RE: The Nuzlocke Challenge
@ Buppux: Yes. Yes it would.
@ Jenso: You know it.
WELCOME TO LOG 23!
Bruce's Log-Day 23
I was sitting in the same dim chamber just outside the stadium, waiting for the doors to open. Despite having regained my confidence after my first victory, I was still fidgety with anxiety, albeit not fearfully as I had been. I tried to piece together some semblance of a strategy as the minutes tediously passed, wondering which of the remaining Elite Four members I was going to face. The question that stood most prominently above all others in my mind was how the field would be altered.
'Rock and Fighting types… What do they benefit from? The battlefield in Brock's gym was covered with boulders, but there wasn't anything special about the arenas in the Dojo. What kind of design could Bruno have come up with that would be beneficial to both types? Or Agatha, with her Poison Pokemon? Koga's gym didn't have anything unusual about its field either. I guess using techniques to hide himself and his Pokemon from sight might have something to do with it… God, what if they're putting me up against Lance? DRAGON types? What kind of field would THAT be like?'
My thoughts were suddenly cut off as the doors finally opened, the overwhelming noise shattering any focus I might have had. Forcing the anxiety out of my mind, I stepped out onto the field, feeing the same eagerness that had gripped me the previous day take hold again. After a brief introduction from the announcer, a dauntingly bulky man leapt out from the opposite chamber, garbed only in torn white pants and a black belt.
"Fans, I present to you, the master of Rock and Fighting Pokemon, Bruno!"
'Not much of an introduction. I guess his skills are meant to speak for themselves.'
Then, the trainer boxes rose again, and the stadium rumbled as the field changed. I watched in amazement as dozens of jagged stone spires rose out of the ground, all adorned with lethally sharp edges. Only a modest portion in the center of the field was left clear, giving the arena the atmosphere of a gorge or a mountain. I unconsciously gulped, sweating with anticipation as the trainer boxes moved toward one another to meet at the center.
"I was told that you're a fierce contender. I admit, you do have the eyes of a warrior."
I looked up at Bruno's hardened expression, smirking a little as I shook his hand.
"I've been told that you're a trainer who lives for the thrill of an intense battle. I've gotta say, I'm eager to see what you can do."
Bruno grinned as the trainer boxes separated, and the crowd roared as the match began.
Bruno's first Pokemon was an Onix, and despite the obvious type advantage, I hesitated in reaching for Poseidon's Pokeball. My mind was racing, my eyes scanning the field thoroughly as I pondered who to counter with.
'Poseidon would give me a type advantage, but…'
I thought back to my match the previous day against Lorelei, how I had opened up with Dyno.
'Even if I do have the advantage, I'm betting they'll all have countermeasures in place like she did. That mistake almost got Dyno killed, I can't afford to take that risk again.'
I made my choice, calling out Tyrone to the surprise of the announcer, the crowd and even Bruno himself. They had all clearly been expecting me to start off with Poseidon, and many even expressed disappointment, figuring that Tyrone was a poor choice. Of course, Bruno knew better, and he didn't intend to pull any punches, making the first move.
"Onix, use Dig!"
The long snake Pokemon burrowed beneath the ground with alarming speed, reappearing beneath Tyrone within seconds.
"Tyrone, Double Team!"
Tyrone cackled as he began to create dozens of after-images of himself, thoroughly confusing Onix and allowing him to dodge the attack at the same time.
Twin beams of dark crimson energy shot out from Tyrone's eyes as Bruno called for a counterattack.
Onix roared as its tail smashed into the spires that covered the field, launching a barrage of boulders that collided with Tyrone's Night Shade, the two attacks canceling each other out. A large cloud appeared as a result of the debris left by the shattered boulders, and both Bruno and I ordered a follow up attack within the same instant.
"ONIX, SKULL BASH!"
Time seemed to stand still, the whole crowd was holding its breath as they waited for the dust cloud to clear. There was a loud crash, and the stadium shook as the debris cleared to reveal Onix smashed down into the floor of the battlefield. Tyrone was levitating high in the air, a cocky grin etched on his face as Onix pulled itself free, roaring. Tyrone simply stared intensely into his opponents eyes, and Onix fell back to the ground, defeated. The crowd was stunned, then went wild with cheers as Bruno recalled his Pokemon.
