PART XI: PLASMAAAA!
For fun and profit, dialogue lifted directly from the game will be denoted with an asterisk. Yell at me if you think this was a terrible decision.
Upstairs, the museum is in chaos. Team Plasma Grunts are swarming everywhere.
What is happening here!?!
We, Team Plasma, claim this museum's Dragon Skull in the name of Pokemon Liberation! To show you we're serious, we'll steal it right before your eyes!*
Marvin, disperse this rabble!
No! We can't risk damaging the valuable artifacts in this room!
And with that, they disappear in a flurry of smoke bombs.
This is not as stealthy or unnoticeable an exit as one might think.
What's going on?*
I'm not sure that the smoke bomb was necessary. I mean, there's only one way out of this Gym.
Outside, there is no sign of Team Plasma. More excitingly, it is suddenly AUTUMN, which as I have discussed may or may not have an impact on future events.
Where the devil did they get to!?!
Burgh? What are you doing here?
Oh, I just thought I'd come by for a visit- what's all this fuss?
Yeah, what's going on?
Oh my god, it's the Doctor
No, Bianca, that's Burgh, the Gym Leader in Castelia City. Er, Lenora, Burgh, these are my friends Bianca and Cheren.
Good- we need as many Trainers as we can muster to catch Team Plasma. I'll check back along Route 3, and Burgh and Monk can check Pinwheel forest. You two stay here and guard the rest of these valuables.
Grand! I love a good hunt, the thrill of the chase, the glory of the kill!
...do I HAVE to go with Burgh?
Cheren and Bianca have the least experience so they need to stay here- Lenora knows the city, and I know the forest. Lucky for you, the forest is a two man job!
With that, everyone heads to their assigned areas. After a brief trip to the Pokecenter, I move out to Pinwheel forest. Continuing on the straight and narrow path, I find that (surprise surprise) the Team Plasma rally has dispersed- beyond, the forest gets much darker. Burgh is waiting for me at a fork in the road.
No, I don't care how old this joke is
There are two ways out of Pinwheel forest- the straight road, and the hiking trail. I'll take the straight road and try to cut them off- I need you to check if they're hiding along the trail.*
So the plan is for you, the experienced Gym Leader, to take the safe road to catch up with Team Plasma while I, the twelve year old who picked up the sport a month ago, heads into the monster-filled bushes in the hopes that the aforementioned gang of thugs ambushes me?
No, no, no- I don't expect to CATCH UP with them! They're hauling a fossil as big as a man with no power equipment or strong Pokemon. I expect them to be hiding in the bushes. I expect YOU to flush them out, so I can move in for the kill.
Yeah, um, that seems a bit excessive. They're petty thieves, not serial killers.
You don't know much about the Gym Leaders, do you? You can't know- you've only just started your journey. Lenora, you've met- a nice girl, a forceful person, but a scholar at heart. You fought some member of that motley crue-
-in Striaton, a whelp hardly deserving of his station, and you've encountered nobody else. Let me fill you in- we are not nice people. We are hunters, all of us. I just hunt more interesting things than the rest.
I've changed my mind- I really like your plan! Especially the part where we go in completely separate directions and never see one another again. Or discuss philosophy.
You will see, Monk. You will see.
With that, Burgh takes off to the north. After checking to make sure this section of Pinwheel Forest counts as the same area I caught Heinrich in (it is,) I head off into the bushes. As it turns out, there are different Pokemon in the forest proper instead of that outer area- here, beneath the shelter of the trees, it's all Grass types, Bug Types, and Grass/Bug types, with the odd Pidove. And speaking of Pidove... [READY THE MUSIK!]
The wildlife here is little threat, hardly worth mentioning- but I'm not here to fight wildlife.
You! You're just a kid on an ego trip!*
I may be a kid, and I may be on an ego trip, but... actually, that's a fairly concise summary. But I'm gonna kick your arse anyway! Heinrich, away!
My hunch is that you're sabotaging us out of jealousy of our cool outfits!*
HAHAhahahahaha. Oh, mercy- Heinrich? *AIR CUTTER*
Now give me the skull so I can get out of here.
I'm empty handed- Do I look like the kind of girl to carry a heavy load?*
So you're in favor of Pokemon Liberation, but not Women's Liberation. Great, what's next.
WHO DARES INVADE NATURE!?!
Gah! Who the hell are you?
Blend into the wilderness and talk to Pokemon with your heart! That is a Ranger!*
Is that why you were hiding in a bush?
SILENCE! We must battle!
Oh you've got to be kidding me.
[Da DA dada DAAA daaaaa, Da DA dada DAAA daaaaa, Da DA dada DAAA daaaaaa, DA DA DA DAAAA!]
Well played, young traveler. Did you feel my wildness?*
I need an adult!
What you don't see is me walking back to the entrance of the forest repeatedly because Heinrich keeps getting paralyzed- this is particularly frustrating because he has an hp-restoring move and has type advantage against everything here, which makes him ideal for extended outings here. The only problem is that Heinrich can't QUITE one-shot the grass types, and the grass types only need one turn to deal their underhanded status effect damage.
