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Day One: The Tablet In The Forest (Scroll down.)
Day Two: Machiavellian Principles
Day Three: Myths and Phobias
Day Four: Pokemon Trainer Dallas
Day Five: A Rival Emerges
Day Six: Aerial Ace! (Coming Soon!)
Final Day: A Division In The Ranks
The Four Dojo of Talimar
1. Tricks Of A Gypsy
2. Southern Dojo; The Ice
3. Eastern Dojo; The Fire
4. A Coffee Break With The Devil
5. Western Dojo; The Dark
6. Northern Dojo; The Wind
7. Regitu Emerges
Talimar National Champs
(Unfinished Chapter Titles May Change)
Pokemon Match: The Martial Way
Chapter One: The Tablet In The Forest
The white van sped away, kicking up a cloud of dust from the back country road. A thin boy walked from its cloud with a blue sports bag slung over his shoulder. He began to walk down the long driveway, heat radiating from the dry ground and bouncing back up at him. He walked with confidence, his head held high.
In the distance, Keldio bay loomed. The water was coloured deep blue with a touch of green, different colours emerging as the sun hit at different angles. It stretched out widely, bordered by two tall cliff faces, with jagged rocks beneath. The body of water created great contrast to the rest of the dusty countryside.
The ground crunched as his sneakers squashed tiny stones together. The air was warm and still. Eventually, the facility was visible as he walked over a small rise. It was a worn, rickety looking building with lots of rooms.
He continued, the sun beat down on his fair skin. It was beginning to redden. He hopped over a fence, his bag swinging wildly around his waist as he landed. A man exited the house and approached him.
He extended a hand. “Sensei Russel.”
The boy shook it firmly, showing no weakness. “It’s a pleasure. I’m Kakari.”
They began to walk back. The man adjusted his baseball cap, shifting his long frizzy hair.
He looked down to Kakari. “Are you from Talimar?” he asked.
The youth shook his head, a few stray strands of brown hair shifting as he did so, “Yes,” he answered. “My parents moved from Unova before I was born, it's my voice that gets me confused."
“Well, it’s a great place,” Russel said, opening the door into the medieval interior of the dorms.
The building was pretty basic, wooden floors, solid walls but things were clean and tidy. It was acceptable at the very best. Russel showed Kakari to his room, where he began to move his clothes into the draws provided. His clothes were varying in size, because he was growing so rapidly, he couldn’t even squeeze into the clothes he wore a year ago.
Kakari’s thoughts concerning his fifteen year old bodily fluctuations were interrupted by a lanky boy appeared in his door, leaning up against it, looking in.
“Kakari?” he asked.
“Yeah, who are you?” he replied, pretending he cared.
“The name’s Dennis,” the older boy answered, “What style are you based in?”
Well this is just typical. It was common practice for Pokemon Hoia to talk about their home style. There have been long standing debates (otherwise known as petty squabbles) over the best style, it seems in the end it is the proficiency in the martial artist. Not the style that determines their success.
“Karate,” Kakari said, pronouncing the word correctly, instead of the mangled English version that was tossed around.
Karate because it is a martial arts style based purely around hitting things, hard. Kicks, punches, knees and elbows are the main weapons of a Karate-Ka. Ground fighting and throws are included, but the main focus is to win while staying on your feet. Or at least that’s what “Pokemon Hoia, A Complete Guide” says.
“Hmm, you’re like me, a striker, I’m from Taekwondo.”
Taekwondo is similar, if gold and dirt are the same thing. It focuses more on kicks than punches. It is more of a competition style and less of a self-defence art which was what martial arts was originally intended to be. So they pretty much waste their time flicking their legs around.
“Do you have any plans for your partner Pokemon?” Kakari asked, ready to start discussing himself.
Dennis thought for a moment. “A Medicham, it would be great to have something that can attack so hard, and have resistance to fighting type attacks, you?”
Kakari answered instantly, “Blaziken, they’re wicked fast, and strong. Plus they can pull of some killer high jump kicks.”
Aerial attacks were key to being a successful Pokemon Hoia. Sure, you can win using stock standard techniques, but do advertising companies really want to sign Hoia that have been doing the same old tricks since the Rampardos were around? No.
There was an uneasy silence. Maybe Dennis was just trying to be friendly? To Kakari, he was just plain annoying. He wasn’t here to make friends, or have fun, he was here to be the best.
