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Challengers On The Wind, Private RP for Joey Sweet and Lori Pardare
LittleShadowPoke...
post Oct 25 2012, 11:28 AM
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Joey settled down rather easily into the limo with the help of the driver. The young boy became startled at the initiative and awkwardly accepted the help although it was a wholly new experience for him. He had yet to make up his mind whether or not he liked it. Despite his unusually clean routines that morning, Joey still felt dirty against the plush leather seats and that he was intruding. There were some snacks and drinks tucked under the seat along one side and both hunger and curiosity overcame Joey's hesitation. He started to pull them out, and then hastily stuffed them back upon thinking that he shouldn't chance it on his very first impression, and instead put his rumbling tummy to rest. The limo drfited smoothly along a well-packed dirt road towards a tropical hut-styled house, although Joey couldn't tell because of the tinted windows and the divider between himself and the driver. Joey enjoyed the distance and privacy, which came to an end as the limo slowed to a crawl over a small patch of gravel outside the elevated hut. The driver came around to help Joey out of the car, who winced at the intrusion of a strong grip. The driver also held out his hand to take Joey's bag and upon realizing it, the young boy quickly slung his pack over his shoulders and started heading up to the house. He mentally kicked himself all the way to the bamboo steps for possibly seeming ingracious.

The ascent into the magazine-quality home was time-consuming but not burdensome, due to zigzagging ramps and intermittent wooden steps with a viable spring. The entrance was a modest sliding glass door free of any mark, which was set into the side of the long and low wooden abode. Joey crossed to the door from the recreational patio, only preceded by the driver who gracefully sprung ahead to get the door. Stepping through the glass etntrance was vaguely reminiscent of a fairy tale analogy for Joey as he gazed upon all the furnishings.

Right from his position, he could spot the living room and kitchen. All the furniture and appliances were well maintained, clean, and new-looking. Joey wasn't sure what he had expected, in terms of having holograms and everything seeming as if it had come from futuristic space, and being waited on by robots, but he couldn't argue against that anything was a step up and therefore better than he could have hoped. He didn't have long to wait as Jana de Vries glided out of an adjacent room in a flowing sun dress, and concisely addressed, thanked, and dismissed the driver who exited with a polite tip of his chauffer's hat.

Following Jana's cues, Joey was led down a spacious well-decorated hall towards what Jana designated as his chamber. Inside, he found what anyone would expect of a dorm room. It was modestly furnished compared to the rest of the house, but Joey thought it was magical. It was spacious to start, and probably enough room to hold a small Pokemon battle on the floor if he wanted. A two-person bed fitted with fresh sheets and a comforter was perpendicular to the wall opposite the door with nearly equal open space on either side. A shelf system was perched on the far side complete with elaborate marble Dragonite bookends. On the other side of the room was a desk and a chair, and behind him just opposite the door was a deep-set closet with a shelf and various clothes hangers. A dresser completed the ensemble in the remaining reasonably open space. Joey took all of this in quickly while Jana explained.

"This is your space now while we are in Fidona. Respect it, keep it clean, and organize your possessions properly. This is non-optional. There is a trunk under the bed for your miscellaneous possessions." Jana stalked around the room taking inventory while Joey distinctly felt the lack of weight his meager pack of possessions betrayed. "You may decorate however you please provided that the preceding principles are upheld. Mounting tacky is found in the desk drawer. Do not mar the walls. All cleaning supplies with directions are in the bathroom cupboard," Jana gestured to a joined bathroom that Joey had overlooked before. "I assume you can read." Jana pulled him back to the closet and inspected him.

"I can guess at your size, so I'll buy some clothes while I'm out today. Later this evening you'll find them in your closet," she stated as she pulled some of the bagginess of Joey's clothes tighter to get a better sense of his form, which elicited a blush and a wince from the young boy that mostly went unnoticed by Jana, who was now muttering about exercise.

Jana filled some more time by outlining Joey's responsibilities and emphasized his obligation to not only follow-through, but to succeed. He now had various training and educational schedules with a hired hand in charge of each. He also had a hired nutritionist who he would meet later that day and all his meals would be planned and provided for now on, and heaven help him if he consumed a single unplanned calorie. A packet of all this information in detail was placed on his desk for later review.

Joey was shown around the rest of the house and was impressed by the entertainment center, the office, and mostly by the expansive library with everything from scrolls and leather-bound editions to a wide-screen computer terminal by the desk. He couldn't wait to use some free time to peruse the books and do some reading. Jana gestured to the computer and said something that he was sure he had misinterpreted. His personal assistant would show him how to use that later? Before he could question it, he was whisked away back into the living room, where Jana started to wrap up her end of the day.

"Aside from meeting your nutritionist later, consider yourself free for today. Oh, and here, you'll be using this to communicate," she said nonchalantly as she handed him a C-Gear which he took gingerly in awe, not quite knowing what it was. He had been introduced to various communication devices for trainers before, but nothing quite like this. "It has text features and preloaded contacts in the X-Transceiver. Mine is only there for incoming calls. I don't want you contacting me. Everyone else is free game: driver, Co-ordinator coach, tutor, nutritionist, PA, etc."

After a short bidding of goodnight despite it still being early afternoon, Jana retreated into her private office to organize some event, and Joey was left alone to stalk back to his room in contemplation. He tossed his pack on the bed and sat on the corner, and started skimming through the packet that had been left as instructions on his desk. It looked so intense at first glance with a plethora of overbearing and intricate rules (there were even specifications to use prism corners when making his bed!), so that for a brief moment he considered making a break for it and returning to a life of running, hiding, dumpster-diving, and freedom, but he shook it off. He couldn't deny that he felt compelled to stay and stick it out to achieve some form of a dream. The more he scrutinized the packet, the more he was able to reason himself into confidence of his competence. After all, he had taken more control of his own life lately, and he had managed something of a schedule as dictated by Fidona city dumpster rotation and library hours. Near the back of the packet, a section even detailed a vague reward system, but the terms seemed to be purposely mysterious as Joey couldn't manage to glean any details. With a twitter of excitement, Joey opened a desk drawer and placed the packet inside for future reference and then started to unpack.

First, Joey unpacked his stadium blanket depicting a Spinda and folded it into fourths to lay across the foot of his bed. His emerald pajama set was re-folded and neatly placed in a dresser. He lovingly arranged his old, disheveled textbooks on the bookshelf between the Dragonite bookends a few different ways before being satisfied with the order and appearance. Then he placed his notebook and Spinda pen on the desk. After taking a long sweep around and feeling quite odd trying to think of this room as "his" room, he looked at the clock and decided it was almost time to meet Lori for her gym match. He pulled out his C-Gear and started fiddling with it to text the driver. He wasn't quite sure if he would ever be able to feasibly use the call features, but that was a problem for another day.

This post has been edited by LittleShadowPokemon: Jan 3 2013, 04:13 PM


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Living Arrow
post Oct 25 2012, 03:27 PM
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The Pokemon Center in the bay of Fidona’s main port was a hive of activity the day that a limosine pulled away, carrying its charge to some unknown destination and leaving a certain red-haired girl standing in its wake. She waved to the back of the white car with its black-tinted windows, her partner Piplup jumping and waving by her side. It was a warm day – far warmer than had been foretold by the weatherman – and the menagerie of people and Pokemon bustling up and down the sunny streets had more interesting things to do than remark on the fancy car that drove by their tropical town. Only that one girl continued to watch the limo until it was out of sight and even then her body lingered on the spot until her little penguin friend tapped her leg with a stubby flipper.

“Pip, piplup?”

“Yeah, I’m alright, Pipster.” Lori Pardare sighed, stooping to sweep her friend into her arms. “Just a little tired and a little sad that Joey’s gone off for a while. It was nice going on an adventure with him, wasn’t it?”

“Lup!” Pipster agreed heartily. There was another long pause before a wide grin began to take over Lori’s face.

“Today’s the day, Pipster!” Lori declared, pumping one fist in the air for emphasis. “We’re going to do some super-special training and then beat this Gym Leader to get our very first Gym Badge!”

“Luuup!”

*****


“OK, Pipster!” Lori’s hair was bunched over both shoulders, one clump in each fist as she hopped on the spot. “Finish it off with a Bubble attack!”

A rapid stream of bubbles slammed home on their target, the Piplup’s foe battered down to the ground where it remained still.

“YES!” Lori screamed, releasing her hair in a rippling wave and throwing her arms wide for her Pokemon to leap into her chest lovingly. “We did it! We won another battle!”

