Chapter 2-7: Pest Control
Do you hate Mondays?
Well, as far as Monday was concerned at Rukh's University, things were actually okay. Well, for me, at least. Biology went well, and things were at long last under control in Art.
But Thatcher was really down in the latter. In his exact words, "I just...you know, I don't know...if Ms. Odell...I mean, I don't mean any offense to her, but...it's just. Well...I don't know if she can teach us anything...we might not already...know." A harsh honesty that surprised even Reika. I was able to help him through it like I was able to help him on Saturday, but it was still a cause for concern. The source for my other friend was the morning class. Reika was having problems, but was far less receptive to aid.
So far, Tuesday's been all right as well. I actually learned a bit in Tactics, though I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to apply the knowledge. Phoebe was with her sister the whole time, which led to a bit of a spat when the goons made a futile effort to separate the two. Though I was surrounded by stressed individuals in Socials, Aporon's getting me off the hook to the week's worth of work in addition to what I can assume were a few additional complaints made things trudge along smoothly.
Due to my friends' punishment from Mrs. Shugiri, they have to spend two hours after class in detention. The hours without them have been dull. I hung out with Teiko and Teikō yesterday, but due to their going on a date today, that was out of the picture. And...well. I guess it's about to get interesting, because here comes the preppy boy in his preppy suit.
"Good afternoon, Fritz Westmyn!" he greeted with a curt nod. I initially thought to pretend he wasn't there. But I guess that'd be more fun with someone like Edgar. Still, I don't have to like his presence.
"What do you want?" I asked with lassitude.
"I have been told you are to come with me."
"Prephead!" I repeated. It doesn't matter what his name is. "I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Edgar before. You have no power over me."
"Hrmph!" He snorted, haughtily and smugly. "That is where I am far better prepared than my associates." He reached into the suit, producing a neatly folded scrap of paper and handing it to me. I snatched it from him and looked it over.
"A written statement?" That's Aporon's writing to be sure. He couldn't have falsified this, not with his inability to so much as print.
"Cronus is away at a movie with Edgar and Lawrence. I chose to pass," he explained, "As I have no time for such trite matters. In his stead, I will be training you for today." The prep continued before I could begin to express my displeasure, "There is no need to concern yourself, however. All you will need to do is observe."
I suppose there isn't anything better to do. And that is just sad. May as well at least humor him. "Observe what?"
He motioned. "Follow."
We began to trek parallel to the perimeter of the main building. I will say this about this prep at least. Despite his association with Aporon, he is cordial compared to that wrathful fratboy and that perverted nerd. "The other reason why I chose to do this is that I wished to discuss something with you."
I remained silent, not particularly caring for whatever it could be, but not standing in opposition to hearing it either. And not just due to the fact that he would likely proceed regardless of any protest or disinterest.
"I heard about the events surrounding your battle with Aporon," he plainly stated. "You were soundly defeated in the end. But I thought you would wish to be aware. It's not just anyone who can perform on that level against him."
A confidence boost? Well, I mean. I had confidence in myself to begin with. At least, before that battle. Now that he brings it up to me though, I guess it is a feat that I lasted as long as I did. I guess I am feeling a little better about that now. David went on to say, "Only one other individual has been able to frustrate him as you did, drawing out the darker side of his temper."
"Huh. That's something. Who's the other person?"
He didn't verbally reply. Instead, my answer was provided as we made it to the field behind the four-story structure.
"Oh. I should've guessed."
Now I feel stupid. How could it be anyone but her? Who our Tactics teacher Mr. Baiaz dubbed the most callous student in the school. Her limpid boredom is clear as the sky.
The golden mammal by her side, as bright as a flash yet with eyes as black as night, looks like it had just been through an industrial blowdryer. It has to be...the spikiest Pokemon I have ever seen that does not remind me of a porcupine. This thing wears a razor-sharp collar, its ears are barbed on the tips, and its back end has a row of light-tinted cuspidate blades jutting out - most of which are pointed diagonally up and back, but one on either side are almost horizontal. At least its paws don't have apparent claws.
