Join Date: May 2010
Update number three! Definitely an interesting one, it has to be said.
Mt. Coronet & Candice
Snow had never been so fierce.
Sophie struggled through the snow, shielding her face with a raised forearm. Her friends had battled on with her for a while, but by now she had called them back into their Poké Balls, unwilling to put them through any more. There was still a long way to go.
The hill grew steeper. Was she near the top? Impossible to tell. The blizzard reduced visibility so much she could barely make out her own arm at times. The occasional tree provided the sole indication of progress being made at all.
The voice was distant, barely there. Sophie didn't notice it the first time, nor the second. Then a hand clasped her shoulder, making her jump so forcefully the hand was flung back.
"Hey, it's okay," said the man. He had a pair of skis on his feet and a worried expression on his face. Sophie realised that she was suddenly sat in a blanket of snow. Embarrassed, she accepted the man's hand and heaved herself onto her feet.
"You're not looking too great," he said. "Listen, my house isn't far from here. You need to warm up before you give yourself hypothermia."
Sophie merely nodded and followed the man sideways along the hill, trying her best not to slip. The skis didn't seem to affect the man's progress at all. Time had pretty much stopped, and it could've been a minute or ten years by the time they reached a small shack, shielded from the blizzard by nothing more than a few rows of wood panels acting as a wind break.
"Name's Adrian, by the way," he said, pushing the door open. "You?"
"S-Sophie," she chattered, gratefully settling into a chair by the crackling fire.
"You headed to Snowpoint, Sophie?"
"Y-yeah. Lake Acuity, too."
A dark look flashed across Adrian's face at the mention of Lake Acuity. He rose to his feet.
"You're not one of them Galactic folk, are you?"
Sophie quickly shook her head.
"No. Far from it. I'm trying to stop them after what they did at Lake Valor."
"Hrmm. Alright. I don't like what they're doing there, not one bit. I've been keeping my distance, myself. You should do the same."
"I can't. I need to go there, I owe Professor Rowan a favour."
"Ah, you know Rowan?" he asked. "I met the guy once, helped me out of a bit of a tight spot myself. Well, okay, I can help you reach there. I won't go any further than the lakefront though. You'll be on your own from there."
"Don't worry," Sophie smiled. "I'll have six friends coming with me."
Adrian had left Sophie at the entrance to Snowpoint City with a wave and a wish for good luck. She had spent a short time at the Pokémon Centre, then headed to the lake as soon as possible afterwards, not wanting to waste any more time. As it turned out, however, the lake was blocked off. Two surly police guards blocked Sophie from entering.
"Sorry, kid. Road's closed. Go back to Snowpoint and wrap up warm."
Sophie stared at the path behind the guards. She could even catch a glimpse of the lake itself from here. The urge was too much, and she made a break for it, surging past the guards. Her bid for freedom was short lived, however - another pair of guards, accompanied by a young girl, blocked her path.
"Where do you think you're going?" admonished the girl in a rather high-pitched voice. Sophie didn't reply, still searching for a way past.
"You're not getting to the lake, if that's what you're thinking," she continued. "There's been a lot of trouble with Team Galactic. We can't let anybody past."
"I can deal with a few Galactic goons," Sophie protested. "I've lost count of the number of them I must have faced."
She shook her head.
"Not these guys. Whatever they were doing here, it was something big. Please leave."
"I can't! My friend is in there. He needs my help."
"I assure you there is nobody there but police and those Galactic idiots. The entire area has been sealed off."
This wasn't getting anywhere. Sophie stared desperately past the girl, searching for a sign of her friend. Nothing. Wait, over there! A glimpse of blond hair, quickly disappearing behind a rock when the owner realised he'd been spotted. Clearly the police hadn't been too thorough in their search.
Nothing for it. Sophie hesitated for just a moment longer, then forced her way past the girl, cutting her off mid-sentence. The angered shouts fell on deaf ears, the guards caught off balance by the sudden burst of speed. Only one shout made it through to Sophie's mind, and even then it took her a moment to realise the precise meaning of the phrase.
The girl was Candice. Snowpoint City's Gym Leader. Well, at least that explained why she was here. As Sophie reached for a Poké Ball, she had a thought. She was gaining a reputation for defeating Gym Leaders with only a single Pokémon. Perhaps she could do the same again, in front of all these people no less.
"Oldie, come on out!"
Rampardos could do it, no problem. No need to take risks this time. All of Candice's Pokémon would be Ice type. She'd have the advantage against every single one. And she'd been working with Oldie in secret. He'd never been one for defence, so she'd taken some precautions. Now all she had to do was hope he could remember what those precautions actually were.
