[WAR X] Ingrained
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06-29-2011, 09:53 PM
Ultra RPG Official
Join Date: Nov 2010
[WAR X] Ingrained
(Bahaha, it took two posts because of the post limit... my bad. XD)
She stood tall at her end of the field, trying ever so desperately not to quiver from the fear that settles like a cloud in the pit of her stomach. She had come too far, she knew, to lose after so much has been lost already. Especially not to him, of all people. Her brown hair fluttered dramatically in the air, flapping soothingly against her back as it was tussled by an unseen wind. Leaf Fuguri was not one to show fear, but anyone looking closely right now could see that she was afraid, knuckles turned white and stomach roiling.
But unfortunately for her, she was surrounded. Millions of people had come to see the battle of the century, as they have dubbed it, between Red Yamaguchi and herself. Millions. Their cheers echoed in the large, elliptical stadium, and the tips of her delicate ears twinged to pink.
They were down to their last Pokémon, both rival and challenger. She was afraid, in this battle for champion, that she might lose. The thought had not occurred to Leaf until this moment, when she realized how close their battle has become. And that cloud of fear settled in the pit of her stomach, until it brewed into a thunder storm.
It was Red’s job, as the defending champion, to send first. It didn’t really matter what he sent, though. They were both down to their last Pokémon. It was ironic, Leaf realized a few seconds too late. They had started this way, so long ago, with a simple one versus one. She had seen his lineup so far, managed to trek her way through all five of the incredibly well-trained Pokémon that sat on his belt, and she already knew with grim realization what dwelt within the last Pokéball on his hip, just as she knew what lay within her own.
Red’s face was unreadable, as it always is, when he threw the Pokéball to the ground. No flourish, no battle cry. Just a simple toss into the air, and the spiraling red and white sphere did the rest. There was a brilliant white flash and the gargantuan, orange creature emerged, its green-membraned wings flaring open as it lands on the ground with a thud. Its teeth and claws were wickedly sharp, and the open flame on its tail glowed dangerously hot, vaporizing the air around it. Red’s Charizard took the battlefield with a roar, a plume of white-hot fire erupting from its maw.
The crowd went nuts.
The maelstrom of fear in Leaf’s stomach intensified, even though she has known that this was coming since the beginning. It would not be a battle with Red without his Charizard’s taking place, of course.
Just like it would not be a battle with Leaf without her own…
The Pokéball was in her hand and in the air in an instant, almost without her noticing. She didn’t make a flourish or a shout of encouragement, either, as the sphere rose in the air. Her sapphire eyes were locked firmly on Red’s, daring him to look for weakness in her pupils. He could find none, and he looked away to see what she has sent out. They both knew, though, that Red already guessed her final hope.
The Pokéball in Leaf’s hand was worn with use, the red paint at the top beginning to peel and the hinges slightly creaky. Yet anyone with eyes could see the immense care that Leaf gave this Pokéball, down to the faint, rose-scented polish that she rubbed on the cool metal nightly to keep it shining.
But that was nothing compared to the care she lavished on its occupant. A massive, titanic, dinosaur-like creature emerged in a characteristic flash of light. The pale pink flower formed from the light, the spots on its surface glistening. Its four limbs made dull thuds on the ground, and its large, sloping mouth is indifferent. He was not fazed by the flaming dragon in front of him, and snorts as if this fight meant nothing. Almost nothing fazed him, now. He opened with a roar, primordial and ancient, his own personal battle cry. Venusaur. Their rivalry had been long in the making.
Leaf knew that their rivalry will also end tonight, although she did not know why.
As is tradition, Red allowed her to have the first move.
Leaf didn’t waste it. “Frenzy Plant,” she said quietly, her gaze coolly fixed on the massive opponents before them.
Leaf stands quietly in front of the door to Viridian Gym. The door is boarded up and the place has been closed, but it does not stop the memories that plague her mind.
Venusaur had descended on this gym in a righteous fury once he had discovered the identity of the leader. The grass Pokémon was normally so peaceful and gentle, but he had whipped himself into a frenzy when he discovered that the Giovanni before him had been one and the same with the Giovanni of Team Rocket, responsible for the death of so many Pokémon.
