The gym had been next, but Erika wasn’t there, leaving Keegan to wonder whether gym leaders ever actually showed up
—she remembered what had come of her going out to look for Morty in Ecruteak.
This time she was on her own, faced with one of the trials she’d thought she’d left behind: the scathing barbs of a teenage girl.
A formidable force, indeed. *shudders*
How was it that a bunch of half-schooled trainers could make her feel more anxious than a pair of Team Rocket agents?
The outside swirl of sparks dissipated into the air, but the fire remained, the flareon’s orange and red fur blazing with thick veins of molten flame, and for an instant Keegan panicked, even while a part of her noted the occurrence. Flash Fire: a fire pokémon’s attribute, in which their elemental powers are enhanced by storing the heat from other fire attacks.
It used its own attack to power itself up!
Again, great use (and depiction) of the Flash Fire ability. ^^
“Shadow Ball!” Keegan retaliated instantly without thinking, feeling as though it was someone else saying the words but knowing it was right, that if Hazel knew any other attacks that would be one of them—because she’d considered teaching it to her once, back when she had gotten tired of running and hiding from the school bullies. If she thought it was a good choice now, wouldn’t she think it was a good choice then, too?
with a joyful mew, as though Hazel had just been waiting for the command, the eevee sucked in a breath to obey, a writhing mass of shadows gathering in her mouth as dusty veins wreathed about her, mixing with the dark smoke still drifting off her fur. In the same instant as Flareon she released the dusky ball, shadows streaming away behind it as it shot towards her evolution and met the sparking Flamethrower in a brilliant explosion of ash and mist.
Shadow Ball’s one of those attacks I love to see in fiction because it just lends itself so well to really cool descriptions—and this instance is no exception. ^^ Plus, it was cool when said attack collided with that Flamethrower and they exploded into ash and mist.
It was true that Alyssa was very hardworking; her assignments were legendary among the staff for their length, depth, and exceptional research. Unfortunately, she was the most popular girl in class, not to mention one of the richest, which meant she was one of the leaders.
And all that meant that she could be unbelievably catty.
Then the girl’s brow furrowed, and she raised a hand to touch her cheek in reluctant, irritable thought. “She was
a good battler, though.”
And willing to give someone their due,
Erika reminded herself with a small smile. “Oh? Did she battle someone?”
Illustrated there is another thing I really like about Alyssa: she’s not an absolute jerk, a fact which makes her more three-dimensional as a character.
Now that’s interesting,
Erika thought. Tynan was cut from the same mould as Alyssa—rich family, a strong sense of self-worth, and enough confidence to choke a persian.
I love that phrase.
What good were words while Team Rocket was taking over half the economy through the fear of their retribution? What good were words when you were being charged at by a wild rhyhorn?
And I love that, too.
It rang through the forest, making pokémon tilt their heads to listen or scamper back into the shielding undergrowth with a rustle of leaves. A curse followed soon after, punctuated by random mutterings and the distinct, feline-like titter of a pokémon, before they were both cut off by a semi-irritable shout.
“Stop laughing, Hazel!”
A flurry of spiky-feathered doduo burst from a patch of particularly thick foliage, making dewdrops scatter everywhere and leaves slap against the ground. A few seconds later they were followed, more slowly, by a certain blonde-haired girl clad in mud-stained jeans and a long-sleeved grey top, a slightly bedraggled eevee with an amused glint in her black eyes, and the swift blue form of a sleek vaporeon.
“It wasn’t funny,” Keegan whined, wiping her muddy hands off onto the cleanest patch of her jeans she could find, since her knees and shins were now grubby and grass-stained from her most recent tumble.
Heh heh… “It wasn’t funny” is an almost magical* phrase, with the amazing power to emphasize the fact that oh yes, it was funny. XD It works on the same principle as that which causes “don’t laugh” to be one of the funniest things a person can say.
It was Tarn’s distressed keen which caught her attention this time, and her eyes found the vaporeon just as Hazel darted in front of him, cutting off his headlong rush into the fast-moving river. Stumbling towards them with rubbery legs, Keegan saw, over their backs and through the white spray of the unseen pond below, a pair of scruffy men roughly jamming as many mesh cages as they could fit onto the back of their dirty truck, its wheels sinking into the soft turf beside the lake beneath its three-cage-high load. Contained within them were pokémon of all shapes and sizes; prickly-looking nidoran, polished pink exeggcute, even the dull, soft purples of a venomoth. Some were struggling furiously with the mesh, their eyes narrowed with rage and bloodlust—a victreebel puffed itself up, yellow body pulsing and broad leaves quivering with rage as it threw itself at the walls of its pen with a piercing shriek that cut through the roar of the falls—while others lay injured on the blood-soaked floor of their enclosures.