The Sneasel was already on its first attack, cloaking itself in a shadow as it dashed towards Oldie. Sophie held her breath. If he remembered, he'd know exactly what to do. If not…
Oldie's face was scrunched up in concentration. Something obviously then clicked in his head, as he'd grabbed a rock and thrown it up into the air. The Sneasel's attack struck the rock, shattering it into pieces.
"Alright, Oldie!" called Sophie, smiling at her Rampardos' initiative. "Hit back with an AncientPower!"
Oldie stopped once more, trying to connect the word to an action. There were blips, but ultimately nothing happened. He looked back to Sophie, a confused expression on his face. Not the most opportune technique for him to forget, she had to admit, but he could still do it.
The Sneasel was incoming for a second strike. Time for action. Oldie didn't need to be told what to do; he blocked the attack effortlessly using a second boulder and went into a charge, bowling the Sneasel over before it realised what was going on. If the headbutt hadn't finished it off, the trampling underneath Oldie's feet certainly did. Candice called the Pokémon back before it had to suffer any more damage.
"Hmm," she muttered. "Strong. But no matter. I have my ways of dealing with people like you."
The second Poké Ball of four was flung forward, releasing a small furry creature. Sophie didn't know what it was called, but overheard the word "Piloswine" murmured several times from the onlookers. All she knew was that it must be an Ice type, and that'd suit her just fine.
Oldie seemed apprehensive. Perhaps he knew something Sophie didn't, because normally a creature half its height wouldn't phase him in the slightest.
He shook his head slightly, then took off towards the lake, completely the opposite direction to where Piloswine and Candice stood. Sophie's heart sank, and she reached for Oldie's Poké Ball. Something about Piloswine must have spooked him somehow. No matter. Confused would handle the job just fine.
Oldie hadn't been running at all. Oldie had a plan where Sophie had none.
A massive wave, carrying chunks of ice and a large dinosaur, forced itself through the blizzard and crashed into the ground directly in front of Piloswine. Candice and the onlookers behind her were sent flying by the water, which proved sufficiently powerful enough to uproot several trees. When the water eventually cleared, Piloswine lay unconscious semi-buried in a snow bank.
Candice picked herself up, positively fuming.
"Your Rampardos is a monster!" she screamed. "This ends, now!"
She slammed a Poké Ball into the melting snow bank, releasing what appeared to be a large tree, encrusted with snow. Sophie had seen smaller versions of these earlier, attempting to camouflage themselves in the alpine landscape. This one made no such attempt, instead preferring to charge full-pelt at Oldie, who had just reappeared from where the wave had carried him.
Rampardos was ready. As the Abomasnow approached, Oldie tilted his head sideways and used his mouth to rip a tree from the ground, severing what few roots were still intact from the wave. Now, Abomasnow may be tough, and indeed a tree itself, but no matter what you are, a tree to the face is going to hurt. And so it did. Abomasnow slammed into the ground, skidding twenty feet before coming to a halt and pulling itself onto its feet.
The area lay oddly silent, just for a few seconds. Then a dozen Poké Balls were thrown forward, a cataclysm of colour as the Pokémon inside were released. Sophie could see the closest four, two Growlithe, a Mightyena and a Granbull, all preparing to charge. The others had spread themselves out, encircling Oldie who kept trying to back away without success.
A whistle was blown by one of the police officers, prompting the Pokémon forward at an incredible pace. Rampardos did the only thing he could, swinging its head around and crashing the tree into the ground at its feet. The resulting tremor gave him enough respite to escape, squeezing between a disoriented Houndoom and Growlithe and dashing once more for the lake.
Sophie's nerves were wracked. She was no longer under control of Oldie. Not really. Certainly none of the more recent events had been part of her training routine. She could only watch as her Rampardos summoned another wall of water, sweeping half the crowd into the surrounding forest.
The wave petered out, coming to a sudden halt as it passed over Candice and dropping to the ground as a flurry of snow. Rampardos, no longer supported by the water, found itself at the top of a thirty foot drop. Then, two seconds later, at the bottom of it.
A shadow leapt from the newly formed snow, performing a graceful flip before touching down gently in front of Rampardos, inelegantly hauling himself to his feet. The fall had injured him, but he was still able to fight. When he caught sight of the small figure in front of him, he seemed to regain his resolve, rearing back up onto hind legs.
"Froslass," breathed Sophie, ice crystals forming in front of her mouth with the air current. The Pokémon shimmered slightly in the night air, only partially within the real world.
Oldie lowered his head, poised to charge. A moment's silence, then a burst of acceleration carrying him towards the target. Froslass was ready, responding with a powerful torrent of snow that forced the Rampardos to a crawl. The resulting tackle barely fazed Froslass, who swept herself into the air with a final pirouette to complete her attack.
The contrast was staggering. Oldie's sheer power and brute force against Froslass' grace and elegance. If it were anybody else fighting, Sophie would probably have been rooting for her opponent. But they were close, and her resolve would not fade now.