“I’d better finish unpacking,” Dennis turned around and left.
That’s my competition? Pfft, being a Hoia will be a breeze. I’ll knock this rookie around for a while to pass the time. What’s two weeks of intense training when you’re practicing with people you could trump when you were white belt anyway?
After Kakari had sorted out his stuff, he walked down the dark hallway to discover the kitchen. A girl, about the same height as him, sat on a bar stool, gazing out the window watching the waves roll into the shore. She sipped a red fruity drink of some kind through a straw, accentuating her large full lips. Her eyelashes were prominent, along with her cheekbones and certain other womanly features.
Kakari instantly felt a little nervous, he hadn’t though of this, most female Hoia were quite butch. This one however, looked like she could be quite distracting.
“H- Hi!” Kakari said, a little too loudly.
She span around, her long blonde hair whipped around as the bar stool rotated.
“Well hello? You’re…” her eyes flicked upward, she was trying to remember…
“Kakari,” he said.
“No, I know that… you’re Karate, right?” she asked.
Oh great, just when I think this super hot girl likes me, she just wants to know my style to get an edge on me when we spar. Hopefully she’s just a pretty face, I don’t want to have to worry about trying to hurt her, she’s only a girl after all.
“Yeah,” I answered.
Awkward silence followed. She span back around, looking toward the ocean.
“Have a seat.” she said.
Kakari walked forward, suddenly self-conscious of the singlet and gym shorts he was wearing. Taking a seat beside the girl, she pointed a finger at a spot on the ocean. On closer inspection, it was a surfer, gliding along a wave effortlessly, his tanned skin and bleached hair evident from even beyond the sand dunes.
“Surfers,” She sighed with longing, “They’re the only men for me.”
“Oh, er. Right. Well I wasn’t-,” Kakari began.
“Of course you weren’t champ.”
She got up, gave Kakari a pat on the back placed her glass in the dishwasher and left, leaving him feeling very stupid. Then he realised he had no idea what her name was, and more importantly what style she was. The fact that she said she wasn’t interested, even though he would usually beg that kind of response from people… just seemed to make her even more appealing.
Sensei Russel walked in, dressed in a loose t-shirt and swimming shorts.
“Hey, Kakari, we’re all going to the tablet now, grab your gear and we’ll head out, okay?”
He nodded and went off to his room, to get his protective gear. This was the day he and all martial artists dream of. To go to a stone tablet and finally become a Pokemon Hoia. It was the beginning of a long journey to become the Master Hoia, the best in the world.
Sensei Russel poked his head through Kakari’s door. "Are you ready yet? We are all going now.”
“Yes sensei, sorry I’ve got my stuff.”
The boy slipped on his day pack full of snacks and his fighting pads and followed his instructor to the back door of the facility. On the way he caught a glimpse of Dennis’s room. Everything was neat to the extreme, either he was a paranoid, or it he was just raped by a mob of cleaning ladies.
Stepping out into the afternoon sun, Kakari gazed in the opposite direction to the sea. The Terakion mountains were prominent, their jagged tips tearing at the clear sky.
“Let’s go,” Sensei concluded and Kakari, Dennis, Russel and the mystery girl began to follow a well trodden, but still wild bush track.
The forest blocked out lots of the light, and the temperature instantly dropped. The ground was a mess of leaf litter and fallen logs. Sensei weaved the path of least resistance, so it was best to follow him closely. Various bird calls echoed through the foliage, occasionally the violent flapping of wings erupted from beneath the leaves as they came to close to a Pokemon, and it took off merely appearing as a brown and white blur before it erupted through the canopy.
Kakari spotted a Spinarak camouflaged on a green tree. He pointed out the arachnid-like Pokemon to Dennis, who seemed a little uneasy about the fact that the bug type Pokemon flourish in this coastal forest environment.
“When I was three, an Ariados crawled onto my bed, I’m a little traumatised, okay?” He said with a shudder.
Finally the track ended when they reached a large clearing, the centre of which was an expansive raised stone platform. It was about half Kakari’s height off the ground and about the size of a squared home swimming pool. It seemed almost magic that no moss grew in between the flawless stone slabs. This was one of four stone tables in Talimar, and the birth place of every Pokemon Hoia. Here, is where a promise of friendship and support is made with a fighting type Pokemon. From then on they become allies, and usually very close.
