A Winter’s Unrest
(I hope I did this right)
Goal: Geodude & Snorunt
Category: Simple (Geodude) & Medium (Snorunt)
Recommended Characters: 5,000 – 10,000 (Geodude), 10,000 – 20,000 (Snorunt)
Actually: Around 17,829 (Without Counting Spaces) or 21,844 (Counting Spaces)
The snow gently fell around as he waited, watching for his quarry, his target. It was the first time Ran had stepped outside his town since he received his Pawniard; the first time he had seen a wild Pokémon outside of his books and research. He had waited a year longer than most to start his journey, though he was enamored by everything he had heard, he wanted to determine his own path before seeking his destiny out in the world. He almost felt out of place being a year behind on his Pokémon journey from everyone else.
It had taken him most of the morning to set up the blind, and had been napping ever since he finished, waiting for the time to come. It was late afternoon when the sounds of the day woke him from his slumber. Fully awake he released Red Queen from her pokéball to sit with him up in the trees as they waited for the sun to set.
As he watched from his comfortable position up in the tree he saw others pass by, fighting and catching any wild Pokémon that they came across, as if they had no concern to how many they had or what they caught. Ran was a little more concerned than they, he knew exactly what he wanted his first catch to be, and he would wait in his blind until he saw it. According to his books it had habitats near where he now rested, the Pokémon known as Snorunt.
He chuckled for a moment as he watched a trainer with a Phanpy try some rather imaginative methods at fighting in order to deal with the apparent weakness against the Snover they were fighting. Ran nearly applauded when the trainer managed to defeat and capture the frosted tree Pokémon, though his own thoughts kept him from doing so. As the trainer wandered off he wondered why the trainer would’ve chosen such an uphill battle
Beside him his faithful Pawniard, Red Queen, the light of the setting sun glinting of her bladed body. As day turned to darkness, his intensity peaked; it was what he had been waiting for. While a few may be seen in the day, most text referred to Snorunt as primarily nocturnal. Lying down on top of the blind, his eye level just past the edge of the wood, he scanned the icy road below him, waiting for signs of even one of the ice Pokémon he sought.
As the minutes dragged on the cold air of the night nipping at his extremities, Ran thought only of his prey. It seemed like an eternity before he saw it, but it wasn’t exactly what he sought. Rather than the yellow he had been expecting, it was a pale blue, but it was a Snorunt. As if on cue, as soon as Ran saw the off colored Ice Pokémon, Red Queen was already in the air, her blades glinting in the pale moonlight as it propelled itself towards the ground.
“Metal Claw.” The low whisper barely audible to Pawniard, on cue the sharp blade Pokémon raced towards their revealed target, blades scraping along the ground as she approached.
“Pawn!” her voice rang out as she made contact with the Snorunt in the grass, or so they thought. The small Pokémon had protected itself from their attack as it smirked, after image clones of itself surrounding Ran’s partner.
“Clever…” Ran brushed off his shoulder as he landed on the ground, “But not clever enough. Metal Sound!” he gave the command as he covered his ears. As the sound echoed, they both saw it, the real Snorunt cringing from the sound. “Iron Head!” despite covering his ears, the sound still echoed in his brain, almost as painful as it was for the wild Pokémon.
As the Snorunt reeled in pain, Red Queen launched herself headfirst into the real one, knocking it backwards. “Sno… runt…” the pale blue Pokémon attempted to shrug off the Steel Pokémon’s attack, though it had done damage. As it readied itself Ran saw its teeth begin to coat with a layer of ice, large fangs growing over them.
“Red Queen, Iron Defense!” he yelled out as the Snorunt’s fangs came down on her. Thankfully he had acted quick enough, the ice breaking over the hardened body of his Pawniard.