Froslass remained in her position, hovering just out of the Rampardos' reach. Sophie decided to try jogging his memory, issuing a command for an AncientPower. A quick finish, if it had worked. The order had no visible effect. Damn. Alright, let's do this the hard way.
A second blast of snow fired at Oldie, forcing him to take cover behind a tree to avoid blacking out from the pressure. He was fighting a losing battle and he knew it. Waves were instantly frozen over and Froslass stayed out of reach, away from the danger of the Rampardos' horns. And the one effective method of hitting Oldie's opponent remained locked away in a hidden vault of his memory. Time for the mental equivalent of a Rube Goldberg machine.
"Oldie, use Substitute!"
Oldie almost queried the order, then thought better of it, instead picking up a boulder and using it as a cover. Sophie had a plan. Her Rampardos may have forgotten how to throw rocks, but with a bit of luck he'd remember how to scale them.
"Rock Climb, now!"
Froslass watched on suspiciously as Oldie set down the boulder and took several steps back. She remained where she was. She was well out of reach, even if the Rampardos stood on top of the rock. No need for concern.
He leapt up onto the boulder, still running at full pelt.
And then he slammed a tree down into the ground.
Sophie couldn't help but grin as she watched her Rampardos launch into the air, pole-vaulting directly at the Froslass and impaling a horn directly into Froslass' icy chest. He rode the tree the rest of the way down, landing with a gentle thump in a bank of snow.
Candice wordlessly called her Pokémon back. The onlookers and their Pokémon had almost all completely vanished. The sight of the girl staring at the ground, willing herself to stay calm, was surprisingly morbid. Then she threw something to the ground and ran away, making it to the safety of Snowpoint City.
The object was almost buried under the snow by the time Sophie reached it. A picture of two ice-encrusted mountains - the Icicle Badge. This wasn't quite how Sophie had anticipated winning it, but the rush of victory rang true. One thing was for sure, though - she would no longer be welcome at Snowpoint City. Not after a display like that. She began her descent of the mountain, trudging through the blizzard and wondering to herself just what had happened to her friend.
Ordered from LVP to MVP, for once.
Can'tdoit (Lv43 Piplup) @ Amulet Coin
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
Moveset: Pound | Growl | Peck | Mist
oh hey Can'tdoit is LVP truly this is a revelation to us all
Not being able to level him up in this area is a pain, but it's not been too much trouble so far; I left myself plenty of leeway.
Purify (Lv41 Meditite) @ Mind Plate
Nature: Mild (+SpA, -Def)
Ability: Pure Power
Moveset: Brick Break | Calm Mind | Confusion | Grass Knot
I still need to teach him Ice Punch, seeing as I met the requirement for another physical move. Perhaps he'll be a little more useful then. Brick Break is great, but Calm Mind isn't as useful as I might like; he pretty much faints before he can set up enough to do any serious damage with special attacks.
Lola (Lv40 Buneary) @ Quick Claw
Nature: Gentle (+Def, -SpD)
Ability: Run Away
Moveset: Return | Agility | Baton Pass | Jump Kick
Lola isn't bad
, per se, she just hasn't got too much to do these days. Five more levels and she'll be a Lopunny, though. Should help out her relatively low offensive stats somewhat.
Fiddle (Lv40 Kricketune) @ Razor Fang
Nature: Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
Moveset: X-Scissor | Rock Smash | Strength | Aerial Ace
Fiddle's coverage comes in handy - I generally have a super-effective and neutral attack at my disposal against any given Pokémon, so perma-Torment doesn't bother him too much.
Oldie (Lv48 Rampardos) @ Shell Bell
Nature: Relaxed (+Def, -Spe)
Ability: Mold Breaker
Moveset: AncientPower | Substitute | Surf | Rock Climb
Yeah, that level is correct. It was kinda superfluous to grind him up to lv46 for the start of the Candice fight, but at the time it made sense - Abomasnow was OHKOing with a choice of Wood Hammer or Focus Blast and I would've basically needed Focus Blast to miss three times in a row. Once I reached level 46, I realised there was a much easier way of going about the battle. I picked up a Substitute TM, and suddenly the fight was much simpler.
Confused (Lv40 Lucario) @ Fist Plate
Nature: Naughty (+Atk, -SpD)
Ability: Inner Focus
Moveset: Rock Smash | Swords Dance | Double Team | Toxic
Confused has fainted a grand total of once. That was due to being hax'd myself through confusion damage, ironically enough. He really does just destroy everything, needing only the occasional assistance in the form of a Moomoo Milk or Hyper Potion. STAB Rock Smash after a Swords Dance is still plenty strong enough. <3
Last edited by Tetrinity; Mar 31st, 2012 at 3:14:08 PM.