|Forum Home > Nuzlocke Runs > Shattered Emerald Version - Hideki's Emerald Nuzlocke II|
Mood Music: The Ghost of You - My Chemical Romance
"Woah, hold up, when did you get a Tropius?"
"That's right, you weren't with me when I caught this guy! I got him on the way over, after we split up. He may have only been mine for a few hours, but he's already super strong!"
"Alright then... Jaffar! Aerial Ace."
I threw my Ninjask's Pokeball and it seemed like Jaffar was on May's Tropius within the same second as the ball had opened. This was a strategy I liked to employ leading off with him. Jaffar had gotten crazy fast, and with a STAB, super-effective Aerial Ace, he wasn't hurting for power, either. Tropius was downed before May could even call an attack.
"I..." May stammered. "Wow... I didn't think anything could one-shot Tropius like that... Um, go, Ludicolo!"
"Well, I see one major flaw in your team already... Jaffar, Aerial Ace again."
Once again, Jaffar launched his attack before May or her Ludicolo could react at all. Just like that, I had already knocked out two of her Pokemon.
"I guess I'm not used to seeing a flying type so strong AND fast... Wow, Hideki."
"Look, this battle didn't get off to the best start for you... If you want to just turn in for the night, I'd be-"
"No way!" she replied instantly, seemingly inspired. "Go, Slugma!"
Well, at least Jaffar wouldn't sweep. I thought about trying one more Aerial Ace just to throw her a bone, but with Jaffar's defenses, I didn't want to risk taking an Ember, even though May had promised to hold back this time.
"Sorry, May..." I said as I recalled Jaffar. "Go, Dr. Scholl!"
"Ah man, Tentacruel, really? How am I supposed to beat this..."
For the third time, my Pokemon had simply overpowered May's, as my Tentracruel was on her Slugma with a wall of water before it could so much as charge a move.
"Maybe I'm not ready for this..." I heard May mutter to herself. Suddenly, she shook her head. "No! We can do this! It's all up to you... Go, Marshtomp!"
"Dr. Scholl, use Surf!"
"Mud Shot, Marshtomp!"
I managed to get a nice hit off on the Marshtomp, but May had found a way to exploit my most glaring weakness: Ground. Dr. Scholl took way too much damage from that Mud Shot, and with the muck now weighing him down, I couldn't trust him to outspeed the Marshtomp either and Surf for the KO. I had to switch. The problem is, the rest of my team was going to take about as much of a beating from another Mud Shot. Even though he was probably my frailest Poke, I had to go back to Jaffar.
"Dr. Scholl, come back!"
"Thought so. Marshtomp-"
May had made a great prediction, and the instant my Ninjask left his Pokeball, he was greeted by a full-on body slam from her Marshtomp. Jaffar was knocked back, flying almost all the way back to where I stood. I was relieved to see him struggle back into the air, though I knew now no one was safe. After all that, May looked like she was actually going to beat me.
Jaffar and Dr. Scholl were both one hit away from fainting, and Wishbone and Astaroth both REALLY hated Ground, and I wasn't sure either could even take one hit. I had to do it. He was my only option.
"Let's go, Bushido Brown!"
My Blaziken let out a roar upon seeing his familiar opponent. I should have known it then.
"Bushido, use Double Kick!"
"Mud Shot again, Marshtomp!"
Bushido stood still, unmoving until the Marshtomp fired off the ball of mud towards him. Suddenly, with a cry he ran straight for the move, sliding feet-first like a baserunner at just the right time to avoid the attack. His slide carried him all the way to Marshtomp himself, and right as he reached his target he sprang up in a backflip, slinging his leg in the most powerful kick I have ever seen him make, sending the Marshtomp flying high into the air. To my horror, Bushido leapt after him, ready to launch him back down, six feet underground right then and there.
"Bushido, that's enough!!"
But I doubt he could even hear me. Bushido wasn't thinking about the battle, or about me or about May. The only thought on his mind was Sylvia.
Bushido met the flying Marshtomp in midair, and with a shrill cry, planted both feet into its face and drove it all the way back to the ground below. A cloud of dust blocked my vision for a few moments, but as it cleared I saw May's Marshtomp lying still, pinned underneath Bushido Brown, who only stood and soaked in his revenge, no doubt thinking of his fallen friend. The area under his feet grew progressively redder, and for the first time in my life, I hated one of my own Pokemon. "Return," was all I could muster, as I withdrew him into his ball.
May stood in place, quivering, wanting to move closer to see if by some miracle her starter Pokemon was still alive, but more terrified of taking in the gruesome sight in all its gory splendor.
I approached her slowly, trying not to look too hard at her Marshtomp either.
"Call him back, May," I said as gently as I possibly could.
May only nodded as with shaking hands she drew Marshtomp's Pokeball off her belt for the last time. A simple "return" was all she could find the strength to say as well. The Marshtomp was engulfed in a red light and drawn back into the ball, which sealed shut with a resounding click as the button in the center glowed with the famous black light of death.
"We should... we should take him to the Center now, May."
"You go ahead and heal up, Hideki... I'll need a minute to myself."
