine… no, Lancer. It was sizing the Croagunk up. It gave a derisive snort, but bared its fangs regardless.

    Catherine realised soon thereafter what was going on. This Pokemon wasn't territorial. It was testing its strength. Still, it was clearly too keen to pick fights with anyone passing by. It was already growling at Lancer.

    "It's not trying to claim territory," Catherine said. "It's looking for a good fight. Reminds me of some people I've met. Some Pokemon too. It's not attacking you anymore because it's decided that you're weak."

    As Catherine spoke, Lancer was squaring up to the Beartic - less than half its size but smirking at it and beckoning it to try its luck anyway. There were differences, but both Pokemon were obsessed with their own strength.

    "Okay, Lancer. I see what we're doing. You can sit back Miss Ranger, we've got this covered.

    "Are you crazy?!"

    "No. I'm confident."

    The Beartic suddenly lunged, seemingly accepting that battle lines had been drawn. A lance of ice formed around one of its paws as it struck out for Lancer.

    "Sucker Punch," Catherine ordered.

    Lancer ducked under the attack in a sudden burst of speed and rammed his fist into the Beartic's abdomen. The Ice type reeled back then suddenly pressed the attack again, smashing the ice weapon into Lancer and shattering it into a milling jagged shards.

    Lancer was thrown back off his feet, rolling to a defensive position as the Beartic viciously attacked again with a Slash. The Beartic was already rushing him again, but he countered with another Sucker Punch.

    "Poison Jab!" Catherine called, intent to put some space between Lancer and the beastly Beartic.

    Lancer obeyed, following through with his other arm to jab purple shimmering fingers into the same spot the Sucker Punch had struck. This time, the Beartic staggered further back, dropping to all fours.

    Then, it attacked again. Water surged over its body and it rocketed forward like propelled by a missile. The attack smashed into Lancer and made him stagger back, but the water merely washed over him and he barely felt the impact.

    "Tough luck," Catherine said. "Water moves don't work on Lancer. Revenge."

    A fiery orange aura formed around Lancer's fist as he punched the Beartic with all his might. This time, taking a shot from a move it was vulnerable to, the Beartic was knocked clean off its feet and landed in a pile of icy slush.

    It was clearly a very powerful Pokemon, but it wasn't fighting smart. Catherine knew Lancer had the win in the bag. Still, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the breather.

    "Rain Dance."

    "Wait!" the ranger shouted.

    It was too late. Lancer was already going through a series of martial-arts stances, storm clouds gathering overhead and rain beginning to fall.

    "That was a bad move!" the ranger cried out. "Stop the rain!"

    "I can't stop it! What are you on about?"

    It was the Beartic that gave Catherine her answer. It let out a roar, and then it was gone from where it had been laying. In an instant, it had closed the distance to Lancer and was slamming another Icicle Crash into him.

    Lancer was blasted across their battlefield, through a tree and into a pile of dirt and melting snow.

    Oh.

    "You have to be kidding me," Catherine said. "I completely forgot they could even get the ability. It's got Swift Swim."

    The ranger groaned. "I tried to warn you. It's rare but it happens sometimes."

    Lancer staggered back onto the battlefield, his wounds slowly recovering from the megaton hit he had just received as Dry Skin healed him.

    "Fantastic," Catherine said dryly.

    The Beartic roared in response.

    "Well, screw it. We will never lose in the rain. Right Lancer? Let's show it that you're not just tougher, but we fight smarter too. That's real power."

    "Are you kidding me?!" the ranger yelped.

    "Dead serious. Sucker Punch!"

    Catherine called the attack preemptively, seeing the Beartic ready to launch itself for Lancer again. In a blur of movement, it was upon him, lashing out with a Slash attack. It didn't make contact this time though, Lancer punched it twice in succession and knocked it back again.

    It was able to take a hit though - and much faster than Lancer. Before Catherine could give her next command, it attacked with another Slash and knocked Lancer sprawling. Then it kept going, forming another Icicle Crash.

    "Toxic!" Catherine called as Lancer narrowly avoided the attack with a roll. He spat a glob of venom right into the Beartic's face as he leapt back to his feet.

    The Beartic didn't appreciate that. It growled again and punched for Lancer.