The battle it'd just been through had been one-sided and particularly brutal. So what about its hapless foe? Two biological ribbons with long streamers are adorning on this quadruped - one as a bow-tie, and one as a flower in the hair. Even if said 'hair' is basically just two tufts on either side of its head. The two hollow hoops that are probably its ears stand tall even as their owner lay flat. I can't tell you much about its eyes for their being shut, or its body color, as it has been considerably singed. Its owner is kneeling in distress.
"The battlegrounds? Don't tell me you want me to-"
"I have said it before. All you need to do is observe as I battle Muriel Palmoni." The prep looked over to the punk-like girl and crossed his arms accusingly. "And what have you been doing?"
"You were taking too long. I was growing impatient," she said, not showing the slightest remorse over the curbstomping she'd performed. With a gesture to her addled victim, she added, "And it was him who challenged me, with his worthless species of Pokemon."
"While you will get no argument from me," my tutor-for-the-day began as he produced a Great Ball in his left hand, "It is my duty as an associate of Cronus Aporon to protect the honor you wish to destroy."
A ball of byzantium fluff burst onto the scene as he cracked opened the ball. It's only a couple feet tall; its droopy antennae providing as much to its height as the lack of arms or legs. Despite their nonappearance, it does have small claws and feet. Its rose-tinted irises are blatantly compounded.
David scoffed at my questioning tone. "This is one of my strongest, if not, outright my strongest Pokemon," mocking my doubt towards his decision. Presenting the bug as though it were on a pedestal, he claimed, "Many people look at it and question why I do not have it evolve, but few realize that there are advantages."
I know that. I have a few Pokemon like that, including Tangela. It's the third-strongest of all the Pokemon I've obtained in Japan, and certainly has the capacity to evolve. But if it were to do so, it would be far too heavy to perform acrobatic stunts. I'd have to completely rethink the strategy to employ when it battles, and in the end the transformation ultimately wouldn't be worth it.
Muriel was adamant. "Use whichever Pokemon you want," she droned while recalling her own. She placed the ball in her black bag and retrieved a different one. "It won't make a difference."
A tall longneck materialized. On four thick legs, this verdant reptile with a stocky tail has two prominent features on its body. The first would be its neckring, comprised of giant orange, green, and white petals in a star shape. Second are the two leaves on its forehead, scimitar-like and proclaiming they're way cooler than goofy limp antennae could ever hope to be.
"Her Meganium. This is not good," David stated, for once showing emotion that was free of snobbishness. His bravado faltered a bit, and a serious expression was contorting.
"That's a Grass type..." And he has a Pokemon that's both Bug and Poison. I'll take his word on his Venonat's power, but given his response towards this plant that doesn't look threatening, there's got to be something up. "I'm assuming this is trouble on another level."
The prep adjusted his tie. "Like you would not believe, Fritz Westmyn." What could be going through his mind right now? He gathered a bit of focus back, asking his opponent, "So, are you ready to begin?"
Muriel shook her head. "You two," she hollered to two male students watching from just outside the fencing. "Get over here."
The one on the left calmly walked in, a confident smirk ornamenting his face. The one on the right was a lot more robotic in his obedience and expression. As I stood by the prep, so did they stand by Muriel. Are they her apprentices?
"I want you two taking notes during this. "
I blinked. I've seen some odd combinations, even been a part of them, but these two are something else. "Phoebe and I may have to face those two?" Actually, where is Phoebe, anyway?
"Correct. To give credit where it is due, she made a wise decision in Varick McGrody. A vassal who only obeys befits that woman." Brown boots, camouflage pants, and a green vest are his choice of attire. Kind of fitting in an indescribable manner, like his industrial gray gaze and buzz cut. "Although, the logic behind Korum Anaberal is far more ambiguous." Somewhat more interesting, this individual wears high-class clothing comparable to David's. The rare times he's not in a suit like he is now, anyway. Korum sports obsessively groomed blonde hair with 'bigshot' written all over it.
David returned attention to Muriel. "So, are you prepared now?"
She flipped her hair at its streaks. "Meganium. Grab it."
Right out of the gate right off the bat? David, as if he were expecting this, ordered, "Venonat, deflect the vines away with Psywave!"
