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Gelatino95
11th June 2012, 3:02 AM
Here's my entry for the Tall Tales contest that scored second place in the Volcarona rank. It's based on my very own Platinum team, namely my Armaldo, and my victory against Volkner. Please enjoy all the escapades and japery this tale has to offer.

~~~

Primordial Terror

“All right, Drifter, use Baton Pass!” I held up the premier ball and pressed the button. The form of the exhausted Drifblim melted into thin air and was sucked into the dark expanse of the ball. It barely survived the onslaught of painful electric attacks from the enemy’s Jolteon, but still managed to stand its ground long enough to pull off a well-placed Baton Pass.

“Excellent strategy,” commented Volkner from across the battlefield. He put a hand up to his chin – evidently, he hadn’t fought a worthy opponent like me for a while. “Looks like we really have our work cut out for us.” The Jolteon standing before him gave a grunt in agreement. “Three Stockpiles certainly aren’t something to laugh at.”

“Just you wait and see what’s coming,” I called out with confidence. A smug grin crept across my face. I had used this strategy many times before and it had never failed me. Drifter’s Stockpiles were enough to make any of my team members virtually invincible. I reached down to my belt, feeling around for a Poké ball. My hands finally settled on one and pulled it out.

“Let’s go, Armaldo!” I shouted as I heaved the ball through the air. A burst of red light ensued, followed by the towering form of my primeval beast. He looked around the room, ancient eyes scanning everything for possible threats.

Even since the day I got him as a young Anorith, I could tell that he was different from any other Pokémon. He constantly looked around cautiously, as if there were unseen dangers all around him. When he attacked in battle, he did so with great fervor and I could barely keep him from unintentionally killing the opponents. It wasn’t because he was overwhelmingly strong. I could only assume that since his kind had grown up in a different era in history, when there was always a Pokémon stronger than you waiting to catch you and eat you with no warning, and it was a constant battle with great primeval forces simply to survive, his survival instinct was strong and overwhelming. He would kill anything just out of instinctive fear.

Since I had owned my Anorith for a while now, those primitive behaviors had been largely expunged from his little brain. For the most part, he couldn’t be distinguished from any normal Pokémon. But even in the form of the mighty Armaldo which stood before me, some of those behaviors didn’t change. I could still see the cautious eyes which darted about.

But this was a gym battle. My final gym battle, to be precise, and my most important one. This was no time to worry about Armaldo. He was cloaked in the invisible power of three Stockpiles, meaning nothing could dent his armor.

“All right, Armaldo,” I commanded. “Fury cutter!”

Armaldo obediently lumbered forward across the battlefield. He wasn’t known for being an especially fast mover, so his movements were slow and deliberate. His eyes were trained on Jolteon, not filled with bloodlust as they should have been, but merely with determination. Armaldo didn’t have a decidedly large brain capacity, so when he focused on something, he really set his mind to it. Right now, the only thing on his one-track mind was hitting this Jolteon with Fury Cutter as he had been commanded.

“Jolteon, Thunderbolt!” called out Volkner at long last. The lightning-fast Pokémon before him struck a fearsome pose as electricity began to crackle across its fur, making an odd tingling in the air that even I could feel from across the field. All at once, an impossible amount of pent-up energy cracked through the air in a jagged yellow line, following its course all the way to Armaldo’s plated body.

I winced upon seeing the blindingly bright attack, knowing just how much energy must have been poured into that single attack. Once my eyes had adjusted, I witnessed Armaldo, who was now smoking from the attack but undeterred. He continued his course straight forward towards the Jolteon. When he was close enough, the Jolteon didn’t even have time to react as Armaldo’s claw swiped forward at a speed that almost rivaled its opponent’s. Struck by the attack, Jolteon flew backwards, but not hard enough to throw it off its feet. The initial Fury Cutter attack was a weak one, I knew, but it gets stronger with every hit.

“Hit it again, Armaldo!”

“Same thing, Jolteon.”

Jolteon shot out another blinding lightning bolt at Armaldo. My hardy Pokémon took the attack in stride once again, however, and lashed out with its mighty claw. This time, Jolteon was lifted off the ground, and when it landed, it released a few crackles of electricity in the air, but didn’t get up again, likely owing to its poor physical defense.

