The Special Battler
Target Pokemon: Meditite x2
Target Difficulty: Medium x2
Target Length: 20k - 40k
Actual Length: Approx 33k
Sasha fell to her knees, panting heavily. She had tired herself out trying to learn the newest move her class was being taught - the Bullet Punch. She surreptitiously took a look around at the rest of the class, which was made up of eight Meditite and two Metang. Sasha herself was a Meditite. She stood just over half a metre tall and weighed slightly over ten kilograms. Like all Meditite, she was a blue humanoid with gray feet and a gray helmet-like head. She was one of the nine Meditite currently living on Mental Mountain.
Mental Mountain was the highest mountain for miles around, in the Northern part of the Sinnoh continent. The snow was almost constantly falling and tall trees cut visibility. Because of these reasons (and others), there were no natural paths leading to the mountain and no settlements nearby. Mental Mountain was a safe haven for all Psychic type Pokemon, from Abra to Chimecho and Girafarig to Xatu. The old taught the young in informal schools so as to pass down knowledge to the next generation. Mental Mountain was safe because of its remote location. In fact, in Sasha's six years of life she had only seen two humans. One had made the difficult trek so her Mr Mime could live out the rest of his life in peace, and the other had arrived unannounced on a big orange dragon and captured Metalade the unofficial leader of Mental Mountain before departing just as swiftly. The current leader of Mental Mountain was Sennjoir, the oldest resident Gardevoir.
Today Sasha was trying to master the Bullet Punch technique. Her class was being instructed in this by the renowned Eyepatch, a Metagross whose name was derived from the eyepatch he wore over his left eye. He watched the group of eleven flail at the wooden stumps they were supposed to be punching. He made a coughing sound, requesting everyone's attention. Everyone knew this meant he would demonstrate the move again, so they stopped punching and watched Eyepatch intently. Eyepatch turned to an unbroken stump and closed his eyes in concentration. Suddenly, he blurred forwards a few metres in a silvery flash. He passed the stump, which exploded into splinters as he did so.
The class gasped in appreciation, and then turned back to their stumps. So far no one had managed to perform the Bullet Punch. Sasha sighed. She knew that she wouldn't be able to perform the Bullet Punch any time soon, unlike the other Meditite. Sasha was unique amongst the Meditite in that her battle style was very childlike. When Meditite are young, their physical strength and psychic abilities are roughly equal in power. However, as they age, their strength and physical prowess increase whereas their psychic talents do not. By now, Sasha's Pure Power should be increasing her strength, but it was not. If anything, it was her psychic attacks that had gotten stronger over time. She was often teased and bullied because of this, and the only reason she stayed on Mental Mountain was because it was unsafe for her to leave.
She stepped towards her log, trying to immerse herself in the feeling of infinite speed, like Eyepatch had instructed her. Each time, she would feel the speed racing inside her, but when she reached for it she would fall over and it would slip out of her grasp. Doggedly, she continued practicing, even after both Metang and one of the other Meditite had successfully shattered their stumps with well-placed Bullet Punches. Finally, Sasha managed to grab hold of the silver feeling and mentally force it into her right fist. She blurred forward, just like Eyepatch, only to trip over a rock and smack her head into her stump.
The other Meditite giggled at Sasha's misfortune. Sasha looked up, blushing. She saw Eyepatch watching her disdainfully from the front of the class.
"I suppose that shall do for today," he said in his gravelly voice, sounding vaguely offended. It was almost he felt Sasha's embarrassment was a blemish on his teaching record. He slowly walked away from the class, and the two Metang hurried after him, studiously ignoring Sasha. Sasha heard the other Meditite leave the training grounds without her, like usual. She collapsed onto the ground and quietly her tears leaked onto the frosty ground.
After all the tears had left her, Sasha got up off the ground and dusted herself off. She didn't feel like foraging for food, so she decided to head back to the hut she had fashioned for herself that lay just out of the community gathering area. On the path that led to her hut she was accosted by three of the other Meditite - the small gang that regularly made life uncomfortable for her.