A pair of green tentacles emerged from beneath the flower on the sauropod's neck. Meanwhile, the bug began to emit odd psionic ripples from its body. Meganium's efforts to wrap its appendages around its adversary were in vain - it was unable to push the vines through the rippling barricade.
"Good. Now Venonat-"
Reeling its vines back and pulling out two more, Muriel's Pokemon began to glow with a mysterious energy. It then held the tendrils out as though it were marking the corners of a rectangle. With a quick wipe, the lime-green barrier came into reality. All this happened in three seconds - the same amount of time Venonat needed to think and fire a Signal Beam from its eyes. The Light Screen gleamed as the laser refracted through it, Meganium not even flinching from what did hit it.
"It's an obvious trap," I pointed out. I didn't expect this from her, but I can see where it's headed. "If you get in close, she's going to try something."
"Astute," David relented, "But I am not concerned. Venonat! Use Reflect. Then move in with Bug Bite!"
Using a similar technique of gathering energy - albeit via the eyes - the fluffball was able to create a barricade of its own. This one rounded and a blue shift. Then, what the hell? This thing's fast!
Muriel remained calm. "Snare it with Grass Knot."
Perfectly-timed and perfectly-aimed, the turf beneath their foe came to life. Venonat was instantly halted by this attack, binding its feet so tight that it didn't fall over. It fired a Psybeam on impulse, which hardly scratched its adversary due to the defensive shield. With a bored signal from Muriel, a silver sphere of light formed in Meganium's maw. The beige energy core within pulsed, right before the orb solidified and flew off. It impacted the trapped Venonat violently, shattering into many soil-like fragments.
I remarked, "That was Ancientpower."
"A difficult set of circumstances," David noted. "What would you do in this situation?"
"Hmm." Put on the spot. Let's see now. "I'd counter or shoot down her attacks, and force her to come in close. Or at least buy some time."
"A fair enough concept, but I had something else in mind. Venonat. Psywave across the ground."
By tilting just a little, it was able to carry out the order. The Grass Knot broke apart, and Venonat was able to escape a second blast of the primeval assault. But it was instantly forced to put its acquired freedom to the test as Muriel placed her left hand on her hip.
"Let's give them a barrage of Energy Balls."
Unlike Ina's Bellossom from last week, Muriel has clearly trained her Meganium for this sort of thing. Like a semi-automatic rifle, the photosynthetic globes emerged one after another. Venonat's dodging skills appear quite superb, but this erratic flurry is pushing its limits.
Muriel look over her left shoulder and nodded. "Nature Power."
From the earth-no, the goddamn fence?!?!! A burst of electricity just rocketed out of the green chain-link, sideswiping Venonat and sending it tumbling to the ground!
David scowled at her. "I am supposing you were busy in the duration I was away. Your Jolteon's battle served a dual purpose."
Muriel remained still, neither confirming or denying these allegations. As Venonat managed to its feet, she nodded to her Pokemon. "Grab it."
Out came the vines again. David and Venonat stood strong. "Charge in with Zen Headbutt!" Using its stunning dexterity, the fluffball charged forth. The first set of vines missed, causing Muriel to command it to try it with another set. Three more emerged, two of which went to the sides and one of which was poised for a head-on collision with its target. At the last moment, Venonat sidestepped to avoid it. The vine on the right tried to close in, but a quick somersault deflected it. It's on a breakway!!
"Disable it! You know what to do after you hit!"
Venonat's eyes flashed strangely. The dinosaur found itself unable to complete the move it was preparing to use only moments earlier. The bug continued forth unimpeded and with a mighty leap, smashed its skull into Meganium, sending the sauropod staggering back. From one eye emerged a Signal Beam. From another, a Psybeam. The two mingled together into a cyclonic laser, which pierced the Light Screen without fuss.
Muriel was a little taken aback at first over this development, but smirked devilishly after the shock wore off. I can't tell if that's some form of enjoyment, or if she'll be enjoying what is to follow. "Ancientpower, close-range. Then Body Slam." Guess it was the latter, unless it was both. With David's command, Venonat hopped to the left to avoid the blast - it was only nicked by the explosion - and then to the right to escape its opponent attempting to smother it.
