X Nuzlocke, episode 2: For the Swarm

Route 3

Melissa: Here it is; here it is!  This is the end of the forest!
Spruce: Santalune City should be right over this next ridge.
Ruby: About time.  Human, let- put me- let go of me, idiot!  Ah!  Finally.
Melissa: Come on, come on!  We need to hurry!
Ruby: What’s the rush?  You two have all day tomorrow to do your… quest thing or whatever and indulge your delusions of adequacy.
Melissa: Oh, I know, but it’s so important and so exciting!
Spruce: Maybe you should just tell us more about who we’re fighting?
Ruby: Yes, please do; what you’ve told us so far has been so excruciatingly riveting.
Melissa: She’s an evil, evil witch with a Vivillon who lures Bug Pokémon away from the forest by promising to make them stronger and takes them away from the hive!  They just want to make all the Bug Pokémon in the Santalune Forest into their slaves!
Spruce: Why would anyone do something like that?
Melissa: I don’t know, but we have to stop them!  If the hive gets weaker none of us will know what to do anymore!  The hive is our whole life!
Fletchling: ‘scuse me, mates, couldn’t ‘elp but over’ear…
Melissa: Who said that?
Fletchling: I did.  Up ‘ere.  And if you don’t mind my say so, sounds like you might be in need of some muscle for ‘ire.
Ruby: Hmm… come down here where I can see you properly, bird.
Fletchling: No problem at all.  Bodkin’s the name.  You need air support, I’m your bloke – long as you got the dough for it.  Looks like you already got yourself a bird on your team though.  Doin’ all right there, mate?
Spruce: Uh… fine, thanks.
Bodkin: ‘oo’s in charge ‘ere, then?  You got a trainer, looks like.
Ruby: Oh, for- Ignore the ape!  Really, why would anyone pay the slightest attention to him with such a vision of incandescent power as myself in view?
Bodkin: And ‘oo are you then, guv’nor?
Ruby: am Ruby the Fennekin, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme!  Perhaps you’ve heard of me?
Bodkin: [staring] …you what?
Ruby: [sighs] It was worth a try.
Bodkin: ‘ey, I’m sure you’re a great celebrity in other parts, but I’m only an ‘umble mercenary.  I dunno nothin’ about sorceresses and the like.  Like I said, though, sounds to me like you’re lookin’ to challenge the Santalune Gym.  Ain’t nothin’ better than a quick Flying-type to ‘elp you clean that place out.
Ruby: What’s the catch?
Bodkin: Well, like I said, I’m a bit of a materialist, luv.  I’ll fight wherever, whenever and ‘ooever you want, but you gotta meet my fee.  Two evolutionary stones and a nugget, all in advance.
Spruce: That’s a bit steep!
Bodkin: Heh.  What’s she payin’ you, mate?
Spruce: I- she’s not paying me anything!  I’m here to go on adventures, help people, and do good things!
Bodkin: Hah!  Seriously?  Well, aren’t you adorable?  And what about the crispy little luncheon roll ‘ere?
Melissa: [giggles] I might be a meal for you, but whole flocks of you would be just a snack for the hive.
Bodkin: …uh… h’okay, then.  Um. [to Ruby] Well, luv?  What’s it to be?
Ruby: Two evolutionary stones and a nugget.  Hmm.  Would you accept, say… a frosted Poké Puff and this Pidgey?
Spruce: Wait, what?
Bodkin: Hah!  That’s a good one, luv!  Mind you… [glances at Spruce] Mmm… tempting… but no, no can do.
Spruce: Wait, what?
Bodkin: Tell you what; you made me laugh, so forget the stones.  I ain’t got the contacts to sell ‘em at the moment anyway.  That’s my best price, that is.
Ruby: Regrettably I… find myself a little short on nuggets at the moment.  Along with most of the other trappings of power… like competent inferiors…
Bodkin: That’s a right bleedin’ shame, that is.  Well, if we ain’t got no business, I’d best be off, then – but you remember my name.  Might be useful if you come into a bit o’ cash, eh?
Ruby: Mmm.  Quite.
Bodkin: Until next time!
Spruce: It was nice meeting you!
Bodkin: And yourself, mate.  You look me up if you’re ever around ‘ere and fancy a bit o’ fun, yeah? [winks]
Spruce: …I am so confused.