I handed the nurse all of my Pokeballs except one. While she worked on the others, I made my way to the PC in the corner of the lobby and placed that one ball inside. I pulled up the menu and stared for a long time at the "RELEASE" button. I knew he was my strongest, I knew I needed him, but I just didn't care. In this moment I couldn't imagine using him in battle ever again. I couldn't even imagine looking at his Pokedex sprite again. He was my first partner in this region, the one supposed to be most loyal to my cause. And he'd selfishly committed the same sin I was here to stop others from doing.
Cursing under my breath, I clicked another option: "DEPOSIT." Even with all the emotions welling up right then, by nature I still wasn't comfortable making such a decision with such little thought. I could box him now, indefinitely, and release him anytime I wanted. For now though, I decided it best to avoid the issue entirely.
"Hideki?" the nurse called from behind me, "Excuse me, but your Pokemon are fighting fit! We hope to see you again!"
I only nodded and accepted my Pokeballs. Jaffar, Astaroth, Dr. Scholl, Wishbone, Sid. These guys would have to do for now.
I checked into my room, threw my jacket off in the floor, and fell right into bed. Sleep failed to come to me though, so after several minutes I turned on the TV. I quickly found a ballgame and it distracted me about as well as anything, but somehow I knew there would be no forgetting what just happened. Not tonight.
I heard one faint tap on my door, and I wasn't even sure if it was a visitor until the noise repeated itself twice in a row. It was by far the most timid knock I had ever heard in my life.
"Come in," I said, knowing who it was.
May entered the room and closed the door gingerly behind her. I invited her to sit next to me on the bed, and she did so. Her movements all seemed slow and dazed. I had no idea what to say to her.
"I... Nurse Joy... took care of him for me..." she finally said.
A short silence passed.
"May... I really don't know how to properly say this, but... I'm sorry about what happened-"
May began to cry at my mentioning of the incident. "Please, Hideki... It's not your fault, I know you wouldn't do that on purpose..."
"It's mine... It's my fault for killing his friend... For killing your Sylvia..."
May drew herself into me as her crying intensified. I couldn't think what else to do but return the embrace and reassure her as best I could.
Every few minutes she'd say something; she'd ask why things had to be this way, or if this was how I felt when she'd killed Sylvia, or she'd say she was sorry. To whom or for what, I'll never know. But for the most part, we spent the rest of the night in silence wondering where to go from here.
You know, looking back, Bushido has been set up perfectly for this. It's a completely believable move from his part. I would imagine it will take Hideki some time to forgive his starter for that, though...
From a story standpoint, I think this was a good way to explain why the Hoenn rival never evolves their starter to its final form. I still have to feel bad for May, though... I think you wrote her reaction really well, by the way.
(On the topic of the er, "tampun"... You know I can never say no to puns, even if that one in particular is somewhat... disturbing. It would pretty much go against my nature to not find it hilarious.)
as you know, Tam, this scene is the reason i wound up putting this off for so long. i did NOT want to do this, but as i mulled my other options for where to take the story, it seemed like the best one, and i still think it is.
i agree with what you said about it fitting Bushido, and i'd argue that it gives him a certain tragic element that this scene uncovered. i definitely feel bad for May in this too, and thank you for saying you think i wrote her well. i'm kind of wondering what else to do with her from here on as well.
(well, it is your word after all, and one of our many many personal memes now. i find it hilarious myself, but i guess i can see where you might find it embarrassing. should've thought of that before you came up with such a great word! kidding. i'll use it sparingly, how's that? ^.^)
We must have fallen asleep at some point that night. I woke up late in the morning, by myself, with no trace of May to be found save for the wet spot on my shirt. It took me a minute to remember everything; it all seemed more distant than it had the night before, but I still had plenty of lingering questions and doubts that made me a little sick to my stomach. Or maybe that was because I'd skipped dinner and had slept past breakfast. It's hard to tell sometimes.
The lack of any bags or clothes in the room led me to believe May had left for good and wasn't just out running errands. When I thought about it, I couldn't blame her; I was actually a little surprised she still spent the night with me as it was. Just as I was beginning to wonder why she hadn't bothered to even say goodbye though, I heard my phone buzz once on the table I'd previously set it on. Looks like I'd missed an email from a couple hours ago.
FROM: [email protected]
Thank you for being there for me last night, hideki. I know I left without saying anything and im sorry, but I just can't keep traveling with you anymore.
I understand now, hideki. I get what changed you, both when I killed sylvia and when you tried to beat hoenn the first time. I know what you felt because I feel it now too. I get now why you hated me after I killed her. I dont hate you, hideki, I could never hate you. But now, every time I look at you, I think of marshtomp. And every time I think of marshtomp now the first thing that comes to mind is him with a smashed head and a pool of blood. Even when I was with you last night I had nightmares about it.
I have to go back home now. I don't think I can battle pokemon anymore. I need to think about everything that has happened since we started this journey. Actually, first i need to forget about it and be normal again. Then i can think about it and maybe learn something from it. If theres even anything to learn. But for now, im going to mt. Pyre to dedicate a shrine to him, then back home to hopefully forget all this someday.