"Stun Spore, and fall back!" Venonat loosed orange powder into the prone Meganium's face and scurried away as fast as it could.
"You battled well Muriel," David started with confidence as his Pokemon stood before him, "But cunning intellect has triumphed over cunning power today! Brains over brawn." She rolled her eyes, ignoring her writhing Pokemon, seemingly uncaring of either the result or at least the premature proclamation. "Now, Venonat! Use Poison Fang!"
Its two teeth radiating a violet hue, Venonat bounded in, abruptly stopping just before it got there.
"What?" David tilted his head, examining his Pokemon's feet. Yet he did not find the signs of a Grass Knot there. "What in the world did you do just now?"
An unimpressed Muriel crossed her arms. "Since you like sayings. He who hesitates is lost." With a snap of her fingers, the third go at grabbing Venonat proved to be the charm. Only seconds after did the bug shake off whatever made it halt, and realize the severity of what happened.
"Safeguard first. Then reel it in."
Meganium made a spiraling veil with its remaining vines. Carrying out the second order, it slammed its foe against the ground, and then its own body when slingshotting the bug in. Summarily, it squeezed the Pokemon intensely against itself. The fluffball struggled furiously to break free. And then its nose twitched. Gradually, it calmed down. As if it were losing its will to fight. Meganium let go, and an oddly content Venonat simply flopped to the grass below.
"Now," Muriel said, "Give up. Or else."
"Hmph!" David is rising in defiance. "There will be no yielding from me. If we are going down, we will be going down with honor."
"I thought so. I only thought to ask if this were the day you'd consider your Pokemon." She turned to her own, and gave a spiteful order: "Crush it."
A thick brown root or tree branch came crashing out from underground. Covered in thorns, it wrapped around the prone Venonat. As David watched on, another burst forth, and another, and another, eventually completely enveloping their target. The absolutely vicious Frenzy Plant rose upwards, shaking and flailing violently. Venonat squealed in pain for only a second, and it didn't take sight to know that its going silent was a sign of fainting. Finally, as if discarding litter, the roots or branches hurled the unconscious Pokemon at its trainer's feet.
David knelt down and cradled the almost-mangled ball in his arms. "Venonat, you fought valiantly. Rest well for now."
"You got what you deserved," Muriel taunted as she approached with malice. She got right up in David's face, and he momentarily appeared a little intimidated by her harrowing presence. "You're lucky I didn't do worse to your little piece of trash for what you put my sister through."
The prep regained his composure, staring back in agitation. "Do not act as though full responsibility is pegged upon me."
Muriel didn't miss a beat. "And do not think your martyring yourself in vain means this is over."
"I have defeated you once before, Muriel. Do not forget."
"And lost seventeen times. Lightning doesn't strike twice." David winced at the stinging words. Muriel narrowed her eyes. "Your integrity got you nowhere. Your honor only made matters worse. And Aporon's four Ps? When he gets back from hiding, tell him to add a fifth: pathetic."
"Grrr...take that back!"
"That's low!" Now the crowd was getting involved. Really...are they blind to, or just blindly accepting of what they're doing to Phoebe and me? Or could there be something more at work? Another person unleashed their full venom on the punk girl, "I hate you, Muriel!"
"I hate you too," she commented on the side, as if stating it and not saying it. "And speaking of Aporon. I hope for his sake he's prepared for what's to come."
Just noticed that her two trainees are sizing me up. Well, at least one of them is. Varick McGrody was watching on readily, yet Korum Anaberal is clearly scrutinizing me. I feel like a bacteria under a microscope, and considering the type of person Muriel is, I may have as much worth to her too.
With a gesture to me, Muriel stated, "I'd see how good this chump is compared to my own, but we have places to be." Partially confirming my suspicions. In any case, with this being said, Muriel, Varick, and Korum stormed off through the crowd, who hastily fell over themselves parting to accommodate their passing through.
I turned to face the mourning prep. "So...what was the point of this?" I am wondering. I'm not complaining, and while this is way closer to the things I was expecting from training, I am wondering.
David simply told me, "Besides the discussion, I thought it would be wise to show you precisely who we are dealing with in Muriel. It is a shame I was unable to defeat her, however." He grimaced a little. "I was so close as well. Do you have any idea what she could have done at the end?"