The group of three consisted of two lackeys and the leader. The two grunts were named Crusher and Puncher, and they were the largest Meditite on the mountain. They had a well-founded reputation for stupidity and battlelust. The third was the gang's leader, Lash. Lash was widely regarded amongst Mental Mountain's community as a prodigy. He could outrun the Zubat that inhabited the lower parts of the mountain and he had been known to win arm wrestles with the fully-evolved Medicham. He also picked up new battle techniques easily - it had been Lash who had perfected Bullet Punch earlier. The group of three stepped into Sasha's path and she knew she was in trouble.
"How are you going, Sasha? Finished crying yet?" Lash taunted her. Crusher and Puncher both chuckled at the jab.
"I wasn't crying," Sasha replied automatically, unconsciously rubbing at her cheeks to remove the tear blotches.
"Well, if you weren't, you should have been," Lash said, smirking. He stepped forward and kneed Sasha in the gut, dropping her to her knees. Sasha groaned and struggled back up to her feet. She stared at Lash impassively, not letting her fear or hatred show on her face. Lash swore and threw a punch at her. She caught it with her right hand.
"Well, lookie here," Lash chuckled, pleased that he had forced Sasha into action. "She's got some fight in her."
He kneed her in-between her legs and her hands instinctively moved downwards. Lash took advantage of this to punch her twice in her chest. The first punch was coated in fire, and the second in ice. The pair of vicious attacks knocked her onto her back. Lash started kicking her violently, sending stabbing pains shooting through her ribs.
Sasha couldn't just sit and take it. Even though she was weak and was almost certainly going to be beaten, she had to fight back. She coated herself with psychic energy, performing the Bide maneuver. Most Meditite felt that the Bide maneuver was beneath them - to perform the Bide maneuver, one surrounded oneself with psychic energy that fed on the damage sustained to the user. Once the psychic energy was charged, it dealt massive damage to the person that had hurt the user.
The psychic energy took on a blue hue as it wrapped around Sasha's body. The only problem with the Bide maneuver was that the psychic energy did not negate the damage. Sasha felt every kick keenly, and once she almost cried out in pain. But she refused to give Lash the satisfaction. When she felt that her coat was sufficiently charged, she opened her eyes to look at it to make sure. Sure enough, the coat was a pure green now instead of the light blue it started as. Sasha stood up in a quick movement, and as she did so the power of Bide was unleashed. Crusher and Puncher were knocked off their feet by the green shockwave. Lash went further. He flew through the air, smashing into a tree. The collision knocked the snow out of the tree, and shortly after hitting the ground he was covered by a huge mound of white powder. Crusher and Puncher quickly rushed over to help dig their leader out. When he emerged he was grimacing and rubbing the back of his head. When he looked at his hand, his somewhat bored expression instantly changed into a grimace of rage. He held his hand palm out to Sasha so she could see what he was angry about. In the centre of his hand was a small patch of sticky red blood.
"You made me bleed," Lash said in a deceptively quiet voice. Crusher and Puncher both took a step backwards, knowing what was coming. Lash's entire right arm began letting off purple smoke, and a purple glow began emanating from his hand and forearm. Moving quickly, he lashed forward, striking Sasha on her face. She reeled backwards, but quickly moved into a defensive posture, anticipating a follow-up blow.
There was none. Lash simply stood there, watching her intently as his inner rage showed through his eyes. Sasha decided that the best thing to do was to attack, so she moved forward to do so.
Her entire body wobbled. She looked down at her legs in confusion, and took another step forward. This time, she collapsed onto her right knee. To her astonishment, she coughed, and a pair of purple bubbles floated out of her mouth. She collapsed onto her side in a coughing fit, and more bubbles sprayed out. Lash walked over to her.
"Just lay still," he told her, still talking quietly, "the poison will finish you off soon."
He kicked her in the side one last time, then walked off in the direction of the community area. Crusher and Puncher also kicked her once each, and then ran to catch up with their leader.