Santalune City Gym

Spruce: Just look at this place… All of this silk…
Melissa: It’s like a huge spider web!  The more you struggle, the harder it is to escape!
Ruby: [sigh] Almost a shame to destroy such a well-thought-out evil lair.  Hmm.  Oh well.  The décor is hideous anyway.
Spruce: Wait, Ruby, don’t-!
Spruce: …how are we going to cross the room if the webs are a pile of ash?
Ruby: [rolls eyes] Need I remind you again that you are a bird?  Just carry Melissa across.
Spruce: But I can’t carry you!
Ruby: I fail to see the issue.
Chris: Wow, Ruby, that was awesome!  Now come on, let’s swing across the room on these vines!
Ruby: Wait, human, what are you- let go of- AAAAHHH!

Melissa: Take that!  And that!
Combee: Oof!
Melissa: Haha!  Poisoned!  Gotcha!  Ka-BAM!
Spruce: The leader’s room is right here!  Come on!
Melissa: The game’s up, witch!  Surrender and we won’t have to hurt you!
Vivillon: What?  What’s going on?  Who are you?
Melissa: We’re the Pokémon who are here to protect the hive from you!  Isn’t that right, guys?
Spruce: Yeah!  You’re going down for what you and your trainer have done to Melissa’s home!
Ruby: I’m actually not ‘with’ them; I’m just going to sit over here [points].
Ledyba: Excuse me miss; we don’t really allow spectators in that part of-
Ruby: You have three seconds to get out of my way before I set you on fire.
Ledyba: Uh- you can’t-
Ruby: Two, one, die.
Ledyba: [incoherent shrieking]
Vivillon: You– how dare you-
Ruby: Listen, you glorified silkworm, do you want to have a fighting chance against these idiots, or do you want to keep antagonising the greatest sorceress ever born?
Vivillon: …
Ruby: That’s what I thought. [muttering] Go on a quest… good of the hive… bad as each other…
Vivillon: …Wh-?
Melissa: It’s time for you to pay!  Before you came along all the Bug Pokémon in Santalune Forest shared one mind and worked together!  Now all the strongest voices in the hive are leaving and soon there’ll be nothing left!
Vivillon: That’s what this is about?  The Bug Pokémon we’ve been recruiting to our Gym?
Melissa: How can you do this!?  The hive is everything to us and you want to destroy it!
Vivillon: We aren’t destroying anything!  You have no idea what Viola and I are doing, do you?
Ruby: Purely out of morbid curiosity, what exactly are you doing?
Vivillon: The hive is a suffocating blight!  Bug Pokémon should be given a choice in whether to be part of it or not!  The ones we recruit- they have the potential to be so much more than mindless drones; they deserve the chance to leave the hive and explore their own creative potential, without a sea of voices constantly telling them what to do!
Ruby: Then if I am to understand you correctly, you’re stripping the hive of the enlightened leadership of its most promising present and future leaders and leaving the weak behind to run their community into the ground?
Vivillon: You-!  How could you possibly understand-!?
Ruby: Don’t mistake me, worm.  I couldn’t care less if you want to take apart their ridiculous little cult piece by piece and destroy their way of life, but you may as well call it what it is.  You’re the villain of this story, so own it.  That’s what I do.
Vivillon: There is no villain in this story, only an antiquated, misguided way of life!  I was part of the hive myself until Viola freed me as a Scatterbug, and I’ve become so much more now than I ever could have if I’d stayed – the Pokémon of the forest all deserve that chance!
Melissa: No!  Stop it!  You’re ruining everything!  Stop it!

Glückwunsch!  Dein Melissa wurde zu einem Bibor!