“What’s that girl’s problem?”
“I dunno but she’s got nothing to cheer about.”
“Yeah, that other kid’s, like, ten or something.”
“And all he had was a Caterpie. She shoulda gone a bit easier on him, really.”
“Who challenges kids that young nowadays, anyway?”

Lori let the comments of the onlookers wash off of her as easily as water off a Farfetch’d’s feathers and focused instead on Pipster’s condition. She peered closely at his soft blue feathers, sharpness of his narrow beak, strength in his stout legs, and shine in his beady eyes. There had to be some sign of it… Was his experience still going up?

“Things would be so much easier if it was like the simulator…” Lori sighed, wishing not for the first time that there was a helpful health gauge bar floating around Pipster’s head complete with an experience bar and details on the level he had most recently achieved. “But I guess the Pokedex will just have to do for now…”

She placed her Piplup down on the ground, the gathered crowd dispersing quickly, and clicked the Unovadex to life. Hitting the analyse button, she skimmed the latest additions to Pipster’s page.

“Yes! You learned new moves, Pipster!” Lori turned the screen to show him. “I’m so proud of you! Gym Battle, here we come!”

*****


“Oooh, where is he?” Lori muttered to herself, scanning her Poketch for the time and searching up and down the high street. The light was dimming in the early evening, the sun only a few minutes from reaching the horizon over the ocean, and she hoped over hope that Joey would be able to make it to the Gym before she had to go in for her listed battle.

Dressed in a more formal version of her travelwear, Lori Pardare had taken the blue-trim option of her pop dress and boots and had tied her hair back into a very thick braid that wouldn’t get in her way when she called dramatic commands from the challenger’s side of the field. She’d seen it a million times before on TV – the trainers on those shows were so so cool! – and she had practiced even more in front of the mirror.

All three of her green-capped Pokeballs were polished and ready to throw, each one aligned perfectly on the black bow of a garter strapped to her right thigh. She looked the part, had all the gear for the part, had prepared for the part…but did she feel the part?

“Oooh, please get here soon…” She wrapped her arms around herself to rub some warmth into her upper arms and took a quick look at her Poketch again. It was only a few more minutes to go! “Hurry hurry hurry…”


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LittleShadowPoke...
post Nov 12 2012, 10:17 AM
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Joey packed up what he thought he might need out of the house and he found something in his pack he hadn’t noticed before. Lori had given the magazine to him yesterday. He stared at it fondly before smoothing the pages and setting it on his desk for later reading. He didn’t have a lot of time to look and mull it over at the moment, but that man on the front looked vaguely familiar. Joey put the thought aside, grabbed his pack, and made for the door. Figuring out how to signal the driver had been a chore, and he didn’t fiddle with his new gadget any further. Instead, he sat calmly in the limo as they headed off towards the Fidona gym. Joey gazed out the window at the passing scenery. It looked so much more beautiful when he didn’t have to battle with it to survive.

Joey had pondered heavily last night and this morning about everything that had transpired yesterday. He recalled meeting Lori’s older, successful sister, Kino, at the Pokémon Center. He replayed how Jana had blown in like a merciless tornado and sent his world spinning. He couldn’t believe that someone had been interested in him just for him. He barely was interested in himself. He came to the conclusion that Lori must have done something, and even though he lacked the physical capacity to hear, he could glean that his latest fortune had been a direct result of something Lori and Kino had done. It had escaped him during the initial encounter, but it seemed so obvious now that Jana was a contact of Kino’s, who set up the meeting to land him a sponsorship. Knowing this, he felt uncomfortable, anxious, and exceedingly grateful.

He hadn’t realized how cumbersome life had been. This was the happiest he had been in awhile since he could now imagine a future for himself that involved something beyond where the next meal was coming from. The contract obviously included a lot of responsibility, but Joey felt eager to prove himself. Maybe after awhile, he could portray that he had been picked up purely based on talent, and that thought comforted him. It reminded him of something his mother used to say.

Fake it until you make it.

The meaning had always eluded his young mind, and he wasn’t sure it applied to his current situation, but he made the connection nevertheless. He didn’t have time to dissect it further as the limo had just grated to a stop outside the Fidona gym. A familiar redhead was standing anxiously outside and Joey thanked the driver as graciously as he could muster before hurrying over to his friend. He offered a genuine smile to her and a shy thumbs-up. He was starting to get a bit excited. He had never seen a real gym battle before. Back in his home region of Orre, people from faraway lands only talked about them like seasonal fairy tales.


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post Nov 17 2012, 05:26 AM
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“Thank. God!” Lori threw up her arms in exasperation and rushed to the curbside to meet the incoming limousine and the passenger that she had been waiting for. Joey stepped out smartly and gave Lori a friendly thumbs-up which she quickly glossed over and grabbed him by the wrist. “Being fashionably late for things is so pasé.” Lori rolled her eyes and dragged Joey along with her towards the tall stone doors of the Fidona Gym. “I know you’re going to be a celebrity and all, Joey, but this is a Gym Ba- WHAT!?”

In all of her tirade, Lori had failed to see the plaque until it was too late. A sign alongside the granite entrance of the so-called Gym read quite clearly: [[This monument is built in appreciation of Fidona’s Pokemon Gym. Challengers, strong of heart and mind, should proceed to the City Overlook and enter the Taminagi Palace to gain audience with Maxy Z!]]

“You have got to be kidding me!”

*****


“Right!” Lori declared, planting her hands firmly on her hips alongside her quiet companion at the real entrance to the Gym. After her nightmare discovery, Lori has demanded that Joey’s chauffer drive them up to the City Overlook immediately so that they wouldn’t miss her slot in the Gym’s schedule completely. As it turned out, however, she was already late but there was no way she was going to leave without a battle!

“Joey?” Lori looked back to find her friend gazing out over the small city of Fidona, the sparkling sea in the bay glittering back at them like a blanket of fallen stars. “Joey.” She repeated, tapping her foot with exasperation. “Joey!” She walked over and tapped his shoulder to get his attention once more. “Sorry, forgot you’re deaf.” She muttered as she turned him around to face the Gym entrance along with her. “But this is where we go in!”

Joey pointed solemnly at another sign.

“Oh, God! How do I keep missing these!” Lori groaned as she read the red-and-gold print.

[[WARNING. Beyond this gate Challengers will face a series of tests before they reach the Palace. Pokemon Partners are encouraged to accompany all trainers passing through the gate.]]

“You, what?” Lori raised an incredulous eyebrow. “More challenges?! All I want is a battle!” She snagged up her skirt and locked her fingers around the three green Pokeballs there. “No challenge is too big for us, though!” She released her Pokemon without delay.

“Lup!” Pipster the Piplup.
“Sni!” Triss the Snivy.
“Chino!” And Chico the Minccino.

“The Palace is just up the hill.” Lori stated, shrugging towards Joey. “How hard could it be?”


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LittleShadowPoke...
post Dec 26 2012, 12:41 PM
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Taminagi Palace sounded rather fancy to Joey and he didn't quite know what to expect of the Fidona Pokémon Gym, but the ruin-like structure perched a top of the forested hill was not in his repetoire of scenary. He soaked in the beauty gratefully as the City Overlook gave the perfect blend of jungle, city, and sparkling sea as the sun reached its zenith.

Lori, whom he was extremely glad to find that she was more assertive and directive than he was, turned him back around and motioned to the entrance. He made sure she saw the sign, and then called out his own three Pokémon. The young boy started getting excited at this point as the premonition of adventure hovered in the air.

His Pidgey, Claw stretched his wings and fluttered up to his trainer's shoulder, his small size easy to bear. Joey's next choice was the sprightly young Seel, Jet, since Joey trusted him as a battler. Kimiko was next and she sprung excitedly in the open fresh air. Joey wasn't sure that she was the best choice, but his strategy books taught him to diversify, and he felt that having two out and out battlers was plenty and he wanted someone with support for back up. Hopefully, his intuition would prove right, as the declaration of the latest sign made him uneasy. Luckily, Lori didn't seem faltered and he could ride off of her enthusiasm.

Once he was ready, he looked at Lori in time to catch her optimism.

"How hard could it be?"

Joey didn't feel like truly quantifying the difficulty they could possibly face, and instead followed her up the hill. At the moment, it looked impossibly far away up an impossibly steep slope with a definitely intimidating air. At least the view was nice. The group passed through cast iron gates and shuffled onward. Claw had a sour expression and clung to Joey, but Jet and Kimiko were as care free as going on a vacation. Joey tried holding Kimiko, but she uncharacteristically insisted on walking on the plush grass.