The dumb-butts' kicks hurt more, Sasha thought weakly, almost glad that she had been fighting Lash instead of one of those two. She had another extended coughing fit, and after this one purple liquid began dripping out of her mouth. She lay in the snow, appreciating the feeling of cold that was swamping her body. This wasn't the way she had wanted to go out, Sasha reflected, but in the end it was as good as any. She closed her eyes, and felt herself drift into unconsciousness.
When Sasha opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was a knobbly white leg. The first thing she tasted was a strange sodden lump in her mouth that tasted foul. She tried to retch it out, but a hand gently held her mouth shut, stopping her from doing so.
"Don't do that, the berry is clearing your system of the poison," a soft voice said.
Sasha opened her eyes further and looked upwards. After she managed to focus her eyes, she recognized the jolly red-and-white form of a Mr Mime. He was kneeling over her, massaging her jaws so that the berry was destroyed and it slipped down the back of her throat. She sat up and coughed violently, but no bubbles or sludge leaked from her mouth.
"There you go," the Mr Mime said kindly.
"Thanks," Sasha said shortly. She took stock of her rescuer. She knew by the body shape that her rescuer was male. Furthermore, he seemed very old as his ears drooped and his fingers were ragged. Suddenly, the light of realization clicked on in Sasha's mind.
"You're that Pokemon that was brought here by a human, aren't you?" she asked.
The Mr Mime smiled sadly. "Indeed I am," he replied, gazing off into the distance. After a few seconds he refocused on Sasha. "So what happened?" he asked Sasha.
"I don't want to talk about it," Sasha said bitterly, starting to walk away from her rescuer. To her annoyance, the Mr Mime followed her on her way back to her hut.
"Maybe I can help you," he said.
Sasha snorted. "I doubt it," she replied witheringly.
"Well, you won't know until you tell me," the Mr Mime pointed out.
Sasha thought about this. Her rescuer had a point. Besides, it's not like she had anything to lose. Her life wasn't getting any better so she might as well try out all reasonable alternatives. She sat down on a rock, and the Mr Mime sat down next to her. She explained all about her lack of physical strength and the constant bullying. She talked about the Bullet Punch class earlier and how Lash had nearly killed her. As she told all this to her confidant, tears began leaking out of her eyes again, and before she knew it she was sobbing quietly. The Mr Mime gently took hold of her shaking shoulders and waited for her to finish. When she had cried herself out, she looked up at the Mr Mime. He was looking wistfully off into the distance. He noticed that she was looking up at him, and so he smiled down at her.
"It looks like I will have to put my plans on hold," the Mr Mime. He helped Sasha to her feet and began leading her up the mountain, stopping only to pick up a cloth bundle that was laying on the ground. Sasha wiped the last few tears away from her eyes.
"By the way, my name is Sasha," she said.
"Zeke," the Mr Mime replied.
Zeke brought Sasha to his hut, which was much higher up on the mountain than anywhere she had been before. Zeke's hut was similar to her own - built low in the ground underneath a tree. The hut was half lean-to and half a hole in the ground. Zeke settled himself on a sun-warmed rock and sighed gratefully as the heat alleviated the aches of his old bones. Sasha sat on the ground in front of him.
"So how are you going to help me?" she asked Zeke impatiently.
Zeke sighed. His new companion didn't have much patience, it seemed. "Well, you told me your strength was your psychic abilities, did you not?" he asked. "Logic dictates that instead of wasting time trying to change what you are good at, we work with your existing skills."
"That makes no sense!" Sasha shouted, jumping to her feet. "No matter how much anyone trains, psychic abilities will never be stronger than pure physical strength!" As she said this, she was flashing back to Confusion classes, frequently attended by young Meditite and Ralts. Ralts had stronger psychic abilities than Meditite, but they had no physical strength whatsoever. In sparring matches, the Meditite would always win. In fact, these victories were one of the reasons Meditite valued strength over intelligence.
Zeke listened to Sasha's outburst calmly. "Is that so?" he asked her. "In that case, you wouldn't have any problem getting me to the ground."