Melissa: Oh, you are in so much trouble now!  Time to swarm!
Vivillon: Surskit!  Stop her!
Surskit: You got it, boss!
Melissa: [laughing] Faster than me?  I don’t think so!  The hive is everywhere, and so am I!  Hya!  Yaaa!
Vivillon: Behind y-!
Melissa: Aaaaaand POISONED!
Surskit: …owwww…
Vivillon: Don’t you see?  Where is this power coming from?  You were never this strong when you were part of the hive – you’ve left them; you’ve made friends; you’ve become something new for yourself!
Melissa: No!  The hive is everything!  I can’t leave it; I won’t leave it!  Hya-ya-yaaa!
Vivillon: Strong – but not strong enough!  You will not destroy everything we’ve worked for!
Melissa: Oh- ow!
Spruce: Melissa, get back!
Melissa: I can win!  I will win!
Spruce: No, let me handle this!  Get back! [flaps wings]
Melissa: Wha- whaaaaaa!  Oof!
Spruce: My turn!  Let’s see how you deal with a breath of fresh air!
Vivillon: I’ve fought bigger birds than you and won, nestling.  Take this!
Ruby: Oh, the theatrics… Hurry this up, will you, Spruce?  There’s still time for us to leave for Lumiose City today.
Spruce: Easy for you to say!
Vivillon: Argh!  Damn you for forcing me to use this!  INFESTATION!
Melissa: No, no, no, this is good!
Melissa: You have your own hive now!
Melissa: Tell it to stop!
Melissa: Silly Pidgey!  It’s easy!  Just whisper it in your pheromones and sing it in your wing membranes!
Melissa: Ugh… fiiiiine.  Here; I’ll do it.  Come on, little ones!  Come to Melissa!  You can be part of my hive now!
Vivillon: What- how-!?
Spruce: I guess being all alone’s not so great after all, huh?  GUST!
Vivillon: Oof!
Melissa: Yaaaay!  We won, we won!  We did it!  The hive will be safe now! [to Vivillon] Now, do you promise you’ll never threaten the hive again?
Vivillon: [weakly] I… I promise…
Melissa: Pinkie-swear?
Vivillon: We… we don’t have…
Melissa: [threateningly] Pinkie-swear?
Vivillon: …pinkie-swear.
Melissa: Yay!  And if you ever break your promise I’ll come back here and tell your own parasites to eat you up from the inside!
Vivillon: …of course you will.

Chris: …what was that all about?
Viola: I… have absolutely no idea.
Chris: …um… ‘zat mean I get a badge?
Viola: Uh… I… guess?  …yeah.  Yeah, sure.

Route 22

Ruby: Well?  What can you see from up there?
Spruce: We’re, uh… we’re definitely going the wrong way.
Melissa: I told you!  This road smells all wrong; the Pokémon up ahead are way to big for us to deal with!
Ruby: Ugh.  Typical.  Well, there’s nothing to be gained here.  Come on; we can still get back to Santalune City by nightfall.
Spruce: Maybe we should buy a map in town…
Ruby: The human has a map.  The idiot just doesn’t know how to read it.
Melissa: It doesn’t matter!  Let’s just turn around and get moving; this place is boring!
Spruce: So… Melissa – you’re sure you aren’t going to go back to Santalune Forest now?
Melissa: Nope; I want to stay with you.  I thought about it for a really long time-
Ruby: It’s only been three hours.
Melissa: -and after everything that’s happened, I know I can still be a part of the hive even if I leave, as long as I promise to get strong and come back so I can share my strength with everyone!
Spruce: So you’re going to join us on our adventures so you can be a better leader for the hive when you return?
Melissa: Yep!
Spruce: Wow, that’s really great!  Good for you!
Melissa: Then when I do come back, the hive will be more powerful than ever before!  We’ll consume the forest, and the hills, and the rivers, and the human towns, and that mean nasty witch and her Pokémon, and then everyone will get to be a part of the hive!  Everyone will be so happy together!
Spruce: …oh.  Um… great.  That’s… that’s really great.
Ruby: [chuckling] Comfortable that you chose the lesser of two evils, Spruce?
Spruce: …

