Re: Intolerance (PG-13)
Before Joel could react, a powerful stream of water came gushing out of the shell, almost strong enough to tear his skin off! The force caused Joel to stumble back, and the shell to go flying out of his hands.
"Ah! FRELL!" Joel cried, taking a moment to regain his composure, and turning his attention back to the aggressive shell that was once in his grasp. However, what he was now looking at wasn't just a plain shell. Jaw open in disbelief, Joel saw that the shell he had picked up had now sprouted a spiraled tail, two stubby arms and legs, and a very round head, which itself sported a very angry scowl.
"Squirtle!" the shell growled, in a medium-high pitched voice, that may have sounded a bit comical to Joel, in any other situation. This Pokemon was a large turtle, with entirely light-blue flesh. Its brown shell, Joel now noticed, was yellow on the bottom.
"What is that thing?" Joel quickly pulled out the PokeDex, proving quite useful for the second time in ten minutes. A picture of the Pokemon appeared on the small LCD screen. Although, the turtle the PokeDex portrayed seemed much more jovial than the one staring down Joel.
"Squirtle, the Tiny Turtle Pokemon," the PokeDex began educating Joel. "This Pokemon's shell forms and hardens on its back after birth. Its rounded shell allows Squirtle to swim at high speeds in the water. When Squirtle feels threatened, it will withdraw its legs into the shell and spray a powerful jet of water from its mouth."
That last part was for certain, Joel mused, having witnessed the water jet, himself. But given the PokeDex's entry, it was completely understandable. Although, Joel found it odd that Squirtle had not withdrawn into its smooth shell, but was, instead, standing its ground.
"H-h-hey, S-s-squirtle..." Joel said calmly, his voice shaking. He didn't want to anger the Squirtle. "I'm not- I'm not going to hurt you... I just picked up your shell by accident."
Squirtle wasn't giving him any benefit of the doubt.
"I-I don't want to hurt you," arms raised, he edged closer to the Squirtle.
Squirtle, obviously feeling threatened, fired another shot at Joel. This time, knowing that it was coming, he quickly dived out of the way. Rolling back a good distance, Joel jumped up and started backing away.
"I'll just... I'll just leave you then."
That, however, wasn't good enough for the angry Squirtle, who fired several water shots to either side of Joel to prevent him from moving. Clearly, Joel had no other choice but to fight. Hands shaking, he reached for the one Pokemon he had, which was nestled snuggly in its Poke Ball. He pulled his arm back, passed his head, ready to throw it.
He thrusted his arm forward.
The ball was about to leave his palm.
But his fingers gripped back down.
Remembering his battle with Magmar, Joel couldn't bring himself to allow Solar to fight. Both of them had almost died in that battle. Although Squirtle was a third of Magmar's size, and the complete opposite element, it still appeared to be as tough as Magmar. Squirtle chose to reassert its tough attitude by firing another shot at Joel. This one, grazing his cheek.
"Yow!" Joel cringed in pain as the powerful jet rocketed across his skin. When it had passed, he rubbed the injury with his hand. Feeling his hand was suddenly moist, Joel looked at his hand, gasping at the sight. His palm was coated in a small amount of blood. Squirtle's water stream had torn the skin off his cheek!
Joel stared at the Squirtle, who was looking more furious by the minute. Never, in his life, had he seen any creature display such ferocity! Even in the KAPA game he had used to play in the past, the Pokemon did not bear such strong emotion. He looked back at the Poke Ball in his hand.
"Help me, Solar!" seeing no other way out, Joel tossed the red and white ball toward the aggressive turtle Pokemon. It burst open with the bright white light, which Joel had now seen for the third time in less than a week, and materialised Joel's Pokemon friend.
"Bulba-saur!" Solar growled, immediately jumping into an offensive stance, as if it knew exactly what had been unfolding. It glared at the Squirtle, who scowled right back. To Joel, it looked as if they were having an old-fashioned stand off. Both determined to un-nerve the other, neither Pokemon moved from their position.
Until Solar made the first move.
Kicking its front foot in the ground, much like a bull preparing to charge, Solar leaped forward toward the Squirtle, hitting it directly in its rock-hard shell. Squirtle stumbled back several steps, but didn't appear to exhibit any signs of pain. On the contrary, it grinned a wicked smile. Squirtle held up its short arms and waved them back toward its body, daring Solar to attack it again.
"Bulba!" Solar cried, even angrier than before. Joel quickly realised what a stubborn Pokemon he had, as he watched the Bulbasaur shake its bulb back and forth. Within moments, Solar fired a barrage of razor sharp leaves at the Squirtle. While Joel would have been diving out of the way, he noticed that Squirtle, much like the Magmar they had fought earlier, wasn't afraid of Solar's Razor Leaf attack. In fact, Squirtle seemed to be grinning even more. And Joel saw why, as as he watched the leaves bounce harmlessly off Squirtle's shell.