It had been there, Leaf realizes, that Venusaur had unlocked his final, most powerful attack. The vines, ancient and archaic, had erupted from the ground, shattering the tiles and thrashing through the air with all of the uncontrollable force of the forest. Giovanni himself, for all of his boasts, had been unable to withstand the power of Frenzy Plant.
Leaf smiles at the memory before it fades, fingering the silver pouch at her belt wistfully. She is thinking of how she wants to turn back the clock.
Venusaur obliged with a proud roar, as if enjoying this show of power. He reared up on his hind legs with surprising agility for such a large creature, and stomped them into the earth.
The roots and the plants rushed to fulfill his command. Out of the earth, with the primal beauty that a forest possesses, great, whipping roots emerged, disrupting the earth as they raced towards the Charizard.
“Fly,” Red said calmly.
Charizard hurried to obey, both in part due to its loyalty and the massive tangle of newly grown forest surging towards it.
Leaf bit her lip in dismay. She hadn’t expected the plan to work, but she was already unnerved that their most powerful technique has been neutralized in an instant.
“Solar Beam,” she said quietly.
Venusaur nodded intently, the thorny roots snaking back into the gouged earth. He leaned forwards slightly, pointing his massive flower towards Charizard, towards the sky, towards the sun and began concentrating. Tiny particles of sunlight snaked into the center of the bulb, and he closed his eyes, concentrating.
“Hit him and use Flamethrower,” Red murmured to his giant fighter in the sky.
It was a lie, Leaf thought wryly, that Red never spoke. He did say things occasionally, although they were more often than not commands that made a trainer’s heart go cold.
A massive beam of solar energy rocketed out from Venusaur’s flower, the leaves on his back shifting with sighs as the energy whooshes out with a roar. He was dismayed, however, to see how little his opponent was fazed by his attack.
The Charizard roared fiercely, flying straight through the blinding beam of light, claws outstretched, and pounced on Venusaur, hard. The great grass giant bellowed in pain, and the crowd went nuts again.
A slightly battered Charizard quickly flipped out of the way, hovering a few feet backwards. His maw opened, showing the snaking pink tongue and pointed teeth, and prepared to unleash a jet of fire.
Leaf could see the liquid sprays of heat forming in his maw. Venusaur hated fire.
Cinnabar Island is here. He did not like it here—the volcano’s fire always made him uneasy. He hated fire. He was a creature of the earth.
Bu she knows he would not mind. He loved he sea, too, and the islands offer the perfect cliff view.
Leaf smiles slightly, holding he drawstring back in her hand.
“Vine Whip,” Leaf shouted, her voice rising in panic. “Cut off the fire supply.”
She hurriedly thanked every deity that she knew that Venusaur understood. He shifted his weight with surprising speed for a creature of his bulk, and two smooth vines emerged from beneath the flower on his back, wrapping around Charizard’s neck and squeezing tightly.
Charizard’s eyes widened in surprise and it gagged for a moment, pausing. It opened its mouth and closed it in confusion, wondering where the fire has gone, and then realized that it was having difficulty breathing.
“Dragon Claw,” Red growled, frustrated. Leaf knew that he knew that if he got a single, solid, fiery hit on Venusaur, the battle would be over. “Cut the vines.”
Charizard, although gasping for breath, raised its claws into the air, their surfaces dancing with a strange fire. It wasn’t true fire, the kind that Venusaur feared, but it was stranger, more draconic. Weakly, Charizard slashed at the vines around its neck, the flames biting at the fresh growth.
Venusaur bellowed in pain, but he did not dare back down. Leaf had not told him to. He glanced back at her with earnest brown eyes, silently telling her that he would do whatever it took. To the death.
Leaf didn’t want that. “Take back the Vine Whip,” she said quietly, knowing that she has played right into Red’s hands.
Fuschia, home of the poison-types, had shown them how Venusaur could fight with more versatility. Koga had helped them on that. Venusaur had loved the strange architecture of the gym, and he had especially enjoyed feeling his way around the glass walls in the gym.
They had both been pleasantly surprised when Koga had complemented Leaf on her raising of Venusaur.
She smiles for a moment, wondering if the flicker in the corner of her eyes is Koga, and hen looks away, watching the dust scatter in the winds.