Spruce: Melissa?
Melissa: Hmm?
Spruce: Is it just me, or… is there a Psyduck following us?
Ruby: What?  Psyduck?
Melissa: Yep!  Since before we turned around!
Spruce: Why didn’t you say anything?
Melissa: It didn’t taste dangerous to me.  You want me to chase it away?
Ruby: No, don’t do that… where is it?  Show me; point to it.  Ah… Yes… I may have… uses for a Psyduck.
Spruce: …uses?
Ruby: Possibly.  Their minds are often pliable, but they have great psychic potential.  They can be… put to certain purposes.  Come.
Psyduck: [calling out] Excuse me, my good Pokémon!  Can you spare a few moments out of your busy day to talk about the Blessed Helix?
Melissa: What’s a Blessed Helix?
Spruce: I have no idea…
Psyduck: Ah!  A Pidgey!  Greetings, child of the Saviour!
Spruce: Saviour?  Um… no, I think you must have mistaken me for someone else; my parents are two ordinary Pidgey who live outside Santalune Forest.
Psyduck: Oh, of course, of course, pardon my excitement.  In my faith, you see, many bird Pokémon are held in high regard, and none higher than the noble Pidgeot, since it was a Pidgeot who led the first followers of the Helix along the tangled and perilous road to salvation in ancient times.
Spruce: Your… faith?  The Helix?  What are you talking about?
Psyduck: I am so glad you asked!  Have you ever thought that maybe there was something more to life, my friends?  Something you were missing?
Melissa: Nope!  When you’re part of the hive you always have everything you need!
Spruce: Well, sometimes I used to, but now that I’m going on adventures and helping people I feel pretty good, actually!
Ruby: That depends.  Does absolute magical omnipotence count?
Psyduck: Well, that’s… not exactly our usual pitch, but the Helix does call us to improve ourselves, that we may bring righteous justice to the wicked… My friends, my name is Fisher, and I am a Blessed Apostle of the Church of the Helix, the first in this region!  I have come here to Kalos to spread the word of the one true god, the Helix Fossil.
Ruby: And I am Ruby the Fennekin, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme!  Perhaps you’ve heard of me.
Fisher: I… can’t say I have.  Still, it is good that the Helix and the Voices have brought me to you, Ruby the Fennekin, for scripture tells us that the destinies of Fire Pokémon are often mighty, and balance on the edge of a knife.  I sense that, without the light of Holy Anarchy to guide you, a maelstrom of destruction will surely engulf all around you.
Ruby: Are you… quite sure you haven’t heard of me?
Melissa: Wait, I’m confused.  Is the Helix what you call your hive?  Does it speak to you all the time so that you’re never alone and never don’t know what to do?  Does it tell you to do things that don’t always make sense, but you know everything will be okay because it’s your family and your friends and it always knows what’s best?
Fisher: [beaming] I would be happy to tell you all about it, young Beedrill.  Would you all like to sit down for a while?
Melissa: Oh, I don’t know… we’re sort of all on an important journey.
Ruby: Indeed, and we have no more time to spare here.  Come, Psyduck.  You will join our group and serve me; I command it.
Fisher: You wish me to travel with you and preach the word of the Helix far and wide?  Praise be to Bird Jesus!  Let us be off, then!

Chris: Oh.  A… duck.  I… guess that’s okay.

The Team:

Ruby the Fynx (Fennekin)
Female, Bold nature, level 11, Großbrand (Blaze)
Kratzer (Scratch), Rutenschlag (Tail Whip), Glut (Ember), Jauler (Howl)

Spruce the Taubsi (Pidgey)
Male, Rash nature, level 12, Adlerauge (Keen Eye)
Tackle, Sandwirbel (Sand Attack), Windstoß (Gust)

Melissa the Bibor (Beedrill)
Female, Jolly nature, level 11, Hexaplaga (Swarm)
Giftstachel (Poison Sting), Plage (Infestation), Härtner (Harden), Furienschlag (Fury Attack – okay, this one sounds way better in German)

Fisher the Enton (Psyduck)
Male, Brave nature, level 10, Wolke Sieben (Cloud Nine – except in German the expression is actually “Cloud Seven,” apparently)
Nassmacher (Water Sport), Kratzer (Scratch), Rutenschlag (Tail Whip), Aquaknarre (Water Gun)

Currently inactive:

Bodkin the Dartiri (Fletchling)
Male, Careful nature, level 12, Brustbieter (Big Pecks)
Tackle, Heuler (Growl), Ruckzuckhieb (Quick Attack), Schnabel (Peck)

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