Despite its shortcomings, the crafty little wild Pokémon was still unwilling to give up. Across from them both, the Snorunt took a deep breath and blew as hard as it could, a blizzard blinding both Ran and Red Queen as it vanished into the snow. “It really is clever isn’t it…?” Ran scratched his head as he walked up to Red Queen, “…But as I said before, not clever enough.” He smiled as he saw the tracks in the snow leading up the hill road. “Let’s go…” he motioned to his partner Pokémon as they followed the trail the wild Pokémon had left.
The trail twisted and turned up the mountain, the little blue Pokémon had been rather quick on its feet, racing up the hill as fast as it could. Eventually they reached the edge of the prints, leading into a cave at the top. As they entered Ran picked up a stick from the ground, ripping a piece from his clothing to wrap around the top and coating it lightly with a bit of the sap from nearby trees. With a spark thanks to Red Queen, the improved torch was lit and the pair entered the cave, moving slowly so as not to get lost.
As they reached the first corner Ran motioned to his partner to mark the floor, showing the way they came. Step by step, they made their way through the caves, trying their best not to wake the other wild Pokémon, the last thing they needed was a swarm of Zubat to chase them out of the cave when they were so close to their quarry. He had seen documentary after documentary on how they could swarm in a flock causing travelers to lose their footing in caves and injure themselves. In particular he remembered one documentary that showed Zubat swarming a trainer within Mt. Moon. It was an eerie sight he wished he had never seen.
Ran couldn’t help but notice the snaking paths in the cave, they weren’t a natural formation in his mind, they seemed almost as if they had been formed by a Pokémon digging throughout the ground creating an underground network, he shuddered to imagine trying to find his way back without the marks his partner had been leaving behind them. As they turned a blind corner, Pawniard dashed before Ran stopping him as he almost stepped over a natural edge, a separation between a higher and lower part of the cave.
“Thanks…” Ran heaved a sigh of relief as he lowered his foot back to the ground, glad he didn’t go over the cliff in this cave. As he calmed his heart down he heard a familiar sound coming from the lower section, the sound of Snorunt. With low visibility, the lack of natural light made seeing them without going below nearly impossible.
The gap wasn’t that far, but with it being all rock, it was dangerous. There had to be a way back though, as the Snorunt had gotten in and out. Mustering his courage, Ran began to climb down, following a path being made by Red Queen who used her blades to create foot and hand holds for her partner as she climbed down the wall. The rock wall was cold and damp, still warmer than the cold of the frost filled night outside, yet it didn’t stop a cold chill from snaking up his spine.
It took longer than he expected to climb down the short distance without dropping the torch, trying his best to keep the flame from going out. In the dark cave it was his only lifeline. The floor of the cave was slippery, almost as if there had been water poured over it, he had to walk slowly to keep from falling and injuring himself this deep in the cavern.
“Sno!” the cry of the Snorunt sounded as if it was in pain, assailed by some unknown combatant. The two followed the source of the voice, the torch illuminating the truth for them. In the distance they saw several Snorunt injured on the ground, the pale blue one standing, amongst several others between them and their assailants, their visage known to all Pokémon trainers.
“Geo!” one of the assailants yelled as a stone shot forth at one of the Snorunt, knocking it backwards into the other injured snow hat Pokémon. It tried to stumble back up, but the hit had critically injured it as it fell back to the ground.
“Intercede, Metal Claw…” Ran was pissed, far beyond what he normally felt. He couldn’t allow this to continue, it was pointless. Red Queen shot forward knocking the leader of the Geodude backwards as she drew a line in the floor, her partner following right behind.
As he stood between the Snorunt and the Geodude, Ran could now see more of what was going on between the two groups of Pokémon, and even why the Snorunt he followed had been outside. In the back of a small crevice a Glalie and Geodude protected a clutch of eggs, about twelve from what he could see. On the ground before the pair was a leaf with berries, ones found in the area where he had attacked the wild Snorunt.
“Idiot…” Ran mumbled under his breath as he turned towards the Geodude, the leader of which now looking rather livid, “I should have thought this out better,” he sighed as he looked the rock Pokémon in the eyes. “Listen here, I challenge you. If I win, leave them alone!” Ran could only hope the Pokémon understood him.