    "Rock Climb!"

    A mound of earth and ice burst upwards from the ground between Lancer and the Beartic and Lancer ran up the side, leaping up from the top as the Beartic smashed through it. He came down on top of the Beartic with a brutal axe kick and slammed its head into the ground.

    "Revenge!"

    The orange energy formed around Lancer's fist again as he thrust it down, but the attack didn't make contact. The Beartic made a sudden, violent movement and Lancer was thrown off of it and knocked to the dirt beside it. A moment later, it lashed out wildly again as it rose back up, sending Lancer skidding across the clearing and into another tree, ripping bark from the trunk.

    Lancer rose to his feet again. The rain might have been healing his wounds, but it was being outstripped by the beating he was taking too.

    The Beartic wasn't doing amazing either though. It was swaying, in a daze from the aftermath of its Thrash attack and slowly being sapped by the poison the Toxic had left it with.

    "Rock Climb!" Catherine ordered.

    Lancer forced himself into motion, rushing forward and then letting the rising earth and rock of the attack fling him into the air. Despite the speed boost it had from the rain, the Beartic's confusion dulled its reaction time and it swung wildly to defend itself to no avail. Lancer slammed down on top of it again and knocked it back to the ground.

    This time, Lancer lept back off of it before he could be launched off again. The Beartic rose to its feet again as Catherine ordered the next attack.

    Lancer ran in and rammed a Poison Jab into the Beartic's side as it tried to turn. It stumbled backwards and Lancer rushed in to make his follow-up attack.

    This time though, the Beartic shook off its daze and countered with an Icicle Crash. Both attacks hit home and both Pokemon were knocked onto their backs. Both of them groggily got back up.

    Another series of blows were exchanged. Icicle Crashes and Slashes striking Lancer between Sucker Punches. Once more, both Pokemon were knocked off of their feet. Once more, both stood. Both heaved for breath.

    The Beartic was the first to make a move. It rushed in with another Slash attack.

    "Take the hit!" Catherine instructed.

    Lancer braced himself, the attack struck him and brought him down to one knee. But he had strength left to counterattack - and he would do so with double the power.

    "Revenge!"

    Once again, a fist of blazing orange collided with white fur as the Beartic was knocked careening back, tumbling to a halt.

    The Beartic clawed its way back up to all fours, then stood tall again even as Lancer struggled back to his own feet.

    Then the Beartic fell forward, the Poison taking its toll and lay in the sleet defeated, Lancer standing over it in victory.

    Catherine walked up to the Beartic and knelt at its side.

    "You know, you and Lancer have a pursuit of power in common. So I'll make you the same offer I made him. You're already strong, but I can teach you to fight smart. I can make you even more powerful and I can take you to places with even greater challenges. You'll fit right in with my strategies too. Perfect for both of us."

    The Beartic snorted and nodded its head slightly before shutting its eyes for a rest. Catherine reached out with a silver Pokeball and tapped it to the Beartic's head, drawing it inside. The Heavy Ball barely shook as the sixth slot on Catherine's team was filled.

    "That was… incredible." The Ranger had finally found her way to her feet and was approaching Catherine with her groggy Rookidee cradled in her arms. "You really should have left when I told you but… I have to admit you really are as good as you think you are. Thank you for coming to my rescue."

    "It isn't like you really needed the rescuing," Catherine said. "But I'm happy to help. Always. Even when people probably don't want me to."

    The ranger shook her head. "Maybe you should be in public service instead of the league. You have the right attitude for it."

    Catherine chuckled. "Too corrupt for my liking. Maybe one day when I'm done with being champion and I've fixed that."

    "Shame. Can't be helped though. I guess you'll have to win then."

    Catherine nodded. "That's the idea."

    The Ranger scratched her arm sheepishly. "You should come back to our encampment nearby so I can patch up your Croagunk. It's the least I can do."

    "Normally I make a point of not taking rewards, but I've probably already missed the next ferry anyway and I'm sure Lancer will appreciate it."

    The ranger nodded again and made to lead the way.

    "Come on, Lancer," Catherine said, following behind the ranger.

    The Croagunk didn't move. He simply stood there looking at his hands.

    "Lancer?"