"You mean why Venonat stopped?" That was kind of unusual, but there has to be some sort of explanation. There has to be some factor, internal or otherwise, that made it halt. "I'd say it could have been Sweet Scent, but I didn't smell anything. Did you?"
"No. Perhaps it was a concentrated burst. But I am uncertain," he sighed. Maybe...? Who can say if it was an outside factor, though? "I suppose I will have to rethink my strategy for next time."
"Well, isn't she the only person here who's managed to beat-"
God damn it, will people stop running up to me from behind? I have to give the prep credit for actually coming into my view first, at least. But seriously, really? Who is it this time?
"Um?" A valid question, actually. "Who are you?"
"We need you to help us!" the short young man cried, antsiness telling me he had been waiting for a while. He's clad in like these work overalls that have green stains, and...pah, who cares?
Turning away now. "Ask someone else."
"No, you don't understand!" He's insistent, running to remain my field of vision. A little delirious, even. "We can't find Cronus or Elyna anywhere!"
"While I cannot speak for the latter's absence," the prep explained, his patience in elaborating to people who ask seemingly without limit, "Cronus is seeing a movie."
"Oh, I see..." relented the dark-haired boy, momentarily forgetting his issue. Momentarily. He quickly realized again and span back to me. Flaunting the most imploring body language short of praying on the knees, the guy beseeched me, "But you need to come to the greenhouse! Please!"
"Just ask a teacher."
"It's...it's kind of embarrassing."
I turned to David, stymied. "He's not going to go away, is he?" I got no reply from him. Thanks a lot. With a reluctant sigh, I said, "Fine, fine. Lead the way."
"Thank you, thank you!" He bowed to me and hustled off.
"Really, what's going on here?" I rasped to the prep as we tried to keep up. He didn't so much as bat an eye at this, so he probably knows what's up. So is he going to give me the silent treatment, or actually be helpful?
"The students of this school look up to Cronus Aporon," he told me. Guess he's helping. "If you were not aware or conveniently forgot about it." Albeit in his typical tone. "It is often him, followed by Elyna Dragomir, that they turn to for assistance with issues they cannot turn to anyone else to."
The guy who had requested assistance mercifully noticed our pace, slowing his own so that we could catch up. Before we got in earshot, I argued to David, "But I'm not on good terms with either of them. Especially Cronus."
"And that is reason for many of them hating you," he immediately followed up. "However, they do trust and respect you. Which is more than can be said about individuals who shall not be named."
I see David's still a little salty after that loss. But this is something I'm not used to at all. I don't know how to handle this, so I guess I'll just be rolling with it. Now I have to wonder, though. What could be troubling at a greenhouse that would be embarrassing?
My latest expedition involving following an individual or individuals somewhere took me to the corner of the school's boundaries. Parallel to the auditorium, the greenhouse of Rukh's is about twice its size and has a number of plots of loamy soil around it. Various plants, fruits, vegetables, and berry crops are being grown, fully exposed to the elements. Unlike the other building tucked away, there is no winding path leading to it. Other than the tall barricade and aforementioned dirt, only well-groomed grass surrounds this glass construct.
Stepping inside, the interior has traces of disorder. Although the exposed earth permits for growing crops within, many of the plants here are being cultivated in containers. Some dangle from above, some rest on the ground, and in spite of what I stated there are some in the earth. Yet the majority of these are on the rows of tables consuming roughly a third of the area; altogether it could feel akin to a flea market. That sells only plants. All that being said, it feels like less of a jungle than...well, those activists' place. And it's less forced to boot.
"So what did you call me here for, again?" I asked. I had completely forgotten while engrossed in the sight. Hold on, did they even tell me?
A mustached blonde student gave me the briefing. "There's some Pokemon that've been coming in here the past few days."
The boy who led me here confirmed. "We don't know what they are. Or where they are!"
"They're here now though..." mused the first one in paranoia. "We know they are!"
Really? Invading Pokemon? They're more than likely coming in here to feast, yet for a class which teaches gardening, I would like to believe keeping them away would be among the lessons taught. Or could it be something more? No, I doubt it. I turned to the prep. "This is completely asinine."