Im sorry for abandoning you, hideki, and im sorry for all the trouble i have caused you. Tell bushido that im sorry too. And please dont be mad at him. He was only sticking up for his friend.
Please keep doing what you're doing, hideki. Put an end to all this. Maybe you can come and see me when this is all over, but for now, I need to be alone. I hope you understand.
[Sent from my PokeNav]
"Well hey, Hideki! How are you today?"
"Not too good, Harm. Something... something bad happened."
Oh no. I felt my heart sink as I tried to find the most supportive answer possible. This sounded a whole lot like last time already.
"What's the matter..."
"I killed May's Marshtomp. I think I just... retired her from battling."
Is it terrible that I felt a tiny bit relieved to hear this? Mostly, I was expecting the bad thing to have happened TO Hideki, and while it still sort of did... Well, you know what I mean. And, okay, this is the part you're gonna think I'm horrible for... But while I wouldn't wish anyone to have any Pokemon die, anything that made May any less happy with him was at least a little good in my book. Still, above all else, I could tell he was sad and I really was not okay with that.
"Tell me what happened."
"It was Bushido Brown... He... I guess he still wanted revenge for Sylvia."
"Sylvia?" Great. More women in his life he didn't tell me about.
"My Beautifly..." Oh. "May accidentally killed her when we were first starting out. Bushido was there and he apparently really took it hard."
Well now I feel like a total bitch.
"I eventually forgave May for it, but Bushido was obviously still upset... So last night, we had a friendly battle and it came down to Bushido versus Marshtomp, the Pokemon that killed Sylvia. We'd agreed not to let each other seriously injure anyone's Pokemon... But Bushido..."
"How DOES Bushido feel about what happened, now?"
"Don't know. I benched him."
"Are you sure that's the right move, Hideki?"
"What do you mean?"
"Have you even talked to him about it?"
"No, I... guess I haven't."
"Well, maybe a little time apart would do you some good, but I think pretty soon you should talk to him. I don't think he did it because he's a bad Pokemon. I think maybe he just never really got to express his anger over what happened to Sylvia."
"So... What now?"
"May left without a trace but she left me an email. Said she doesn't think she can battle anymore. She went back home."
"I can understand that... When I got Derp killed in Sinnoh, I needed a day to recover, too..."
"I think it's worse than that, Harm. That was her starter. And the way he went was..."
"Well... I know you took responsibility for what happened, right?"
"Yeah. Tried to anyway. She kept telling me it's not my fault..."
"Well, she's right. It isn't. But you still did the right thing. You did the only thing you could do. You don't need to linger on it anymore."
"I know, Harmony... But it's a lot easier to say you won't linger on something than it is to actually move on from it."
"I know." I know all too well. "But there's really only two things you can do now. You can go and follow her, and try to convince her not to quit... Or you can carry on right there, and keep moving forward."
"I think... I think I'm going to try to catch her at Mt. Pyre. She said in the email she was going there to give Marshtomp a memorial. I should pay my respects anyway..."
"And... And if she's not there?"
"I'm just going to go on to the next gym."
Again, small sigh of relief. Don't judge me.
"What was that, Harm?"
"Sounded like a sigh, or..."
"Oh! Yawning, sorry! I was up late last night playing, um, Animal Crossing! You know the rarest beetles only come out after 11pm..."
"Um, right... Well, I should probably get moving then."
"Yeah. Good luck, Hideki."
"And Hideki? Chin up, please. I've been watching your big matches on TV and you're on too much of a roll to let it stop now. You've got it this time."
I hope I was supportive enough. I couldn't help but think that my jealousy was hindering my ability to really help him on this matter. Sometimes I wondered if what I said was even what he needed to hear anyway. I never knew with Hideki because he's so introspective and stubborn. But I guess he called me for a reason, right? I sighed as I leaned back in bed and pulled a Pokeball off my belt.
"Hey, Shadow?" He purred as I picked him up and set him on my chest. "Boys are stupid."
It was oddly convenient how close Hoenn's memorial tower was to here, but I couldn't really complain. A quick Surf south and a few repels got me right to the ominous place that reminded me way too much of Lavender Tower. I knew in Kanto, graveyards equalled ghost types, so I kept a steady supply of repels on me just in case the same was true here, too.
I was right to think of Lavender Tower when I came here. Nothing but a meticulous climb all the way up, with bored/grieving trainers to keep me company every step of the way. One even had a Wobbuffet, that bastard. Fortunately, I had Astaroth along to Screech it down to -6 defense before Iron Tailing it into oblivion. Astaroth got a lot of battles here, actually.
The top of the building eventually gave way to the outdoors at the peak of the mountain, with still no signs of May anywhere. I did, however, find her Marshtomp's memorial. Looks like I'd already missed her. That didn't stop me from saying a short prayer to the little guy. I wanted to leave something in tribute but I couldn't think of what would be appropriate, so I hoped my words would be sufficient and left it at that.