    A moment later, Lancer was aglow with white light, emerging from the glow taller, with a pronounced red bulb for a throat and knife-like red middle fingers perfect for delivering Poison Jabs.

    "The surprises keep coming," the ranger said.

    "I guess so," Catherine said. She gestured, and her Toxicroak followed after her.

    Female, Swift Swim - Icicle Crash, Slash, Aqua Jet, Thrash, Superpower

    Cooler the Beartic obtained!

    [cimg="width: 200px;]https://archives.bulbagarden.net/media/upload/thumb/6/61/0454Toxicroak.png/250px-0454Toxicroak.png[/cimg]
    Lancer evolved!
     

    Geras

    Roleplayer
  • 957
    Posts
    13
    Years

    Winston Imes - The Unbeatable Hero Spikemuth

    <Your reign of terror is through, Bat!> Energy swirled around the crimson crusader as it Focused its power, claws at the ready.

    <You have never once managed to capture me, Dull Claw. What makes you think this time will be any different? Heeheeho!> The Gliscor took to the sky and stretched its black wings, covering the moon overhead in an imposing visage.

    <We've fought many times. I know your tricks now, you won't get awa—>

    A loud clang echoed through the street as a speeding vehicle rammed into Sword Claw, whisking the Scizor away.

    <Uh… Claw?> Shadow Bat looked at its nemesis racing away on the front of a motorcycle, then looked back at where it had come from. In that moment a flash of blue light flooded its vision. A soaring Drampa let out a mighty roar, unleashing a breath of destruction onto the streets below.

    <Uh… Claw!?>


    "Oh my lord it's him! I can't believe it, Sword Claw himself! I'm your biggest fan!" The girl with green twintails took a hand off the bike she was driving and held it out towards the Scizor. Sadly Sword Claw was too busy scrambling to get off the motorcycle's windshield. It looked at her incredulously, then looked behind her at the rampaging Drampa chasing them.

    "Now's really not the time for that!" Shouted Winston from the back of the bike. "Can't you shake him off or something?"

    "Your coat is even redder and shinier than I imagined! Do you polish it somehow or is it just naturally like that? Oh and I love his scarf, I wonder where he got it?"

    "G! Focus!"

    She groaned. "Hey it's your pokemon, how about you try actually helping instead of just yelling at me? How the hell did you even catch something like this? Oh my, his claws are so big! No wonder they're his defining feature!"

    Winston released his Tynamo and held onto it so it wouldn't go flying at their speed. Charge Beams blasted the dragon helplessly, not even slowing it. In fact, Rive seemed to take it as a challenge and sped up. "Uh…G!?"

    Sword Claw's wings buzzed frantically, pulling the bike to the side just enough to avoid a Dragon Pulse that scorched the ground beside them.

    "Oh, he's so wonderful, saving lives even in a situation like this!"

    Winston rolled his eyes and shot another futile Charge Beam. "Look, I get it, he's cool! We can look at him after we—"

    A red glint shone in Rive's eyes as they entered an intersection, and a massive Twister immediately formed around them. There was no time to dodge, and the bike was launched into the air along with its riders. As Winston hit the ground, his vision became hazy.

    He'd agreed to help a fanatic journalist in exchange for her help finding his pokemon that had escaped its ball. That's all it was supposed to be. He would meet a local hero, find his dragon, and be on his way. But now he was fighting for his life. He was just an artist, he wasn't built for this.

    His head hurt. He didn't want to get up. Yeah, maybe he shouldn't.

    Just as that thought entered his mind, a light began to shine in front of him. This light stirred something in his heart, telling him not to give up. He slowly sat up, seeing before him the crimson armor of a hero.

    Sword Claw stood before the foul dragon, arms and legs spread in a powerful and heroic pose. A pose of defiance. He struck a few more poses as spectral swords began to swirl around him, finishing their dance in the shape of a V. A declaration of victory. A hero never loses.

    Power radiated from Sword Claw's proud form as it leapt toward Rive. In moments, he was enveloped in the azure rage of Rive's Dragon Pulse and blasted into a nearby building. Rive's attention turned to Winston.

    Winston looked around at the mess Rive had made. Some people were screaming and running away while others were gathering around to see what the commotion was all about, phones in hand. Like he needed more hits to his reputation after his display at Stow-on-Side.

