Re: Mt. Deckbi
I was watching the shooting comet of water that was Smash when Ivy suddenly spoke up. “Got my back, Chainy?” she asked, a small quiver in her voice. “I can't take out that flame alone. Can you help me out? I'll distract Rapidash.”
I looked over to her surprised. Maybe it wasn't a weakness to rely on others for help. After all, I relied on my Pokemon in battle, so why should relying on other people be any different?
"Of course, Ivy," I replied. I reached out for Dual using our mental connection. I could tell he was still watching Ivy carefully, but also keeping an eye on Haji at the same time.
Hey buddy, can you let Smash know to change target if possible? I don't think he'd be able to hear me right now.
<I'll let him know,> Dual replied. <James... keep an eye on Ivy. Something doesn't seem right with her today.>
I frowned, concerned. What? Is it something serious? How do you know?
There was a slight pause. <...I can't really say. She just doesn't seem normal. I haven't really investigated, but there's a fair bit of mental turmoil that isn't there usually.>
I decided to let it drop. Dual sensed I would, so he threw out a line of communication to the Swampert. I'd known Gardevoir who were able to set up telepathic networks amongst whole teams, but seeing as Dual was a Gallade and therefore physically powerful as opposed to mentally powerful, he wasn't very proficient at it. What he could do well was act like a messenger, similar to the POST and ACK protocols found in systems networking. I could ask Dual to relay messages to my other Pokemon, and he would tell them what to do. It made for an effective system, and it had the added bonus of not tipping anyone else off to our strategies.
<He says he'll change target as soon as he can,> Dual broke into my thoughts. I sent back a response received packet, and turned to concentrate on the battle. I noticed that Smash's horizontal Waterfall was beginning to rotate a bit - it was almost un-noticeable - as he also turned towards the side-ways galloping Rapidash. Suddenly, five large vines ripped out of the ground and curled around the horse: one on each rear leg, two around its body, and one around its left foreleg. The vines then went taut, and with a loud braying the horse was yanked into the ground and held tight against it.
"Now!" I yelled, even though I knew Smash probably couldn't near me.
He might have, though, because at that instant the water comet shot over the horse and curved around, crashing into the towering column of fire containing the Litwick. There was a small explosion, and white steam billowed out from the point of contact. I waited, breath held in anticipation. After what seemed like forever, Smash galloped out of the mist, intending to regroup with Haji, who was further away, closer to Ivy than to the battle.
I heard the roar of a fire, and looked over to the Rapidash. Its long mane of fire had massively expanded, whipping through the air, searing through the vines holding it captive. One by one they snapped, retreating back into the ground like tendons into flesh. The horse got to its feet and galloped over to the steambank, which was gradually being taken away by a soft wind. It threw a quick look at the Litwick, which it returned. They then turned to look at Smash, who was almost next to Haji by now. Twin fireballs that were curiously human-shaped blasted towards the two Pokemon, and as they got closer they merged into one super-huge ball of flames. I knew Smash would be fine - he was very resistant to Fire attacks - but I was worried about Espeon. I knew Smash was too far away for me to get a command out, but I was kind of expecting Ivy to do something.
I waited, and waited, keeping an eye on the battlefield, ready to hear her confident voice lash out like a whip. But it didn't. The doubly-powerful Fire Blast crashed into Smash, knocking him to the side, and then passed through Haji. It didn't even stop there - it moved towards us three Rangers and River.
"River, Protect!" Buzz cried, and a green bubble of energy quickly expanded from the Xatu, surrounding us. The flames writhed around the bubble, passing by us harmlessly, but I knew it would have hurt Smash and Haji a fair bit.
When the fire had passed us, River dissipated the bubble, and I took a quick look around at the battlefield. Haji and Smash were both on the ground, stirring, recovering from the massive attack. I put my hand to my visor and activated the medical diagnostics mode. Neither of the Pokemon were too badly burnt, thank God, although it was surprising that Smash had appeared to take more damage than Haji. I mean, he was closer to the source of the blast, but still, taking into consideration his fire resistance he should have held up better.
I shook my head, saving the thought for later, when I remembered Ivy, and how she hadn't done anything. I turned to my side to see what she was doing, and when I did my heart dropped into my stomach. She was braced against a rock, sweating profusely, biting her lip like she was in pain. Her eyes were shut tight, and I could hear the slightest hint of a whimper sneaking out. I quickly moved to her and dropped to my knees, not caring about the sharp rocks scattered around pressing against my legs. I reached out and held her face, wiping her cheek with a thumb and brushing her long red hair away from her face.
"Ivy? Ivy, are you okay?" I asked desperately. "What's going on?"
I received no reply - her eyes were moving behind her eyelids but they stayed clenched shut. I started to panic a little. Ivy was in some kind of trance that I couldn't get her out of, and Smash was a sitting duck because I hadn't yet given him an attack order. I quickly cast my mind out and grabbed the first idea I thought of, anxious to return to helping Ivy.
"Smash, go hit that Rapidash with a Stone Edge!" I called before looking back to Ivy. Smash yapped in agreement, and smashed his right fist into the ground, deep into the ground - about half of his arm wasn't visible. He then pulled it back up, but now he was grasping a long, curved blade of stone that roughly followed the shape of his arm. He was holding it backwards, the way soldiers were taught to hold knives, with the blade running across his elbow. He then began to pound towards the Rapidash, using all three legs except the one holding the Stone Edge. When he got close enough, he would start hitting the horse with the dangerous weapon - it was as much a club as a sword, really.
I didn't see any of this, though. I was too busy concentrating on Ivy. I wiped some more hair out of her face, and held her against my shoulder. The small part of my mind that was always rational was telling me that it was probably something to do with Haji and/or Dual, but I couldn't care less. I hated seeing the normally strong Ivy like this. I held her against me, feeling her tremble, knowing that the only thing I could do was wait it out.
"Please snap out of this, Ivy," I begged her. "Please come back to me."