As I turned to go back, I felt a sharp chill pass through me. I thought nothing of it until I felt it again as I kept walking, and again and yet again. Finally, I stood still and turned around to find a small. grey creature floating up at me, a skull in lieu of a face.
I couldn't believe it. Two different kinds of Ghost Pokemon lived on this mountain: the far more common Shuppet and the far more awesome Duskull. The latter was staring me in the face, practically begging to be caught.
"Hey there, little dude..." I said to it, secretly praying it wouldn't just up and float away. "Would you like to have a quick battle?"
The tiny ghost nodded as it floated back a few feet and readied itself for combat. After a quick battle with my weakest Poke, Sid, my Swablu and designated Flyer, I managed to lock the little guy up in a Great Ball. This great catch helped raise my spirits a little more, even though I wound up coming here in vain.
"We're gonna get along just fine, Poe."
Jaffar (Ninjask) lv.37
Astaroth (Lairon) lv.37
Dr. Scholl (Tentacruel) lv.34
Wishbone (Manectric) lv.35
Sid (Swablu) lv.29
Poe (Duskull) lv.28
[just to let you know, i am planning to skip both the Magma and Aqua Hideouts, as the main story really isn't relevant to this story, and i don't think Hideki would realistically pursue either team. look for the next chapter to include a gym battle and some major level jumps, and FINALLY catch you all up to where i actually am in the run]
D'aawwwww, poor May ;_;
I always enjoy the conversations between Hideki and Harmony, btw.
And death to every freaking Wobbuffet that dares to show up in a Nuzlocke! Seriously, I hate them SOO much. That Wobbuffet almost got my Reginald, in fact >:[
DUSKULL. Awesome. And I know I've said it before, but I really like the name Poe.
SO much irony in your post. you don't even know... but of course, it is appreciated as always you're awesome, Tam. i was wondering how long this would sit here and get stale...
poor May indeed is it sad that i feel bad about doing something like that to a NPC?
i love writing their conversations. admit it, you can totally see Harmony staying up all night playing Animal Crossing, can't you? ^.^ writing Jealous Harmony is kind of fun too, because we've all totally been there.
and i was SO glad to get a Duskull there instead of Shuppet. turned out to be absolutely huge. you know what a fan of Noir i am, but this was actually my first opportunity to try this family in-game. and as for the nickname, i don't think i have to tell you how awesome yours are. MobiusTrip. end of discussion.
I guess I'd kind of taken for granted how much help May was to me with her research and cheerleading. It was tough to find solid scouting reports on the Mossdeep gym leaders, Liza and Tate. I knew they were psychic but that was about it. As such, at first glance, I knew Dr. Scholl would have to sit. I had invested in Aerial Ace over Fury Cutter for Jaffar, and with his defenses and the powerful special attacks that I knew most psychic-types could dish out, I didn't think he was a very good idea either. Wishbone could only really do damage with Spark, and again, I feared the high special defenses of most good psychics too much to make that work. Astaroth resists psychic, but with his mediocre special defense himself, I wasn't sure how much that would matter. There's always Dahlia, and I guess Shedinja could score me a few unanswerable kills, but all I'd need with him is to be caught off-guard once and he's gone for good. It was definitely time to grab some new recruits.
The first to come to mind for me was my newest friend, Poe the Duskull. His Lax nature kind of sucked, as it almost served to negate his advantage over psychics, but it was nothing a few doses of Zinc couldn't fix. After that, it was grinding time. Thanks to some nice high-level swimmers and the trainers in the psychic gym, Poe was lv.37 after just a day's training, fully evolved and packing a Shadow Punch. He got a few more picked off inside the gym after evolving, and I was amazed at how he just shredded everything in his new form. He was still clearly very relaxed, but it was weird. It worked for him. He worked with surgical precision, OHKOing most foes and shrugging off powerful STAB Psychics from things that he couldn't one-shot. Maybe I was just looking for a new favorite after Bushido Brown shattered my trust, but this guy had won me over.
But I still wasn't quite convinced he'd be able to take an entire gym by himself. I had done that before with sweepers, but Poe was definitely a defensive Pokemon. He'd need someone to back him up. Dahlia was the best option as of now, but I still wasn't quite sure. I'd heard something about the gym leaders' Solrock and Lunatone, and I didn't want to get Dahlia flattened by a surprise Ancientpower or two.
Truth be told, though, I was completely mentally exhausted by this point. What happened with May still lingered in my mind, and while it still made me sick to think of using him again, I started to think a little more about what Harmony said about Bushido Brown, too. These thoughts were all bouncing around inside my head to the point of actually giving me a headache, so I decided to take a day off before figuring out how to tackle the Mossdeep Gym.
I chose the secluded Lavaridge Town for my mini-vacation, as it's a pain in the ass to get to unless you can Fly, so I thought it had the best chance of allowing me to avoid too much attention. I'd done a little work with Sid, too (someone else I was considering for the Mossdeep battle), and he'd evolved into an Altaria by now, making the flight over on even somewhat pleasant thanks to his large, fluffy form. Yeah, Harmony would definitely love this Poke. I'm not sure why he makes me think of her. Swablu and Altaria just seem so... serene.