The first part of the trip up the hill was uneventful, and while it was time-consuming, the traveling companions started to relax, and Joey started to wonder whether the aforementioned trials would be beginning soon, or if they started once they got inside. Perhaps they had already started, and they were being monitered right at that moment, and maybe they were already doing something wrong. Joey corrected his posture and walked with a more ambitious stride out of paranoia, which took him to the front of the group. He started looking around and then nearly slapped himself, as if they seriously needed to give themselves away if they were being watched!

About to seriously scold himself for being so panicky and uncool, Joey lurched forward suddenly as the ground gave away beneath his footing. It was the weirdest sensation he had ever felt and he didn't understand what was happening, but adrenaline surged throughout his body and reacted for him. He managed to catch himself, several times in fact, as each new hold gave away as he scrambled and the hill split horizontally in front of their path to reveal a crevice. The last hold that Joey managed was a rather spiny root a couple of feet from the surface. Jet and Kimiko were peering down at him with as horrified expressions as Pokémon can manage.

Claw was sent sprawling when Joey was and the trainer frantically looked around for him. He caught his breath when he saw his oldest friend had righted himself in the air and had fluttered back to him. Talons scrabbled sloppily around Joey's head, reaching for his shirt. Claw got a firm hold after many scratches and proceeded to flap with all his might to try to get his trainer back up, but it was all in vain. All he achieved was giving his trainer wind burn.

Joey's adrenaline rush started winding down and death contemplation was on its way, except then a pair of thin vines swooped down and wrapped themselves around the young boy's torso and lifted him up and back onto solid ground with the aid of Joey's haphazard climbing. He crawled away from the edge and joined Claw in frightened panting, but the bird hopped away and had a decidedly dark air about him. He couldn't look Joey in the eye, and his trainer couldn't figure out why.

He patted all of his Pokémon thankfully, and then thanked a rather proud-looking Triss, her Snivy vines retracting with a snap, and Lori who looked worried not only for Joey, but for the new obstacle in front of them. The crevice could not be denied, and there was no telling if it gave away on the other side too, and for how far. The distance as it was now had Joey doubting that he could reasonably jumped across, but Lori might be able. Joey started summing up all of his Pokémons' abilities. Kimiko could float, Claw could fly, Jet could… be thrown? Joey shook his head, and then turned to Lori for leadership. He was still too shaken up to think straight, but he knew it was too early to be out of the game.


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post Dec 28 2012, 04:01 PM
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“Huh,” Lori grunted to her partner, which actually meant grunting to herself since he was still deaf as a doornail, as they made the ascent toward the palace, “not much of a chall- JOEY!”

With a very sudden and unpredictable groan the hill appeared to split in halves, the ground literally falling away underneath Joey’s feet. After he had made the obvious effort to take the lead, Lori had had no intention of taking it back from him but if he was going to just fall into pitfall traps like that…!

“Joey!” Lori screamed again, charging into a short sprint toward the crevice where he friend had disappeared a moment before. Jet the Seel was first to the crevice edge, closely followed by Kimiko and Chico would had been idly giggling away with each other before the event. Lori, Triss and Pipster brought up the rear.

“Oh no!” Lori wailed, approaching the lip of the drop with some caution. She peered over the hole gingerly, making sure not to get too close the edge so that another piece of earth could give way and claim her, too. “Joey!?”

“Sni!” Triss, unperturbed by the apparent danger of the deep hole, slithered right up to the mini-cliff and threw out her vine whip. With a heave, her snaking vines made their return with Joey intact and panting. Lori descended upon him like an avalanche.

“OMIGOD, JOEY!” She screamed, throwing her arms around him with a tight squeeze. “Don’t nearly die like that!” She shook him for good measure and forced some eye contact out of him. “I’m so glad you’re OK!” Another power-hug. Realising that she was suddenly very close to Joey’s face and she could feel his breath on her own lips and cheek, Lori flung herself off of him just as quickly as she had ensared him in her grip.

She turned her back, embarrassed, and hastily turned it into a congratulatory head-pat for Triss.

“Vee.” Triss shrugged and accepted the praise, joined by Pipster who patted her on the back merrily with a stubby wing. Even Chico nodded his approval for her over his folded paws.

“Well done, Triss.” Lori thanked her lucky stars that the more-than-capable Pokemon had been with them. Yet again the grass snake had proved her worth and done her sire, Tsubaki the Champion of Unova’s Serperior, proud. “I don’t know what we’d do without you, sometimes!”

With the group getting their breath, strength and dignity back little by little, Lori knelt down and summoned her trio of Pokemon around her. Clearly Joey was more than a little shaken and it was up to her to decide the next move. She beckoned her Piplup, Snivy and Minccino close, proposing to them that they work together to consider their options for crossing the ravine.

“Well, it’s clear us four could get across that simple enough,” Lori admitted to them all in their huddle, “but Joey wouldn’t be able to make it on his own. We’re not leaving him here, either, cos he’s a proud sort of guy and we’re not that sort of people, right?” There was general agreement. “So, Triss… Reckon you can make a vine bridge?”

The rapid string of “sni” “vee” and “veesni” that came out of her amounted to a “maybe, but it would be risky” and a fold of her leaf-like arms. Lori scratched her head. If they didn’t have to take risky chances, they certainly wouldn’t.

“Chino!” Chico suddenly declared and took off for the edge of the crevice, scaling a nearby tree with ease and sweeping a thick branch with his tail. Several vines dropped down and the chinchilla Pokemon laughed merilly, jumping on the spot before grabbing up a vine himself and throwing himself from the limb. With a long swing back the way they had come, the small grey rodent begant his return swing out over the crevice.

“Chico!” Lori screamed with worry but as the swing continued realised that her Pokemon was in no danger – the return swing carried him more than far enough across the crevice before he let go and fell to the far side with a spritely bounce. Lori breathed a sigh of relief and turned back to Joey.

“A swing crossing it is!” She smiled, helping him back to his feet. She look down at her Snivy, “Triss, you go next and reel us in with you vines for good measure – we don’t want any more trips into that hole!”

“Snivy, sni!”


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LittleShadowPoke...
post Dec 28 2012, 05:12 PM
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Almost dying was nothing compared to the fear he had when Lori overpowered him in a hug that was charged with both malevolent enmity for almost losing his life and immense relief that he hadn't. While being that close to another human being made him feel as if his heart had jumped into his throat, he realized there was also a factor of a feeling that he couldn't identify, but it was overbearingly good. He was almost sad when it ended so suddenly, but it was for the best. He felt tingly for a long period of time afterwards.

While the adrenaline seeped out of his system, embarrassment quickly faded in to take its place. Incompetence was not a quality he wished to exude and he felt like such an overwhelming fool, and didn't quite know how to deal with it. His two extreme choices, he considered, were to let it sink in and accept it, or redeem himself as quickly as possible, which is why he perked up at the suggestion of vine swinging to cross the crevice. Merely at the suggestion, however, because once he was actually faced with the tree that supported the vines that hung over the devastating crevice, it started to appear as not such a great idea. From where he was standing, the tree was looking a little taller, the crevice a little deeper, and the vines a little weaker, but how gentlemanly was it to let the lady go first? Lori stood next to him surveying the situation while Triss the Snivy maneuvered over to the other side to join her rodent companion.

Joey looked at his Pokémon. Claw could fly, but Jet would have trouble getting over. Kimiko was already on her way as she inflated herself, and Jet helped along with a bat of his tail flippers before Joey could cry out to stop him. A giggling Igglybuff made it easily over the miniature gorge and was caught by a similarly giggling Chico. Joey let out breath of relief once his baby Pokémon was on solid ground, and then eyed the Seel, briefly wondering if it would be considered cheating to return him to his Pokéball for the journey over. He decided it was the only way, and tucked the occupied Pokéball into his front pocket out of habit, then transferred it to his pack on second thought.

"Claw?" The Pidgey was at his side instantaneously. "Can you take this over for me?" The bird solemnly nodded and did as his trainer wished, hardly struggling despite the size, and touched down safely on the other side. Joey took in a deep breath and decided it was now or never and reached for a vine. It was rougher than he expected and some bark-like material flaked off at his touch. Not much reassured, he knew he had to rush or he would psyche himself out, so he swung off a little prematurely.