"It is simply part of the job," he stated with an unyielding face. He then rolled his eyes and went on to concede my point, "Regretfully."
"Ugh." Well, here's to four more years of this. "May as well get to work. But first..."
For caution's sake, I retrieved a Poke Ball from my pocket and cast it onto the ground. A shaking cerulean mass of climbing plants burst out with a squeak. The eyes of the round creature scoured what was before it.
"It's so pretty!"
"Is that the same one as before?!"
"Of course it is, you idiot!!"
My Tangela has never been much of a showoff, which you wouldn't think so given its preferred battling style. In fact, it initially seemed a little confounded at the scenario it had been placed in. Therefore, I explained that I needed it out during my search, just to be sure.
To an audience of around 20-30 individuals, David and I set about the task. Only three others aided us, one of whom seemed reluctant. For fright, sloth, or possibly fascination, the rest merely observed.
After checking the plotters for about three minutes, something occurred to me. If these Pokemon are here as advertised, they're probably both A) camouflaged and B) in a thicker concentration of greenery than this. Surveying the situation more. Beyond the tables and besides the tiny crops, there are a few larger shrubs being grown. If I were a Pokemon, I'd more than likely be concealing myself...somewhere like in those bushes next to that stubby tree!!
I made a beeline for the spot. The crowd followed to see what I was up to. Sure enough, after a few seconds of observation, the bush rustled slightly. Tangela raised a pair of vines. With a nod of confirmation, the blue spaghetti opened the shrubs to see what was within. A few gasps echoed out at this bold approach.
And we found the culprits, making them breath a sigh of relief. All of them green and yellow. Three are these little lumpy worms with big black eyes, They have a V-shaped crest on their foreheads, four lumpy pods, and a tail piece just shy of being a barb. The outlier has six striped legs, two white fangs, and a dull horn. It sort of looks like it has a smile on its back, though not to downplay the critter's true beam.
"Three Caterpies and a Spinarak," David remarked.
"Aww, they're kinda cute," I couldn't help but gush as one of the caterpillars began sniffing my hand. When it rubbed up against me, I was convinced they posed no threat. I couldn't help but tease my unnerved peers a little, "You're really not afraid of a couple little bugs, are you?"
A girl spoke up. "What we're really worried about how they got in!"
The Spinarak slowly scaled the tree, as if to show off a bit. Spiders are usually carnivorous, so it's pretty neat to see them interacting with fellow bugs. Speaking of which, the other two seemed uninterested or timid.
How they got in...well, I doubt they'd get in through the ceiling even with the possibility of a loose panel. But with all the dirt here-
It just grabbed my face and latched onto it for no reason!! What's gotten into it?!! Instinct is to pry the Pokemon off, but it's holding on tight. When Tangela let go, it was of its own accord. As I shook off the shock...
...what the hell?! Why is everyone passed out on the ground?!?!! Tangela ignored my grumblings and bewilderment, looking around in attempt to track a target high above. Yet what it eventually locked on to - all three of them - pranced with tiny nubs along the ground. The color of bricks and marigold, with shadowy opaque wings and alien feelers.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the terrified Caterpies scurrying into a burrow in the ground. That must be how they made it in, and has to be how these things got here!
I know Kricketunes live in grassy plains, marshes, and forests. The blades they wield are better suited for creating lacerations rather than carving through flesh, and as such they prefer to slash rather than stab. They're strictly herbivores. What else? I know they can't use powder, so there has to be something else lurking around. But let's take care of these guys first!
"Tangela, Vine Whip on all of them!"
A quick sweep of my Pokemon's vines sent the trio of mustached insects to the ground. As they got up, one squealed irritably, another appeared to be pumping itself up, and the third charged in. The Kricketune Slashed at the stunned-from-the-sound Tangela, who shook off the blow and slammed its body into it. Right as the second of the group crossed its blades to use X-Scissor and advanced. My Pokemon shoved upwards to avoid, and on my urging, grabbed onto one of the flowerpots dangling from above.
"Okay," I said, backing away as it pulled itself on top, "Drop some Stun Spore!"
