X Nuzlocke, episode 10: A Bolt from the Blue

Azure Bay

Slowpoke: …
Spruce: …
Ruby: Spruce.
Spruce: …
Slowpoke: …
Ruby: Spruce, I am now almost 100% certain that she was not challenging you to a staring contest.
Spruce: …
Slowpoke: …
Ruby: Well, all right; to be honest, I was almost 100% certain of that before you started.  It’s just stopped being amusing now.
Spruce: …
Ruby: …he’s going to keep doing that until one of them blinks, isn’t he?
Fisher: Your magical sense did indicate that the stone we seek is in this Slowpoke’s possession, did they not?  As odd as it seems, a staring contest would not be entirely out of step with the other trials presented to us by the various heathens of this island.
Ruby: If by ‘trials,’ you mean the group of Binacle who demanded an arm-wrestle, the Chatot who made Spruce sing for them, the Inkay with the overgrown hedge-maze, and the Exeggcute village that inexplicably challenged us to a riddle contest, then they prove only that life on this island apparently provides the indigenous creatures with no entertainment whatsoever.  Well… and possibly that Azure Bay is home to a hitherto unknown Chatot subspecies that has tragically and against all probability been struck tone-deaf.
Fisher: Yet only after they heard of our goal did they pose these challenges.  And the final riddle offered as a parting gift by the Exeggcute may yet prove important.
Martial: That lingers on my mind as well.  What creature is it that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at midday, and three legs in the evening?
Ruby: Bah; the answer is plainly a male human.  The question asks what creature can have three different numbers of ‘legs’ in a single day.  In the morning he crawls out of bed on all fours, suffering from a hangover, by midday he has gotten to his feet, and in the evening-
Merneith: Don’t be ridiculous; the question is phrased to trick us.  They never said it had to be the morning and evening of the same day!  A two-legged Roggenrola might evolve into a three-legged Boldore one evening, and then again into a four-legged Gigalith the next morning.
Martial: Yet I was certain the riddle would refer to the stone’s guardian, and it seems she is neither a human nor a Boldore – nor do either of those species appear to be indigenous to this island.
Slowpoke: Oh… hello… I’m sorry; I didn’t see you there.
Ruby: See-!?  We’ve been standing around you talking for over ten minutes!
Slowpoke: Well, that’s a relief.  For a moment I was worried you’d been waiting a long time.
Spruce: Does that mean I win?
Merneith: …yes.  Yes, you do.
Ruby: Don’t encourage him.  You!  Slowpoke!  Reveal your identity to us!
Slowpoke: Hmm… For a long time I remember many Pokémon called me Hypatia… you may use that name if it pleases you… though it has been a while.  I may only have imagined it… What do you believe you are called?
Ruby: …Ruby the Braixen, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme; perhaps you’ve heard of… oh, forget it.
Hypatia: Forget what?
Amaldos: Forgetting is a privilege reserved for those who are forgiven.
Hypatia: Oh… hello there, honoured master.  How go your duties?
Amaldos: Every subject’s duty is his own soul, but no master’s soul is his own.
Hypatia: I see… And your exalted mentor?  I trust he is well?
Amaldos: [sadly] He is banished from himself… a joyful thing for us, we who are wedded to calamity.
Merneith: You killed him.  You literally killed him in front of us.  Remember?
Amaldos: Remembering is a privilege reserved for those whose loss will be regretted.
Hypatia: Indeed…
Ruby: Argh; you’re all as mad as each other.  Look, Slowpoke; you have a Mega Stone in your possession.  Hand it over.
Hypatia: The stone…?  But it was only just given to me to guard… only four or five generations have passed among the Exeggcute since I was left here by master Amaldos.
Spruce: Four or five… generations?  [To Amaldos] …how old are you?
Amaldos: Enough to have seen mighty oaks grow from old chestnuts.
Spruce: Oaks grow from acorns.  Um.  Don’t they?
Amaldos: There is a time and a place for everything…
Ruby: Whatever; whatever; just hand it over.
Hypatia: …I remember once these stones were freely bought and sold as curiosities.  And in another time, I think perhaps they were feared as terrible weapons.  At one point they were considered an ideal base for a number of salads and chutneys.  But I think I was left here because there was a time we thought them sacred… worthy of protection.  Have our beliefs shifted once again?
Amaldos: Seeing is believing, and we who are blinded by the light see precious little…
Hypatia: Very well… I will trust your judgement, master.  Sorceress… take the stone, and use it well…
Ruby: Ah… at last… and now we shall see what arcane secrets this mighty artefact can unlock…
Spruce: Okay.
Ruby: …right now.
Amaldos: If there is no time like the present, then only the absent have time.
Ruby: …no one wants to object?
Martial: I would rather save my breath for someone wise enough to listen.
Merneith: To be honest, I kinda want to see what this one does.
Ruby: Okay… here goes nothing…