“Who is first?” Russel asked.
The surfer obsessed barbie doll stepped toward the table.
“Sensei, could I please attempt?” she asked, her voice staying strong.
The man nodded, his frizzy hair bouncing for a second, “Certainly Sarah, go right ahead.”
Ah, Sarah is her name… I wonder what martial arts style she is?”
She opened her purple back pack. And removed two yellow shin pads, which she proceeded to strap around her thin legs. It was becoming obvious as she jumped up onto the platform, that she was more nervous about this than she was letting on, by the way her blue eyes flickered around.
She reached the centre of the platform and stood on the triangle in the centre. A green light drifted from it, over the plaform, running like water in an overflowing sink. It is a beckon, for fighting type Pokemon to prove their skill.
This light, its like from in the Movies. That light, symbolises a bond between Hoia and Pokemon. Its colour changes depending on your fighting style. It picks the best partner for you.
It was the most important day in a Hoia’s life, she had reason to look worried. A loud war cry screamed from the dense bushes straight ahead. She jolted, beads of sweat running down her face. Sarah, got into her stance, her left leg forward and bent, right leg behind and straight. Her guard was already up, her hands were open.
A blur erupted from the foliage, snapping branches and ripping vines. It flew, in mid-air for a while, then landed, floating above the ground. It tilted it’s head, a large white bulbous protrusion came from its crown. Large white eyes and tiny pupils stared at Sarah as it floated, legs crossed.
Sarah ran forward, and clapped her palms on each side of the Pokemon’s head. It reeled back, landing on its feet. The Fake Out attack momentarily stunned the fighting and psychic type Pokemon. It regained its composure and raised its guard.
Kakari looked over at Dennis, who was supremely jealous. Meditite is the pre-evolution of Medicham, his dream partner Pokemon. Rarely does a Hoia match up with what they want. The tablet insures the best match for their personality.
Both fighters rushed forward, arms and legs colliding in a series of blocked and deflected blows. Meditite’s small blue limbs moved quickly. It seemed as though Sarah was beginning to tire, she shuffled back, breaking the confrontation. Meditite sensed the weakness and capitalised, attacking even more furiously than before.
The Pokemon drove Sarah back, step by step, closer to the edge with its onslaught of blows. A stray spinning kick caught her chin, jerking her head around. For a moment, it looked as though she was knocked out. The Meditite paused. It stopped attacking and watched the girl descend.
Sarah’s eyes snapped open.
Realising it had been fooled, the Meditite hastily prepared another kick, but Sarah had a plan. She bent both of her knees, took a deep breath and grabbed the smaller Pokemon. With an exhalation and a grunt she threw the Pokemon, overhead, it landed a few metres away.
“Nice throw…” Dennis commented, getting excited by the battle.
That’s strange for a Kung Fu practitioner such as her self to be so proficient at overhead throws. Still not as good as me, but she’s close.
Sensei Russel watched onward, but wasn’t enthused like Dennis. He had seen this many times before, possibly hundreds. If he was so disinterested, why is he still training Hoia?
The Meditite clambered up, Sarah was attacking again, using circular kicks and punches. Now it was the Meditite that was on the back foot, always having to block, weave and duck. The Pokemon was getting angry, its eyes glowed bright blue.
A strange force paralysed Sarah’s body, leaving her frozen in mid-kick, her leg awkwardly hanging in the air. The Meditite drew its hand back and struck with a snappy Force Palm that cracked the air with its tension. The girl gasped as she was ripped from her psychic bonds and tossed backward, winded from the technique.
That’s kind of cheating. The Meditite won’t be allowed to use its Psychic powers in a refereed and judged Pokemon Match. I suppose it’s just wild and ignorant at the moment.
The girl wasn’t one to give up, the Meditite charged, a purple aura floating around its hand. It slashed at the defenceless girl, the Psycho Cut forced her bouncing along the tablet until she was merely half hanging off the side. She opened her eyes, the smirking Pokemon was approaching, ready to finish the fight.
“Come on Sarah!” Russel yelled, “Get back up, are you a Hoia or not?”