    Rive snorted, waiting for Winston to make a move. Clearly he wanted a battle. He supposed the gyms weren't enough, and he'd grown tired of waiting. Maybe catching this thing was a mistake after all.

    He reached for his next strongest pokemon with a trembling hand. With a burst of light he released his Pangoro, Ado's massive form being more than a match for Rive's. They glared at one another. Then Ado looked back at Winston. His ragged breath and his shaky knees. She closed her eyes and walked away, taking a seat on a toppled trash can nearby.

    So that was it. Rive wasn't just bored. He didn't respect him. And neither did Ado, by the looks of it. He supposed he couldn't blame them. He only won his last three gym battles by relying on Rive to clean up after his mistakes. And he wasn't even there for Ado's evolution.

    He took a deep breath, a little more relaxed now that the situation was clear. He'd been lucky enough to capture some powerful pokemon. But they needed a powerful trainer to match. He never believed himself to be anything like that. But here, with his strongest pokemon staring him down, he realized he didn't have a choice. After coming this far, that's what he'd have to be.

    He thought about Isla.

    He puffed his chest and pointed at Rive. "Listen up you troublemakers! I told Bea I'd make it to the top, and I can't do it without you two. And if I have to beat the shit out of you to get you to stop making a mess of things and come with me then I'll do it!"

    He was far from the most popular Gym Challenger but it sounded like a few of the bystanders were starting to recognize him. He could feel his cheeks turning red, but one look at the dragon in front of him was enough to forget about that.

    He released his remaining pokemon all at once. Dev floated up from nearby, ready to face down Rive. His Wooloo Sol looked a bit less ready for battle, but despite his trembling he stood at the ready. Meanwhile his Wimpod Serv stood beside Winston instead of with the others. Not exactly hiding but ready to do so at a moment's notice.

    The gathering crowd mumbled as they saw the tiny pokemon he'd be facing Rive with.

    Using three pokemon at once was a bit much for someone like him, but he had a plan. He was lucky Rive was gracious enough to give him the time to come up with one. "Sol, don't worry about attacking, just protect the others. Dev, you'll attack, and Serv, just support them with Struggle Bug from here. You don't need to get into the action."

    His pokemon nodded in understanding. This was all the signal Rive needed to begin moving forward. He'd given Winston enough time.

    "Dev, Thunder Wave! Sol, Guard Split!" Dev began to charge with electricity but was blown away by an Echoing roar, as Sol created a psychic tether between himself and Rive. Rive had seen this, it was the move that turned his formidable rival Turtonator into something frail enough to be knocked around by this sheep. This was the one to worry about.

    Rive's maw shone with azure energy as he blasted Sol with a Dragon Pulse. Sol braced himself for the hit, but the stream of energy didn't stop. Rive opened his mouth wider and the attack grew in intensity, even Winston feeling the heat of it.

    "Sol!" Winston cried, getting ready to recall his pokemon before it was too late. In that moment balls of green energy crashed into Rive. At the same time, a bolt of electricity struck him and coursed through his body, finally halting the Dragon Pulse. Winston breathed a sigh of relief. Sol sat in a smoldering crater, but was still standing. Though standing might be a generous word for it.

    More green orbs appeared around Rive, flickering like fireflies as they crashed down onto him. They didn't seem to do much damage, but Winston knew they were still quite potent. Rive unleashed another Dragon Pulse into Sol, but this one seemed much smaller.

    "Hold it back with Copycat! And Dev, focus on using Charge Beam!"

    Mimicking the time he'd fought Rive alongside Isla, the two pokemon unleashed their own beam attacks to counter Rive's. At first it seemed like Winston's pokemon didn't stand a chance, but with each passing moment Dev's beam grew stronger. And with each strike from Serv, Rive's attack grew weaker.

    Rive's beam gave way and he was hit by both attacks, creating a cloud of smoke. Had they done it? Both Winston and the crowd watched in anticipation.

    But of course not. Winston should know better than anyone as Rive's trainer that it wouldn't be enough. The smoke cleared, and Rive hadn't even budged. He roared, and a Twister swirled to life, cleaving through Dev and Sol. They were flung into the air and crashed to the ground, defeated. Serv had seen enough and moved to run away, but Rive Flew forward and slammed into the Wimpod.