Spruce: Is… is it working?
Ruby: I… think so?  The stone’s boundless energy flows through me… but to no effect?
Fisher: The stone may have some effect that is more subtle than those previous – perhaps it can expand your perceptions somehow, or create a shield against attacks?
Merneith: Is it just me, or is the sky getting dark?
Ruby: Shut up, Merneith; no one cares.  Hmm.  My normal perception appears unaffected, as do my magical and psychic senses… can I now detect hidden objects, perhaps?  No… envision a Pokémon’s ‘level’? [squints at Amaldos] Obviously not…
Spruce: Maybe it lets you smell colours the way Smeargle do, or something?
Ruby: That’s ridiculous, Spruce. [pauses, closes eyes, sniffs cautiously] Absolutely ridiculous.
Amaldos: If each of us carries a box, and in the box is a beetle that is both alive and dead, what will be unleashed if we open the box to show the beetle to the world?
Fisher: Have you no insights, noble one?  Was it not you that secreted the stone here?
Amaldos: Just because a dog howls at a blue moon, does not mean a white elephant may jump over it.
Fisher: Er… you… do not remember?
Amaldos: Quite.
Merneith: I’m serious; I think a storm’s comi- wait, was that lightn-
Fisher: Perhaps we should find cov-
Spruce: AAAH!  There was a tree there a second ago, right?  Right where that flaming stump is?  I didn’t just imagine there was a tree there, did I?
Martial: The stone, wi-
Ruby: What?
Martial: I said-
Martial: -ing the stone!
Ruby: [looks up] Oh.  Uh.  Here!  Catch!
Fisher: Ah!  Got it!
Spruce: Uh… I don’t think it’s stopping!
Martial: We cannot stay exposed in this storm!  We must move!
Ruby: Argh.  Come on, then!  We’ll find that Lapras and get out of here; I can experiment more with the stone later.

Hypatia: …hmm… looks like rain.  Maybe I should head under cover.

Hypatia: …then again… it’s a little too soon to tell… maybe tomorrow.

Lavoisier: Oh; hey there, uh… human.  I was kinda hoping to talk to my sister, is she-?
Chris: Hey!  You’re the little Charmander who lives with Professor Sycamore, aren’t you?  Only you’ve evolved now!  Wow; who taught you how to use a holo-caster?
Lavoisier: …it’s… it’s really not that complicated; you literally just hold it out in front of you and talk into it.  Is Ruby there?
Chris: Oh my god; you are so cute.  You’re just like a little person!
Lavoisier: Uh… thanks, I think?  You… actually are a little person.  Good job.
Chris: And I bet you’re really strong too; wow, I wish you could’ve come with us!
Lavoisier: Human.  Focus.  I know you can understand me if you try.  Ruby.  The Braixen.  Your partner Pokémon.  Where.  Is.  She?
Chris: Hey, do you think you could show me some of your cool attacks?  I’ve never seen Dragon Rage before!
Lavoisier: …by Arceus, she’s been totally right about you all along, hasn’t she?
Ruby: Human!  Who the hell are you talking to!?  Who gave you permission to use that thing!?
Lavoisier: Ruby!  It’s me!  I need to talk to you!
Ruby: Right; human, bugger off.  I have business to attend to.  Go and… I don’t know, do human things.  Drink tea on a bicycle in an office block.  Whatever, off you go.  Idiot. [to Lavoisier] Now.  You.  You do realise that those two Lucario you sent me to meet were completely insane?
Lavoisier: Uh…
Ruby: Didn’t you say you knew them?
Lavoisier: Well, I… said I used to sort of know them…
Ruby: Specifics.  Now.
Lavoisier: It was a few years ago, just after I started working with the Professor!  He was an initiate at the Tower of Mastery for a little while.  I never had much to do with the other Pokémon there but they always seemed really knowledgeable!  And the Professor’s records say your human has a Lucario with him now; did Amaldos or Lelanthion decide to come with you?
Ruby: Oh, yes, one of them joined me!  And then immediately killed the other!  As far as I can make out, he is a walking, talking mixed metaphor that was somehow brought to life by a gypsy curse!
Lavoisier: Ah… well, they… may have been a little more eccentric than I thought, but… look, Ruby; that doesn’t matter right now.  I need you back in Lumiose City as soon as possible.  There’s trouble and I need you and your friends to help keep the peace.
Ruby: …what is it?  What’s going on?
Lavoisier: A few hours ago, some kind of massive electrical disturbance knocked out the major power plant north of the city.  The whole place is in chaos.
Ruby: …ah.
Lavoisier: And to make matters worse, the Pokémon that the Professor and I sent to check out the plant and make repairs haven’t reported back.  You’re close to Coumarine City, right?  You can approach Lumiose City from the north and investigate the power facilities on the way; it’ll only take a few days of your time.
Ruby: Will I get paid this time?
Lavoisier: …probably.
Ruby: And will that be in IOUs, food, human trinkets, poorly done research, or something actually useful?
Lavoisier: …yes.
Ruby: [shrug] Ah, good enough.  We’ll have to stop in Coumarine City for a day or two to rest and resupply, but we’ll be there as soon as we can after that.
Lavoisier: Thank Arceus… travel safely, sis.