There are obvious complications when this happens to a creature that flies
A bit further up the trail, my progress is again halted when another ranger leaps from the bushes.
Get great powers drawn from nature without opposing it- this is the strength of Rangers!*
You may not have noticed, but just about any other representative of nature's power would be more effective than these guys. A rotten log, for instance.
[But a rotten log wouldn't be worth so much XP!]
Impressive! I shall share one of the powers I got!*
This is just a berry!
A Berry of Nature's Fury +4!
Yeah, great, I'm gonna go check out the rustly grass.
Yech- why are there so many rare pink Pokemon in Unova? Dispose of it, Heinrich.
SWEET MEW, that was worth a lot of XP!
*Level up!* *Level up!* *Pidove wants to learn Detect!
No, no you do not.
*Pidove is evolving!*
NO! *smack* Not until you learn a better move!
Don't give me the attitude, you're going to need a powerful move if you want to keep up with Marvin.
Stop abusing that Pokemon!
Gah! You rangers are better at this hiding thing than the ninjas were!
Flattery will get you nowhere! Go, Panpour!
[Don't ruin my buzz, man.]
*sigh* Heinrich? *AIR CUTTER* *AIR CUTTER* *AIR CUTTER*
Dangit! Fighting is hard. I'm used to having my problems solved for me
Welcome to the real world, champ- now get out of my way, I've got villainy to thwart!
After fighting my way through some more wildlife and inconsequential trainers, I reach a clearing with one Team Plasma Grunt in it.
Our rules and your rules are different!*
Yeah, I'm not buying that moral relativity shit you're selling. Return the Dragon Skull now, and I'll keep Burgh from tearing your intestines out with his teeth.
[This never gets old! I AM INVINCIBLE!]
And I'll be taking that skull back now.
So the dream our king had- the dream we had, it won't come true.*
King? The PokeKing?
Just then, one of the poorly dressed people from the introductory movie (which is apparently a much more recent, much more secret event than I had guessed) enters the clearing. Lacking a decent picture, I found somebody who looks like him.
How are you holding up, fellow subject of our king?*
Gorm of the Seven Sages! I'm mortified that this skull, which we went to so much trouble to obtain, was stolen from us so easily.*
It's not important- we can afford to abandon the Dragon Skull. According to our research, this is not the Legendary Pokemon for which Plasma is searching. It is completely unrelated.*
Oh, so it's just some other powerful, primordial being from the ancient past.
You! We will not allow anyone to disrupt our plans and get away with it. We will fix it so you never interfere with us again.*
Oh, sweet! The bug Pokemon were getting all worked up, so here I come, and what do I spy with my little eye? This important looking guy! Are you here to help your friends, whom I defeated?*
The others didn't have anything- is this guy the big boss?*
I am one of the Seven Sages of Team Plasma. Ghetsis, another of the Sages, would liberate Pokemon with words alone! The other Sages have ordered their compatriots to take Pokemon with full force! But the odds are a little against us now. Bug user Burgh, Normal User Lenora, there is a saying- "Know your enemies, know yourself, and you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." This time, we shall retreat quietly. To secure the liberation of Pokemon, we will steal from Trainers! Even though you are Gym Leaders, we will not tolerate any further obstruction from you.*
And, once again, they take off running.
Well that was surprisingly expository.
They're a speedy bunch. Gonna chase them, Burgh?*
Oh, I'm in no particular rush- there isn't anywhere they can hide from me when I decide to pursue. The other Grunts proved quite able to satisfy my bloodlust.
Just a few left to guard their retreat, and some others who were driven out of the brush before you. I figured you must have found a real prize once they stopped stumbling out of the forest- my bugs were getting antsy
Oh that was bad. I hope never to see you again.
Ah, but I am next on the Pokemon League Challenge! I'll see you in Castelia, Monk- I'll be looking forward to it.
Thank you for the Dragon Skull back, Monk. As a token of my gratitude, please accept this gift.
Oooh, a Moon Stone
. Not terribly useful, but fancy nonetheless.
After stumbling out of the woods, I find myself on the north side of Pinwheel Forest. I can see some other trainers on the path back towards Nacrene City- rather than fight them now, I turn my sights towards the next area. I get the feeling I'll want a full team before I take on Burgh, and those trainers will be excellent learning opportunities for my newest recruits. Onward, to Skyarrow Bridge!
NEXT TIME: Lookin' like a Fool with your Pants on the Ground!
Suggestions, Comments, Criticism welcome as always.
Nuvema Town- "Marvin", Oshawott
Route 1- XXX
Accumula Town- ??
Route 2- "Pompey", Lillipup 6-12
Striaton City- ??
Dreamyard- "Mojo Jojo", Pansear lvls 10-12
Route 3- Timon, Patrat 8-15
Wellspring Cave- Cletus, Woobat 11-14
Nacrene City- ??
Pinwheel Forest- Heinrich, Pidove