[Catch up on the story so far here!]
Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:
You’re not going to pay any attention to the warnings, are you?
- lol, no; follow Jane’s lead and keep going, quietly
yeah I figured, Larry said the same thing just before The Tangela Incident. God, he was a piece of $#!t (rest in peace, man).
Opting for a stealthy approach, you turn off the light on your Pokédex and put your trust in Jane’s impeccable night vision. Reaching down to touch her shoulder with one hand so she can lead you, you creep slowly forward, hearing the giggling grow incrementally louder. You think you can see a pinkish light source around another couple of bends. With any luck, you can peek around a corner and get a look at whoever – whatever – is hiding here without revealing your own presence. These caves are full of weird rock formations formed by the slow dripping of water and accretion of limestone; with Jane’s help, you move from one to the next as the light slowly gets better and you find yourself able to see properly. Finally, you crouch behind a big stalagmite right next to a bend in the tunnel, the strange pink light around the corner now almost as bright as torchlight. You slowly crane your head around the bend, and see… just a floating ball of soft pink light, hovering in a dead end. Puzzled, you stand and walk up to the light. There’s no heat coming off it, it’s just… light. Reminds you of the light that Pokémon glow with when they evolve, or when they channel energy for some of their more powerful techniques. You vaguely recall that some Psychic, Ghost and Fairy Pokémon can create spiritual light sources, a minor application of their abilities that doesn’t even rise to the level of a real battle technique like Flash.
And then you hear, somewhere behind you-
You spin around to see three rotund little pink Pokémon with curly fur, pointed brown ears and big poufy tails, all standing on two legs, rhythmically waving their arms back and forth as a blue glow builds around their fingers. You have only a couple of seconds to register intense excitement that these must be the legendarily shy and reclusive Fairy Pokémon, Clefairy, and that you must be watching their fabled Metronome technique, then another second to realise that this is probably an extremely bad thing, before the three Clefairy squeak triumphantly and snap their fingers in unison. To their own apparent surprise, their stubby little pink arms stretch out like melted cheese. With a sudden elastic spring, they reach out and wrap their creepy cheese-arms around you and Jane, once, twice, three times, pinning your arms to your sides and trussing up Jane’s legs. You’re uninjured, but can’t reach your Pokéballs to call another Pokémon. Jane glares at the hostile Pokémon, her Leer stinging them with the sheer force of her indignation, but although two of the Clefairy flinch back, they don’t loosen their grip enough for her to wriggle away. You angrily stretch out your fingers towards your belt to try and touch or dislodge a Pokéball, but the tentacle-arms just constrict you even more tightly, enough that it starts to hurt, and you admit defeat. The Clefairy, apparently unsure what to do with you now, start talking to each other. You glance at Jane, hoping for some interpretive help, but she just seems to be sulking about being taken by surprise and captured so easily. The Clefairy seem to come to a decision, and begin gradually stepping backwards in unison, leading you along with their rubber-arms still wrapped tightly around you. You comply and follow them. Clefairy are… enigmatic, but you’re not aware of any evidence that they’re carnivorous, or anything else that would suggest they’re likely to have nefarious intentions here. You’re sure you can talk them down, or… something.
I mean, I don’t want to say “I told you so” or anything, buuuuuut…
Your captors take you down a different tunnel, one that you hadn’t even noticed before in the gloom, but is clearly visible in the halo of pink light following you. After a couple of twists, you start to hear the distant giggling sounds again, which you now recognise as the high, lilting voices of more Clefairy. You soon emerge into a large chamber, lit by several more glowing light balls. There are… you blink a few times, looking around. There are at least a dozen more Clefairy here, mostly playing with a range of different items. Scattered around the cave, you can see tools, bits of broken machinery, stacks of berries that must be supplies, a pile of rubbish, sheets of metal, scraps of tarpaulin and black cloth… your eyes snap back to the broken machinery. A coil of copper wire, some speakers, a circuit board, a bent antenna… you realise that the rubbish next to the berries is a stack of wrappers from some kind of protein bar. These Pokémon have been stealing from the dig site! And they- wait, no, that makes no fµ¢£ing sense. Why would Pokémon dismantle a radio? Think this $#!t through before you think it, kid. Another four Clefairy have walked up to you and are talking to the three holding you captive. One is wearing a little bandana made of a strip of black cloth – you can’t help but start hypothesising about whether it might be a status symbol or even a mark of rank, or maybe just something that they thought looked nice. The Clefairy with the bandana steps up to you and starts patting you down, searching your pockets. You protest and try to ask what’s going on and why you’ve been captured – Clefairy are supposed to be highly intelligent Pokémon, with some ability to understand human speech. Jane yaps angrily. Bandana Clefairy just looks annoyed and begins a Metronome, but apparently thinks better of it, turns to one of the others and gives an order. Two Clefairy take deep breaths, open their mouths wide and begin to sing, a high, haunting sound full of sad mysteries and dark longings. And that’s the last thing you remember.
9 thoughts on “A Pokémon Trainer is You! XL: Fey Realms”
Cheese finger Clefairy will now haunt my dream.
Do Pokemon canonically have the power to have any control what their metronome does? I know it’s random in terms of game mechanics, but I’m wondering how it works for the Pokemon themselves.
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I think “control” might be overstating it. I kinda get the impression from Togepi’s Metronomes in the anime that maybe there’s an element of “wishing” to it, like asking a literal-minded genie to solve your problem and not *quite* knowing what the result will be. I don’t have enough evidence off the top of my head to form a proper argument for that, though – it’s possible Togepi just got lucky.
This episode’s Metronome was not *completely* random but did involve some dice rolls on my part.
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Translation: the Clefairy needed to win or force a surrender in one move for plot reasons, but we’re low-level enough that there are a lot of plausible ways of doing that. (Come to think of it, we’ll still be susceptible to a lot of random bullcrap no matter how powerful our Pokémon get…)
Not actually true. There were several dice rolls behind the scenes, and it was not a forgone conclusion when I started writing this chapter that we would “lose” this encounter.
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Given how completely curbstomped we got, I’m sure you can understand my assumption.
To be fair to our character, they were definitely cheating. Outnumbered and taken by surprise is not normally how Pokémon battles are supposed to go.
Full control would just be boring- and I feel like even if you nudge a metronome in the right direction, it might still be completely useless. Having used the move, it just feels like an innate part of it.
That’s fair and I got that impression from Togepi too, in fact thinking back at Togepi was what prompted that. It seemed like it pretty consistently got everyone out of their jams, but given Togepi already didn’t fully understand what was going on, I did feel there wasn’t full control… it being like a vague “wish” makes sense.
Also interesting to hear that you dice rolled this. I never expected wrap… or constrict? To be so effective, but here we are! I don’t regret going forward though, I’d rather be in danger than curious (at least in fictional scenarios where I’m not *actually* in danger – self preservation oddly enough kicks in irl).
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Those Clefairy are so creepy.