Coumarine City

Sailor: There!  That’s him!
Policeman: What, the kid?  Hold up there a minute, son!
Chris: Who, me?
Policeman: We’d just like to ask you a few questions.
Sailor: I’m telling you, it was him!
Policeman: I’ll be the judge of that.  Son, can you tell me what you did yesterday?
Chris: Um… well, I just got to Coumarine City.  I crossed Azure Bay with my Pokémon yesterday.
Sailor: Yes – raiding our ship in the process!
Chris: Wait, that was you?  Yeah, uh… I’m… I’m really sorry about that-
Policeman: Wait, you mean you don’t deny his story?
Chris: Not… exactly?
Sailor: This kid’s a menace, I tell you!  You’ll arrest him right now if you know what’s good for you!
Policeman: He’s, what, twelve?  Fourteen at the most?  We can’t charge a minor with piracy!
Sailor: Well, you’ve gotta do something!
Policeman: I intend to.  I’m taking you to the Gym, kid – if you’re a juvenile Pokémon trainer, that makes you Leader Ramos’ problem.
Chris: …oh.  Oh dear.

Ruby: Ah… rested and refreshed.  We should take days off more often.
Spruce: I have to admit, you are a lot… nicer when you’re relaxed.
Ruby: What do you mean?
Spruce: Well, you didn’t set anyone on fire, or try to enslave anyone, or cause any huge disasters.  I don’t think you’ve even insulted me since we got here.
Ruby: Purely a result of spending less time with you, I’m sure.  What have you been doing, anyway?
Spruce: Oh, just flying around, seeing the sights.  The humans have this really cool market down by the harbour that sells all kinds of rare items, like those incenses that Cap’n Steve was talking about.  The stalls smelled amazing!
Ruby: You stay away from that stuff; it’ll rot your brain.  You’ve got precious little to work with as it is.
Amaldos: Sometimes a feather brain floats highest of all.
Ruby: Oh.  Good.  You’re back.  I was worried we might have gotten rid of you.
Amaldos: A nod serves as well as a wink, to a blind dog in a flea market.
Ruby: Um… well, okay, but… but you aren’t literally… wait, are you?
Amaldos: …
Ruby: …that just raises more questions!
Martial: Hail, friends!  Are we ready to take to the road once more, in search of wrongs to be righted?
Ruby: Good grief… what’s gotten you so eager?
Fisher: We have been engaged in some quite riveting theological discussion!  Our noble lunar knight was kind enough to share with me some of the lore of his order, and its implications for the nature of the Helix and the Dome are really quite fascinating!  Er… if true, of course.
Martial: Indeed, and our priest’s fervour has inspired me to redouble my dedication to the cause of honour and justice, in the name of the moon.
Spruce: That’s great!  What did you do with your time off, Merneith?
Merneith: Dug into the back of the Pokémon Centre to hand out pamphlets on the benefits of a gluten-free raw-food vegan diet, the dangers of vaccination and other forms of human medicine, and the human conspiracy to turn all Pokémon into brain-dead automatons.
Spruce: Oh; that sounds-
Merneith: Then I threw a Rock Tomb up through the middle of the auxiliary generator.
Spruce: You- you what?
Merneith: Smashed it to bits.  Boom – no power until whatever’s going on at the big power plant south of here gets fixed.  If it gets fixed.
Spruce: But- but they heal sick and injured Pokémon there!
Merneith: Suuuuuuure they do.  And who told you that?
Spruce: Well… well, the humans did.
Merneith: [knowing smile] Uh-huh.
Ruby: Okay, catch up time is over; we have a job to do.  Let’s get moving; that power plant isn’t going to investigate itself.
Fisher: If I may, my lady, I believe one of our party is missing.
Ruby: What are you talking about?  There’s you, me, Spruce, the conspiracy nut, the sailor scout, and the walking fortune cookie.  All six of us are here.  I swear, if this is the beginning of some lecture about how your inane fossil god has been a vital member of our group all along, I will set Spruce on fire.
Spruce: What!?
Fisher: Er… I confess, my lady, that I have come to question that very fact myself in recent weeks, but that was not at all the thrust of my objection.  We are missing our human.
Ruby: … [looks around] …ah, $#!t.