I stopped by the Pokemon Center and noticed that I had the hot spring to myself, if I so pleased. I normally wasn't big on public baths, or public... anythings, for that matter, but I was so desperate to find some relaxation that I decided to give it a shot. I plugged all my Pokes in the PC, stripped down to my gym shorts, and made my way out to the spring.
I fell asleep almost instantly, but it was that kind of sleep where you never lose control of your brain. It's like you close your eyes one minute, do a little thinking, and then you open them and realize two hours have gone by. It was as if the waters of the spring knew exactly why I was there, and somehow gave me the capacity for that kind of rest.
I thought about May at first, but I quickly realized there was no changing that situation. Only time would heal her now. Would it, though? Time alone didn't heal me, Harmony did. Sure, I needed the time I took to fully get her message, and let her words truly take meaning for me, but without her I could have sat in my room for fifty years and not felt any better. I hoped May would find her own Harmony soon. I hoped I wasn't May's Harmony.
These comparisons to Harmony quickly led me to reconsider what we'd talked about earlier. She didn't really seem to agree with how I handled Bushido Brown after that battle. Just like her, to say what she said. She's always had this ability to connect with her Pokemon in a way I've never understood, save with Harmony herself. She's able to touch them directly at the core, and get to know them and build extremely tight bonds with them. So it's only natural she'd be thinking like Bushido here. I tried seeing things through his eyes. I cared about Sylvia, but my relationship with her was different than Bushido's. She and I were Pokemon and trainer, by no means peers. But Bushido and Sylvia were equals. Very much the same. She was one of his trenchmates. I'm sure that's exactly how he saw it, too. Knowing Bushido, the way he fights... Only Helena, from right after Gerald died, ever showed me anything close to what I see out of Bushido every single battle. All of my Pokemon try hard for me, but he would run through a brick wall for me, if he had to. Then why did he openly defy me? I guess holding back was the one thing he couldn't do. Or perhaps his duty to Sylvia's honor overrode his duty to me. In a way, reluctantly, I was starting to respect that. After all, I got my reconciliation with her death. I broke May's heart and we eventually accepted each other's apologies. But Bushido got no such comfort. All this time, as I slowly got over it, it still lingered for him.
"Young man!" a feeble voice called out, waking me up. An old woman stood at the entrance to the hot spring, holding some sort of bundle in her arms. Once she saw me finally react, a warm smile came across her face. "There, I got your attention! I was starting to worry..."
"Um, sorry... Guess I was really that tired... I'm sorry, have I been in too long?"
"No, not at all. I just assumed you were a Pokemon trainer, and, well, I have something here that may interest you."
"Okay... What is it?"
The woman unwrapped the bundle she held to reveal a small, blue egg.
"I found this in the sand this morning... I've been waiting all day for its trainer to return but I fear the poor thing was abandoned. I don't have the means to give him a very exciting life if I were to raise him... So I was hoping a more adventurous trainer like you could take him in."
I didn't see any harm in it. I wasn't particularly hopeful for this egg to work its way to my roster of high-30s Pokes, but at the same time I did have the right to a Pokemon in Lavaridge Town, and with no ponds or grassy areas to speak of, it wasn't like I was going to encounter anything else here.
"You know, sure, why not."
The old woman gasped at my words. "How did you know that's what it is?"
"How did you know it's a Wynaut?"
"It's a why not? What?"
"Yes, it certainly is!"
"Um... Look, I just wanna know what's in the egg..."
"No, I DO want to know. Please tell me."
"I just did. Wynaut."
I had no idea what this Alzheimer's-stricken old woman was trying to say, but I decided I'd had enough of playing Who's On First with her, so I politely nodded and smiled and took the egg as I stood to get dressed.
Feeling refreshed from my nap in the hot springs, I decided to go ahead and see what the hell was in this egg. I laid the small egg in the basket of my bike and went riding for a little bit around Mauville City. I had decimated every trainer in this area in my preparation for Wattson, so there wasn't much for me to do here but ride until the egg hatched. Not that this was a bad thing; it gave me yet another chance to be alone with my thoughts.
By now, I had pretty much resigned myself to leave May alone. I couldn't imagine a scenario in which my presence would be helpful, and the more time I spent away from accomplishing my goal, the longer I had to stay in this place I really did not want to be in. While I still believed time alone would not heal her wounds, I knew she needed a little more time to even think about healing yet.
What occupied my thoughts the most was Bushido Brown. The more I thought, the harder it became to stay mad. In a way it was a selfish thing he did, but in another it wasn't. Sylvia was a member of the team, and in his eyes she never got justice. I could even see how he might have seen it as an insult that I had forgiven May, much less grown so close to her in our time traveling together. It dawned on me that in his mind, I might have failed him, and this was a notion I couldn't even disagree with.
A cracking sound interrupted my thoughts as I realized the egg was hatching. After a few seconds of cracking and shaking, a baby Pokemon emerged from the egg.
I smiled as I stared at the tiny blue thing and realized what it was the old woman had been trying to tell me. I had just found Poe's doubles partner.