    Only Winston remained. Rive stepped forward, looking down on his puny trainer.

    His eyes darted between each of his fallen team members, mind racing to think of what he could do. The Devourer of the Storm, The Soul of A Hero, and The Ultimate Survivor. He'd given them powerful names so they could become powerful pokemon. Something like this wasn't enough to be the end, he knew it. He tried to think of what to do, but as he felt Rive's breath on his face his mind went blank.

    In that moment, he struck a pose. Arms and legs spread in a powerful and heroic pose. A pose of defiance. He struck a few more poses before finally ending in a pose with his arms spread in a V. The sign of victory. He'd done it on instinct. The crowd around him muttered, some people even laughing.

    He'd grown up on stories about heroes. Heroes existed to save people, sure, but also to inspire them. To teach them that they could be greater. He knew they were just stories, but those stories were etched into his heart so much so that Sword Claw's silly heroics could bring him to his feet. And he hoped that he could do the same for his teammates.

    They didn't stand. Rive sighed, and turned around. He'd seen enough. He took one last look at Ado who shook her head, then took to the skies. Then crashed into the ground as a steel claw punched him across the jaw with blinding speed.

    Landing beside Winston was Sword Claw himself. He looked at Winston with an excited glint in his eye. He made some noises as if wanting something from him. Winston could guess what it was. He glanced at the crowd around him that was cheering for the hero's arrival, and resigned himself to his fate.

    He struck a pose, and Sword Claw matched it. Another pose. And another, and another. The two were in total sync, and the crowd's cheering grew louder.

    "No way…" A familiar voice spoke from underneath the rubble of a ruined motorcycle. The journalist calling herself "G" looked at the two with glee. "Seeing it from Sword Claw is one thing, but I didn't think any person would be bold enough to do that kind of thing. It's incredible!" Winston grumbled, his face turning red.

    Sword Claw began shouting at Rive, who responded to the provocations with a Glare. Winston wasn't quite sure what to do in this situation except go with it.

    "There is more to strength than brute force, dragon. True strength is the strength of one's heart!" He pointed at Rive once more, knowing he was spouting bullshit but hoping it would hype up Sword Claw. It absolutely did, as the Scizor imitated him and pointed his claw at Rive. He was rather easy for a hero.

    Winston felt ashamed for having to rely on another strong pokemon to get him out of trouble, but he also knew letting Rive roam free here was also a bad idea. The best thing he could do was defeat Rive so he couldn't escape his ball again, then figure this out somewhere less populated.

    Rive and Sword Claw stared each other down, Sword Claw's scarf blowing in the breeze. The crowd's cheering fell silent. A nearby car's side mirror dangled precariously. It snapped and hit the ground, and in that moment the two rushed at each other.

    Rive's eyes became a glowing red, entering his Berserk state as he let loose a fearsome Dragon Pulse. Sword Claw dodged it with stunning Agility and struck back, his Metal Claw meeting against Rive's Protective shield. They danced around each other, these veteran fighters exchanging blow after crushing blow.

    Rive soared into the air, coming down like a meteor onto Sword Claw who flew into the air to meet him. Their midair clash sent shockwaves rippling through the streets. Then the two plummeted to the ground, kicking up a cloud of smoke.

    The world was silent as the smoke slowly parted. And when it did, Sword Claw was left standing. The crowd went wild.

    Winston sighed, recalling Rive into his ball. He looked around. His other team members were slowly starting to get up. G was in tears behind him, her hands filling page after page in her notebook without even looking at it. She seemed to be muttering "Thank you." over and over. Ado was still sitting on her trash can, looking at Winston with a serious expression. Even so, she allowed herself to return to her ball as well.

    And Sword Claw was immediately in Winston's face, eyes gleaming again. Once again, he seemed to want something. This time he was poking at Winston's pokeballs with his claw. He knew what this meant, but he was hesitant to accept. If he did, how long would it be until Sword Claw, too, grew disappointed with him?

    "W-w-wait, how about coming with me, Mr. Claw?" G frantically searched for her own pokeball, but Sword Claw gently shook his head. She slumped to her knees with a pout. Winston worried for her.