Red’s eyes glimmered. “Fire Blast,” he muttered to his Charizard.
The great dragon rears back its head again, taking in the blessed oxygen and preparing to release another, more powerful blast of fire.
“Protect!” Leaf’s voice has become increasingly desperate.
The green and yellow shield shimmered for a heart-wrenching moment, and Leaf was afraid that they were too slow as the red and orange conflagration swirled around the spot that Venusaur had occupied.
She was relieved to see, though, the Venusaur was mostly unharmed. He breathed heavily, though.
Leaf smiles at the entrance to Saffron Gym. The teleporters had made him dizzy at first, and he had been tentative to enter them.
And then, once he had understood how they worked, he would charge headlong into them, a strange glint in his eyes that almost made her think that he was just a Bulbasaur, and not a fully grown guardian of the earth.
Sabrina inclines her head as the dark haired girl watches Leaf stand there quietly, head bowed. Perhaps, Leaf realizes, the psychic gym leader understands. Leaf thinks she does, because she watches out of the corner of her eye as Sabrina also bows her head in silence before walking away wordlessly.
Red scowled, apparently not expecting a trick like that. “Slash,” he called out to his Charizard. “Get in close.”
“Double-edge,” Leaf ordered Venusaur.
Charizard swooped down, its wingtips flaring open as it landed only a few feet away from its opponent, claws gleaming white sharp. It drew back an orange, scaly fist, the claws glistening.
Venusaur was slower to respond, but he began running forwards on his stubby legs, clouds of dust swirling around him as he ran.
Leaf paused, reminded of another time, once upon a time, when a Charmander and a Bulbasaur had been locked in battle.
It was the same Charmander and the same Bulbasaur, although their moves and appearances were much more different in this situation than that first one. In that battle, they had simple tackled and scratched at one another until one of them had accepted defeat.
But as Leaf looked back at the battle happening before her, she knew there wasn’t much that was different.
The two Pokémon collided with bone crunching roars. Charizard reached first, raking its massive claws across Venusaur’s leafy flank, hissing in triumph. Its victory quickly faded to alarm as Venusaur continued barreling through it, ignoring the pain that the dragon’s claws brought.
The Charizard stumbled back, its mouth opened in a picturesque growl of surprise, while Venusaur skidded back, panting. He looked to Leaf for guidance.
He had gotten in touch with his roots at Celadon, both literally and figuratively. It had been here that he had evolved into his final form, a Venusaur, and she had made him smile by commenting on how the smell from the massive flower on his back was sweeter than any perfume they could make in the little shop to the left of the gym.
It had been here, under the kind instruction of Ericka, that he had learned to plunge into the earth and absorb the nutrients of the ground to make him stronger.
She scatters a bit of the black stuff in the winds here, too.
Venusaur looked bruised and battered. His leaves drooped, and there were great gouges on the leaves on his back. Leaf bit her lip in worry, hating to see him hurt like this.
“Ingrain,” she called out quietly to him.
She knew the move was a double-edged sword, in that it would limit his mobility but also allow him to obtain strength from strong roots in the earth. In a battle against something like Charizard, though, speed was never a factor for Venusaur. The grass-dinosaur would not have a chance against the fire-lizard.
Venusaur nodded and gratefully plunged his feet into the earth, great woody roots snaking out from beneath his flower and sinking into the ground. His eyes brightened with the fire of the battle as the nutrients pumped themselves through the earth and into his body, soothing his wounds.
“Toxic!” Red retorted.
Leaf wanted to cheer. Finally, here was a mistake. Here was something she could use to her advantage, a way that she could win the battle.
Red must have seen it, too, because his mouth was already open. It was too late, though. Charizard roared its agreement, steamrollering over any corrections that Red might have tried to make, and released a copious amount of thick, purple sludge towards Venusaur. The grass-type staggered back as the poison stung at its leaves with a hiss, but it was unscathed.
Venusaur would not be harmed by the poison—as Koga had shown him, such toxins ran in his veins. Leaf knew this. Now to use it to her advantage.
“Sludge Bomb!” she shouted. “Use the poison from the Toxic to give you a boost.”
The purple toxins sank harmlessly into the earth, hissing and belching out poisonous-looking clouds of violent indigo vapors. Venusaur’s roots shied back, but they, too, did not seem harmed, and sucked the poison in copiously, as if through straws.