The girl scrambled to her feet, standing over the green glowing stone platform. The Meditite jumped, and bent its front knee, preparing for a High Jump Kick. Sarah, tucked her head in and clenched all of her muscles tightly. A faint white light coated her body at the moment of impact. The light seemed to be impenetrable, the Meditite slipped around the barrier, landing awkwardly in a pile of leaves.
I had heard of humans using Pokemon attacks, but Protect? That would seem really hard to pull off. I need to get her to show me how to do that.
Sarah had done it, she had secured her partner Pokemon.
“Great work Sarah.” Russel said, as the girl lowered herself from the fighting arena. “You realised your physical attacks wouldn’t do enough damage to it, so you decided to either throw it out, or make it go out of the arena on its own accord.”
The girl smiled, flashing a red mouth guard. A trickle of blood ran from it, dripping off her cheek. With horror Kakari realised it had been white when she put it on. It must have been the kick to the head she had earlier.
“Thank you Sensei,” Sarah bowed.
The light from the platform seemed to engulf the panting Meditite, slightly lifting it off the forest floor. As the light dissipated the Pokemon walked over and looked up at Sarah, its eyes wide and full of promise.
“Hi Meditite, I’m Sarah, your Hoia.”
As Sarah got acquainted to her partner Pokemon, Dennis began strapping on his blue shin pads and thin gloves. He slipped in his mouth guard and climbed onto the tablet, proceeding to the central triangle. The light erupted this time was red. It searched the forest for a suitable match.
Dennis looked even more nervous than Sarah. Eventually a high pitched cry erupted from the trees. A small figure ran along a tree branch and jumped, flipping once before landing softly. It had a long head, ending at a point with small whiskers and teddy bear-like ears. As it set its eyes on Dennis its whiskers twitched, sensing movements.
“Watch the Rolling Kick!” Russel called.
The small Pokemon dove at the ground, rolling rapidly before uncurling, and driving both legs deep into the Taekwondo practitioners gut. As he fell back the Mienfoo jumped high on its small legs and used a Force Palm on the boys face, sending him careening backward.
Russel must know a lot about Fighting Types, he predicted its move straight away…
Dennis hadn’t given up yet. The Pokemon rushed forward like a creamy blur preparing to strike when Dennis twisted on his front foot, using it as pivot, turning his hips and whipping his foot out sideways. The kick caught the Mienfoo in its ribs. The Pokemon growled on impact. It staggered back, damaged.
“Nice! Now is your chance!” Russel yelled.
Now Dennis had the advantage, the lanky boy stepped forward and fired a series of complex punching combinations, the Mienfoo simply diverted all of them with large circular blocks. It then hopped back, jumped and kicked Dennis hard in the chest then back flipped to safety.
The U-Turn attack caught the boy off guard, he fell on his back. The Mienfoo glowed a blue light as its regeneration ability activated. There were a few crackling noises as its ribs were healed. Dennis struggled to his feet to be met with a High Jump Kick, landing deep at his solar plexus.
He wheezed on impact then staggered, falling off the platform. The Mienfoo rushed back into the forest, its arms flailing behind it.
“Dennis?” Russel helped the boy to his feet, “Understand, boy that even the current Talimar champion didn’t succeed in getting his partner Pokemon first try.”
Dennis nodded, still disappointed, It was obvious the boy really wanted to do well, the Mienfoo was just too darn fast.
“You can have another go after Kakari,” Russel said.
Kakari felt a dead weight drop in his stomach. He just hoped for a Combusken, the pre-evolution of Blaziken. He stood in the triangle, his fists shaking a little in his red gloves. He looked over at the others, who watched on intently.
Red light poured out, then stopped abruptly.
“Huh? Um…” Kakari began.
The Mienfoo jumped onto the tablet, its thick legs bent and hands raised in a traditional Kung Fu guard. Kakari got into his stance, weight evenly distributed on each foot, on the balls of his feet. His guard raised, his front hand reaching out while the back chambered on his chest.
The Mienfoo proceeded with a Rolling Kick, Kakari jumped aside, and kicked straight at the unfurling Pokemon. It was knocked backward, but it recovered quickly. Not wanting to give it any time to utilize its regeneration ability, Kakari rushed forward with a punch.
With a large circular sweep of the arm, his assault was diverted. The Pokemon took this opportunity to land a series of small blows to his ribs and face. Kakari pushed him away. They circled each other, watching carefully.