The vine was wrapped tightly around his right forearm and uninjured leg. His weight was supported easily, but the sensation was incredible. It would have been fun had he not looked down. He froze up, and the vine swung back to his initial side before Triss could catch him. He heaved his weight to build the momentum and told himself he would have to let go this time, but he didn't. Even though he technically knew he could make it, it didn't feel right to jump. He constantly felt he would never be close enough to make it. Perhaps he should have chosen a different vine. It was the fourth time he was approaching the opposite side now, and his momentum was at its peak. He also felt extremely silly and self-conscious that he hadn't managed to get over yet. This would have to be the time he let go.

Something else on a vine blew past him in a brown blur that seemed very familiar to him. Something also smacked him around the torso and dragged him for a length that felt like Triss's vines, but when he looked down it looked as if a giant worm had grabbed him. He cried out in what he would later call surprise, but there wasn't enough time as the "worm" then yanked him hard. He lost his grip on the vines at the apex of the swing, and he toppled onto the ground rather roughly, but safely on the other side ensconced in the protective grip of Snivy vines. He lifted himself up and looked around for the worm, but he looked up directly into the buck-toothed grin of a be-whiskered visage that he recognized immediately and failed to suppress a grin. If he had been able to hear, he would have heard the strange sound of a Raticate snickering wildly.


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post Dec 28 2012, 06:28 PM
Post #8


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“Oh, look!” Lori gasped as Joey landed on the other side. “It’s Sinbad! Hey, Sinbad!” She waved her arms over her head. Having the badass Raticate around made her feel a little safer than before. If it weren’t for him, she and Joey would have ended up Braviary food not so long ago. Glad she had a little more support, Lori snagged up Pipster and plopped him on the back of her neck. With a swift knot, she tied the mini penguin securely with her hair… yes, her hair… and then took up a vine.

“Let’s GOOO!” She wailed with excitement, heartbeat hammering wildly in her chest as she flung herself across the ravine. Joey’s surprised face grew larger and larger in her vision, his small frame just getting back to his feet, and all too quickly Lori realised she was on a collision course…

“Sni!” Triss’s vines looped around Lori’s waist and dragged her neatly off course, placing her neatly on the ground even as she let go of the vine.

“Woohoo!” Lori punched the air and tugged the knot out of her fiery locks. “We did it!”

“Pip, pipLUP!”

~*~


“Hmmm…” Lori faced the next expanse of ground. The grass was becoming more sparse as they approached the palace and stone walls were poking out of the ground a little distance away, guiding them into a corridor-like pathway to the doors of the Gym. “OK, Chico! Use Swift attack! Pipster use Bubblebeam!”

“Miiinccino!”
“Luuup!”

The barrage of attacks swept the ground ahead, kicking up dust and leaves in a wave. The moment the attacks ended, Lori peered at the path ahead.

“Looks like we’re clear of any more pitfalls.” She said practically to herself but Joey was already alongside her, nodding. He had been watching, too. She smiled and looked back at her Pokemon. “Good job guys, now come back here and let’s plan again.”

Now that they had encountered a trap, Lori and Joey were certain that there would be more ‘challenges’ ahead. What was more certain was that the corridor structure ahead was going to be rigged – why else would it even be there?!

“Do we make a run for it?” Lori asked Joey, sizing up his limping ability with her memory. “Or do we set whatever traps there are off from a distance, if we can? I mean, if it isn’t set off and we think it’s safe, then it could be even more unsafe!”

“Pip…” Pipster’s frowned of concentration matched hers perfectly.


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LittleShadowPoke...
post Jan 3 2013, 04:03 PM
Post #9


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Joey stared slightly slack jawed at Lori's graceful assent to his side of the ravine. She almost seemed acrobatic where he seemed clumsy. He had a small heart attack as she came right for him, only to be scooped away at the last second. He let out a breath of air as Sinbad jovially saluted the young lass and they all set off towards the palace again, a little more cautiously this time. Joey wasn't sure about having Sinbad around. Sure, he seemed more capable than any Pokémon he had currently, but he had to wonder about the rules which they were never presented.

"Do you think it's cheating to use a wild Pokémon?" Joey asked Lori, as he motioned to the Raticate traipsing next to them. He didn't want to be disqualified for a technicality.

As they got closer to the palace, some rubble starting cropping up and depicted walls of long time past. Further up ahead, they took more form that was decorated with dirt, vines, and ivy. Joey thought it was a very smart idea to test for more pitfalls and other inadverdent traps, and tried to pretend he had been thinking the same thing.

Joey answered Lori's proposition.

"I agree completely. It's best to do things at a distance. I'll go first."

Now it was his turn to test things out. He stepped forward to take a quick peek to look for any triggers. He stepped tentatively as the dirt beneath his feet coalesced into the stone of the once-corrider. He couldn't really see anything except for two round statues at the end, hidden partially in shadows from where the stone pillars were most intact.

"Jet?" Joey called over his shoulder. The Seel loyally flopped forward to join his trainer. "Can you use Water Gun?"

"Seel seel," a frown crossed Jet's puppy face.

"Actually, I don't really remember you ever using Water Gun, which is odd for a Water Pokémon. What can you do?" Joey questioned with hands thoughtfully on his hips.

After a moment of consideration, Jet started spouting water in an arc, and thoroughly soaked everything in the corrider. It didn't look particularly powerful. It seemed to have the same intensity as a light rain, and Joey wondered if there were such a move called Sissy Gun. He didn't have long to wonder though, because the corrider started to rumble. Joey motioned Jet out of the corrider and quickly followed, backing up in time to see the two statues roll towards him as boulders. He started panicking, wondering if the water had been powerful enough to dislodge them. Then he saw that the boulders actually lined up single file to get through the corrider, as if they were of conscious mind.

Joey was right out next to Lori and the rest of the group and he motioned all of them quickly into the clear as the boulders rolled past, but they rolled back and stopped in front of them. Arms, legs, and a small reptilian head unfolded from the designed rock and Joey recognized the Pokémon as Golem. He hadn't seen one in forever. He turned and nodded at Lori.

"I take one and you take the other?"

He glanced around to make sure that Kimiko was safe, and Claw was circling in the sky. He wouldn't be of use against a Rock-type anyways.

"Jet, looks like this is up to you," Joey said to his small friend. The Seel looked up at him with brave determination.

"Seel!"

"Golem!" The Rock Pokémon charged them before they were quite ready, and in order to get out of the way the duo were forced further up the hill and heading towards the side of the palace. The Golem kept up the Rock Throw, with Jet dutifully dodging each one. Once there was a break in attack, Joey almost ordered a Headbutt before rationalizing that Rock types naturally have high defense, and a physical move like that wouldn't even scratch it. He racked his mind for a special move, and even a water one, but nothing was coming to mind. Lastly, he resorted to Icy Wind.

A cold wind rustled the air and then rushed towards the Golem. Dust and other dirt flipped off the rock beast, but didn't really seem to phaze him all that much. It roared its rocky roar and rolled up again and went right for Jet, who couldn't dodge. The sleek Seel body was smashed by Steamroller, and when Joey ordered an Aqua Ring, it was another turn of Rock Throws before Jet could manage to summon some healing from Aqua Ring. An icy, crystallizing glow from within the powerful young body grew until it could form the revolving rings that gave the Seel back some of his vitality and health. Joey shouted his encouragement and Jet looked ready for more.

The Golem curled up in a Defense Curl to ready for another attack, and Joey saw his chance.

"Jet, now, use Encore!" The Seel pushed off with his fins and clapped sporadically, then caught himself on the ground, pushed off strongly, and continued, all the while vocalizing his attack that rendered the Golem stuck in a Defense Curl. Joey got a little relieved, now knowing that he had more time to think.

"Alright, Ice Shard!" Icicles formed around Jet's horn, and he fired them off only to strike solid rock and shatter near harmlessly. Joey knew he needed more power and told Jet to add his Icy Wind to the mix. There was a difference now. The Golem was starting to look annoyed and frustrated, but not injured.

"Alright, alright!" Joey shouted. "What else do you know?"

Jet considered for a moment, and then summoned up the power of water within himself, searching for something stronger that would be useful. Joey saw the glow and prematurely reprimanded.

"No, I didn't say Aqua Ring again," he started, but stopped when he realized this glow was different, and it welled up more powerfully and completely ensconsed the Seel in water, and very quickly the water propelled the Seel forward and smashed right into the Golem, sending the rounded Pokémon flying up the hill. That was the key to beating them, Joey realized.

"Jet, push it over the ledge and into the water below!" Joey shouted as he raced after them as well as he could. They were reaching the pinnacle now, but before the Golem could be pushed over, the Encore wore off and the gargantuan beast caught itself with one claw, and hoisted itself back around to Roll Out over Jet, and again, and again, and Joey caught up.