It seemed as though Squirtle had a completely impenetrable shell. There didn't seem to be any attack that Solar had that would be able to stop it!
'And judging by the look on Solar's face,' Joel considered, staring at the perplexed Pokemon's face, 'he knows it, too!'
Satisfied that Solar understood that it wasn't a push over, Squirtle decided that it was its turn to attack. It charged at Solar, withdrawing its head into its hard shell, and knocked the plant Pokemon back several metres. Solar rolled along the sand, groaning, in both pain and anger. But before he had even gotten back on his feet, Squirtle was launching another attack.
"Squirtle!" the blue menace shouted, jumping into the air and pushing its head out of its shell. Taking a deep breath, Squirtle fired another jet of water at the injured Solar, scoring a direct hit on Solar's bulb!
"Solar!" Joel cried out, worried for his friend. If the water jet, barely missing Joel had penetrated his skin, who knew what a direct hit would have done to Solar's bulb? Could Bulbasaur live without their bulbs? Joel cringed at the thought.
"Bulba!" Solar shouted. But not in anger, or in pain. But in triumph! To Joel's surprise, Solar leaped back onto his feet, grinning a broad smile. It appeared as though Squirtle's water had revitalised it.
Joel smacked his hand against his head, surprised there wasn't a hand print permanently stuck there. Of course the water had revitalised Solar. Solar was a plant Pokemon!
Squirtle seemed to have realised this too, as it had lost its own balance, clearly not expecting its attack to backfire like that. Squirtle fumbled its landing, falling forward on the ground.
'Finally!' Joel cheered. 'Things are going our way!'
Now that they were back on even playing ground, Joel had to think of a way past Squirtle's defence. Solar wasn't going to get anywhere, so long as it kept hitting Squirtle's shell.
"When Squirtle feels threatened it will withdraw its legs into the shell..." Joel quoted the PokeDex entry from earlier. Suddenly he slapped himself in the fact again. "It withdraws because its flesh is vulnerable! Oi, Solar!"
Solar turned to Joel, hearing his trainer call his name. Joel was grinning, having just had an epiphany that would win them their first battle since they had met!
"Solar, you have to aim for its flesh!" Joel breathlessly told the Pokemon. "Its shell is too hard to penetrate!"
Solar nodded, also sharing Joel's optimism. Jumping toward Squirtle, Bulbasaur tackled it hard, causing the Pokemon to stumble backward and fall on its back.
"Perfect," Joel muttered, watching the Squirtle struggle to get up. They had the turtle exactly where they wanted it. "Now, Solar! Use Razor Leaf!"
"Bulba!" Solar roared in victory, quickly firing as many leaves from its bulb as possible, all directed toward Squirtle's exposed flesh. To Joel, it appeared as a green blur.
However, Squirtle was not going to go easily. Thinking quickly, it pulled its entire body into its rock hard shell, Solar's razor leaves embedding themselves deep into the sandy beach, instead of Squirtle's soft flesh. However, Joel still had one other idea to guarantee them victory.
"Quick, Solar!" Joel shouted to Solar, who was growling that his attack had missed. "Fire a seed into one of the openings in its shell!"
"Bulbasaur!" Solar shouted, with a tone that showed he thought Joel's idea was sheer brilliance. Skillfully aiming his bulb at the Squirtle's shell, the Bulbasaur fired a small brown seed out of it and into an opening of Squirtle's, once impenetrable, shell.
"Squirt... le..." Joel heard the turtle cry weakly as it poked its head out of its shell moments later. Joel saw that it was covered in vines, the roots burrowing deep into the Pokemon's flesh, sapping its energy. The Pokemon was writhing in pain, causing Joel to flinch and look away. He couldn't bear to see the Pokemon's pain, even if it had brought it on itself.
He had to do something. He couldn't just leave it there to die a slow and painful death!
Joel looked at Solar, who seemed to be sharing the same sorrow as Joel. He had never seen his Pokemon look so downcast. Solar didn't want to take another Pokemon's life, either!
But what could Joel do? He had no medical training, much less, knowledge of how Pokemon attacks effected life forms. And judging by the tears he saw roll down Solar's cheeks, neither did his Bulbasaur.
And then Joel realised what he could do for the Squirtle.
What was instinct to all trainers.
He threw a Poke Ball.
To Joel, it happened as if it were in slow motion.
He watched the ball fly through the air, the red and white spinning around.
He watched the ball make contact with Squirtle, who flinched as it felt the plastic against its sky blue flesh.
He watched the ball open up on its own, as if it were being opened by some sort of telekinetic force.
He watched the ball emit a bright red light, which consumed the Squirtle entirely, converting its life force into another form of energy.
He watched the ball suck the energy inside, so that the only evidence remaining of the Pokemon was the indent it left in the sand.
He watched the ball snap shut and fall to the ground, bound, one more, by the force of gravity.
He watched the ball wriggle on the ground, as though the Squirtle was trying to escape from the ball.
He watched it wriggle again.