"Certainly not," Sasha scoffed. Despite her confidence, she was surprised and a little worried when Zeke got to his feet, groaning as he rubbed the small of his back.
"All right then, come at me," Zeke instructed. He put both his hands forward, palms out as if he was pushing at a rock. Sasha didn't really want to hurt the old Pokemon, so she stepped forward, raising a fist half-heartedly. But before she could take a second step, Zeke shoved his right hand forward. Sasha suddenly found herself spinning around on one foot. She stomped her raised foot into the ground, but Zeke shoved his left hand forward, knocking her onto her backside using only the power of his mind. Sasha got up and lunged towards Zeke, only to be diverted past him by an invisible shove at her shoulders. She fell into a particularly deep patch of snow and came up spitting slush.
"Currently I am only using telekinesis," Zeke explained. "Almost all Psychic types have access to this ability. In fact, you yourself should be able to harness this power."
Sasha nodded in spite of herself. Telekinesis was one of the few psychic abilities that Meditite could use. However, she had never heard of it being used in such a way as Zeke had just used it. Despite this, she still couldn't believe that psychic abilities could be of any use in a fight. Zeke was watching her carefully, and saw the disbelief in her eyes.
"But you might be thinking of this as a fluke," he said, and while Sasha didn't nod Zeke knew she agreed. He shrugged. "Well, come at me again. I promise I won't use any telekinetic abilities."
Sasha ran forward, pulling back her left fist. Zeke assumed the strange hands-out stance but Sasha wasn't worried. If he wasn't going to use telekinesis then she had nothing to worry about.
She was wrong. Just before she came within striking distance of Zeke, a blue pane of energy winked into existence just in front of Zeke's palms. Sasha crashed into it. It was as solid as a cliff face. She got up and punched it a couple times, but Zeke showed no sign of strain. She tried circling around it, but Zeke moved his hands and the shield moved with them.
"The Reflect technique is excellent for defense," Zeke said, "but it has other uses as well. The ways in which you can use it are limited only by your imagination, but I will demonstrate a common one now."
He moved his arms downward, pushing the Reflect into the ground. He then put his hands together, and blue glow began emanating out from between his fingers. Before Sasha could think to move around the shield, Zeke opened his hands. A small blue orb floated in the air in front of him.
"Reflects can be used to hide while you charge strong attacks," Zeke explained. He then pointed a finger at Sasha and the blue orb split up into six smaller spheres. The glowing blue spheres zipped over and around the Reflect and they started swirling around Sasha. She dodged and weaves, trying to avoid the buzzing orbs, but she could only avoid about half of their dive-bombs. When one scraped along her skin, she felt a brief pins-and-needles sensation where it passed. She instinctively knew that the orbs could be doing serious damage to her of Zeke wished it.
Zeke watched her dance for a minute before curling his hands into fists and thrusting them towards the ground. The Reflect and the orbs both disintegrated into blue shards that flew up into the sky before disappearing. Sasha sat heavily down onto the ground, ignoring the cold snow as she tried to catch her breath.
"Alright, so physical strength might not always win out over mental abilities," she huffed, "so what does that have to do with you and me?"
Zeke looked out from the mountain again, staring over the vast expanse of land below. He sighed, and then looked at Sasha.
"If you wish it, I can teach you some of my techniques," Zeke offrered quietly. "I see in you the possibility of an apt pupil."
Sasha was shocked. No one had ever complimented her, let alone said she had potential. She looked at the old Mr Mime with newfound respect.
"I would be honoured to learn from you," she said earnestly.
Zeke nodded. He pulled a small slip of paper out of the cloth bundle and stared at it for half a minute before nodding again and placing back in the bundle. He put the bundle in his hut and then turned to Sasha.
"Training begins now," he said, leading her into the woods.
They arrived in a small clearing deep in the forest. Sasha sat down cross-legged on the ground like she would in a regular class, but Zeke shook his head.
"I'm going to be helping you perform these techniques, not watching you struggle with them," he said, "now stand up and we'll get to work."