Wow… o.o Quite a potent image, especially with regards to the enraged Victreebel trying desperately to bash its way out.
The butterfree’s Whirlwind hit the truck with all the force of an act of nature, sending the vehicle into a vicious three-sixty-degree spin. Tyres kicked up waves of mud, steel groaned in complaint, the windows cracked beneath the stones and debris pelting the glass.
That’s an aspect of Whirlwind (and wind-based attacks in general, especially the stronger ones) that I was glad to see brought into matters here: the fact that the debris
it kicks up and whips around would be an especially great hazard presented by the attack; perhaps the greatest hazard thereof, in fact. Especially in situations such as that where there’s a lot for the wind to throw around, such as that one with its rocks and such. It’s no wonder that that truck took a beating with debris like that in the equation.
“Sludge Bomb!” Porky roared to his grimer, stumbling in the direction of the vehicle, and the ooze that was sloshing over the tops of the cages peaked into a semblance of a head, opening into wide jaws.
Again, Grimer was depicted quite nicely here. Its sludgy properties, the way it can shift, deform, and reform, shaping whatever parts it needs for the situation from the sludge that comprises it and melting them back down again when it’s through with them… Grimer was really done justice in its appearance in that chapter.
She saw Tarn as he sank his small fangs into Porky’s ankle, eliciting an almost amusingly girlish shriek and a spew of curses
, the poacher’s automatic kick catching the vaporeon in the ribs and sending him sprawling as the man limped hurriedly towards the driver’s side of the cab.
It took moment before Keegan realized that the half-sob, half-groan had come from her, her injured limb already cradled against her chest even as she staggered away, her throbbing fingers feeling as though they were locked around the pokéball.
Need help—need Hazel—best battler, know what to do—
Or so her fragmented thoughts went, swirling around in her overwhelmed mind.
She never managed to put thought to action, however, because her attention was caught by an urgent yowl from Tarn, right before she was hit by something that felt like a car.
It may as well have been. For the second time in as many minutes, Keegan hit the ground, this time on her back and with a bone-jarring blow that made her head swim, leaving her gasping for air and momentarily paralysed. Firefoot twisted his body just enough so that he fell mostly on the matted grass and not his trainer, skidding a short furrow in the muddy lawn and rolling against the girl’s arm.
Panic slammed into Keegan as her complaining lungs refused to take in air, curling in on herself, one hand clenching in Firefoot’s long fur. It was only a second or two, but it felt like an eternity before she could take deep, shuddering breaths.
Great portrayal of what she was going through there. Damn… that was surely a very
scary experience, especially the matter of not being able to breathe there for a moment—that’s always a terrifying experience.
The command was distant to her ringing ears, and the girl couldn’t have moved to avoid it anyway, but she did manage to push herself up just enough to see over Firefoot’s back as a swirling ring of frost and ice flurried the space between them and the truck, freezing the aforementioned bombs in midair. They smashed into useless icicles on the ground, and Tarn had just leapt for the poacher leaning unsteadily against the truck when a long, muscular tongue lashed out to catch him, wrapping him up like a meowth on a string.
Nice use of that ice attack there. ^^
The object—a pokéball
—rebounded off the cages, opening with a burst and releasing a purple golbat in the same instant that two other pokémon dematerialized into red light, one in midair and the other sitting, shuddering, on the grass.
“Supersonic!” a calm, slightly harsh voice ordered. The bat opened its huge mouth, fangs glistening, and let out a shattering, drawn-out screech which rippled the air, pressuring everything that heard it into the ground, stealing their breath, making their heads pound. Keegan clutched at her ears with both her filled hands, burying her head in Firefoot’s fur, scrunching up against the shaking arcanine even as he whined, unheard, for the pain in his head.
Abruptly it ended, leaving nothing but ringing in their ears—at least until Keegan lifted her face and her vision swam dizzyingly.
Ooh. o.o Very nice depiction of Supersonic.
Coughing, Keegan pushed herself up, one elbow braced against Firefoot. Even then, it took a moment before she realized that he was shivering violently, his body heaving as he choked, the foam already bubbling from his mouth tainted purple.
And there is a nice depiction of being poisoned. ^^
That was when the pokéball in her hand rattled, and wearily Keegan lifted it to blink dumbly at the butterfree inside, who had apparently recovered its energy enough to attack the sides of the device. It buzzed furiously inside, tiny claws moving, antenna bobbing, as it motioned in the direction of the truck.