'Huh. That wasn't too bad. Impressive first win for Tyrone, too.'
I grinned up at Tyrone, my pride in his victory swiftly turning to shock, noticing blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. My eyes fell down to Bruno, I saw an eager grin on his face, and felt sweat develop on mine. I felt an excited smirk start to form as I recalled Tyrone, waiting for Bruno to make his next choice.
'Damn, this guy's good…'
The crowd cheered again as Bruno brought out Hitmonchan, a favorite amongst Fighting type trainers. I didn't hesitate, I knew instinctively who to bring out, the crowd roaring as Kratos appeared in the sky, perching atop one of the stone spires. Bruno folded his arms, and I could tell he was waiting for me to attack first.
"Kratos, Quick Attack!"
Kratos launched from his position, tearing across the field towards Hitmonchan at near sub-sonic speeds.
Just as Kratos was about to strike, Hitmonchan's right fist suddenly burst into flames and smashed into Kratos, leaving a severe burn mark. Bruno didn't let up, he called for a follow-up attack while Kratos was recovering from the blow.
Hitmonchan's left fist became shrouded with frost as it struck Kratos' right wing, freezing it entirely and leaving him flightless.
"Finish it off! Thunder Punch!"
"KRATOS, USE SUBSTITUTE, NOW!"
A mere instant before the final blow could be delivered, Kratos avoided the attack with Substitute, a technique which drains a portion of a Pokemon's energy and creates a physical replica of itself. The copy took the blow, but was immediately destroyed, which only gave Kratos a few brief moments to recover. I moved to recall him, but I froze when I saw the flare in his eyes, and I realized that his pride would be broken if I were to switch him out. I let out a sigh, but grinned as Bruno ordered a second assault.
"Hitmonchan, Fire Punch, once more!"
"Kratos, use the flame to melt the ice!"
Before Bruno could call off the attack, Kratos was freed, the ice encasing his wing shattered by Hitmonchan's attack.
"Fly, and use Agility!"
Taking to the sky, Kratos began building up momentum as he circled overhead, his speed increasing significantly with each passing second. Bruno ordered Hitmonchan to take a defensive stance as Kratos made a dive for his opponent, and I felt my fists clench, tensed as I waited for the right moment to strike.
As Hitmonchan's fist reared back and shot forward powerfully, I shouted out a counter mere milliseconds before it struck.
The blow was negated, the force reversed back to its origin, crashing down into Hitmonchan.
Kratos' body smashed into Hitmonchan's, the strength of the twin blows rocketing it into the stone spires. The fighting Pokemon fell, beaten, and a fresh uproar of cheers erupted as both Pokemon were recalled.
'A trainer who lives for the thrill of an intense battle… Guess that wasn't an exaggeration.'
Bruno called out a Hitmonlee, and I countered with Starscream, the noise of the audience having been tuned out as the match continued to intensify. Hitmonlee moved with incredible swiftness, its spring-like legs stretching as it leapt over the stone spires, nimbly jumping from one to the next. Starscream followed without any reluctance, diving down just above the deadly peaks, weaving his way around them as he kept pace with his opponent.
"Hitmonlee, Rolling Kick!"
The kicking Pokemon performed a flawless cartwheel, its coiled legs stretching out and rolling with its body, bringing its powerful feet down towards Starscream.
"Starscream, dodge and attack its legs with Wing Attack!"
Starscream strafed to the left and right to avoid both kicks before circling around and moving to attack Hitmonlee's outstretched limbs. The instant he was about to strike, Bruno ordered a counterattack.
Faster than my eyes could follow, Hitmonlee's legs snapped backward to its body, its feet crashing into Starscream and knocking him down toward the fatally sharp spikes below.
"STARSCREAM, WHIRLWIND, QUICKLY!"
Starscream kicked up a fierce gale of wind with his wings, negating the downward momentum and allowing him to avoid being impaled. I let out a sigh of relief as he flew back up to safety, though Bruno had no intention of allowing me even the briefest respite.
"Now, Mega Kick, attack the field!"
Hitmonlee let out a battle cry as it smashed its right foot squarely into one of the spires, shattering it to pieces and launching a barrage of boulders toward Starscream.
"HYPER BEAM, NOW!"
A huge beam of glowing energy shot out from Starscream's mouth, blasting away the onslaught of projectiles and striking Hitmonlee simultaneously. The kicking Pokemon was sent flying toward the walls of the arena as Bruno shouted out another command.