“Geo… geo dude!” the wild Pokémon appeared to nod towards the trainer as Pawniard stood ready to fight. “GEODUDE!” the Geodude leader slammed its fists into the ground sending a shockwave through the ground, the Magnitude of which rushed forward at both Red Queen and Ran.
“Faint Attack…” Ran gave the order as he leaped to the side, his partner feinting one direction and vanishing from the Geodude’s sight. “Metal Claw!” He smiled as first the Faint Attack made contact with the rock Pokémon followed by a strike with both of the Pawniard’s blades. The Geodude reeled from the pain as it turned to face its attacker, falling painfully to the ground.
Their leader seemingly unconscious the other Geodude began smashing their bodies into the ground, the earth shaking beneath them. “Pawniard!” Ran yelled as his partner rushed to his side as the ceiling began to collapse, the two of them rushing to get clear of the falling rocks, ensuring the safety of the wild Pokémon at the same time. Ran barely had the time to pull the leader of the Geodude to safety as a large boulder fell where it lay.
In what seemed like seconds the two of them, alongside the wild Snorunt, Glalie, and two wild Geodude had been sealed in a rocky tomb. The worst of it was, in the confusion, Ran had dropped his torch the falling rocks removing their only source of light. It took several minutes for their eyes to get used to the near pitch darkness, and it was clear they were trapped in that crevice. Ran’s journey had ended even before it really began.
Time passed slowly trapped within the cave-in, Ran could scarcely tell how long it had been since the rocks fell. Minutes seemed to drag on like hours, hours like days; it seemed an eternity passed as he huddled in the corner pondering his own uselessness trying to determine whether or not he had wasted his extra year. As his mind slipped into depression he scarcely noticed Red Queen talking with the wild Snorunt or the glances she made towards him.
Eventually the Geodude leader awoke searching the area vigorously; attempting to orient itself from the blow it had taken. Upon sighting Ran and Pawniard, the rock Pokémon clenched its fist as it yelled at them, “Geo, Geodude, Geo!” it was angry, though he couldn’t understand the Pokémon’s words, and he understood the sentiment.
“You lost… I lost… there is no winner here,” Ran lowered his eyes as he tried to convey his thoughts and feelings to the wild Pokémon. “Here at our end, trapped where none will survive.” He truly felt his life was over. Was this what he had spent an extra year studying for, to wind up trapped before his journey even began?
“Geodude!” the wild Pokémon punched him, though softer than what one would expect from a creature made of rock, “Geodude geo Geodude geo!” it was agitated, a look on its face as though it expected more from him, “Geo Geodude!” the rock Pokémon turned away looking towards the stone pile that held them in the crevice.
“Pawniard…” Red Queen had a similar look of disappointment on her face, “Pawniard pawn…” she pointed towards the rock pile, and towards something Ran hadn’t noticed before, a glimmer of light barely peeking through the top of the collapsed rock. Did it lead outside? Ran’s heart leapt nearly out of his chest as his confidence began to return, his eyes darting along the rock pile, noting every connection, every partition, memorizing the patterns to determine how to pull down their tomb.
“Thanks... Both of you…” Ran looked at both Red Queen and the wild Geodude’s leader, “Let’s get out of here!” A wild grin spanned across his face as the wild Pokémon rushed to his side, “Snorunt! Freeze the base! There and there!” he pointed to locations at the bottom of the rock pile. Nodding a sign of acceptance the pale blue Snorunt lead the others in freezing the points the trainer had pointed to. “Right, Geodude, break holes there, there and there!” he ordered, making the points as obvious as he could for the wild Pokémon.
“Geo…” the Geodude leader readied its fist, “Dude!” it yelled as the Pokémon’s fist slammed into each of the points with all its strength. Though it did no significant damage to the rock wall, with each hit it could feel the rocks behind shift.