"Jet, stop it however you can," Joey breathed. Now that Encore had worn off, things were quickly looking hopeless again. Jet raised his bruised body just enough to expel something incredibly beautiful in the path of the Golem as it rampaged toward him. The Aurora Beam had glazed the path and sent the Golem careening off to the side, dangerously close to the ledge, but it gained traction again and headed for Jet from below, putting the young Seel between him and the cliff. Jet kept the Aurora Beam up and slowed the Golem to a stop. He didn't seem harmed, but terribly inconvenienced as it had to keep breaking through newly formed ice that threatened to drag its body down. Finally, it became engulfed and had to quit moving to flex through the ice and roar intimidatingly at its opponent.

Joey rushed over to Jet when it appeared safe and cradled his Pokémon, the bruises were highlighted by the contrast of his white coat. The Pokémon cooed softly and whimpered, then appeared to fall asleep. Joey pulled out his Pokéball to recall him, but it was too late as the enraged Golem pulled out his trump card, and promptly exploded, sending both trainer and Pokémon irrevocably over the cliff.


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Living Arrow
post Jan 4 2013, 06:35 AM
Post #10


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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“Oooh, this is way too Indiana Jones for my liking!” Lori squealed as Joey ushered her out of the way of the oncoming boulders. They turned back to find the rolling statues uncurling into two of the most terrifying things that Lori had ever seen. “NARGH! MONSTERS!” Joey seemed altogether less fussed.

“I take one and you take the other?” Was all Lori got in the way of support from her companion as Joey edged aware from her, drawing the attention of one of the grotesque beings.

“Wait!” Lori shrieked at Joey’s back, “I don’t know what to do!”

“SNI!” Triss was on the move before the red-haired trainer could protest and out of nowhere Leaf Tornado was swirling towards their opponent. The Golem, unable to dodge without any warning that the attack was incoming, was caught up in it for a moment – long enough for Lori to find her emerald Pokedex.

“Dex, analyse!”

[Golem - the Megaton Pokemon. Even dynamite can’t harm its hard, boulderlike body. It sheds its hide just once a year.]

“Even DYNAMITE!?” Lori wailed, watching with despair as the Leaf Tornado ended and the barrelling mass of Pokemon advanced on her Snivy. With a roar, the Golem threw its arms wide and descended onto all fours. The segments of rock shell on its back began to glow red and in an instant…

BAM BAM BAM!

Rocks were fired from the Golem like shotgun fire.

“Triss, dodge it and get out of there!” Lori’s plea was too late, her Pokemon the victim of three missiles that knocked her flat on her back.

“Miiiin!” Chico burst through the dust cloud and was ontop of the Golem before anyone knew what was happening. Literally on top of the Golem. Lori’s breath caught in her throat. If that thing started rolling again and Chico was forced under it… The Pokedex’s description of ‘Megaton’ brought extremely disturbing images of Chico under a ton weight to mind and it was almost enough to make Lori gag.

“Hey! You leave my Pokemon alone!” Lori screamed primally, tugging her hair with frustration. “I am going to be a top class Trainer one day and you are not going to stop me before I even get one Gym Badge! YOU HEAR ME!?”

“Chinochinochino!” Chico waggled his tail into the nooks and crevices in the Golem’s body with a surprise Tickle attack. The rock-type guttural laugh was an awful thing to listen to and even more bizarre to see as it attempted to dislodge his tormentor from his back.

“Chico, get out of there this instant!” Lori pumped a fist with the Pokemon still standing by her side. “Pipster, use Bubblebeam right now!”

“Piiiplupluplup!”
“GOL!”

Rocks smashed through the incoming bubbles, scattering them like confetti, and Lori soon found herself watching one enormous projectile headed towards her face. She froze, unable to move as the paralytic power of fear made her vulnerable to the Golem’s move.

“VEE!”

Triss’s vines thrashed the boulder off course, its grey form thundering into the ground behind Lori. The Trainer could barely breathe. What just happened?!

“Sni!” Triss was on the attack once more, her vines lashing out again and again at the foe.

"Jet, push it over the ledge and into the water below!"

Lori heard Joey’s command and thought, at first, that she was hearing things. Then she looked her friend’s way. Nope. She had heard him right. They were going to sink that Golem sucker! But then again… That Golem sucker, like her Golem sucker, was very strong and didn’t look like it was going to make things easy on poor little Jet.

*We need to end this before Pipster and the others get too injured… There’s no telling if we have to battle the Gym Leader right after this and a trip back to the Pokemon Center is off the cards if we need to go through all this again! Just imagine if Joey weren’t here! How would we have coped with two!? But Joey is here… He’s a good trainer and learned a lot about battling without doing it all that much… That’s why he’s so good to have around!... And he taught me… That’s it!*

“Chico! Get back in there!” Lori’s aboutface didn’t go unnoticed. Triss hissed a warning back at her and Pipster cried with alarm but the Trainer held her ground. “C’mon, Chico! Use that beautiful voice of yours!”

“Minccino!” Chico declared as he flipped atop the Golem once more. “Miiin, miiin miiinccino… ccinooooo!”

“That’s it! Sing puts your opponent to sleep!” Lori hopped on the spot, watching with glee as the Golem’s eyes began to flutter shut. “And now we finish it off by making sure we’re strong after the battle! Triss, use Mega Drain!”

Life energy flooded back to Triss as she ensnared the Goelm with her vine, a deep red glow transferring along their length all the way into her body. As she released it, the rock Pokemon dropped to the ground, curling back into a ball. Everything was going to plan for once! Lori delighted in this and looked across to check on Joey who was cadling Jet the seel in his arms…

“NYO!” Lori screamed, too late. The Golem that Joey had faced, though trapped in ice, began to glow a deep red at its core, highlighting all the cracks through its shell with a crimson shine. An earthy roar split its lips and with a flash of light, detonated itself right there. The ground erupted with the force of the Selfdestruction and Lori’s friend was dragged with the falling earth, right over the cliff.

“SNIVY!” Triss’s vines lashed for Joey and Jet over the lip of the drop but Lori already knew that it was too late. Even her Snivy’s vines had limits and there was no way she’d be able to catch both of them. A shining, shooting star followed the descending rubble off of the cliff, making Lori blink twice. Shooting star? This close to the ground?


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LittleShadowPoke...
post Jan 4 2013, 10:49 AM
Post #11


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When Joey had been growing up in Pyrite, an event that had caused much upheaval around the town was the suicide of one his neighbors. He remembered coming home to his mother crying who immediately pulled him close, which only irritated his young self who had no idea what was going on. On the far side of town heading towards the Colosseum was a wooden bridge suspended over a canyon. As a small child growing up in the town, it was more than common sense to not play near there, but some of the gutsier kids made silly bets regarding getting closer and closer to the gorge. In the early morning on that day, a middle-aged man had perched precariously on the ledge, and then pushed off to fall into the gorge. News would later reveal that he had been a terminally ill patient and decided to die on his own terms. Joey would also later learn he had been something of a half-uncle twice removed that his mother had known better in her youth.

Joey also became privy to the information that most who died in such falls were dead long before they hit the ground due to heart attack, but he could never quite digest that information.

Until now.

It felt like going up stairs in the middle of the night and anticipating more steps than there actually were and bringing a foot down on empty space, or even having a dream of falling and waking up in a sweat, except this had a much longer hang-time.

The first action that Joey performed upon facing imminent death was to recall Jet into his Pokéball and cradle it protectively. He couldn't recall the physics of whether Pokémon could perceive anything outside their Pokéballs or what would happen if it smashed upon the rocks below, but he had to figure that putting him in the Pokéball gave him a fighting chance.

As the young boy was exploded over the cliff, he could see traces of green vines reaching for him, along with a worm-like tail, but it was too late and too far for either of them, and Joey knew it. The fall was faster than Joey had anticipated, and it didn't seem at all like slow motion where your entire life flashed before your eyes as he had heard from others. He had been exploded backwards and was falling back first, and tried to turn in the air, but the panic was overwhelming. Joey thought he could feel death engulfing him, and his confirmation came in the glowing light swooping towards him. An angel had come to claim his soul, and he suddenly felt foolish for having so aggressively eschewed his mother's religious background. Except as it got closer, Joey saw the prominent beak and intense avian stare of his long-time friend through the glow. Claw was coming for him. He was glowing. He was getting bigger.

About two-thirds of the way down the cliff face, strong talons wrapped confidently and securely around the boy's upper arms and strong wings slowed the descent and then pushed to catch an updraft. The pair glided down and it appeared Joey's descent into death was stalled, even though they got close enough to the water to have Joey's boots drag in the froth.