“Oh dear.” Volkner spoke softly, but didn’t appear genuinely worried. He recalled Jolteon and pulled out another Poké ball. “Armaldo should be significantly weakened from both of those powerful attacks,” he concluded, removing any doubt from his mind, and held out the Poké ball. “Raichu, let’s do it.”

A red beam of light extended from the ball and Raichu landed on the floor of the gym, looking up at the menacing form of Armaldo uneasily.

“Focus Blast, Raichu.”

I waited to give a command this time, but soon regretted it. I watched in horror as Raichu formed a ball of compact red energy between its outstretched paws, then fired it at close range straight at Armaldo’s chest armor. Armaldo was too slow to dodge, so he took the full brunt of the attack. He rocked backwards as the attack exploded on him, letting out a shrill cry, but quickly regained his composure. Thanks to the Stockpiles, the attack did very little to deter him. I hesitated, admiring his strength, when I noticed that he began to attack without orders. Armaldo extended a claw towards the Raichu and struck with great force. Raichu, unprepared for the attack, flew back through the air far further than Jolteon had. Volkner dodged the Pokémon as it sailed through the air past him and then fell on the floor with a loud thump. Raichu let out a weak cry, then fainted.

“Now I’m starting to get worried...” mused Volkner to himself. After recalling his Raichu, he declared, “All right, now things get serious. I’m moving on to my really strong Pokémon.” He pulled out another ball, held it forward, and said, “Electivire, let’s put an end to this.”

The form of a massive yellow beast materialized before Volkner. It roared defiantly to nobody in particular, then looked around with a feral instinct. Suddenly it trained its eyes on Armaldo, who casually glanced back at its opponent. Electivire growled in an attempt to intimidate Armaldo, but I could tell that the effort was wasted. Armaldo appeared unaffected.

“Electivire, Thunderpunch!”

I was about to give a command, but soon realized that I didn’t have to. Armaldo went up to its opponent on its own accord. This was new to me, so I simply watched to see what would happen. Electivire raised an electrified fist while Armaldo raised its own claw. The two attacks connected in midair. While it was distracted, Armaldo struck Electivire’s chest with a glancing blow. Electivire was knocked off balance, so Armaldo took the opportunity to strike its adversary with crushing force. The mighty yellow and black beast fell over and slid a fair distance across the floor of the gym before passing out.

“Jeez, what is this?” exclaimed Volkner, with greater irritation than rage. “I’m down to my last Pokémon...”

Finally, Volkner sent out Luxray, the star of his team. Its majestic pose was cool and collected, even in the presence of the menacing and deadly Armaldo.

Volkner called out, “Luxray, use-“

His words were cut off. Armaldo was already upon its opponent. Before Luxray could dart out of the way, Armaldo raised a claw above its head. With a fierce battle cry, the claw fell through the air and struck Luxray’s prone body with a sickening crack. The star of Volkner’s team was down in a single hit, crumpled into a defeated mess on the floor. Armaldo stood up straight, his work done.

“Well.” The arena was filled with a tense silence after Volkner’s final Pokémon was defeated and recalled. “This is a first for me. Three of my strongest Pokémon taken out in one hit each?” Volkner chuckled. “I have to commend you, Lucas. I don’t think I’ve met a Pokémon as strong as your Armaldo in my entire career.”

The focus suddenly turned on Armaldo. He turned around and looked back at me now that his goal was complete. Something was wrong. I could tell from looking at his eyes. They weren’t the same somehow. They were bloodshot, wide, and filled with a sort of calm rage that I’ve never seen before. His breathing was irregular, far faster than usual. I didn’t want him to faint from exhaustion, so I thought it was about time I returned him.

“You did a great job, Armaldo,” I said with a faint smile. He continued to stare at me with his piercing gaze. I shivered, but continued, holding up his ball. “Armaldo, return. You deserve a break.” I pressed the button and a red beam of light extended toward Armaldo.

The next few events happened so fast that I barely had time to register them in my brain. Armaldo’s eyes fixed on its Poké ball, then on the red light approaching. It reared up one of its claws and struck the air with unmatched force. Its claw sliced clean through the beam from the Poké ball. As if it were made of glass, the beam splintered into billions of pieces and dissolved harmlessly in the air. Armaldo stood there, still breathing heavily.