“Everyone give Red Queen a boost!” He pointed at the hole in the ceiling as the Geodude, Snorunt, and Glalie helped Red Queen reach the small hole “Iron Head!” his voice echoed loud enough to reverberate in the walls as the Pawniard slammed it’s head into the ceiling causing the rock pile to crumble. “Stop any debris from hitting us, break it apart before it hits!” Ran watched as the wild Pokémon followed his command, doing their best to protect each other.
The wall came down in what seemed an instant, and Ran saw what lay on the other side. Many of the wild Geodude, either from the cave in or the debris from breaking it apart, lay injured on the cave floor. Ran knew he couldn’t help that many injured Geodude and Snorunt in the cave; he had to get them help. “Red Queen, let’s go… we need to get them some help.”
“Geo...” the Geodude leader stood in their way, blocking their path, “Geodude Geo…” it motioned as if it wanted to continue their earlier fight.
“Pawniard paw!” Red Queen shook her head pointing to its fallen comrades, attempting to get the stubborn Pokémon to understand “Paw Pawniard paw!” The Geodude looked around noticing the injured Pokémon.
“Geodude Geo!” it shook its head not wanting to give up the fight.
“Come with us,” Ran held out his hand to the wild Geodude, “We can continue once we have gotten both your friends and the Snorunt some help.”
“Geo…” it nodded begrudgingly.
“Sno!” the pale blue Snorunt ran up beside them, Ran could tell it wanted to follow as well, to ensure its friends received aid as well.
“You can come as well…” Ran smiled as the four of them headed out the exit created by the cave-in and subsequent removal.
As quickly as he could Ran rushed down the mountain, followed by his partner Red Queen as well as the wild Pokémon Geodude and the pale blue Snorunt. He had to hurry; many of the wild Pokémon were badly injured, some possibly even fatally. Hopefully there wouldn’t be another cave in, but all he could do was rush to Nurse Joy, he needed her help desperately. Ran wouldn’t be able to continue if he couldn’t fix at least this one mistake.
It didn’t help that he was exhausted; he hadn’t rested since his nap in the blind. As he stumbled into town Ran was nearly dead on his feet. Yet still he pressed onwards, he needed to press onwards lest the wild Pokémon suffer. “Nurse Joy!” he yelled as he burst in the door to the Pokémon Center, “Come quick I need your help!”
“What happened?” the nurse saw the exhausted look on Ran and the injuries all four of them had covering their bodies.
“Cave-in…” Ran tried to catch his breath as he struggled to stay on his feet, “Wild Pokémon… need help…” he could barely wheeze out as he collapsed, all his strength failing him.
“I’ll get my car!” Nurse Joy grabbed a set of keys from a drawer in the center’s counter, “Chansey! Get the emergency kit!” she yelled as she jumped the counter, her cap falling as she landed on the other side. “Let’s go!” Ran had known Joy for a while and unlike her relatives she had always been more assertive and impulsive than most. It didn’t surprise him in the least when she basically dragged him out of the Pokémon center and tossed him into the vehicle, Chansey and the other three Pokémon following into the car as it sped off towards the mountain.
Ran felt every bump and jostle as the vehicle roared up the mountain towards the cave, if Joy had been a better driver maybe he could’ve rested a bit. He prayed to god Joy didn’t crash her car again, he felt as if he barely survived that incident a few months ago when she asked for his help. As the car came to a stop, Ran felt as if his body had been turned to jelly as he fell to the ground climbing out of the vehicle.
“Here?” Joy asked as she walked towards the newly formed cave mouth, Chansey right behind her with the emergency kit.
“Yeah,” Ran struggled to his feet as the three Pokémon followed him, “They’re in there.” His body felt limp as he lead Nurse Joy to the wild Pokémon in the cave. In a way he was glad the new path had been created, though it made his earlier work marking the way a moot point. As the six of them reached the place with the injured wild Pokémon, Ran slumped against the wall as Joy got to work healing those who had been hurt in the preceding events. His eyes heavy Ran drifted off to sleep.