"Come on, little buddy... We've got a lot of training to do if you're gonna be ready for the next gym. Are you up to it?"
The newborn creature shrugged, raising his arms (or ears, I really can't say) in a 'que sera' manner. "Wynaut," was all he could say in response.
Jaffar (Ninjask) lv.38
Dr. Scholl (Tentacruel) lv.34
Wishbone (Manectric) lv.35
Sid (Altaria) lv.35
Poe (Dusclops) lv.38
Mr. Sandbag (Wynaut) lv.5
I am drawn back to this run. I ran into a roadblock, right here, not quite two years ago. And it was the last time I ever wrote anything of note.
This run is long over. If you go to the Hall of Fame page, you can see whether this run is listed there or not, but I'll implore you not to if you don't already know. I am compelled to finish. I know how the story ends, I just don't know how to tell you about it. This was during a time when almost everyone who's showed up here lately was not active. I'm almost certain X knows nothing of this run, and Lemur too.
If you guys would, please go back and read my story. Please don't let the first few pages throw you; I have to admit it wasn't very good until Mauville City. I'd like to redo the beginning almost as much as I'd like to do the ending. But the middle was some of my best work, and I feel like this can be a solid story with just a little effort and fine-tuning.
So, read what I wrote here two years ago, and then tell me if you want to know how the story ends. If no one does, I'll accept that. I'll move on to something else. This run is calling to me, but I'm not going to be driven solely by a voice in my head.
Finally got a chance to sit down and read this run. I'm awestruck. I was in A-School at the time you wrote this, so I didn't get much opportunity to post anything. Now that I've gotten the chance to read it, I have to say, I want to see the end. Honestly, reading this, I see a lot of parallels between this and what I want to do with The Past is Dead. I also really like the incorporation of music. It's something I've contemplated, but have always been kinda lousy at picking appropriate music (particularly as I listen to so much instrumental).
Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826
Wow, I knew this was my best work but I never thought anyone would ever say they were "awestruck" by it. That makes me want to finish it even more.
There are a few hurdles I see in finishing this. The first and most glaring is that, to me, this entire project shows its age with almost every line. That is to say I have changed a ton since I wrote this, acquired new influences, and changed my literary "voice" drastically. I'm going to do a straight and complete reread right now, and since my last post here I've been doing things like listening to the music I listened to two years ago and remembering what was going on in the real world back then. I was not happy while I wrote this run, and I like who I am now much better than I like who I was then, but in hindsight that was an awesome summer and crucial to the aforementioned positive change in my life (this run was Casey's introduction to me, for example). It's been a unique experience going back here, to be sure.
Damn, I'm just blubbering at this point. Like I said, complete reread as soon as I hit the "+Post Reply" button, including listening to the mood music (and fixing all the no-doubt defunct by now YouTube links). I figure this will either take weeks for me to get back to or I'll post a new chapter tomorrow night. That's just how I am with this kind of thing.
But your words pushed me over the edge, X. Thank you. This IS happening now.
"Look, sister, finally a challenger brave enough to face us."
It took a little longer than the one day off I had originally planned, but having trained up a core of Pokes just for this battle, I was ready.
I scoffed at the gym leaders. "Please. If you think I'm going to let my run end at the hands of two little girls, you're sadly mistaken."
One of the girls began to grow red with anger, while the other simply giggled. "What?"
"Tate gets that a lot," the other girl explained. "We're actually not sisters..."
"My name is TATE! Tate is a BOY'S name!"
"I didn't know that! It's ambiguous enough, like Tracy or Kelly or... you know. Figured it could go either way... Besides, you don't exactly look... um..."
Tate slumped. "...Masculine?"
"Wh-why don't we just start the battle?" Liza interrupted.
Battle Music: Follow and Feel - Saosin
I'd done quite a bit of training with some new teammates for this one, and I left a few mainstays in the box. A good portion of my training had resulted in the evolution of my first new friend; I had planned for Poe the Dusclops to be my ace in the hole. I'd also gotten myself a second Gyarados, Leviathan. Unlike the physical specimen that was Dahlia, Leviathan was focused more on attacking from the Special end of the spectrum.
"Shadow Punch and Surf."
I didn't have to tell them who to target; I had discussed strategy with my Pokémon before the battle and had identified their Claydol as a major threat. Poe hid in the shadows as Leviathan summoned a wall of water to slam the two opposing Pokémon, with an emphasis on the Claydol. As the last of the water sank from sight, my Dusclops emerged from behind the Psychic relic and walloped it down with a black fist.
As scared as I was of the thing, I was a little surprised when the Claydol stood back upright and began floating in the air again. Two Super-Effective hits weren't enough to take it out… Though its bulk is what had frightened me so much.
Without a word from either of the Leaders, the Xatu spread its wings and called forth a blinding light from above; Sunny Day. Meanwhile, the Claydol that I'd wanted to score a quick knockout on pummeled the floor in an Earthquake, despite the fact that my Gyarados was unaffected. I guess they'd singled Poe out as a threat just as I had their Claydol. Thanks to Leviathan's Intimidate, though, the Quake hardly hurt Poe.