Venusaur paused for a moment, tightening his focus, and then opened his mouth, shifting his weight forwards and opening his mouth. Just as fire formed in Charizard’s maw, poison blossomed in Venusaur’s, the thick kind that leaves lasting, acidic wounds.
The purple glob of poisonous sludge that Venusaur spewed from its mouth with a desperate roar was far, far more potent than Charizard’s. Venusaur was a creature of poison; he knew the ways of the toxins well enough to master them.
Charizard growled in dissent and flung a green-membraned wing over its face, trying to protect its face from the acid’s bite. Unnerved, it looked to Red for further instruction.
Red was quick to give it. “Overheat,” he muttered. “Finish it.”
The Charizard nodded, is eyes lighting to life, and it flung its wing back with a roar. For a moment, it tok the barrage of poison head on, and then the fires crackled to life in its maw. The poison evaporated into clouds of spiraling purple smoke, and the jet of fire around him erupted from his throat.
Distracted from the flames, Leaf knew that Venusaur would not be able to react in time. It didn’t stop her, though, from crying out, “Protect, quickly!” with a voice that could have only been born in desperation.
Venusaur tried to react, but he was too slow. The red, swirling conflagration warped around him, the air shimmering in the heat, and then the fire hit.
It was here, in Pokémon Tower, that he had for once shown his primal rage. Their battles against the ghosts had cost her team dearly, and in the end, it was only Leaf and her Ivysaur against the hordes that became a lost mother that became the faces of Team Rocket.
Ivysaur had become enraged when he had realized that these men in black and red had been responsible for the deaths of so many. His body had been cloaked in a strange green aura, and he had, enraged, roared his challenge to them, his eyes murderous.
For the first time, Leaf had been afraid for her friend. Even after the murderers had been defeated, he refused to calm down, his eyes wild. In tears, Leaf had wrapped her arms around him, singing his favorite song in his pointed ears and rocking him back and forth, ignoring the thorny vines that sprouted from beneath his bulb to swat angrily at her.
She had nearly cried with relief when he calmed down, and they sat there together in silence for a while.
Leaf gravely inclines her head, the pouch at her side diminishing. The ghosts will help them now.
Leaf closed her eyes. It was over.
But the roar in her ears was certainly familiar. She looked up, frowning. Venusaur shouldn’t have been able to survive that. The fire had hit him head on.
But the smoke cleared, revealing a badly burned and battered, but very much conscious, Venusaur. His body roiled with a strange, green aura, and his eyes were not the same. There was something snapped in him, something feral.
Leaf was familiar with Overgrow. She would have been a poor trainer of her Venusaur if she did not know it. The power of such an ability, and the sheer change it unlocked in its wielder, never ceased to strike fear in her heart.
She could see the surprise on Red’s face, though, the open shock and the way his normally emotionless face was flooded with sheer amazement. It made her proud.
She wasn’t going to waste her chance. Venusaur was battered and beaten, but by no means broken. “Frenzy Plant!” she shouted out, fear still in her voice. Although Venusaur would never admit it, he was still very weak in this stage.
For a heart-wrenching moment, Venusaur did not move. He stood there, staring blankly, his eyes not his own. Then, he slowly turned and focused on Charizard, the enemy, and something seemed to snap into place in his mind. With painstaking slowness, he leaned forwards, as if in a dream. Leaf bit her lip.
And then, forcing himself to continue, Venusaur reared backwards and then plunged his feet into the earth. The plants rushed to fulfill his command.
06-29-2011, 09:54 PM
Ultra RPG Official
Join Date: Nov 2010
Re: [WAR X] Ingrained
Vermillion is quiet, by the seas and calm. Although he had loved water, he had hated the S.S. Anne.
Standing at the dock, Leaf notices that it has yet to return. Perhaps, she thinks, it is like he is—little by little, scattered to the winds, a memory to never return.
She sighs quietly, turning away. The silver pouch jostles by her hip.
The wall of plans, writhing and grassy, glowed with the same green aura of Overgrow. Red’s eyes widened in shock, and his mouth was half open to shout out a counterattack, but then he closed it, bowing his head in defeat. “Flamethrower,” he whispered, although the look in his eyes said that he only kept fighting for the sake of Charizard.