“...Armaldo?” I asked quietly. This was a first for me, and likely for Volkner as well, who looked on with horror. Armaldo forcibly refused to get in its ball. Its semblance of fury was still there. We both knew what would happen if a force like that couldn’t be contained.

Seemingly without prompt, Armaldo made a shrill cry, mouth agape. The noise pierced the air and was so loud, it appeared to distort the atmosphere around Armaldo’s mouth. Volkner and I covered our ears. Once Armaldo was done, it started to charge forward at speeds I had never seen him attain before. The worst part was that he was running straight toward me. Panicked, I completely froze. It felt like I lost control of my body as I witnessed Armaldo’s massive carapace hurtling towards me. It reminded me of those movie scenes where a character is about to be crushed, but they don’t get out of the way for some unknown reason. Now I knew why they didn’t move.

With one final effort, I covered my head with my arms, ready to accept Armaldo’s attack. After a few moments of cowering, however, I felt nothing and ventured a look. Armaldo had run completely past me, thundering towards one of the walls of the gym.

Once it reached the wall, Armaldo paused for a second, halting the booming noise from his feet on the metal floor. It looked at the wall for a few moments, then decisively raised a claw. With a lightning-fast movement and unimaginable force, Armaldo cut straight through the concrete wall of the gym, causing the whole wall to collapse in a pile of crumbling rocks. Volkner and I covered our heads in case of falling debris. Meanwhile, Armaldo made its way out of the gym and into Sunyshore city, leaving the two of us alone.

A long silence ensued as we both tried to absorb the situation at hand. I expected to be out of the gym and on my way to the Pokémon League by now, not witnessing a rampaging primordial beast.

“This is bad,” commented Volkner almost too redundantly. He approached me from his side of the battlefield. “It must be the Fury Cutter attack. Your Armaldo became very powerful from fighting my team, and now the attack is too strong for it to handle. The more damage it does, the more powerful it will get.”

I reflected briefly on Armaldo’s face before it left the gym, seeing its eyes full of bloodlust. I then remembered my Anorith, a new addition to my team, and how it would get out of control in battle, fighting for its own life.

I shook the memories from my head and focused on the situation at hand. “So, what’s going to happen?”

“Who knows,” mused Volkner rather calmly. I didn’t expect anybody to be calm in a grave situation like this, but Volkner somehow managed to pull it off. “Your Armaldo could very well flatten all of Sunyshore city with that sort of power in its hands.”

“And then?”

Volkner hesitated. I almost thought he was too scared to even think about what would happen next. However, he went on. “I don’t know. It could die from fatigue. It could go on to destroy more cities, maybe even the whole region if we don’t find a way to stop it.”

“Lucas! Lucas!”

A low, commanding voice came from somewhere. I recognized it as Professor Rowan’s voice. He soon came into sight, running up the side of the ruined gym and climbing over the rubble to get inside. He came up to me, towering above me with his intimidating height. His grave expression and obscuring facial hair certainly didn’t help him look any younger.

“I heard urgent reports of a rampaging Armaldo here in Sunyshore,” he rumbled. “You should be thankful I was in the area. Now, this doesn’t have anything to do with you,” he said, bending down to meet my eyes, “does it?”

I gulped. “Y- yes, sir... that was my Armaldo.”

Rowan made an exasperated gesture. “I knew it!” he shouted, throwing his hands in the air. He then pointed at me sternly. “I told you it was a mistake to train that fossil Pokémon! Those things can’t be trusted!”

“It wasn’t his fault!” I shouted. A silence came over the area. “It was my fault. I shouldn’t have ordered him to use Fury Cutter like that.”

“Actually, to be fair,” interjected Volkner, “there’s no way you could have predicted that course of action. It wasn’t your fault at all that your Armaldo wouldn’t allow you to return it to its ball.”

“It can’t be returned???” Rowan sounded even more exasperated, if possible. “That complicates things far more.” He gave me a stern gaze that sent a shiver down my spine. “We’re going to have to do something about this before it levels the city. Lucas, you go with Volkner and try to keep track of that blasted beast. I think I may have a solution.” With that, Rowan (who, at this point, I noticed was unusually fit for someone his age) ran back toward the ruined gym wall and climbed down into the town.

“Well,” said Volkner with a sigh, “I suppose we better get moving.” With that, Volkner followed Rowan’s path out of the gym and I wasn’t close behind.