"Poe, finish the Claydol with another-"
"Time!" called out Liza, the Psychic Sister of Mossdeep Gym. Without hurry, she walked onto the field and sprayed a Full Restore on her Claydol, erasing all my hard work. I stared her down as I adjusted my plans accordingly.
"Switch targets! Shadow Punch and Dragon Rage!"
It may not have been much, but Leviathan's Surf had managed to knock Xatu down a bit. Maybe if I went both barrels at it now…
But the damn bird was almost as resilient as its partner; though barely, it managed to withstand both of my Pokémon's attacks and retaliate with one of its own. Waiting until after my Pokémon had moved, the Xatu then faced Leviathan and began flapping its wings up and down in a strange manner that was somehow rhythmic and dissonant all at once. Suddenly its eyes began to glow, and Leviathan was hit with a ball of black light; Confuse Ray.
"Leviathan, return!" I was lucky the Xatu targeted my Gyarados rather than my Dusclops; I had planned to switch Leviathan out anyway. "Go, Sid!"
Leviathan had accomplished his task with the Intimidate and the Surf on Claydol; I knew with the extreme heat Sunny Day brought to the battlefield, another Surf would do next to nothing, and I also knew my Altaria could both dodge the predicted Claydol Earthquake and provide the Special bulk I needed to take whatever the Xatu could dish out.
This time, the brother, Tate, jogged out and sprayed a Full Restore on Xatu. Items were never a thing I dealt with. The flow of the battle was too important to me, I couldn't think about using items during one. Unfortunately, I never could seem to think about my opponents using them, either…
"Shadow Punch, Poe!" My Dusclops hesitated. Dammit, that's right, there was no obvious target. Both of my opponent's Pokémon had now been healed full. "Xatu," I amended. Again, Poe disappeared within his own shadow and emerged to punch the foe, landing a solid hit. Again, Claydol elected to Earthquake Poe, leaving him with just over half health.
"Alright Poe, like we practiced! Curse on Claydol!"
This was a move I'd cooked up in yesterday's training, and one I had managed to test with Poe earlier. The ghost used his otherworldly magic to summon a giant nail, which with difficulty, he managed to plunge into his chest. He took a huge amount of damage form the move, but in the process had called forth a legion of imposing spectres to doom the Claydol. With the steady damage I planned to keep dishing, it would not survive a loss of 25% of its health per turn. Meanwhile, thanks to the Sitrus Berry I'd equipped Poe with, the cost was mostly absolved on our end. The only downside was that I couldn't afford the turn to heal off another Curse; I couldn't use this strategy again.
"Sid, Dragonbreath on Xatu!"
Thanks to a clutch critical, Sid's attack was able to knock out the bird. It was replaced by a foe twice as daunting: Tate's Solrock. Curiously enough, Liza elected for a Psychic on Sid this time around. I could only assume they guessed Poe was nearing his limit.
If so, they guessed right; I was running out of options. While the remainder of my foes' team shared a common weakness to Water, even Dr. Scholl's Surf would be doing next to nothing with the harsh sun, and I couldn't risk him falling prey to a Psychic move. Claydol was now on a timer, but that thing was suddenly the least of my worries. Poe couldn't sponge much more… Though someone else could. It was time for my secret weapon.
"Sid, come back! Go… Mr. Sandbag!"
As it turned out, this was my Wobbuffet's first real battle. When I hatched him from his egg as a Wynaut, I gave him to the Day Care Couple to raise him up for me. Wobbuffet is one of the most passive Pokemon of all, but with a little bit of luck and prediction, it can also be one of the most deadly.
As for Poe's turn, I had him Shadow Punch the Solrock. It was a nice hit, enough to crack its rocky exterieor just above the eyes. It wasn't until after he emerged back by my side that I remembered the Fire-boosting effects of Sunny Day. Once I did, though, I knew I'd never forget them. I should have switched him out then.
The most unnerving thing was knowing I wouldn't hear the attack command; these twins seemed to communicate Psychically with each other and their Pokémon, so I wouldn't know what was coming until it was already here.
As soon as the Claydol began to move, I knew it would Earthquake again. It had a very telling windup in which it spun in the air before slamming the ground. The move struck both of my Pokémon, and both had taken it particularly hard. I should have switched. There was no way Poe was going to survive another hit.
As soon as the walls stopped shaking, Solrock began to glow a fierce red before shooting a stream of flames to my right.
Right at my Wobbuffet.
It hurt, but he took the move. Most importantly, Poe didn't take the move. I was so relieved not to lose him, I couldn't think of anything else but retreating him.
"Poe, switch! Go, Leviathan!"
Though the spectral demons swirling 'round the Claydol meant this would be its last turn, I wanted Leviathan to get a second Intimidate up and absolutely minimize its impact on the rest of the battle. This would prove to be fruitless.
Again, the Claydol gave its signature spin before colliding with the ground, sending tremors and fissures throughout the dirt floor of the gym. This one was stronger than the others.
This was a crit.
