Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > Lance's Charges

Njord's Shadow

by whatareyouevensaying 1 review

Ian and his squirtle finally face their stalker.

Category: Pokemon - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Fantasy - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2009-02-15 - Updated: 2009-02-16 - 3608 words

Lance's Charges: Kanto

A/N: Sorry for the long delay, but that's a problem I have that doesn't look to be going away anytime soon. On the advice of a reviewer, I'm going to begin to list the pokemon belonging to relevant trainers before each chapter along with their names and genders. Thanks again to those of you who have reviewed.

Ian: Squirtle/Male/Njord
Catherine: Totodile/Female/Karina, Nidoran/Male/Blake, Growlithe/Male/Donovan
Madison: Bulbasaur/Female/Lopia

Chapter 5: Njord's Shadow

"Hey, why don't you have Njord out with you?" Madison asked Ian as they continued northeast towards the main path. She had released Lopia, and Catherine had sent out her nidoran, Blake, as well to keep them company.

"Didn't I tell you?" Ian asked, running his hands through his hair in frustration. "He kept tripping over things yesterday. He's convinced that some kind of prankster pokemon is following him around, and by the time we got back to the camp last night, I almost believed him."

"That doesn't sound all that implausible," Catherine said thoughtfully. "Pokemon can sometimes do pretty strange things, after all."

"Maybe," Ian acknowledged. "Either way, I'm not up for dealing with it right now. Maybe I'll bring him out after lunch and try to capture whatever this thing is."

"I'll keep an eye out," Madison said.

With that settled, the trio continued forward, eager to meet the challenges that their second day of training would bring.

The plains were no less beautiful than they had been the previous day, but a couple of hours' worth of walking through morning dew gave the young trainers a new appreciation for the sun. They hadn't yet encountered any pokemon on their chosen path, but had already spotted a great number in the area.

About a half-mile ahead of them was a large stream, one that they would probably have to be careful wading across. Their topic of discussion swiftly turned to the water pokemon that would undoubtedly be plentiful there. Since both Ian and Catherine's starters were water types, neither one seriously expected to capture anything there. It was still fun to theorize about Madison's seemingly inevitable capture, though.

"I've got it, I've got it!" Ian exclaimed, interrupting Catherine, who was trying to explain why a seel wouldn't likely be found in a mere stream. He waited until both girls had turned their attention to him before continuing. "You've got to catch a magikarp!"

"Ian!" Madison shouted. "Be serious!"

"Magikarp wouldn't be that bad of a choice, actually," Catherine said thoughtfully.

"What?!" Madison and Ian said in unison.

"It would be great long-term," Catherine said. "Don't look at me like that! If a trainer takes her time and raises a magikarp properly, it'll be fiercely loyal even as a gyarados."

"Not exactly ideal for a first capture, though," Madison said.

"Yeah, I was mostly joking," Ian said.

"I know, I know," Catherine sighed. "But gyarados would be so cool!"

Madison laughed and embraced her long-time friend while Ian openly gaped at Catherine. He had never seen her so unrestrained before in his life. It took him almost a full minute before he was able to come up with his next idea.

"How about a staryu?"

"That might be fun," Madison said, "but it kinda weirds me out that they don't have faces."

"And five identical limbs," Ian said, wiggling his fingers obnoxiously. "Which part would you look at when you talk to it?"

"I still think magikarp would work," Catherine said mischievously, poking Madison in the side.

"Then why don't you catch one yourself?" a smiling Madison retorted, poking the far more ticklish Catherine back in response.

They continued on a similar vein until they were nearly at the stream, when Madison and Catherine recalled their pokemon and predictably raced the rest of the way. Ian was content to let the two run ahead without him, so the others didn't even notice him trip on the same unseen something that had plagued his squirtle the day before.

To his credit, Ian didn't miss a beat, rolling with the fall and releasing his only occupied pokeball. As Njord materialized, the pair's mystery tormenter was revealed in the form of a smug looking bellsprout...At least as far as bellsprout were capable of looking smug.

Ian scanned the bellsprout with his pokedex to better prepare, but Njord finally had his personal tormenter in his sights, and wasn't about to allow it to escape. He launched himself forward with a grunt, attempting to overwhelm his opponent with his opening salvo.

The bellsprout proved up to the task, though, and practically flowed around the attack, its flexible torso and limbs as smooth as flowing water. Njord, faced with the prospect of landing face-first in the dirt, quickly tucked his head down and thrust his arms forward, doing a complete flip and landing painfully on his hands and knees.

"Njord, we need to be smart about this," Ian snapped, chastising his hotheaded water-type. "He can hear any orders I give as well as you can, so I want you to remember to stay cool. Fight your fight, but don't commit too much to an attack or you'll just end up in the dirt. Got it?"

The bellsprout, due to his lack of vocal chords, could only make noise by popping his lips. The speed of the pops, as well as the gentle shaking of his body clued Ian into the fact that he was laughing. Laughing at them.

"Stay calm!" Ian warned, but he needn't have worried. The bellsprout's laughter, rather than heating up Njord's anger, cooled it into something calm and deliberate. They could use that.