~~~

It wasn’t hard to follow his trail. Though Armaldo seemed to exhibit extraordinary speed, he left an obvious trail of destruction in his wake. Telephone poles and lamp posts were snapped cleanly in half. Sections of sidewalk were torn up. Occasionally, the wall of a building had been obliterated. There were no pedestrians. Chances are they had all fled by now. However, there was still screaming ahead, so we knew that Armaldo couldn’t be far. Volkner and I picked up the pace.

“When this is all over,” he said between breaths as we jogged down the street, “please don’t use Fury Cutter anymore.”

“I think I’ve learned my lesson by now,” I replied. “It’s odd, though. He’s never had this problem before.”

“Fury Cutter, as you can now see, can become an insanely powerful move,” explained Volkner. “Armaldo was probably overcome with a sense of superiority when he fought off my team without prompt. He’s not a little Anorith anymore. Now that he knows he can command himself, he’s doing everything he can to exercise his new power. Considering that power is enough to topple skyscrapers, it’s a very potent combination.”

As if in response to Volkner’s comment, a loud crash resounded through the air, comparable to the noise of two tractor trailers colliding against each other at full speed. We stopped jogging and looked up. Not far away, a tall office building leaned over precariously and crumbled right before our very eyes before hitting the ground in pieces.

Volkner put a hand to his forehead, mouth agape, finally showing some sort of strong emotion. “That was the trade center building!” he exclaimed with great fervor. “Good thing it is – rather, it was – still under construction, or we would have another 9/11 on our hands.” At this, Volkner sprinted forward down the street and it was all I could do to keep up with him.

At long last, we rounded a corner and saw him. Armaldo was tall, but he certainly wasn’t Godzilla. His size seemed incongruous with the amount of damage he was causing. Civilians scattered before his might. Armaldo didn’t seem to want to harm them, but the great confusion threw him into a frenzy. He looked around with those same panicked eyes I saw before, darting in all conceivable directions. He ran up to a convenience store placed conveniently at the edge of the road, he raised a claw, and crashed it down on the building. The sound it made was comparable to that of a bomb going off – immediately when the claw connected, pieces of stone and steel support hurtled through the air in every direction, as if a land mine had been triggered. Armaldo stumbled down the street, climbing over wreckage and looking for another building to destroy.

“This is much worse than I thought,” commented Volkner. “No Pokémon of his size should be able to deal that sort of damage. If he were a Rampardos, I wouldn’t be surprised, but this is not natural for an Armaldo. He’s going to over-exert himself, keel over and die if he isn’t stopped.”

“Do you think we could stop him if we attacked him enough?” I suggested.

Volkner pondered this thought. “Maybe,” he concluded. “But that Stockpile shield is going to be hard to penetrate.”

I died a little inside when I remembered that. Not only is my Armaldo powerful, but he’s invincible too. The effects of Stockpile create a nigh-impenetrable shield which protects from all sorts of attacks, physical and special alike. I died even more when I remembered that I was the one who gave him that shield.

I gulped down my fears. “We’ll have to try anyway.” Seeing as Volkner’s Pokémon were all sufficiently pummeled, it was up to me to provide the firepower. I pulled a Poké ball off my belt and tossed it up in the air. “Digit, help us!”

The smooth, polished form of my very own Porygon-Z materialized, floating in front of us. It made some unintelligible beeping noises and mechanical whirrs as its head and limbs adjusted themselves.

“Digit.” The Pokémon stood to attention. “See Armaldo over there?” I pointed to the lumbering beast who was now far down the street. Digit nodded in approval. “I want you to hit him with the best Tri Attack you can muster.”