Sasha stood up and moved over to where Zeke was standing - the single solitary patch of sunshine in the clearing. The trees were so tall and their foliage so wide that there was only one ray of bright sunshine in the clearing. Zeke smiled at Sasha and then launched into the lesson.
"I think the first thing we'll work with is an offensive ability," he mused. "You remember the little blue orbs I used in our little scuffle?"
Sasha shuddered as she nodded. How could she forget?
"That was a technique called Hidden Power. Most Pokemon can potentially learn it, but Meditite have the innate skill to do so naturally. I'm guessing the reason you haven't learned it yet is you were concentrating on physical attacks?"
Sasha nodded again. She had sometimes felt like there was more to her psychic powers, but she had avoided using them as much as possible so she didn't single herself out.
"Well, that is the first move I want you to practice. You will have to find how to do it on your own - I do not learn the skill naturally," Zeke said, in a manner that said there would be more. "Now, it is always good to bring some defense in with the attack, so I will teach you the Reflect. I assume you are skilled in the use of Bide?"
"I am," Sasha said, momentarily flashing back to her fight with Lash.
"Well, to perform the Reflect you must use the same type of energy that the Bide uses, except instead of covering yourself with the energy you form a flat plane. Once the plane has formed, you surround it with telekinetic force so that it does not deform and you can move it around freely," Zeke explained. He put out one hand and Sasha saw how strands of blue energy twined out from his hand, interlocking and finally forming a flat plane as the strands fused together. Zeke then moved his other hand forward, and it was glowing blue. The Reflect moved with his hand as he twisted it, flapped it, and moved it forward and back. Finally, Zeke closed his hand into a fist and the Reflect shattered into a thousand pieces which flew up into the sky, just like before.
Sasha was amazed at the ease with which Zeke used his psychic powers. But Zeke wasn't done yet. He looked at Sasha with a deadly serious look in his eyes.
"This technique you can also practice on your own, as it is simply a combination of two techniques you already know, but I am going to teach you one that you must not practice without me present," Zeke said quietly, never looking away from Sasha's eyes. "Do you promise this?"
Sasha swallowed the lump that had risen in her throat. "I promise," she said in a voice that was as quiet as Zeke's.
"Very well," Zeke said a bit more loudly, rubbing the small of his back where his age-pains had started to flare up again. "This technique is called the Shadow Ball. I learned it while training in a tower far from here. It is a Ghost type move."
Sasha gasped. Ghost type Pokemon had a natural advantage over Psychic types. It was unheard of for a Psychic Pokemon to possess a Ghost typed attack. She couldn't even imagine a Psychic type being on good enough terms with a Ghost type to learn moves from it. Apparently the outside world was very different to Mental Mountain.
"As you have guessed, this technique will give you a strong advantage over most of the other Pokemon on this mountain," Zeke said, "but it may be dangerous to you as well. That is why you must not attempt to use it without me around - if the attack corrupts and backfires on you, you may be in a life-threatening situation."
Sasha didn't doubt it. Zeke motioned for her to take a few steps backwards, and she did so without hesitation. Once he saw she was a safe distance away, Zeke put both hands out in front of his, one above the other, palms facing the opposite hand. A small pinprick of darkness appeared exactly in-between his hands, and it grew slowly until it was the size of his head. The Shadow Ball was largely black, but wisps of purple and dark blue floated around inside as well. The sphere reminded Sasha of starless nights spent in her hut, staying partially awake in case something unfriendly paid her a visit.
Zeke turned and threw the ball overarm at a tree. The ball splattered on the tree's trunk like it was made of goo. Despite this, the goo kept moving forward, pushing the tree over. Sasha gasped. The trees out here were ancient, thousands of years old. Only the most powerful Pokemon could remove them.
"Never forget that nature doesn't have elemental types," Zeke said, "and that we can rarely predict what will happen in these circumstances. But really, all you need to know is that the Shadow Ball is a last resort, for when all other hopes have failed."
Sasha nodded, and Zeke beckoned her over and began to tutor her in the Shadow Ball's use.