I love the image of a furious Butterfree—and a furious, miniaturized
Butterfree, no less. So cute! ^^
By the time the boat was close enough for her to see the distorted figure through the glass of the control booth and the poachers had begun moving to prepare the truck for transport, she couldn’t take it anymore. Gotta do something
. She snatched the butterfree’s pokéball up, sitting back on her heels to pitch it down the hill. For the second time that day, a pokéball sailed over the oblivious poachers’ heads, although this one missed the cab and instead rebounded off the mud-streaked bars of the top layer of cages.
It burst open in a swirling cascade of sparkling green powder, dousing the two men in its glittering waves before they had become fully aware of its presence. Both of them drooped to the ground, one slumping against the rail of the truck’s bed and the other sprawled out of the damp grass not far away, the cacophony of captured pokémon punctuated by loud snores.
A great move on the part of Keegan and that Butterfree. ^^
She pressed her foot randomly down on a pedal, gripping the wheel so tightly that her knuckles went white and her bad hand twinged. The truck surged forward abruptly, wheels spurting on the muddy grass, and she just saw the poacher jump back with a curse before she was past, water leaving streaks on the glass, the landscape a grey blur outside the windows.
A second later something loomed out of the darkness in front of her and with a terrified oath she yanked on the wheel, swerving aside before she hit it. Another dark shape seemed to come at her from the right, and another from the left, leaving her veering away from every figure visible through the pounding rain, squinting desperately through the thick, rippling tracks of water streaming down the windshield and the cracks which spider-webbed across it.
Man, that would
be scary, seriously scary. o.o And that’s a nice touch there with regards to the negative effects of the rain and the cracked windshield on the visibility. ^^
Her foot went from the pedal to another, pumping on it uselessly before moving to the next and pressing down. The truck jerked, sending up a spray of mud and debris in front of her as the wheels locked, but the slippery ground and the downward slope kept its momentum. It swerved to the side, skidding along at an angle up until the point that a massive tree came out of nowhere right in their path.
was all Keegan managed to think before they hit. Her world exploded into the shriek of metal and the shatter of glass, in counterpoint to the thin animal screeches somewhere in the back. The girl was thrown violently around, the seatbelt wrenching taut and drawing a ribbon of pain up her chest and shoulder, chafing her bare neck raw.
Oh ****, indeed. o.o Crashes are pretty damned thrilling to read about as they occur (by which I don’t mean it’s fun to read about a crash while actually being
in a crash XD), that’s for sure. Also noteworthy is the attention to detail with regards to the effects of the crash on Keegan, the pain brought on by the seatbelt doing its job; good work there. ^^
When she finally managed to take several deep breaths in a row without one of them catching—shaky though they were—she fumbled for the button of the seatbelt, only for her hand to scuff hard plastic. When she looked down, it was to find that her seat had been shoved out of position enough to crush the lower end of the belt.
You’ve got to be kidding.
She tugged uselessly at the switch, but only succeeded in tightening the band across her chest.
Oh damn, that had to suck for Keegan. XD Surviving a crash only to find yourself trapped by the damned seatbelt… damn. XD
“Air Cutter,” came another curt command, and Keegan peeked through half-closed eyes in time to see the air ripple, see it cut
. She flinched back from the ear-splitting whistle as the draught of blades sliced through the seatbelt and the worn leather of the chair behind it.
That is a seriously cool depiction of Air Cutter. o.o
She lifted her chin. “I was trying to help.” she said more firmly. “I tried—and I did—I saved them—you can’t blame me for not knowing—I just did what I could—and I saved them—”
“The way you were driving, that remains to be seen,” Koga replied coldly, with just a touch of the sardonic humour which had marked his words up to a few moments ago. “You’re lucky you didn’t kill yourself, let alone the pokémon.”
Ooh… *winces* Man, he really burned her there. That was scathing. Of course, much of what he said to her was, but that… wow.
Of course, there I was, unable to help but imagine Pokémon falling victim to that truck as I read the scene in which Keegan was stealing it, so maybe I shouldn’t be saying anything about his comment there. XD Or, maybe for that very reason I CAN… Agh, not that dilemma again! XDDDD
“But the—” she began, gesturing towards the truckload of wet, bruised and injured pokémon.
“I will take care of them,” Koga cut her off shortly, fisting the keys, and his calculating eyes bored into her even more intensely, as if to say, ‘well? Any other ideas, or are you actually going to be a good little girl and do what I say now?’
Hell, she could almost hear him saying
I could almost hear him saying it, too. XD