Re: Mt. Deckbi
OOC: Male Heatmor pl0x
I was walking along, trying to avoid looking at Ivy, when I suddenly heard a voice call out. I was fairly sure that I had never heard the voice before, and yet it carried familiar overtones that I just couldn't seem to concentrate on when I tried to. I turned around, and saw a Ranger walking towards us. He seemed mature, with long-ish black hair, and he was sporting a perfectly intact Ranger uniform. This alone marked him as slightly suspicious - none of the Rangers wore their uniforms exactly as they came. We all made slight modifications, like how I adapted my pack to fit in the small of my back as opposed to sitting higher up near my shoulders, and I knew at one point Buzz had taken the sleeves off his jacket and made it into a vest of sorts.
"Hey! Guys!," he called out as he got closer. "I'll be rangering you two. I'm Ranger Alphonzo! Where are ya headed off two by your selves? Some place romantic?"
I rolled my eyes as a slight flush rose on my face. There were multiple problems with that proposal: first of all, Ivy wasn't interested. Secondly, there was tension between them at the moment, and not of the good kind. Lastly, aside from the shack with my secret stash, I was pretty sure there was nowhere in the least bit romantic on Mount Deckbi. Too freaking hot for that.
"Hi there," Ivy greeted him, and I could tell by her tone that she was suspicious too. None of it really added up. Sure, it was just Buzz's style to fall asleep and have River take up the heavy lifting, but how did HQ know to send a replacement Ranger? And why would they even bother? River and Buzz had proven to be a valuable addition to the team, despite his unorthodox Rangering methods. He was one of the oldest "newbies", like me, although I'd been a Ranger a little longer than him. Then again, I was more experienced than all of the current Rangers, with the possible exceptions of Leo and Boss-sama. I stopped walking forward and waited for the other two Rangers to catch up with me.
Thinking about all the old Rangers sparked an idea in my mind. I was pretty sure I knew Alphonzo from somewhere, but I couldn't remember him. I did remember that when I had been accepted as a Ranger I had met a lot of old Rangers, ones that were no longer working at the Park. Perhaps Alphonzo was one of them, and he'd come back to take up Rangering again. It wasn't uncommon for people to fall in love with the job - I was certain that I'd never leave the Park. I was going all the way to the top and staying there until I couldn't manage it any more.
"Hey," I said slowly, shaking his hand. He smiled at me, and nothing seemed particularly off about him, but then again River was still circling in the sky above. Surely if Buzz had been replaced she would have left us?
Then again, River and Ivy had a particularly strong friendship, especially for a Pokemon and a human who wasn't their Trainer. Maybe she was just hanging around cos she had nothing better to do. And that Xatu didn't look worried or suspicious - maybe a replacement had been authorised, and they'd just decided not to notify me because of my official position as a Trainer currently.
That had to be it, I decided, pushing all doubts away from my mind. Ivy seemed suspicious of him, and that was enough for me. She could keep an eye on him. Despite being a little put out with her decision to bring Haxbat, even knowing that I had an abiding fear of bats, I trusted her immensely and she was a great Ranger too. I could relax knowing that she was keeping an eye on things. Besides, Haji and Dual were around as well. If Dual was getting uncomfortable with Alphonzo, I'd simply run the old fart off.
So where are you off to? Alphonzo asked Ivy.
We're... looking for some specific things, Ivy replied, sounding cautious. "River is leading us."
I decided to say nothing. Truth was, I'd catch anything that was even slightly rare or interesting, as my captures of the Rapidash and Torkoal had shown. I had a feeling that I wouldn't be taking them with me, but you never know. An awful lot of common Pokemon like Geodude and Magby were found in the Deckbi Ranges, and it never hurt to catch a couple Pokemon over the limit of three. Last time Jathan had gone on an expedition, his conservative nature meant that he had only barely caught the three Pokemon he was allowed to take out, and one of the Pokemon had been a Pikachu, caught purely for breeding purposes.
We continued walking along the trail, which was now bending to the left and declining slightly. It seemed we were taking a less direct route to the volcano, which suited me fine - if I had my way, we wouldn't go near the damn thing at all. I was about to bring up the possibility of giving the heat-trap a miss when a sudden dustcloud rose into the air from just ahead of us. I put my hand up to my Aura Reader and used it to zoom in as we walked closer. There were two Pokemon there, I could see that, but the dust and my walking meant that one of them was obscured. The other one, the one that I could easily see was a Charmeleon, a long red lizard-like Pokemon that was an evolution of Charmander, a common Starter Pokemon. I hadn't yet obtained a Charizard, but I had no wish to try and capture this one - if I decided to try to raise one, I could just visit any one of the ten or so breeding centres that were within five miles of the Park. Or, for that matter, I could just ask Jathan to breed me one.
As we got closer, I got a better look at the second Pokemon, and my jaw dropped. It was a bipedal Pokemon that had strange red and yellow lines down its torso. It looked strangely reptilian - its head and paws were grey, and it had a strange hooking tail that belched black smoke occasionally. It was a Heatmor, one of the Pokemon I had specifically been looking for here at Deckbi.
"OMGOMG!" Alphonzo suddenly screamed, sounding like a fourteen year old girl. "Wow, you're so lucky. Which one of you two love birds is going for this extrodinary Pokemon?"
My right eyelid twitched, but I decided to let the shot pass. I was just about to ask Ivy if she wanted to try and battle it, but she got there first.
"I'm not real interested in this one, but maybe you want it?" she offered. "I can keep the other one entertained for a bit.
I gave her a good look at the genuine smile that was spreading across my face. This Heatmor would make a great present for Leo. He'd been wanting a Heatmor for ages, but he hadn't come across one yet. He'd helped me out a lot since I'd become a Ranger, and now I'd be able to give him a gift worthy of my gratitude.
"Thanks Ivy, I owe you one," I said with heartfelt gratitude.
The question was which of my Pokemon to use. Smash immediately fell to mind, but he'd been in the last couple of battles and could probably use a rest. Joey was out too - his Grass typing wasn't doing him any favours against these two and their Fire attacks. That only left Dual. I wanted to save him for emergencies, but he hadn't taken any damage yet, so I decided he would do. I tapped the PokeBall on my waist and Dual appeared in a flash of white light. He quickly glanced around, lingering for a second on Alphonzo, before letting his gaze come to rest on the pair of Pokemon he was about to fight. I could see his muscles start to tense as he prepared for battle.
"Alright Dual, let's get ready for this fight, it might be a hard one," I said to him. "Use a Swords Dance to stretch out your muscles, we'll need to hit these guys hard. And if any of them try a long-range attack, put up a Light Screen to deflect it."
Dual nodded, and took a few bounding steps forward, towards the two Pokemon. He then started performing a ritualistic dance, one that tugged at all his muscles in exactly the right places. This would allow him to maximise his damage output, and would hopefully give him an edge in the battle to come.