One Week Later
Sasha was training her Hidden Power technique outside Zeke's hut. Eight little balls of glowing energy flew around her as she danced a war pattern, one she had designed herself. As she flowed from pose to pose, the little orbs moved fluidly around her, never touching her but always staying close. Her orbs were brown in colour instead of Zeke's blue - Zeke had told her that each Hidden Power had a different typing. Zeke's Hidden Power was Water typed, where her own was Ground typed.
Sasha ended the war dance with a feral yell, and the brown orbs combined into one and exploded into tiny little pieces which flowed outwards around her. She smiled, and turned around to see Zeke watching her. He was carrying the linen bundle and was avoiding her eyes.
"What's the matter?" Sasha asked, walking over to him.
"I have to leave," Zeke said, still not looking at her.
Sasha's jaw dropped. "What do you mean? Has something happened? Can I help?"
Zeke stared out off the mountain. Finally, he looked at her. "I want to go looking for my Trainer," he said, pulling out a piece of paper and handing it to Sasha. She looked at it. The picture was of a human female in front of a huge lake. She had long red hair and a green bathing suit, and was smiling at the photographer. Sasha handed the photo back, still confused.
"But didn't she leave you here because you were dying?" she asked.
"It is true, I was," Zeke admitted. "But Sennjoir has been working with me to heal my ailment all these years and she has finally chased the sickness out of me. Furthermore, I need to go soon or the melting snow will stop me from leaving the mountain."
Zeke then looked away from Sasha. "I would like you to come with me," he said quietly.
Sasha physically recoiled. She had lived her entire life on the mountain. She couldn't remember her parents, but everyone and everything she knew was here. She simply couldn't leave.
"I'm sorry, but I can't," she said quietly.
A single tear leaked out of Zeke's left eye where Sasha couldn't see it. Zeke nodded, and offered a hand to Sasha. "Well then, farewell," he said in a falsely upbeat tone, "and may we meet again."
Sasha took the hand and shook it. Zeke then turned and walked away slowly, heading for the only pass down out of the mountain. Sasha turned to look at the newly abandoned hut. She could continue to live here if she wished, but she knew she couldn't without Zeke. So she turned in the opposite direction to Zeke and began the trek back to her hut near the community area.
An hour later she found herself walking along the trail slowly to her hut, questioning her choice. She had turned down the chance to leave all her bullies behind and travel the world with her only friend. Why had she done this?
Sasha looked inside herself, and she felt she had made the right choice. There was something unfinished here. She was pondering the feeling when Lash stepped out in front of her, leading all the other Meditite and a few other young Psychic Pokemon as well. Suddenly Sasha knew what is was. She had to deal with Lash before she could leave Mental Mountain behind.
"We thought you had crawled off to die," Lash sneered. "We were just about to raid your stuff when we saw you coming."
"You can have it all," Sasha said, and she meant it. There was nothing in there she wanted any more. She wanted to finish her business here and go catch up with Zeke.
"Damn right we can, because there's nothing you can do to stop us," Lash taunted.
Sasha sunk into her fighting stance, and she spat on the ground in front of Lash. Crusher and Puncher took a step forward, but Lash threw out his arm stopping them.
"The weakling needs a thrashing, and I shall administer it," he announced. "Make sure no one interferes."
Crusher and Puncher stepped backwards, clearing room. All the other Pokemon did likewise. Lash settled into his fighting stance as well. The fight of Sasha's life had begun.
Lash grinned as little flames flared into existence around his wrists. The flames grew larger until both his fists were completely encased in a pair of writhing fireballs. He ran towards Sasha, keeping both hands backwards so he could strike with maximum force when he needed to.
Sasha pulled both her hands back as well, except she stood still. When Lash was ten steps away from her, she threw her left hand forward. It was as if she kicked Lash in the chest. He staggered backwards from the force of her telekinetic attack. Before he could regain his balance, Sasha threw forward her right hand, sending him flying backwards. Despite the surprise attack Lash threw himself into a back-flip, landing on all fours. The snow on the ground quickly extinguished the fireballs.