Digit gave its approval. Its head rotated around like a periscope and trained its eyes on Armaldo’s receding figure. Once it had locked on, its whole body shifted. The floating head moved behind its abdomen and its three limbs pointed straight forward in a triangle formation. A bright ball of energy formed on the tip of each limb: one red, one blue, and one yellow. Its whole body then started to rotate slowly, gradually speeding up until the three balls of light appeared to form a pulsating ring. With a great discharge of energy and a resounding crack, the three balls flew straight forward, still revolving around each other. The beam sailed through the air at high speeds. When they finally reached Armaldo, there was a short silence and then three explosions in quick succession: first a sizable ball of fire, then a great discharge of electricity, and finally an explosion of ice crystals which created a blue cloud of mist.

When the dust settled from the three powerful explosions, we saw that Armaldo stared back at us, unmoving. Volkner and I looked on in horror; Digit returned to its normal body shape, said “DEFENSIVE MODE” in a mechanical voice, then tucked its head into its three limbs.

“That can’t be good,” observed Volkner.

We had to squint to see it from so far away, but Armaldo continued to stare us down. After several apprehensive moments, Armaldo moved – to our great dismay, it turned around and started to slowly walk towards us. “I think you made it angry,” observed Volkner ever-so helpfully. I would have given him a sardonic response, but I decided that now was not the time.

At that very moment, rapid footsteps sounded from the other street. Volkner and I snapped our heads to the side and witnessed Rowan, sprinting up to us, holding a weapon that looked far too big for anybody to handle.

Once he arrived, he said between breaths, “Okay... I think I have a solution.” He proudly held up the comically massive gun in his hands. “I call this the Deep Freeze 2000. I’ve been developing it by myself as a way to handle Pokémon that are too dangerous to handle by conventional means.”

“That looks dangerous,” I immediately observed. I noticed that some white mist poured out of its barrel. On account of the weapon’s name, this likely came from some source of intense coldness. “What exactly does it do?”

“This weapon,” explained Rowan with a proud smile, “contains the collective power of about one-hundred Sheer Cold attacks. No Pokémon is immune to it. It’ll stop any Pokémon in its tracks – even Ice-types.”

I shivered, not only from imagining the cold energy within, but from the description of its sheer power. “Is it safe?” I ventured. “I mean, is Armaldo going to be okay?”

Rowan’s proud grin disappeared. I could tell the news would be bad. “Like I said, I’ve been developing it by myself, and it’s not quite finished yet...” He continued sheepishly, “Thing is, I haven’t found out how to keep the target from dying due to a severely limited metabolic rate and tissue damage. But I’m working on it.”

“What?” I hissed. Normally I didn’t act this brash in front of the professor, but this was a moment of weakness for all of us and there was really nothing he could do to intimidate me right now. “You’re going to kill him? No. You can’t do that. Out of the question.”

The professor sighed. I could tell he was about to go into a speech. “Lucas... I’m sorry to say it, but that Pokémon is unnatural. It’s a freak of science. The Armaldo species is extinct. Mother nature saw to that. But in this era... that beast shouldn’t be here. You can already see the casualties it has caused the city.” Rowan motioned around at the collapsed structures and torn up pavement. I had to agree with him on that point. “The world will be better if that Armaldo is gone. It isn’t meant to be here. We’ll be doing the city – and the whole world – a favor if it’s dead. I’m sorry.”

The scene was silent. Well, silent except for the booming footsteps coming from the street. I glanced over and remembered that Armaldo was approaching us – and now it was alarmingly close.

Rowan didn’t hesitate to point the massive gun – with some difficulty – up directly at Armaldo’s head. A high-pitched noise came from the gun and more clouds of ice poured out of the barrel. I sprang into action immediately. I jumped over toward the professor and pushed the heavy gun. With some effort, the gun flew to the side.

Rowan finally pulled the trigger, but due to my sudden intervention, the gun was pointed at a tall office building rather than Armaldo. A powerful blue beam shot out of the gun with great force, so much force that Rowan strained to hold the gun. The beam struck the corner of the building and a massive block of ice immediately started spreading out across the surface. Concrete cracked under the strain of the ice. Armaldo seemed unfazed, however, and he continued to approach us, looking like he was about ready to effortlessly crush our bones in a single slice.