Spruce: Yeah, I can see them through the window!  Looks like… a Weepinbell, a Jumpluff, and a Gogoat, all really tough!  And an old human with a stick!
Martial: Perhaps we should try a diplomatic approach before resorting to violence?
Merneith: Negotiate, with them?  Are you mad?  They kidnapped our human!
Spruce: I thought you hated humans?
Merneith: Well… yeah.  I do.  But this one’s kinda growing on me.
All others: …
Merneith: Shut up!  He’s too damn sweet and stupid to be evil, okay!  Well.  Probably.
Ruby: Much as I hate to agree with her, Merneith has a point.  I am not going to send the message that people who take my slaves can expect anything less than absolute magical annihilation.
Spruce: So what’s the plan?
Ruby: I don’t want to set everything on fire unless we can get the idiot out first… but I think I can subvert the nature magic of this place, take control of some of the vegetation.  Let’s see… yes, the weave of energy is simple enough… and not even any wards against magical tampering… tsk tsk… [Ruby erlernt Strauchler] All right.  When I give the word… Spruce, engage the Jumpluff in the air and keep him from using any powder attacks.  Merneith, Dig and come at the Weepinbell from below.  The rest of you, deal with anyone who comes to help.  I’ll handle the brute. Now… Grass Knot!
Weepinbell: What the-?
Gogoat: Our plants!  They’re rebelling against us!
Gloom: What’s going on!?  The vines are trying to tie us up!
Roselia: HELP!
Weepinbell: Stay here; I’ll go and-
Gogoat: No, you fool!  Don’t you see?  This is an attack!

Ramos: EH-heheh!  Ye’re all right, fer a misbehavin’ young scallywag!  Any trainer whose Pokémon’d take such initiative teh rescue ‘im is all right in ol’ Ramos’ book!
Chris: Wh- what do you mean?
Ramos: Ye’ve inspired ther loyalty and set a fire in ther bellies, sure enough!  It takes a good heart teh make a Pokémon fight fer yeh with such fierceness and cunnin’!  Now get off with yeh; yeh don’t need no discipline from me, whippersnapper.  I’ll even give yeh me badge fer yer trouble.
Chris: But, uh… what about the whole… piracy thing?
Ramos: EH-heheh-HEH!  Sprout, if those kids down at the Coumarine Police knew what we got up to when we were young, they’d soil themselves soon as look at me!  Now go on, get!  I got a Gym teh tidy up…

The Team:

Ruby the Rutena (Braixen)
Female, Bold nature, level 35, Großbrand (Blaze)
Lichtschild (Light Screen), Psychoschock (Psyshock), Strauchler (Grass Knot), Feuerwirbel (Fire Spin)

Spruce the Tauboga (Pidgeotto)
Male, Rash nature, level 35, Adlerauge (Keen Eye)
Windhose (Twister), Daunenreigen (Featherdance), Fliegen (Fly), Ruckzuckhieb (Quick Attack)

Fisher the Entoron (Golduck)
Male, Brave nature, level 34, Wolke Sieben (Cloud Nine)
Aussetzer (Disable), Dunkelklaue (Shadow Claw), Zen-Kopfstoß (Zen Headbutt), Surfer (Surf)

Merneith the Rokkaiman (Krokorok)
Female, Bashful nature, level 34, Hochmut (Moxie)
Knirscher (Crunch), Steigerungshieb (Power-Up Punch), Felsgrab (Rock Tomb), Schaufler (Dig)

Martial the Nidoking
Male, Brave nature, level 34, Giftdorn (Poison Point)
Energiefokus, Doppelkick, Gifthieb (Poison Jab), Hornattacke

Amaldos the Lucario
Male, Hasty nature, level 34, Felsenfest (Steadfast)
Steigerungshieb (Power-Up Punch), Schwerttanz (Swords Dance), Metallsound, Knochenhatz (Bone Rush)


Melissa the Bibor (Beedrill)
Female, Jolly nature, level 16, Hexaplaga (Swarm)
Giftstachel (Poison Sting), Duonadel (Twineedle), Energiefokus (Focus Energy), Furienschlag (Fury Attack)

Boreas the Amarino (Amaura)
Male, Mild nature, level 29, Frostschicht (Refrigerate)
Natur-Kraft (Nature Power), Bodycheck (Take Down), Felsgrab (Rock Tomb), Aurorastrahl (Aurora Beam)

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