"Recover, and rebound!"
In an incredible display of agility, Hitmonlee flipped itself in midair, and kicked off the wall. Its legs stretched out to brace for impact with the opposite wall, ricocheting all around the arena flawlessly.
"Starscream, fly up over the field and use Supersonic to confuse Hitmonlee!"
Starscream narrowly avoided colliding with Hitmonlee as he took flight, circling around and emanating an overwhelming screech over the field. Despite the intensity of the sound waves, Hitmonlee was barely fazed, its focus on the battle too deeply ingrained in its mind to be disrupted.
"NOW, STRIKE! HI JUMP KICK!"
The fighting Pokemon smashed its feet against the wall of the arena, rocketing skyward towards Starscream.
"STARSCREAM, RAZOR WIND, NOW!"
Two seconds. Hitmonlee's right leg stretching out. Its limbs snapping back forcefully to deliver the blow. Starscream twisted around. Hitmonlee's attack was mere inches from striking its target. Starscream beat his wings rapidly, dozens of blades of wind assaulted his opponent. Hitmonlee was propelled downward powerfully by the slashing gales, smashing into the ground, unconscious and bleeding from several gashes. The crowd was silent for a few moments, briefly stunned as Bruno recalled Hitmonlee. However, their roars immediately resumed as he brought out a second, much larger Onix. I recalled Starscream, my hands sweating slightly as my mind raced.
'I can't hope for Tyrone's luck to last another round. But the field's set up like a death trap for anything that can't fly or isn't a Rock type. I can't risk putting Jenso out there, and Dyno's out of the question.'
I cursed silently before calling out Poseidon. I felt a chill run down my spine as Bruno merely smirked, the audience cheering as he gestured for me to attack first.
'Gotta be cautious here. One wrong move and Poseidon will get impaled. His size isn't going to help. I'll have to play along with whatever countermeasure Bruno has planned until I can think of a way around it…'
I tensed before shouting out to Poseidon.
Large spheres of liquid shot out of Poseidon's mouth. I felt my tension rise higher as Onix remained completely still. At the very instant the attack was about to strike, Bruno shouted out.
"Dodge the attack, and strike with Take Down!"
With unbelievable swiftness, the rock snake Pokemon ducked to the ground, avoiding Poseidon's attack and speeding towards its target.
Poseidon's own agility was significantly reduced on land, and he barely managed to avoid the assault.
"Onix, strike with Rock Slide!"
Onix didn't even attempt to lessen its momentum as it crashed into the jagged spires that adorned the field, twisting around and using its tail to launch the resulting debris hurling toward Poseidon.
"POSEIDON, SHATTER THE BOULDERS WITH HYDRO PUMP!"
A huge, powerful jet of water erupted from Poseidon's jaws, overpowering Onix' Rock Slide.
"Onix, burrow beneath the field!"
Before Poseidon's counterattack could even destroy the boulders that had been thrown at him, his opponent slithered underground, disappearing from sight.
From below the surface, Onix used its powerful body to shake entire field, disorienting Poseidon and causing an avalanche of boulders as the spires began to crumble. I shouted out to Poseidon, praying he could hear me over the deafening roar of the earth as it shook. The rumbling finally ceased, and after several minutes, the dust settled. Onix was back above the mountain of rubble, but I didn't see any sign of Poseidon. The crowd started buzzing, I felt my body shaking. Then, suddenly, a roar echoed from beneath the surface, and Poseidon erupted out from under the rubble. He was bleeding, cut and battered, but still able to fight, and I let myself breathe again. Bruno looked surprised, but his smirk didn't wane, instead he simply called for another attack.
"ONIX, FINISH IT! SKULL BASH!"
"Poseidon, don't try to avoid it! Just hold your ground!"
The entire crowd was shocked by my choice, but Poseidon didn't question it, he lowered his head, taking the full brunt of the attack as Onix' head collided with his. The momentum that Onix had built up was strong, pushing Poseidon up against the stadium walls.
"NOW, POSEIDON, USE BITE!"
Poseidon's jaws clamped down tightly onto Onix' neck, and I smirked as I saw realization appear on Bruno's face.
"ONIX, BACK OFF, QUICKLY!"