“Armaldo! Stop this!” I bellowed.

Surprisingly enough, that seemed to get his attention. I didn’t have to raise my voice often, and when I did it was usually out of rage. Armaldo stood still, his eyes trained on me curiously. I gulped. He was close enough to cleanly slice my head off if he wanted to, but I didn’t back off, fearing that he would mistake me for fleeing prey.

Now that I started, I had to continue. All eyes were trained on me (except the eyes of Digit, who was still curled up in defensive mode). It was all I could do to keep myself from quivering uncontrollably as I spoke.

“Armaldo...” I looked straight into his eyes. Some of the bloodlust was gone, I could already tell. “I’m your trainer, Armaldo. I’ve worked with you ever since you were just a baby Anorith. Remember those days, way back then?”

I later realized that Armaldo didn’t recognize the concept of time the same way humans did. Humans saw the future as something in front of them, and the past behind them since that's how we more through time. Armaldo’s primitive brain imagined that events of the past were in front of him, since he could see them, and events in the future were behind since he couldn’t see them. So, saying “way back” was counter-intuitive. Not that he understood much of what I was saying anyway, so it didn’t make much of a difference.

I continued my speech, careful to remain quiet so that I wouldn’t startle him. “Remember back when you were just a baby? You were practically scared of your own shadow.” I realized that idioms like that wouldn’t mean anything to him, so I kept my speech simple from then on. “You were like a different creature. You didn’t fit in at all. I was the one who helped you become what you are – a gentle Pokémon who helps people. You’re not supposed to hurt people like this, Armaldo.”

Armaldo, surprisingly enough, took interest in my speech. His eyes seemed to show a relaxed state. He remained perfectly still, listening to me attentively.

“I know your kind isn’t from this time, but I don’t care. You’re a Pokémon, no matter what. If I have to take extra good care of you... then that’s fine. You’re a member of my team and a friend to me. Now what have you turned into? A monster? That’s not what you are, Armaldo. Please stop what you’re doing, right now. You’re only hurting yourself.”

I honestly couldn’t think of anything else to say. Most of the stuff I came up with was on the spot, fabricated out of fear for my life. But that didn’t make it untruthful. Everything I said was the truth. Even if he was an unnatural primordial beast, he was my Pokémon and my friend. I didn’t spend all that time and effort raising him from an Anorith for nothing.

Armaldo continued listening all the way to the end of the speech. It took a long time for anything to register in his primitive brain. He just stood there for a while, continually looking attentive. I thought he was waiting for me to continue, but I couldn’t think of anything else. Just as I was about to open my mouth to improvise some more, however, he shifted his entire body. I winced, waiting for the blow that would end my pitiful life – but it never came. Instead, Armaldo sat down on the ground.

All three of us looked at him curiously. Armaldo gave out a low groan, which I assumed was better than his screeching battle cries from earlier. His claws hung limp and his head was lowered.

“He appears to be submitting to you,” observed Rowan reluctantly. “You should try to return him now.”

With all the events that had taken place, it took me a few moments to process what the professor had said, but soon I fumbled at my belt and held up Armaldo’s empty Poké ball.

With one final gulp, I pressed the button. “Armaldo, return.”

The red beam of light extended from the ball once more, and this time it was not interfered with. Armaldo’s massive body was sucked into the tiny ball. I held him in my hands; the behemoth which had the power to destroy a good-sized portion of Sunyshore city was now in my custody, safe once more.

“Now that he’s in his ball,” observed Rowan, “the effects of Fury Cutter and the Stockpile boosts will have gone.”

“Looks like all this is finally over,” said Volkner with a sigh of relief. “I suppose I’ll have to oversee all the repairs.”

“I’m sorry about all this,” apologized Rowan, turning towards me. I flinched as his intimidating presence returned to him. “Aren’t you going to apologize too, Lucas?”

I sighed. “I really am sorry about my Pokémon, Volkner.”