The newly formed Pidgeotto struggled valiantly with all his new found might. With a godly burst of energy and favorable wind conditions, Claw was able to swoop around to a lower side of the hill and dump his trainer onto the plush grass before sprawling next to him. Sweat was apparent by his glistening feathers, but that didn't cause his trainer to hesitate throwing his arms around him. It was incredibly weird to be hugging Claw now, who was almost as big as he was, and the exhausted bird was panting with a veritable expression that clearly said: Don't. Ever. Make me do that again.

Joey nodded and recalled him into his Pokéball to rest and then triumphantly headed back up to Lori, where he would reunite with a thankful Igglybuff. He started to rush as he remembered she had a Golem to deal with too, and he hadn't seen how she had fared. Now that his ordeal was over, he could help her out.

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This post has been edited by LittleShadowPokemon: Jan 4 2013, 10:54 AM


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post Jan 8 2013, 12:52 PM
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“NO! JOEY!!!” Lori screamed, the last remnants of the nearby cliff crumbling away into the void. Triss’s vines slowly retracted, their grasp fruitless algonside Sinbad’s worm-like tail. Lori fell to her knees, stunned silence capturing her while her large eyes stared bankly at the edge. The Pokemon gathered around her began to cry and exclaim in alarm, their noisy complaints falling on completely deaf ears.

“Joey…” Lori whispered, still staring at the place where her friend had been before the explosion. “Joey…”

“Pip, piplup…” Pipster uttered at her side, also collapsed to the ground where he sat in stunned disbelief. Nearby, Chico clung to a wailing Kimiko, stroking her softly with his broom of a tail. Triss and Sinbad remained at the cliff edge, peering over into the expanse.

“This,” Lori choked, holding her hands up to her face, “this is all my fault.”

“Lup?”

“If it weren’t for me, Joey wouldn’t have come on this stupid trip to the Gym and he’d still be here!” She declared angrily, clawing at her face with her fingertips and spreading the tears that were leaking over her reddening cheeks. “And it’s all my fault he got shoved into Contests. It’s just all my fault!”

Pipster shook his head and offered ‘pips’ and ‘lups’ in consolence while patting his Trainer with a stubby wing. Lori’s head bowed between her knees, her mass of hair falling over her head and shoulders in disarray.

“Sni! Snivy Sni!” Triss called from the cliff edge.

“What do we do, Pipster?” Lori sobbed under her protective scarlet blanket. “How do we… Who should… I’ll call Kino? She’ll know what… But then she’ll know I’m… That I can’t… Oh, Pipster!” She flung her arms around the penguin and drew him near. “They’ll try to take you away from me again, won’t they? They’ll say I couldn’t… And can’t be trusted…”

“VEE!” Triss’s vine lashed across Lori’s face in a neat slap. “Sni! Sni! Sni, snivy!” The grass snake hissed angrily at Lori, folding her arms neatly over her thin chest. She raised her nose in contempt and jerked her head off to the side.

Lori held a hand to her stinging red face, the moisture of her tears making the red blemish growing there hurt even more like salt in a wound. Following her Pokemon’s indication, Lori turned to face back down the hill.

“JOEY!” She squealed, stumbling to her feet and sprinting down the hill. Back at the ravine crossing, Lori made it just in time for Joey’s feet to find solid ground. Around her, the menagerie of partner Pokemon roared with adulation that their Trainer and friend had made it back alive but none shouted quite as loudly as Lori. “YOU’RE OK!” She roared into his ears as she ensared him in a vicegrip of Kingler proportions. “Don’t you ever, EVER, do that again!” She squeezed tightly as she drank in his smell and stole his warmth. How could he have survived that fall?! It didn’t matter, anyway. He was alive. ALIVE!

“Miss Pardare?” A woman’s voice approached. Lori flinched at the sound and turned her head, not letting go of her friend for a second. Walking towards them was an Amazonian woman in tribal gear that looked ‘casual-ceremonial-chique’ . Large breasts bounded around in her bra-like coverings, threatening to spill a more than generous amount of dark flesh with every step. “Miss Pardare, we do apologise for this unfortunate accident!” The woman went on, nodding toward Joey. “While the challenges on this route are intended to test Trainers, there is not meant to be any element of real harm. You have to understand that this is an exceptional case and we would not want you to come to any further distress before your match. Please, let me escort you into the Gym.”

There was a long pause while Lori blinked at the woman. So much was wrong with what had just come out of the woman’s mouth. A. The accent was wrong for a ntiave to Fidona. B. An apology wouldn’t cut it. C. ‘Real’ harm was almost ‘real’ death. And D. Distress was an understatement.

“Are you F-ing kidding me!?” Lori screeched, releasing Joey to give the woman a piece of her mind. “How dare you come over here all lar-dee-dar and try to sweep this under the rug!? If my sister were here, Kino Pardare – the Unova League CHAMPION, you’d be the one experiencing real harm! And another thing, I-“

“Sni sni.” Triss interrupted Lori with an extended vine that tapped her lips softly. Lori’s rage faltered for a moment as she was silenced by her more mature Snivy.

Begrudgingly, Lori frowned deeply at the woman and said angrily through gritted teeth, “Fine. Show us the way.”


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LittleShadowPoke...
post Jan 8 2013, 02:38 PM
Post #13


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Of all of Lori's embraces, this one probably topped them all, and Joey didn't even notice. After Lori had loosened her grip, Kimiko squeezed in between them and flattened herself against her trainer with renewed vigor and cheerful wailing. Sinbad had scampered up and gave Joey a well-earned doleful look and slight salute with his tail. Joey felt an incredibly strange sensation well up within in, and a dampness on his face. He reached up a hand to wipe it away and realized that some tears had sneaked out. The young boy wiped them away quickly, but Lori was distracted by the Amazonian stranger that had come up to them. Joey took one look at the woman and then looked away trying to hold in a blush. It almost didn't feel right to look at her.

Joey didn't know what to make of Lori and her reaction to his almost death. The caring, the outrage, the sorrow, and he didn't know what to make of any of it. He wasn't used to people acknowledging his existence, much less caring about it. He squeezed Kimiko tight and stood up to follow the troop back into the corridor, which quickly became enclosed. Two more Golem were already at their post, but they stayed in their place at the command of their Amazonian guide. Joey could just make out the glow of a reptilian eye peeking out of the rock, and the young trainer shied away behind Lori. It became increasingly dark and the presence of a Fire or Electric type seemed almost necessary, but the Amazonian guide knew her way, and the two following trainers followed diligently.

Along the way, the Amazonian warrior disarmed various traps to make for an easier and quicker travel. Darts were disabled, holes were filled in, a slew of Muk and Grimer were parted like a holy sea and the trio and their Pokémon quickly jogged through holding their noses and mouths frantically. Joey kept a death grip on his baby Pokémon, who for once did not mind it that much. Sinbad kept a close proximity with the group and almost looked as if he were sneaking, which Joey supposed he was, after all.

The corridor was made of stone that definitely had an ancient and earthy tinge to it. Joey was no stranger to dirt, but he did end up hugging himself and his Pokémon closer. He had never thought of himself as claustrophobic, but this environment certainly brought it out in him. His breathing became shallow and quickened, and he looked hopefully ahead for the light at the end of the literal tunnel. Sinbad seemed to move with confidence expected of a rodent and thrived in the dusty shadows. Kimiko kept turned in against her trainer.

After some travel of similar experiences, the corridor opened up into a room that was incredibly enormous and some combination of a rectangular room with a pseudo-dome top. The decor was certainly in line with the overall natural theme, but it also sported an opulence that was betrayed by its outside appearances. The ground was hard-packed dirt with white marking out an arena battlefield. Relief flooded over Joey as he ascended into the bleachers. He needed a break and to let the adrenaline drain out. Before moving up, he turned to Lori and offered her good luck, but fiercely hoped she wouldn't need it.

This post has been edited by LittleShadowPokemon: Jan 8 2013, 02:43 PM


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Kamaitachi
post Jan 9 2013, 01:11 AM
Post #14


I'm dying to see how this one ends.
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At the back of the cavernous battle hall, a man of imposing stature sat, waiting patiently for the next challenger to arrive. At 6'5", he seemed huge even seated. Today, he wore something of a cloak wrapped around his body, because, admittedly, it was a bit cold in the hall. His sharp ruby eyes peered through the room, appraising the girl and boy as they entered. A small sigh escaped; Maxy Z! did not seem all that excited.