The giant rock snake tried to pull away, but Poseidon's jaws were latched on too tightly, he refused to move.
"Strike with your tail, Onix!"
"POSEIDON, USE BIND TO RESTRICT ITS MOVEMENTS!"
Poseidon's opponent tried to counterattack, but without the opportunity to build momentum, Poseidon was faster, wrapping his body around Onix.
"NOW, POUR IT ON! ALL OUT HYRDO PUMP!"
Poseidon released Onix from his jaws, rearing back and launching gallons of forceful water onto his opponent, blasting Onix across the field and smashing into the opposite wall of the stadium. When the water pressure finally lessened, it was over, the respite in tension only temporary as both Bruno and I recalled our Pokemon. I let out a sigh, allowing my nerves to relax a little. The crowd had been stunned into silence again, and even Bruno paused briefly before his eager expression returned as he called out his final Pokemon, Machamp. I grinned, making my choice without any hesitation, calling out Jenso just as the crowd's vigorous cheering resumed. Jenso landed down on the field, staring down his opponent.
'That Earthquake destroyed most of those gnarly spires. Jenso has more than enough room to maneuver.'
"Machamp, begin with Strength! Make the environment your weapon!"
The fighting Pokemon let out a battle cry, stabbing each of its four arms into the huge boulders that littered the field. It lifted the four boulders over its head with ease, leaping into the air. The superpower Pokemon swung its weapons downward as it fell toward Jenso.
"Jenso, fly under Machamp! Circle around behind it and use Flamethrower!"
Jenso roared as he unfolded his wings, flying low to the ground just under Machamp as two of the boulders shattered against the ground he had been standing on. But before he could circle back, Machamp landed down, swirling itself around and launching its two remaining projectiles one after the other. Jenso didn't have time to move, turning just as the first boulder smashed into his body, breaking apart on impact.
"Jenso! Dig into the ground with your claws! Try to stop the second one!"
Jenso growled, crashing his feet into the hard earth beneath him, catching the second boulder. Bruno didn't give me so much as a fraction of a second to hesitate, calling for another attack.
"Machamp, don't give it a chance to recover! Strike with a Mega Kick!"
Before Jenso could dispose of the extra weight, Machamp charged forward, attacking with a kick that knocked Jenso off his feet, crashing into the walls of the stadium and falling to the ground.
"Machamp, strike again, now with Karate Chop!"
The four armed Pokemon rushed toward Jenso as he struggled to push himself to his feet.
Jenso tried to rise over the ground, but he barely managed to hover before landing back down again. I felt myself tense and grow overwhelmed by a wave of fear as I noticed one of his wings had been damaged from the last attack. Jenso gritted his teeth, using his uninjured wing to clumsily move out of Machamp's path, only just avoiding another assault.
'Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT! I let my guard down! Bruno wasn't trying to get a type advantage by using the terrain, he was going for Jenso's wings!'
I kept shouting out to Jenso as Bruno continued a merciless onslaught of attacks, my mind racing.
'Without his wings, he loses his only advantage! His body isn't built for fast ground movement like Machamp's is!'
The crowd's cheering grew steadily louder as Jenso started tiring out, the distance between him and Machamp's fists growing shorter with each second that passed.
'He can't keep this up… If only he could somehow stop all of Machamp's attacks at once! He can't use a fire attack fast enough to keep from taking another hit… Wait…'
"JENSO, USE BITE, AND STOP IT'S ATTACKS WITH YOUR TAIL!"
A millisecond. Jenso's look of confusion, then realization and eager anxiety. Machamp didn't pause. Two fists… Jenso stopped with his hands. One… caught, entwined by his tail. The last one, meeting with his jaws, caught between his fangs. Machamp let out a surprised cry of pain, jerking its hand free of Jenso's mouth.
"NOW, DRAGON RAGE!"
Before Bruno or his Pokemon could react, the flamed tip of Jenso's tail crackled, growing as a swirling mass of powerful flames erupted from his mouth, the sheer force of the eruption pushing Machamp backward. The fighting Pokemon suffered severe burns, but didn't go down, clenching its fists again, staring Jenso down as the two combatants waited for another command.
'Bruno won't be unprepared a second time. Dyno might be able to overpower Machamp's speed, but…'
I only needed a brief glance into Jenso's eyes to know that Dyno wasn't an option.