The two were pretty evenly matched, it was simply down to who wanted to win more. The Mienfoo rushed forwards attacking low, with a Mach Punch. The attack was so fast, Kakari had no time to respond, he bent over, after the fist left his gut.
“Kakari!” Russel called, “Don’t let it regenerate!”
Kakari grimaced and swallowed the pain. He hopped forward and raised my leg high, the Pokemon expected a kick and raised its guard accordingly. He swept his leg down, taking out the Mienfoo’s front leg. It was flicked up into the air. The boy hit the mid-air Pokemon with a wince worthy punch. The Pokemon rolled along the ground until it fell over the edge.
The red light engulfed its body, the Pokemon rejoined him on the platform.
Kakari raised out a hand, “Friends?”
The Mienfoo thought for a moment, bringing a paw up to its face. It nodded and gave me a playful jab to the stomach. The boy laughed it off, but it still brought tears to his eyes.
“Great work Kakari.” Russel exclaimed. “Mienfoo are quite versatile Pokemon, it will make a great combination with you.”
Kakari bowed. Then sat down with his new partner and began to talk with it.
“I’m Kakari.” he explained.
The Pokemon rolled its eyes and perked up its ears. Sinking its face into its paw it began to endure Kakari’s life story.
“And that’s when- hey? Are you even listening?” Kakari asked.
The Mienfoo was too busy watching Dennis’s second fight. All Kakari got to see of it was the large blue body of a Poliwrath knocked out of the ring with a well timed kick. Such a large, human sized partner would be difficult to take down.
As the Pokemon stood up, its white belly patch with a spiral was revealed. It seemed almost hypnotic to look at, almost as if it was turning. The Pokemon wore large white gloves, its eyes were raised out of its main bulky body.
When it moved, it sort of wobbled on its rounded feet. It didn’t seem to be very adept at movement, or speed of any kind. Kakari decided he would have to capitalise on this weakness in the future.
They began their walk home. Mienfoo preferring to jump between trees than to walk with everyone else. Sarah and her Meditite were getting on well, chatting easily.
About that Poliwrath...
The Pokemon was part Water type, but since only Fighting and Normal moves are allowed in a Pokemon Match, it doesn’t have any real significance. What Kakari was most worried above was the Pokemon’s massive strength, it was the polar opposite of Mienfoo.
But, Mienfoo could supposedly learn a wide variety of techniques, as well as a very hyped and rarely seen non-physical Fighting type attack. Maybe he and his Mienfoo could rise to the top together?
After dinner they all had strawberry smoothies. What they didn’t know was that Sensei Russel had snuck some egg whites into them, for protein. The sun was setting through the large living room window. It was setting in line with the bay, casting long strands of light over the water.
Russel entered the living room and addressed the youths, “I hate to end a day on a sour note but there is something I must tell you.”
Kakari listened carefully, the two others did the same, slightly leaning toward their Sensei.
“This only really applies to Kakari and Sarah, but Dennis it is important for you to know. Because your Pokemon are not caught in Poke’ Balls, when they evolve and their personality changes they become wild. You must defeat them as soon as they evolve, else they will flee back into the wild as the instinct tells them too.”
Kakari nodded, this was important stuff, it would be horrific to lose his original partner Pokemon. But, evolution was probably a long way off.
“And, your partner Pokemon are all the opposite gender to you.”
Mienfoo is a girl? I never realised all partner Pokemon and Hoia were opposite genders. Turns out there is more to this than I had prepared for, if getting your black belt is preparation enough.
“Kids, you should get to bed, our first day of training begins tomorrow.”
Kakari could hear Mienfoo snoring on the top bunk.
Why couldn’t I have gotten a Combusken like I really wanted? Mienfoo is Kung Fu, more in between grappling and striking while I am a linear, striking style. Why did the tablet pick her, for me?
Why did me and Dennis fight the same Pokemon? Would things have been different if he had’ve gotten Mienfoo instead of me? Would I have Poliwrath, or something completely different?
Sarah needs to show me how to use Fake Out and Protect. They seem to be handy. Mienfoo needs to show me Rolling Kick some more as well, it seems to have huge coolness factor.
I wonder if Mienfoo will evolve. And if I will be able to defeat her? I’ve got to train harder than her, all the time.
Wait a minute… where is Sensei’s partner Pokemon?
End Of Training Camp Day One