Tangela shook some dust out of its body. A blue and white blur-wait, what?!?!! I ran out and caught my Pokemon as it fell, also serving to get further from the descending dust. What just knocked it down? Need to focus. And great, the bugs scattered to avoid the cloud, and one's coming this way.
I quickly moved my leg to avoid getting skin and/or clothing hacked open. I jumped back, pointed Tangela right at the cricket, and called for a Leech Seed. A few green buds launched out, bursting into stalks that tethered around their victim. The noodly mess quickly brought a vine down on the trapped Kricketune's head, rendering it unconscious. A second one didn't fare much better - a turn from me and blast of Sleep Powder from Tangela, and it was lights out. Two down. Two to go.
I placed Tangela down to duel with the adversary we can see. As for the other...it's clearly roaming the air, but we can't bring it down if we don't know where it is. While I was thinking about that, Tangela bound the blades of the remaining Kricketune to prevent an X-Scissor...and from out of nowhere came a blast of String Shot around its feet!! Tangela tried to wiggle away, but I'd imagine with the thread, it's like trying to wade through a sticky swamp. Where could it have come from?
"Tangela, block the attack!"
I pointed where I think the sound came from, and was relieved that my ears served me well. A beam of piercing celestial energy was wafting directly for Tangela. That could've been very bad - Star Ray (aka Speedstar) is a piercing move like Dragon Rage, just with star-shaped rays instead of majestic blue breath - yet this crisis was averted by picking up the bound Pokemon and interposing it between them. And that gave away its position. I traced a path through the air and brought my sight straight to the source.
Is that...a giant butterfly? It looks like it. The white I saw is its wings, though now that I look at it there's quite a bit of black and orange there too. It has eyes, claws, and feet that are basically the same as Venonat's, so it would surprise me if this indigo-bodied insect isn't its evolution.
Dropping the KO'd Kricketune, Tangela managed to roll and free itself from the trap. After a moment's thought, it absorbed sunlight filtering in through the dome. The butterfly, on seeing its foe begin to shine, flew up and...seems to have disappeared? A quick scour revealed it didn't speed off, and it clearly wasn't any form of teleportation. Tangela again grabbed onto a hanging pot, this time, to survey. It squealed and pointed a vine. My Pokemon had spotted it, on the opposite end of the glass? However the hell it got there, it flew off out of sight.
Well, that was intense. But I guess it's gone. And the rest are all taken care of. Very, very weird.
I brought Tangela back. There's not much I can do about the sleeping individuals. They'll be out for another five minutes to half hour, depending on how much of it they inhaled, their metabolism, and other miscellaneous factors. I could aid them, see if a few are awake but groggy, but it doesn't matter. May as well-um?
The door's not opening. Locked? Stuck? I'm guessing locked, but there doesn't seem to unlock it from the inside without a key. There could be a trick I don't know about, but I'm not seeing anything. Everyone else is asleep because of the butterfly's powder and being weak-minded, and I have no way to burrow my way out in any reasonable amount of time, so I guess I'm in here until someone with a key comes to.
Or maybe I can get help from outside! There's a young man in a white lab coat out there. I'd ask why he's wearing it despite not being in class, but now is not the time to question fashion sense!
"Hello?" I asked loudly after I walked up to the side of the dome.
Well, that's how you usually open a conversation. What a...plain tone to return salutations, though. He won't even make eye contact. Odd guy. But similarly, this is not the time to question social skills!
"Did you know that Bug Pokemon are the most feared Pokemon worldwide? One might expect it to be Ghost. Or perhaps Dragon, or Dark, or what other countries have dubbed Organic." Okay? Those last ones aren't widely known in Japan, and in fact, technically don't exist here. I guess he must've witnessed the events. And just watched. The knowledgeable young man gazed over the grounds sorrowfully. "It is May. The month of year when Bug Pokemon tend to get a little antsy."
"That puts some things in perspective, but could you help a guy out here? The door's locked, and I'm stuck inside."
"I would, but I am a little busy right now." He adjusted his round glasses and gave the greenhouse a swift kick. It didn't so much as pang. "The dome is shatterproof, regardless."
"That's just wonderful."
"Indeed it is," he chuckled while walking away. "Indeed it is."