Volkner wasn’t nearly as frustrated as Rowan, and simply gave a wave of the hand. “It’s all right, kid. That’s a strong Pokémon of yours. You should feel lucky to have one that powerful – just make sure you can control it next time.”

“Oh, I’ve definitely learned my lesson by now,” I replied. I held up a yellow-green TM that I had procured from my backpack. I held it up to the sunlight and read the words engraved on the disc: X-Scissor. “I don’t think I’ll ever use Fury Cutter again.”

“That’s right,” growled Rowan. He continued to glare at me. “I would have thought that by now, you realize that having a powerful beast such as Armaldo on your team is a bad idea, but clearly the idea hasn’t even occurred to you.” He started to walk off, picking up the Deep Freeze 2000 which had fallen on the ground. Without looking back, he appended, “Just don’t come crawling back to me when that thing goes on another rampage.”

Volkner had to make his farewell too. “I really have to get back to my gym, but first I suppose I should collect all the fleeing citizens and inform them that the trouble is gone...” He began to walk away, but then stopped in his tracks. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small metal object which glinted in the setting sun, and then threw it to me. I caught it in midair and saw that he had thrown me the Beacon Badge, my eighth and final badge with which I could move on to the Pokémon League. “Glad to be of service,” he called with a final wave. I waved back and he disappeared down the street.

Now I was by myself in the middle of a ruined intersection with Digit still floating by my side. It made some sporadic beeping noises which I assumed were supposed to be some sort of speech.

“Yeah, we should be going,” I replied, hoping I had interpreted its speech correctly. The two of us ambled down the street, looking for a Pokémon Center that wasn’t completely obliterated so we could rest up for the night and head out for the Pokémon League tomorrow. Somehow, I knew Armaldo would be an important asset to my team for this final challenge of my skill as a trainer.

Missingno. Master
11th June 2012, 4:29 AM
...Wow. Just wow. It's clear to me that even if Psychic hadn't gotten her entry in on time, I still would only have come in second. Wiping out Volkner's whole team with just Armaldo's Fury Cutter is awesome in and of itself, but I did not see the next part coming at all. I liked how intimidating Rowan was. Very true to the games. And somehow I never really thought of a fossil Pokémon thinking like Armaldo did, but once I read it, it made perfect sense. Overall, just incredible. I posted my entry, too, in case you wanted a look. It's called The Tropius Tall Tale. I hadn't actually thought to give it a title when I first submitted it.

aggiegwyn
11th June 2012, 5:16 AM
Interesting, I like your use of vocabulary, I had to learn a few new words myself. You were descriptive and creative, and I liked the whole "Jurassic Park comes to Pokemon" sort of theme. One of my favorite Pokemon One-Shots so far.

Aura Of Twilight
11th June 2012, 1:24 PM
Intresting. I liked it. The whole time the scene was tense, every moment threatening to be a fatal one. Like the previous post, I really enjoyed the Jurassic Park theme as well.



At that very moment, rapid footsteps sounded from the other street. Volkner and I snapped our heads to the side and witnessed Rowan, sprinting up to us, holding a weapon that looked far too big for anybody to handle.

Once he arrived, he said between breaths, “Okay... I think I have a solution.” He proudly held up the comically massive gun in his hands. “I call this the Deep Freeze 2000. I’ve been developing it by myself as a way to handle Pokémon that are too dangerous to handle by conventional means.”

And now I can't get the picture of Rowan with that gun in his hands, sounding like Arnold Swartzanager....lol Talk about a hell of a gun! Volkner was amusing too, but still epic as ever. Great work!

Dragonfree
11th June 2012, 10:40 PM
There isn't much emotion going on for most of the piece, which is the main thing that hurts it, I think - you've got a situation that offers an excellent opportunity to explore a trainer's bond with his Pokémon, since a Pokémon that the main character presumably loves dearly is clearly in distress and being a danger to both itself and others, but the lack of real concern or worry actually displayed on the narrator's behalf is striking.