“Geo…” the wild Geodude’s voice woke Ran from his slumber, he was unaware how long he had been asleep, but Joy was still there, now tending to Red Queen and the two wild Pokémon that had followed him.
“Are they all safe?” Ran rubbed his eyes as he stretched, hoping that all the wild Pokémon had been healed.
“Yes…” Joy sighed as she looked at the two groups of wild Pokémon who still seemed upset with each other, the Geodude looking as if they would attack at any minute. The only thing that held them back was the state of their leader; they were waiting for him to be healed. “Though only their bodies, what needs to be done is to heal the gap that has appeared in their hearts it seems.”
“It appears to have to do with them,” Ran looked towards the Glalie and Geodude beside the eggs, still safe despite the cave-in.
“Geo!” the Geodude leader nodded as Chansey finished healing it.
“Pawniard, pawn.” Red Queen stood and began drawing on the floor with her blades. It didn’t take long for her to finish, the story laid before them in a series of lines. From the drawings it showed that the leader Geodude and the one now with the glalie were together, but the other Geodude left the leader for the ice Pokémon. Initially Geodude had gone to get its former mate back, but after discovering that Glalie and the other Geodude had a litter of eggs, the leader Geodude felt betrayed and attacked, its subordinates following orders.
“So you lost your love,” Ran turned towards the Geodude leader, “that’s no reason to take it out on the Snorunt. Did you think maybe it was your anger that caused your love to leave you?” The trainer berated the rock Pokémon.
“Geodude…” the leader of the rock Pokémon turned away ashamed of its actions.
“Join me,” Ran held out his hand to the leader, “It may be for the best if you did, that way you can find your place in this world without bringing yourself to actions like these. Or something like that…”
“Geo geo Geodude,” the Pokémon grinned as it readied its fist, as if to battle.
“So you want to battle first eh?” Ran returned the grin as he stood opposite the wild Pokémon, “Go Red Queen!” he watched as his partner leapt in front of him.
“Geo!” the rock Pokémon balled itself up, rolling towards the sharp blade Pokémon.
“Red Queen dodge and use swords dance!” Ran yelled as Pawniard barely dodged the increasing in speed Geodude, using Swords Dance to increase her strength.
“Geo geo geo!” the Geodude repeated itself as it turned direction and headed towards Red Queen once again, giving it no time to dodge.
“Pawn!” the small red Pokémon cried out in pain as the Geodude knocked it aside.
“Shake it off Red Queen!” Ran wanted to rush to his partner’s side but knew that it wouldn’t be right in a battle, “Use Iron Defense and try to launch Geodude next time!”
“Pawn!” Red Queen’s body began to shine, her metal coat increasing in strength. Steadying herself, she waited for Geodude’s next pass, her blades readied to embed in the ground and launch the rock Pokémon upwards. As the Geodude spun towards her again, Red Queen pushed her blades into the cave floor turning her body into a ramp for the rolling rock Pokémon.
“Now use Iron Head!” Ran yelled as Red Queen pulled her blades from the ground, leaping into the air, her head blade glowing as she flew towards Geodude, the force of him coming down and her rushing up increasing the force of the blow and knocking Geodude towards Nurse Joy, unable to battle.
As Joy healed the wild Geodude once again, Ran walked towards it, his hand outstretched, “So, how about it?” he smiled as the rock Pokémon took his hand in friendship. Rolling over towards another of the Geodude, the leader placed its hand on it and nodded, passing its leadership role on. “What about you?” Ran turned to the pale blue Snorunt, wondering if it would come with him as well.
The Snorunt turned towards the others of its kind, receiving a nod from the Glalie. With that it rushed towards Ran, leaping into his arms. “It looks like you made some new friends,” Joy smiled as Red Queen returned to Ran’s side alongside Geodude.
“I think you’re right.” Ran smiled as he leaned back against the cave wall, “But before I do anything… I need some sleep.” His words caused Joy, along with the Pokémon, to chuckle as he drifted off, surrounded by his friends.