"You weakling, relying on psychic powers," he spat at her.
Sasha smiled back. "It's working isn't it?" she asked.
Lash roared and ran forward twice as fast. He swept his left leg up, trying for a flying kick. It was too fast to avoid, so Sasha caught his foot with her left hand. Even as his weight pushed her onto the ground she pushed her right hand forward. The telekinetic blast pushed Lash off of her and sent him sprawling in the snow. Sasha jumped to her feet, and she began preparing a Reflect. By the time Lash had got to his feet, Sasha had formed a small blue pane of energy over her head.
When Lash moved forward, she did too. She swung her arms at him like she would if she was using a weapon, transferring the telekinesis holding the Reflect from hand to hand. The result was a deadly dancing sword, slicing through the air in front of her. Lash had to weave from side to side to avoid Sasha's improvised weapon. However, Sasha soon mistimed a swing, and Lash moved to the side and struck a blow at her side. Sasha was pushed through the air, and the interruption made her lose focus. As she hit the ground the Reflect faded into nothingness.
"All your tricks amount to nothing,” Lash said, wiping some grime of his face as he walked over to Sasha. Sasha quickly got to her feet and began performing her war dance.
“Look, she’s going to dance her way out!” Lash laughed, and the other Pokemon laughed with him. They all stopped when she spread her arms wide over her head, and fifteen glowing brown orbs winked into existence, humming a deadly song. Just like Zeke had to her, Sasha pointed a finger at Lash. The orbs flew towards Lash, darting around him and managing to score light hits over his body. Realizing he was in danger, he coated both of his entire arms with ice, starting from the shoulder down. He used the ice to deflect and weaken the Hidden Power attack. Sasha realized she was getting nowhere. Her telekinetic attacks weren’t particularly effective against Lash, and he could deflect her Hidden Power with his Ice Punch.
She needed to use the Shadow Ball, but she promised Zeke she wouldn’t unless he was around. She closed her eyes in frustration, trying to figure out what to do. Lash was slowly getting closer, fending off the humming balls with his ice-covered arms. She remembered Zeke rescuing her, and taking her under his wing. And that was when she realised a simple truth. Zeke was always with her. He had affected her life in such a positive and profound way that she would never be without him again. He was only missing physically, not spiritually.
Smiling with confidence, Sasha created a large Reflect and shoved it into the ground, which kept it upright. She then sat down on the ground and started forming a Shadow Ball. It was harder for her than it was for Zeke, but sure enough, the pinprick of pure darkness appeared in-between her hands and it started to grow.
Meanwhile, Lash had formed an edge on his ice-arms so that he was now effectively swinging giant scythes. He smashed through the Hidden Power spheres one by one, until there were none left and the only thing standing between him and victory was the glowing blue shield Sasha had stuck in the ground. He walked confidently over and began hammering on the shield. As he did so, he stared at Sasha. Her head was bent over her hands. Lash began to laugh. The weakling had no hope of winning, so she had used the last of her strength to create a temporary shield so she might enjoy the sweet taste of life a little longer. Well, her time was about to run out.
With one last well-aimed blow, Lash’s ice-scythes broke through the Reflect, shattering it into tiny pieces. Lash stood over his demoralised foe.
“Any last words?” he asked her, raising his right arm. Sasha looked up, and he saw determination in her eyes. He also saw the glowing black ball in her lap, and his jaw began to drop.
“Not really,” Sasha replied, and she flung the Shadow Ball up towards Lash with both arms. The ball clipped him under the chin and burst. The goo covered his entire head, and it knocked him spiraling through the air. He performed two corkscrews and one back-flip before crashing into a tree behind the crowd. His head steamed, but he wasn't screaming in pain because he was unconscious, either from the collision with the tree or because of the raw power of the Shadow Ball itself.
Sasha walked over to Lash, and shoved his head into a pile of snow so that it stopped steaming. Then, with one final glance at the silent crowd, she turned and ran back the way she came. If she ran as fast as she could she could catch Zeke before he left the mountain.