Since his ascension to the 'throne' of Fidona, Maxy had been greeted with an alarming slew of challengers, most of whom were still at the beginnings of their journeys. Very few trainers boasting badges ever came to his hall.

As Lori and Joey entered the room, Maxy Z! slowly rose from the 'throne' at the back of the hall. The seat stood high up, almost at level with the highest bleachers, and the stairs extended down to the battle platform, marking a box where the Amazonian leader was to conduct his battles.

While he enjoyed the more open aired beach-battle zones Fidona had to offer, a part of him quite liked the pomp of descending down the stairs. As he did, he deftly undid the tie of the cloak and tossed over his shoulder on to the throne, revealing his impressive physique. His bare chest almost seemed to gleam in the light, accentuating the excellence of his musculature. Around his waist shone the gem-studded belt signifying not only his nobility, but his position as the unquestioned leader of the Amazons. Of course, Fidona had moved to something more of a social democracy under his reign, but his ceremonial stature remained unchallenged.

As he reached the gym leader's box, he neatly slipped out of the black sandals he wore, almost sighing with delight at the feel of the hard earth under his feet.

To his right, as he stepped into his zone, a small pedestal like computer rose out of the ground. It's screen flashed on, displaying the information Lori had submitted for the gym challenge. Flicking through the touch-screen, his favourite new addition to the gym, he quickly selected three pokemon he would be using in the match. As Lori only had three pokemon in her team, it was easy to decide which he would use. In an instant, three pokeballs materialized, plopping down into an open chamber in the pedestal like gumballs. Once the pokeballs had been plucked from its recesses, the pedestal sank back into the ground.

"I hear there's a nasty rumor out there." He smiled broadly as he rose back up to his full height, crossing his arms as he gazed out at Lori. With one hand, he expanded a pokeball and tossed it into the air, repeating the process until he was juggling all three single-handedly. "They're saying that Maxy Z! of Fidona just hands out badges. Kinda explains why so many of Furoh's newbies start out here.

Well, Vega wants enjoyable battles. Otis aims to defeat you entirely. Carmen just wants to get things over and done with. But me? I'm gonna give you the fairest battle I can muster. I pick my teams to give us the fairest match possible. If you think that makes me the 'easy-mode' gym leader, then you're in for a surprise."

The easy grin rested on his face as he spoke, evidently not at all bothered about being considered the easiest of the gym leaders. He'd beaten his fair share of challengers, especially considering how many of them were just starting out and hadn't yet refined their battle styles.

"I see you're related to Kino Pardare. That's pretty cool and all, but I'm not looking at your sister's skill." His smile finally faded as his hand drifted to his pokeball belt. "We'll see if it runs in your blood, though."

Tossing two of the pokeballs mid juggle, he caught the third and dropped it at his feet. Within moments of one another, the gym leader's three pokemon appeared in a bright flash of light. First, a bipedal otter that looked suspiciously like a samurai and a bipedal pig that appeared like a wrestler appeared on the field. By his side, a small fox/cat-like creature rising up to less than a third of Maxy Z!'s own height.

"Dewott, Pignite, at the ready. Mienfoo, standby. Lori Pardare, step up! First move is yours!"


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post Jan 9 2013, 01:02 PM
Post #15


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Lori couldn’t believe what she saw as they made their way into the gym. This Amazonian guide woman had been particularly battered around the head from birth, it seemed, sicne the words ‘real harm’ were the ultimate understatement of the century. Darts that could have pierced a thousand holes in your body, a slew of pitfall traps and a sea of breath-stealing Grimer screamed ‘certain death’ in Lori’s book! How was anyone meant to even make it to the gym!?

Along the way, Lori had recalled all of her Pokemon for a momentary rest while she sprayed Potions over each Pokeball in turn.

“Wooaah…” Lori breathed as they entered the main hall of the Gym, a giant of a man rising from his seat at the top of the far steps of the arena. The interior of the Gym was by no means as humble as the the town of Fidona would suggest it might be – stone carvings high up on the walls and luscious greenery creeping up the walls made it appear to be something of a jungle sanctuary more than a League building.

Joey murmured wishes of good luck and hurried to take a seat in the stands while the Amazonian woman edged to the midfield point, taking up two flags in her hands. So, she was the referee… That would explain the formality earlier.

The breath that Lori had managed to capture upon entry became jammed in her throat at the Gym Leader, a warrior mountain named Maxy Z! addressed her. His cool confidence was an overwhelming force to Lori, a completely rookie trainer, and his recognition of Lori’s family tree was honor in itself. This guy knew who she was?! That was so awesome!

Then there was the moment that shot gooosebumps up Lori’s spine.

"Dewott, Pignite, at the ready. Mienfoo, standby. Lori Pardare, step up! First move is yours!"

Lori gulped. Not one. Not two. But three Pokemon that she had never ever seen before came into her vision. Every single one looked exotic and exciting, powerful and agile. Every single one was… was…

“Those are Unova Pokemon…” Lori whispered to herself, her thumbs itching wildly to grab up her emerald Pokedex and scan each one in turn for a full examination. She was at a complete disadvantage, not knowing what the Pokemon she was facing were capable of and yet she found that situation all the more exhilarating because she was facing the unknown. “Unova Pokemon…”

“OK!” Lori spread her fingers and clasped all three Pokeballs in one hand. “I’ll choose Pipster and Chico to be first to battle and Triss in reserve!”

Her green-capped balls clacked open to reveal her selections who materialised at her feet rather unimpressively. Pipster looked around for a second, his eyes catching Chicos where they both frowned at each other for a second before the penguin turned to face her.

“Lup?” He questioned, waving a stub at Chico. “Piplup?”

“Oh no!” Lori gasped, horror welling up in her too quick to contain. She’d been so caught up in checking out her opponents that she had forgotten something vital… *I’ve never done a real double battle on my own before!* But there was no time to stall now while she worked out a battle plan! *Make a move, Lori!*

“Focus yours attacks right now! Pipster use Peck on Pignite and Chico use Doubleslap on Pignite!” Lori commanded, a long swathe of hair finding its way into her left hand where she clutched it in a white-knuckled gip for support. Triss, her ever-watchful Snivy gave a roll of her eyes and hung her face in her hands with a sigh.


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Kamaitachi
post Jan 10 2013, 01:12 AM
Post #16


I'm dying to see how this one ends.
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"Dewott! Razor Shell on Piplup! Pignite! Arm Thrust on the Minccino!"

Maxy Z!'s stentorian voice boomed happily through the vast chamber, radiating with both his confidence and his enjoyment. Possessing those same qualities as their master, the two rare Unova Pokemon burst forward to intercept Lori's commanded attacks.

Dewott entered Piplup's trajectory, squaring off with her fellow water type. With the little penguin pokemon's beak racing towards her, she 'unsheathed' her blade from its resting place on her hips and slashed out to meet the attack.

The attacks collided, resulting in damage for both sides. While Dewott's Razor Shell normally proved a powerful attack, it did fairly minimal damage to her similarly water-typed opponent. Peck, being a weak attack in its own right, lacking any sort damage multiplier from typing or ability, left nothing more than a scratch.

On the other hand, her comrade, Pignite, met Miccino's Doubleslap with his own multi-hit technique: Arm Thrust. Maxy Z! had to question the logic of sending a normal type pokemon directly against a fighting type. This Lori Pardare seemed to have played towards the wrong type advantage in this situation. He had honestly been expecting a water-type attack on his Fire pokemon. His appraisal of the red-head as a newbie appeared accurate after all.

Pignite's large arms met the Doubleslap with gusto. Chico's attacks were faster, and landed with much more frequency, but what Pignite lacked in speed, he made up for with sheer power. The doubleslap had been well executed, but had not seemed to faze the Unova Pokemon at all.

It seemed that despite their enthusiasm, the two challenging pokemon seemed lacking in battle experience. Even the girl herself, with no badges to her name, seemed...unprepared. Maxy Z! couldn't quite describe it in his own words, other than the fact that she looked...well...not ready to face a gym leader.

"You're in an official gym." Maxy Z! placed his hands akimbo, glancing over at the referee before looking back to Lori. "So, you gotta focus. Show me everything you got!" To his side, the Mienfoo crossed her arms, shaking her head with something akin to a smirk on her face. She'd only known him for a relatively short time, but he could be a bit overenthusiastic with talking to the challengers.


