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Old 08-24-2011, 12:58 AM
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Sasha started to yell a battle cry as she neared the Riolu, a uluatingiai-iai-iai sound. Her opponent tried to dodge to the left but she anticipated this, shoving her left leg into the ground so that she was propelled in the same direction. Her hands whipped forward, crashing into the Riolu's temples. The Emanation Pokemon was thrown backwards, and it just barely avoided losing its balance. It shook its fox-like head, sending its ears flapping from side to side. No doubt the sheer force of the blow had flinched the young Pokemon.

As Sasha sprang backwards, my mind was working in overdrive. The true purpose of Sasha's Fake Out hadn't been to cause damage, it had been to determine the Riolu's Ability. If it had Inner Focus, the Fake Out wouldn't have flinched it. Seeing as it was still trying to regain its senses, its Ability was either Steadfast or Prankster. Either was bad news - if it was Steadfast, the Riolu would come out of the flinch faster than before. If it was Prankster, it would be able to twist and combine status moves in interesting and lightning-fast ways. Thankfully, Riolu didn't have access to many status moves.

Sasha skidded to a stop right in front of me, her arms moving in graceful circles at her sides. A thin, barely-pink screen faded into existance, and the Medicham moved her right hand forwards. Her palm touched the screen and a few pink sparks crawled over her knuckles, linking the Reflect to her hand. I recognised this as a variation of Dual's own Reflect - he tended to wear them like shields on his forearms, similar to warriors of old.

The Riolu shook its head one last time and then shot towards Sasha, snow kicking up behind him. He launched a Feint towards Sasha's right, and she brought the Reflect low to block it. The Emanation Pokemon's paw clipped her hip, before falling down onto the ground. It used the balance gained from this brace to bring its black feet sweeping around. They scythed underneath Sasha, smashing into her calves and knocking her over. The little nimble Pokemon then planted its feet into the ground and launched itself up into the air. It jumped from pillar to pillar up into the air, disappearing behind one of the stalactites clinging to the roof.

Sasha got to her feet, grumbling unhappily. She threw a quick look at Dual, but the Gallade just nodded. The Medicham was probably just worried that she was letting her mentor down, but I knew Dual wouldn't see it that way. He had a healthy respect for the ebb and flow of battle - it was unrealistic to expect a win without earning it. Personally, I was happy with how Sasha had performed - it was true she might be a bit slower because of the damage to her calves, but considering Riolu had access to one of two speed-boosting Abilities, I wasn't unduly bothered by this.

My problem was quite simple. The Riolu was nowhere to be seen, which meant that Sasha couldn't attack it directly. And while her strength was no doubt her physical attacks, like Dual, she could use long-range attacks too if need be. Luckily, she also had access to strengthening moves. I decided to make use of them.

"Alright Sasha, use Calm Mind to heighten your senses, and then use Psychic to find that Riolu and rip it out into the open," I ordered.

Sasha put her fingers to her temples, the Reflect screen dutifully hovering in front of her while she calmed her nerves. Slight blue tinges of energy flickered around her red helmet. The energy pulses began to increase in size and rapidity as the Medicham began her mental search of the room. As soon as she encountered the Riolu's thoughts, she'd grab a hold of it with her telekinetic abilities and fling it into the middle of the room, where she could keep an eye on it.

I realised that I could help out. I pulled out a small bottle that I had received long ago. It wasn't designed to be used in a battle, but I figured I could use it to disorient the Riolu. I tampered with the Fragrance bottle, applying pressure to the pump and weakening the seal. Now, instead of a spray-bottle, I had a crude explosive device, one that would break on impact and release the gases within. This wasn't a particularly potent version, but it would hopefully distract the Riolu just enough for me to come up with a plan depending on what it did. I prepared to throw it, hoping that everything would go as planned.
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