Leaf was stunned. He had submitted, although he audience could not see it.
Charizard prepared the fire in his maw, but nothing could outspeed the wall of plants surging towards it. The earth quaked beneath the dragon’s feet and the roiling plans lashed at it from all sides, a forest in true frenzy. The flailing roots obscured Charizard from view, and for a moment, there was only silence.
The roots retreated, and Venusaur panted, hard. Leaf knew the end was near.
Across the field, Charizard still stood strong, the roots closest to it on fire.
And, as if in slow motion, the great dragon bowed down to the earth, hitting the hard-packed dirt with a dull thud. Dust swirled in the air. Red lowered his head.
It was over.
They had won.
She remembers the ease with which he had demolished Cerulean Gym as she stands balefully by the glass double doors.
He had evolved, growling in frustration, in their battle against Red by the bridge, desperate to become stronger than his Charizard—then a Charmeleon. She remembers the pure joy on his face as he had finally overcome his enemy, the one with the tail that burned white-hot.
She scatters a bit here, too, knowing that this is a place she will visit often.
They had won. There was a moment of silence as the dust settled and Venusaur stood their balefully in front of Leaf, and then the cloud erupted into cheers.
Something, though, kept Leaf from looking triumphantly on Venusaur. Some instinct kept her eyes riveted in Venusaur. She was shocked to see how awful he looked, his leaves drooping and panting, hard. His breathing was ragged, and tendrils of purple vapor came out of his nose when he snorted in pain, weakly coughing up purple globs of sludge.
Leaf’s eyes went wide as she watched her friend stagger for a moment, eyes flickering, and then fall altogether.
He had fainted before. Only once, and she had been scared half to death and had nearly hugged the Nurse Joy when he woke up, but he had fainted before.
This was different, though. She didn’t know how she knew it, but she knew. Her vision swam and her hearing went fuzzy, tuning out the roar of the crowd. Somehow, she knew, this was worse.
She was screaming, not with joy but with horror, and the audience finally gets the idea that something is horribly, horribly wrong.
The next few hours for her were a blur. The paramedics, their uniforms crisp, rushed onto the field, stretchers in arms. She could hear the worry their voices as they carefully hoisted Venusaur’s gargantuan body onto the white cloth and rushed out.
Leaf’s body felt numb as she gawked for a painful moment and then rushed after them. She screamed, reaching for him, but in her heart of hearts, she already knew.
He was dead.
Pewter is her almost her last stop, and maybe one of her most painful. It was here that their journey had truly started, when Venusaur—only then a mere Bulbasaur—had burst through the double doors of the gym and growled his challenge to Brock, the rock master.
It was here that she had given him his special name, the one that only the two of them had known.
Leaf’s face is unreadable as she fiddles with the drawstring of the pouch.
Leaf could not believe it. The nurse had tried to break the news as gently to her as possible, but Leaf simply sat there, stony faced, feeling the guilt and regret lick away at her heart. The nurse tried to comfort her wrapping an arm around the young girl and offering false words of condolences that could not possibly mean anything. Still, Leaf said nothing.
It was only when the kind-faced nurse had given up and left that Leaf began to cry. And when she did, she cried and cried, locking the doors and simply screaming for days straight.
It was only when she no longer had the voice or the tears to cry that they told her how he had died.
It was a freak accident, they had described it. A one in a million chance. It had started with the poison, the one thing that shouldn’t have hurt him. But in burying his roots in the ground, in attempting to use the poison to boost his own attack, Venusaur had inadvertently absorbed the horrid toxins into his system, alongside the nutrients. The poisonous parts of his nature were unaffected by it, but the ingrained roots linked directly to his grassy heart.
It hadn’t lasted long, the nurse had said when trying to comfort her. Once the poison had reached his heart, had had been dead within a few minutes. And it certainly hadn’t hurt.
Leaf still sat there, arms wrapped around her knees, and said nothing.
Things will get better, the nurse had told her.
She had finally turned, her eyes filled with cold fury, and replied that things would only get better when science could bring back the dead.
The nurse had left after that, unsure of what else there was to say.