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post Jan 11 2013, 03:20 PM
Post #17


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“No!” Lori yelped, her two Pokemon beaten back with ease. Pipster pushed himself back up to his feet using his little flippers, taking a moment to rub the sore spot on his forehead where the Dewott’s scalchops had hit. If Lori had taken any time to check, she would have realised that the attack wasn’t as effective as it might be but all she could see was her Pokemon taking hits.

“Ch… chinooo…” Chico complained, struggling even to get to his elbows. Wobbling on uncertain paws, he managed to turn over onto all fours with a great deal of effort. Again, Lori didn’t notice or realise quite what was going on.

“Guys, are you alright?” She called worriedly from the sidelines. Pipster waved back at her while Chico nodded, panting heavily. Lori let go of a long breath. Wow, that hadn’t gone as expected. She nervously glanced Joey’s way, becoming self conscious of her poor decision for a first move. She steeled herself and looked back at her opponents.

“Show me everything you got!” Maxy Z!’s taunt was slightly muted to Lori’s ears while her brain worked as hard as it could.

*What kind of Pokemon are they?* She scrutinised everything that she could see and came up with: *That one’s carrying shells so it must be a Water-type. The other’s all fat so it’s just gotta be a Ground-type!*

“They hit hard up close, guys!” Lori pumped a fist, “So keep your distance this time! Chico use Swift attack and Pipster use Bubblebeam on the Pignite!”


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post Jan 11 2013, 04:17 PM
Post #18


I'm dying to see how this one ends.
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The stream of attacks brought a grin to Maxy Z's face. The girl had, in just one round, brightened up considerably. This time, she'd opted to attack from afar, staying her distance from the martial prowess of his two battlers.

While Lori was rightfully playing towards the type advantage, she'd still made the same mistake from before, leaving Dewott wide open. While focusing on one of the two opponents seemed a sound strategy, Maxy couldn't help but think that perhaps the girl hadn't been ready for a full on double battle.

But, both streams of stars and bubbles were converging on Pignite, who, for lack of better orders, raised his arms in defense.

"Dewott, Water Pulse on Minccino!"

While the Bubblebeam and Swift slammed heavily into her partner, Dewott moved herself to the side of the field, adopting a low stance, with her paws together. As she spread them apart, a swirling, torrential ball of water formed. As the Swift stars subsided from Chico, the powerful aquatic projectile lanced forward.

Once Pignite had shaken off the attack, the Amazonian Gym leader pumped his fist in the air, mirroring Lori's spunk unconsciously.

"Pignite! Take Down on Piplup!"

The Pig-Warrior roared out his battle cry across the field before throwing himself in a full body tackle aimed at the tiny penguin. Maxy Z! beamed with pride as he watched his newest team members throwing themselves in full into their battle, mimicking the Taminagi Badge. They were a relentless storm of attacks, never ceasing until they or their enemy had been defeated. This match would be over quickly; the difference in trainer skill and the difference in pokemon capability had been clearly defined.


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post Jan 12 2013, 09:06 AM
Post #19


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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There was simply no opportunity for Chico to use his incredible speed to dodge the Water Pulse. Both the fact that he was already exhausted and that the foe’s move had been timed perfectly to catch the little chinchilla on his toes right after the final Swift star had left his tail were contributing factors to his downfall.

“Miiiin!” Chico sreamed, the hard sphere of water crushing into his chest and knocking flat on his back. Water pooled around his broken body, tiny quivers running through his limbs. Lori’s hand came up to her mouth almost immediately, a gasp of shock passing her lips. The time for being shocked, however, was only just beginning.

“Piiiig…NITE!” The battle cry of Lori’s other opponent rattled her bones, attention stolen from her fallen comrade and back towards the charging beast. It’s Take Down attack was incredibly fast, those fat legs actually much more agile than they looked. Thud thud thud they came, thud thud splash thud. It zoomed right by the pool of water surrounding Chico and hit Pipster head-on in a slamming full-bodied slam.

“Pipster! Use your new move, quickly!”
“Pipluuuup!”

Lori almost cried right there and then. How were those other Pokemon so powerful? What was so special about them? She already had two Unova Pokemon of her own and yet these was something completely different. How had Maxy Z! trained them so well? What was his secret? Was there even a secret? Could it be that Lori was thrown off just because she’d never heard of these Pokemon before? Was that what Kino was aiming to do in her next Championship match?

Pignite crash landed right into Pipster even as he crossed his wings in defense. The weight of the sumo pig picked the poor Water-type up off the ground and catapulted him into the air before coming back down with a bump where he rolled end over end across the battlefield, coming to rest at Lori’s feet with a weak groan. She knelt down, stroking her partner’s brow.

“Pipster! Are you alright?”

The little Penguin grumbled and pulled himself back up, his stubbornness that he shared with his trainer showing through. He patted her hand with a wing.

“Lup, piplup.”

“OK, and Chico…” Lori looked back to her Pokemon who remained flat on his back. The Amazonian referee at the side of the field held her flag aloft.

“Minccino is unable to battle!”

Lori quickly raised a Pokeball. The rules said a recall was mandatory when those words were called by a referee, no matter how much she wanted to give her newest Pokemon a chance to get back to his feet. The beam of energy that came back into her palm still crackled with static as she clipped the ball to her belt and turned to the Snivy at her side.

“You’re up, Triss.” She gave the snake a thumbs-up. “I know you can do it!”

“Sni.” Triss waved a flippant hand in her direction and moved to join Pipster on the field. Lori spared a quick glance for Joey as her plan that she had put together at the Pokemon center came back to the forefront of her mind. Pipster’s latest attack might be enough to tilt the tables a little more her way but there was no way her friend would have let her go through with it if he knew…

“Pipster, did you make it?” Lori asked her Piplup. He turned his head a little and winked. Lori inwardly grinned. “You asked us to show you what we could do!” Lori addressed the Gym Leader with a shakey voice. “Well, here’s a strategy that can defeat almost any Pokemon!”

“You ready, guys?” She asked her Pokemon again with a lowered tone. Both penguin and snake visibly tensed. Lori’s adrenaline turned up to ten as she ordered her next move: “Triss use Vine Whip on Pipster! Pipster, unleash the energy! Finish off your Bide attack on Pignite!”


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post Jan 12 2013, 03:32 PM
Post #20


I'm dying to see how this one ends.
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Maxy Z! had trained his Pokemon excellently, so that any of them could work as an effective team in any combination. However, he had figured that Lori would've been able to handle this particular team. He had even chosen them as an homage to what he had assumed was her Unova heritage. Not to mention he had been itching to fight with this current team. Perhaps he had underestimaed his own power, or perhaps over-estimated this girl.

But then, she attacked her own Pokemon, unleashing the 'new move', which he had been admittedly curious about. It turned out to be a risky gambit utilizing "Bide". Utilizing the considerable damage dealt by Pignite's Take Down, and in turn Piplup's own partner's super effective Vine Whip. The resulting damage aimed at Pignite was incredible. Maxy briefly lamented not teaching Pignite a move like Protect, which would've immediately rendered the gambit useless.

Pignite crashed to the ground from the resulting rebound of energy, and didn't rise. Lori should some semblance of promise, and her pokemon had some power to them. His appraisal of the Pokemon's abilities had not been off.

"Pignite is unable to battle!"

"That's the spirit, Pardare. Keep it coming!"

Maxy recalled his Pokemon, who'd dealt considerable damage throughout the so-far brief match. The Bide move had paid off in full, and now the match was two-to-two again. But, between several attacks from Pipster and Chico, as well as the recoil from his own Take Down attack, Pignite wasn't able to continue. Dewott, however, was still in full form, and he had his back up ready to enter the fray. On the other hand, the Snivy was fresh, and the Piplup was on his last leg.

"Mienfoo!" The little martial arts Pokemon next to Maxy! Z perked up, looking up at his trainer. "Fake Out"

Before Lori had time to fully celebrate her victory (because she seemed the sort who would), Mienfoo flashed onto the field, his little hands clapping Triss on either side of the head. The move was guaranteed to flinch the little grass snake, which would eliminate the Snivy from attacking her Dewott partner from being hit by any super-effective attacks that round.

In the mean time, the Samurai-esque Otter squared up against the Piplup, the differences in their remaining stamina quite evident.

"Dewott, Assurance!" Dewott possessed an odd move from her lineage, but now seemed like an excellent time to utilize the move and finish off the Piplup. Assurance doubled in power if a Pokemon had already received damage in that round of combat, and it seemed like Lori had directly dealt damage onto her Piplup already. Scalchops glowing with dark energy, the Dewott rushed forward, leaving a trail of glowing negative energy in her wake.


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