One of the fissures ran right under Mr. Sandbag, opening just wide enough to ensnare my Wobbuffet and hold him captive.
"GET OUT OF THERE!"
As my rookie Pokémon struggled to climb out of the crack, the Solrock began charging up again. The spirits consumed the Claydol as the flames consumed my Sandbag. Claydol would be fine after the battle; the spirits of the Curse didn't kill. The same could not be said of Solrock's flames.
Mr. Sandbag didn't move, didn't slump, didn't fall. His body was too charred and stiff for any of that. I glanced up at Tate; his eyes met mine for a moment before his gaze fell to the remains of my friend, then quickly to the ground. There was no evil in his eyes. Perhaps the League has less influence on this remote island gym, or the Twins' psychic minds were better guarded against indoctrination, or… I don't know. But for the first time in my life, I had lost a Pokémon and had absolutely no villain to blame. The sunlight and Claydol's crit and my untested virgin battler… It had all just happened at the wrong time.
Sandbag wasn't looking like he was going to be the only thing I'd lose, either. Two of my walls were down, with Poe being too weak to take another hit. My strategy of combating the Twins with defense had fallen completely apart. My chance of winning was looking dimmer than...
"Dimmer than the light in this gym…"
Looking up, I noticed the sun was gone. We'd been going at this for awhile; dusk was settling over the island. But much more importantly, Sunny Day had ended.
I called Mr. Sandbag's remains back into his Pokéball for good and sent out my Tentacruel, Dr. Scholl. I'd have to go in one fell swoop here.
"Everything you've got Scholl, Leviathan… Double Surf!!"
My Water-types summoned their waves in perfect sync, slamming both opposing Rock-types in a fierce deluge. When the water finally subsided, only one of the relics rose again.
The Solrock remained on its back, a small fountain of water pouring out of a small hole just north of its eyes.
"Right where Poe…"
Tate couldn't take his eyes off Solrock. Liza couldn't take her eyes off Tate.
"Brother…" Eyes wide, her head shot up to the battlefield. It was like she had forgotten she was even here. "C-Calm Mind!" she announced, apparently forgetting her psychic link.
"You can take a minute…" I started, but the loyal Lunatone followed through with the move. It was too weak to matter, though. It was already over.
"Double Surf. Just, for the love of God, don't…"
They didn't. Exhausted, though still alive, Lunatone succumbed to the second deluge. I stayed in place for awhile before recalling my Pokémon and accepting my badge from Liza. Tate couldn't bear to be present; I don't think I could have stood it myself. We had too much in common. In that moment, I could see what was in his soul better than his psychic twin.
(Yes, content other than mine! I had almost forgotten how it felt.)
Fantastic. One of the things that strikes me about this story is the emotion you're able to convey. It's something I've been attempting to emulate to some extent with my stories.
Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826
Sorry for not providing you with any relief earlier. But with all these open projects I left unfinished, I couldn't bring myself to start a new run. And you can see it took me a month to the day to even post this one chapter.
It wasn't just this though, I went through the entire thing and edited it to my liking; I wound up changing even less than I thought I would. It's as good as I can patch it up two years after the fact, at any rate.
But now that I've got the ball rolling, along with genuine motivation to continue and finish this story, I expect more new chapters will follow much more quickly.
No real reason for the profile changes. It started when I started playing Borderlands 2 on Steam and the game wouldn't recognize my katakana name. Then I wanted a picture more fitting for my new name, and then it became a full-on desire to change lots of things and it eventually spread here. Also much of what I had was set up to accomodate potential competitive battling challengers, of which I have had exactly none. Even Tam's grown tired of them. So competitive battling's got me a little frustrated lately.
But that desire for change is something I largely credit for getting this chapter done. I don't often do proactive things, but when I do, they come in streaks like this.
YOOOOOOOOOO OH DANG YOU WROTE A NEW CHAPTER!!! Oh man, did I miss this! This story was totally how I got introduced to you, and getting to read a new chapter again is honestly giving me such awesome nostalgia feels on top of OH HOLY DANG THIS IS GREAT NEW STUFF.
I know you always say you struggle to write battles, but this has a nice flow! It's also uses great descriptions of moves while still staying interesting. And wow, I love how you wrote the Psychic siblings! And not gonna lie, I am only just now learning that Tate is a guy, woah.
And I feel the need to give a general apology for my absence on this site. I'm about to head out, but sometime in the next few days I plan to come back and catch up on everyone's awesome stories! So I'll be back soon, and in the meantime, let me just say it's great to see this back!
This battle in particular was just a bear to try and write. As you could tell, it was tough, it was haxy, it involved lots of CPU healing, and on top of it all it was a double battle. This is probably the single most grueling battle I've ever had in a Nuzlocke, I never thought I'd be able to convert it into a readable narrative. On top of that it even got something killed, and something that I really was looking forward to using (did you notice the irony, by the way? In the last post you made on this thread?). I didn't even want to write this one back then, and it served as a buzzsaw for the whole project. But when I sat down to do it recently, I actually enjoyed it, and I like how it turned out. It's as good as I can make that battle sound.