    Before he could make up his mind, he noticed something. Movement out of the corner of his eye. "Sword Claw, look out!"

    A purple claw emerged from the shadows and grasped his neck like a Guillotine. Sword Claw fell to the ground, his metallic body clattering in front of Serv.


    <Heeheeho! You're always so easy to catch off guard! I swear, your mind is as dull as your claws!> Shadow Bat gripped Sword Claw's body with his tail and rose into the air to show the people their fallen hero.

    <Now nothing will stop me from taking over this city! Heeheeho!> The Gliscor reveled in the shocked expressions of the crowd below. Despite what he'd said, he kept an eye out for escape routes in case there did end up being someone who could stop him from taking over the city. But the only one he could see was a trainer with three weak little pokemon.

    "Let him go!" G shouted. "If you don't he'll wake up any moment to beat you up! Sword Claw never loses!" Shadow Bat chuckled at her idiocy.

    The trainer barked some orders, and his Tynamo and Wooloo rushed at him.

    <You want me to let him go? Here you are, then!> He threw Sword Claw at the two pokemon, knocking them back. When they regained their bearings he was behind them, and he swiftly took them out with a Night Slash.

    That only left the bug. He turned to face it, but was blinded by a bright light. The light began to change shape, growing and growing. My, was it growing. Suddenly, the bug he'd been looking down on was looking down on him. And it had grown a set of rather savage-looking claws. A Golisopod. Now this didn't look like an easy opponent.

    It was a good thing he'd planned his escape routes. <Well I'd love to stay longer, but I have an appointment I don't want to be late for. Ciao!> Shadow Bat grabbed Sword Claw and flew off. The trainer barked an order, and in the blink of an eye the Golisopod was in front of him. It slammed its claws into him, throwing him to the ground.

    Ok, so maybe escape wasn't an option, but he'd crossed claws with a hero. Surely he could take a freshly-evolved brute. <Very well then, you've sealed your fate!> Shadow Bat swung his tail down onto Serv, who caught it with the plates on his arms.

    <I don't know anything about heroes and villains, but the red one saved me. So I'll try to save him.> Serv knocked Shadow Bat's tail away and swung with his claw, but Shadow Bat was able to nimbly dodge it.

    <My, you have no idea how to use those things do you? Of course you wouldn't, you've had them for 2 minutes,> Bat taunted.

    "Serv, use Razor Shell!"

    Aquatic energy surrounded Serv's claws and he swung at the Gliscor. And missed. He swung again, and again, then threw a fistful of sand in his face allowing his third strike to connect.

    <Gah! That's not very heroic of you!>

    Serv shrugged and continued his attacks.

    Winston could tell this wasn't working and wondered what he could do to help. He didn't want to rely on Ado for this, not right now at least. But something did come to mind. There were pokemon that used items to extend the range of their Razor Shell attack, like a Samurott and its Seamitars. He scrounged around for something he could use and picked up the first thing that felt sturdy. "Serv, use this and Razor Shell!"

    It was the muffler from G's motorcycle, which she didn't seem to appreciate being used as a weapon. Serv caught it and coated it with the aquatic energy of his claws, slamming it onto Shadow Bat's head and snapping it in two in the process.

    Shadow Bat struggled to pick himself up. <Not like this… Not by some nobody…> Before he could say more, Serv stomped him into the ground.


    With the infamous Shadow Bat defeated, Spikemuth could live in peace. This meant Sword Claw could do as he wished, and what he wished was to travel with Winston. Eventually Winston gave in and let the Scizor join his team. But he was convinced he could come up with a better name than Sword Claw.

    Actually, he thought he could go further with his names in general. If the idea behind his other names was to give them powerful titles to live up to, he needed something extra powerful for an experienced hero. And thus, he was named The Knight of Lost Paradise Who Rends the Unforgiving Darkness. Or Knight for short. He considered going for Rend or Para instead, but he thought Knight was extra fitting for a hero.

    And he also realized there wasn't much point in hiding the extravagance of his names anymore. He was terrified to look at what social media was saying about him right now.

    And so he bid a very grateful G farewell, and set off to figure out how to collect enough money to pay for all the damage his pokemon had caused before he got into legal trouble.

     
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