Red had entered later on, an oval-shaped object in his arms. Leaf recognized the pale green pattern speckled with darker green triangles and turned away from the egg instantly, frowning. She had ignored his kind words, about how he would have felt horrible if the same thing had happened to him, and how he had wheedled with the Professor for ages to get an egg like this one, and did not face him. No hatchling would ever replace Venusaur, her one and only starter.
Red had tried to insist that she keep it, with kind, pleading words, until she had snapped. She threw the stupid champion’s medal in his face, screaming, and shrieked at him to leave. If this was what being a champion was like, she said, Red was perfectly welcome to it.
He had left sheepishly, sheltering the egg in his arms, and left her there alone.
For three more days, Leaf locked herself in her room near the arena and just cried.
And then, just like that, she got up and left, her eyes hardened with resolve. She had a job to do.
She pauses for a moment outside of Oak’s Lab. It is here that they had met, a twist of fate when she hadn’t arrived in time to get a Pikachu, like the cool kids.
She had looked into the earnest eyes of her Bulbasaur, though, and decided that she didn’t mind.
It had been here that Red had challenged her to a battle, right there in the front yard, and their rivalry had started. She had been so afraid hat Bulbasaur was dead when he had fainted…
She remembers that fear with a pang, now, and hen dips her hand into the pouch.
Leaf opted not to bury Venusaur, much to the surprise of nearly everyone. It’s not a matter of money—she is the champion, after all, albeit half-heartedly. She could have buried him in an ornate manner beneath a luxurious shrine, befitting to his line, in the rocky grounds of Mount Silver, where only a few privileged such as the Elite Four may tread.
She refused. He hated the earth. He hated being trapped in one place, with no where to maneuver. And the thought of his body, buried in a small box under so many feet of earth, where she could never see him, after so long… she just couldn’t do it.
To nearly everyone’s confusion, she had him cremated.
She knew that that is what he would have wanted. This way, he can rest in the earth, bringing new life wherever he rests. His body will provide the roots of a new generation, allowing the scores of plants that he loved to grow and flourish. Each part of him, each little grain of ash, will help a new creature grow.
He was a free Pokémon, free as the open sky and the leaves that flit in the wind, and he would have wanted it this way.
She has walked across Kanto, alone, just like they once did, just the two of them. He was as free as the grass roots in the ground. He never liked being in one place. And this way, wherever she may go, a little piece of him will always be there for her, rooted and ingrained in her heart.
Leaf makes her final stop at home, her heart twinging as she walks past her house. How long has it been since she has last visited? Three years? Four?
She walks purposefully behind her house, to the great oak tree in the backyard that has towered over her since she was a little girl and the world was four feet high, watching over her with its wise leaves. He always had a fixation on this tree, how its boughs swayed in the summer wind but never broke.
She pulls the silver bag from her belt, loosening the drawstring with a pang. Inside, it holds the last link to her first Pokémon. She slowly holds the nearly empty bag in her palm, staring blankly at the black, coarse ashes that used to be a living, breathing friend, who, once upon a time, tended to the earth like it was his own.
The backyard never had a fence. It opens up to a cliff face, overlooking the sea. The gentle ocean breeze plays with her brown hair, flapping it against her back. She does not face an arena, but the prospect of what she is about to do is equally daunting.
She takes a deep breath. Leaf knows that here, after so long, it is time to let go.
Time will stop, eternity will pause, and death will halt on its inevitable course for just these few precious moments. For they are hers, and forever they will be, ingrained in her heart.
She lifts the bag, filled with the ashes, and hesitates for only a moment—
It’s hard, letting go. They never really got to say good-bye.
--and then she scatters the remaining contents to the winds.
At the base of the great oak tree, with its limbs spread wide to the sapphire skies, there is finally peace for the gentle creature who fought so many. His Pokéball, the paint on the red half already peeling and the white half growing dull, has begun to rust.
But she knows that this is where he would have wanted it to rest, a tiny red and white orb nestled between the gnarled roots of he oak tree and always, forever ingrained in her heart.
Last edited by Kai-Mei; 06-29-2011 at 10:01 PM.
Reason: Typo'd lots of stuff... SILLY LETTERS DOING SILLY THINGS... SILLY INTERNET FOR TAKING SO LONG...
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