Twice, Volkner tells him that Armaldo might die from overexertion; the first time, Lucas ignores what Volkner said in favor of describing Professor Rowan's appearance, and the latter time, Lucas just suggests they might be able to stop Armaldo by attacking him enough. Why isn't he acting concerned when he's told his Pokémon might die? Why doesn't he run after Armaldo when the Pokémon has torn down the wall and escaped instead of standing there and asking Volkner "So, what's going to happen?" Why is his reaction to Rowan intending to shoot and kill one of his Pokémon more indignant than horrified? In Lucas's speech to Armaldo, you imply that they have a strong emotional bond, but you don't really show us any of that, which is a shame because this could have been a touching scene if I'd gotten to really feel any of what he was saying.

It would also have been interesting to tackle the ethics of the situation more head-on. Lucas never stops to wonder what it will mean if he can't bring Armaldo to his senses. He gulps when he remembers his part in creating the situation, but it doesn't seem to trigger any serious sense of responsibility for what's going on - when he makes his speech to Armaldo, he sounds like a parent scolding an unruly child, reminding him that he loves him and cared for him and made him who he is but not taking on any of the responsibility for the incident or being apologetic. And when he suggests attacking Armaldo to stop him, one would expect him to be at least a little hesitant to cause his Pokémon pain.

Also, I have to say I found the 9/11 reference rather tasteless. It's a real-life event where thousands of real people died. Do you really think it's appropriate to use it as a point of comparison to something in your Pokémon fanfiction?

A couple of other bits I took issue with:


The form of the exhausted Drifblim melted into thin air and was sucked into the dark expanse of the ball. It barely survived the onslaught of painful electric attacks from the enemy’s Jolteon, but still managed to stand its ground long enough to pull off a well-placed Baton Pass.
Since in the latter sentence here you're briefly explaining what happened before this point in the narration, it should be in the past perfect tense rather than the regular past: "It had barely survived the onslaught of painful electric attacks from the enemy's Jolteon, but had still managed to stand its ground long enough to pull off a well-placed Baton Pass."


Once Armaldo was done, it started to charge forward at speeds I had never seen him attain before. The worst part was that he was running straight toward me. Panicked, I completely froze. It felt like I lost control of my body as I witnessed Armaldo’s massive carapace hurtling towards me. It reminded me of those movie scenes where a character is about to be crushed, but they don’t get out of the way for some unknown reason. Now I knew why they didn’t move.
Can't-move panic is not a moment where your mind would wander to movies, I'd think - the comparison reduces the impact and sense of fear here.


Digit gave its approval. Its head rotated around like a periscope and trained its eyes on Armaldo’s receding figure. Once it had locked on, its whole body shifted. The floating head moved behind its abdomen and its three limbs pointed straight forward in a triangle formation. A bright ball of energy formed on the tip of each limb: one red, one blue, and one yellow. Its whole body then started to rotate slowly, gradually speeding up until the three balls of light appeared to form a pulsating ring. With a great discharge of energy and a resounding crack, the three balls flew straight forward, still revolving around each other. The beam sailed through the air at high speeds. When they finally reached Armaldo, there was a short silence and then three explosions in quick succession: first a sizable ball of fire, then a great discharge of electricity, and finally an explosion of ice crystals which created a blue cloud of mist.
This description is too long and clinical, in my opinion; it takes several seconds to read it and it feels too technical and detailed to portray the quick sense of action and energy that battle scenes need.


I later realized that Armaldo didn’t recognize the concept of time the same way humans did. Humans saw the future as something in front of them, and the past behind them since that's how we more through time. Armaldo’s primitive brain imagined that events of the past were in front of him, since he could see them, and events in the future were behind since he couldn’t see them. So, saying “way back” was counter-intuitive. Not that he understood much of what I was saying anyway, so it didn’t make much of a difference.
While it's neat that you thought about this and all, it seems strikingly irrelevant to the story, given the only thing Armaldo isn't understanding is a particular turn of phrase Lucas happened to use; it doesn't impact the overall effect his speech has on Armaldo at all. Moreover, it takes the reader out of a moment that's meant to be emotional, which argues positively towards leaving it out.


Overall, your writing mechanics are mostly fine and you have a potentially interesting concept, but unfortunately I don't think the execution quite lives up to that potential.