"MACHAMP, PREPARE FOR THE FINAL STRIKE! USE FOCUS ENERGY!"
Machamp's upper arms gradually relaxed, their energy flowing through its body and gathering in its mid limbs.
"JENSO, SLASH ATTACK! NOW!"
Machamp didn't make any attempt to avoid the attack, sent crashing into the stone walls of the stadium.
'Crap… Bruno wouldn't have let that one hit unless he knew Machamp's technique was finished…'
"JENSO, YOU HAVE TO FLY! IT'S COMING FOR THE KILL!"
Jenso tried to lift himself off the ground, but his face contorted with excruciating pain whenever he tried to unfold his right wing. Machamp rocketed out toward Jenso, its lower arms outstretched. I shouted at Jenso, my hand instinctively moving to my waist as Bruno yelled his command.
I shouted out, a new plan actually forming in my head as it was being carried out. Machamp's attack was already underway, the four-armed Pokemon having taking control of Jenso's body, both of them rolling at high speeds across the field.
"JENSO, USE FIRE SPIN! TAKE BACK CONTROL FROM MACHAMP!"
The spinning opponents were suddenly engulfed by a swirling mass of fire, their course wavering and jagged as Jenso struggled to cancel out the force of the rotation.
'Submission is the most powerful technique of Fighting Pokemon. It's effectiveness is basically a matter of strength, concentration and balance.The user first has to be able to tackle the target, while at the same time getting a firm hold on the opponents arms and legs in such a way that the enemy can't break out of it. The momentum of the tackle then, in theory, causes the first of several vertical rotations. The momentum is then increased further by the user, shifting their weight and using their back muscles to maintain and amplify the rotation. Once it reaches a certain intensity, the user stops and uses the momentum of the opponent to launch them with insanely powerful force, only canceled out by the first object able to withstand it, almost guaranteeing a K.O. But only if the opponent isn't given a chance to counterattack during the rotation.'
The crowd was in a tense state of buzzing awe, all focused in on the rolling mass of flames as both combatants fought for control, its path set on smashing into the stadium walls. The momentum had reached a point too high for even Machamp to stop, and neither I nor Bruno could do anything else at that point. The fire was too strong, too thick to tell who was going to take the blow as they crashed, the impact shaking the floor of the arena, a cloud of smoke and debris erupting as the flames were extinguished all at once. The stadium went silent, everyone waiting to see who had been victorious. The tedious seconds ticked by, until the screaming silence was shattered by Jenso's triumphant roar as he blasted back the smoke with his left wing, Machamp laying battered and beaten behind him. The audience exploded with cheers as Bruno recalled his Pokemon, a subtle, yet satisfied smile etched on his face as I recalled Jenso.
"THE WINNER! CHALLENGER BRUCE OF PALLET!"
"You are indeed a fierce trainer, Bruce. It has been far too long since I have enjoyed a match so thoroughly."
At Bruno's request, I had met up with him at one of his training spots later that day. Despite the burdens I had weighing down on me, standing there on that mountainside, able to see such an enormous expanse of the Kanto region, I felt contented.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Only if you answer mine first."
I raised an eyebrow, wondering what he could possibly be referring to.
"You're Gyarados is one of the few Pokemon that have been able to endure Onix' Earthquake. But I simply cannot figure how you did so."
I smiled lightly, still taking in the landscape.
"Reflect. I knew that it would double his endurance and the protective capabilities of his body."
Bruno's expression shifted to mirror mine, my mind refocusing on my own inquiry.
"How did you manage to injure Tyrone with an attack like Skull Bash? Ghost Pokemon are supposed to be immune to physical attacks."
"They are, for the most part. But although Professors call them Gas Pokemon, at the very center of their form, there's a vulnerable solid point."
I was stunned as Bruno laughed heartily before turning his back to the view and began walking back toward the city.
"Use that information well, Bruce. Fight hard tomorrow, and no matter how your challenge ends, I will be eager to have a rematch when we meet again."
"Count on it, Bruno."
The days battle has been won, and without any loss of life. As grateful as I am for that, as I close this log, I can't shake this ominous sense of dread, even knowing the protection Alakazam provides, even knowing what it is that's plaguing my mind...
Respect all, fear none.
MYEH, MUDDERFUGGERS, MYEH!!!
Say 'No' to Isms and Antis.
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