Njord took slow, deliberate steps forward, his walk slowly turning into a trot. The bellsprout's laughter tapered off as he prepared to defend himself, still refusing to take the offensive. Ian counted that as a positive, since the only technical attack bellsprout knew at that level was vine whip, which affected squirtle (and other water-types) more strongly than most pokemon.

The bellsprout exploded into motion when Njord was only a few feet away, drumming his leaf arms against the ground briefly before launching one forward in a vine whip attack. It transformed and stretched more than two feet forward and swiped sideways to meet the squirtle, but Njord was able to slow down just enough for the attack to fall short. He came in with all his strength in its wake, tackling the crafty grass-type with his left shoulder while keeping his right arm out wide in case the vine was able to make a return trip.

It wasn't, and the bellsprout looked considerably worse-off than before when Njord bounced back onto his feet. The vine that had effectively replaced his right arm lay limp on the ground until, with a shake, it retracted back into its earlier leaf form. A new vine then extended from its left arm, this one a bit slimmer, but no less dangerous to Ian's pokemon than the other.

"He's still dangerous," Ian said. "Be careful."

The squirtle bobbed his head in response, not taking his eyes off of his opponent, who had begun to slowly approach. The bellsprout's movements, unlike before, were jerky and nervous. When the bellsprout was only a few feet away he began swinging his vine back and forth in front of him, forcing Njord to back away or risk the sting of his vine.

"Try going around it," Ian said.

Njord began by attempting to strafe around the attack, but the bellsprout effortlessly pivoted, forcing the water-type to try more daring tactics. He jumped backwards and attempted to dive around, but the bellsprout was always ready for his movements. Finally getting impatient, Njord tried to repeat the success of his first hit, but the bellsprout wouldn't fall for the same trick twice. The vine's speed suddenly doubled, and Njord found himself reeling from an impressive strike, a bright red welt on his cheek.

The grass-type pressed his advantage, whipping his vine at even greater speeds in an attempt to further the damage to his opponent. Njord was just barely able to escape with only a couple of unfelt glancing blows to his shell.

"Damn," Ian muttered.


Before Ian's battle had even begun, Madison and Catherine were berating each other for scaring off all of the water pokemon in the stream with their race.

"I think I saw one head that way," Madison said, pointing towards the sun, which was still low.

"There's glare on the water!" Catherine objected.

"Well we have to start looking somewhere!"

"What about Ian?"

Madison turned to look back with her friend and recognized the telltale flash of a pokemon being released from its ball. "He looks busy to me."

"Hang on, let me check my binoculars before we go in either direction," Catherine said, swinging her pack off of her shoulders and into the grass.

"Good idea," Madison agreed. "This stream isn't as deep as I thought it would be. Do you think we'll find anything?"

"Probably nothing big, but more than just water pokemon need water," Catherine pointed out, refocusing her binoculars to the West.

"I hope we find something," Madison said.

"I think we just did," Catherine said, leaning forward to such an extent that it was clear to Madison that she was squinting through her binoculars.

"Are you sure?"

"No, but it looks red, and it's at the water's edge on our side of the stream," Catherine said, handing the binoculars over to her friend.

"Don't bother, I trust you. Let's check it out, but slowly and quietly."

"Of course. You set the pace."

After Catherine repacked her binoculars, Madison led her a few yards back the way they had come. Both paused briefly and watched Ian's squirtle take a blow to the cheek, but Catherine allowed herself to be pulled away. As they continued west, both girls were able to spot the pokemon, and it was a pokemon, that Catherine had seen.

"A krabby?" the taller girl asked.

"I think so. Can you go ahead that way, about ten or fifteen feet past it to block its escape if it tries to run?"

"Sure. I'll have Karina and Blake ready to drive it back towards you. I'd use Donovan as well, but the krabby would probably go right for a fire-type if given the choice."

"Two should be plenty. Krabby is slow, so it wouldn't be able to outrun any of your pokemon, let alone two at once. Go ahead, I'll give you half a minute to get ready before I go in."

"Don't forget to scan it with your pokedex," Catherine said.

"I won't. If it's too tough, I won't go out there and face it. If you don't see me come out in two minutes, come around back. Does that sound good?"

"Yeah," Catherine said, knowing that if Ian could see Madison now, he'd be just as shocked as he had been at her easygoing attitude earlier. Madison being serious was a sight to behold.

The shorter girl approached, her pokedex out and actively scanning. As soon as it registered the krabby (a female), she let out a sigh of relief. The krabby was very similar to Lopia stat-wise, but her only harmful attack at that level was bubble, which wouldn't affect Lopia too much. Still, her bulbasaur would have to watch out for the krabby's claws. She might not know any attacks with them yet, but they were still quite heavy, and a hit from one of them would hurt.

Madison released her bulbasaur when she was only a few yards away, as close as she thought she'd be able to get undetected. The sudden flash of red startled the krabby, but like most slow-running pokemon, the water-type didn't even think of fleeing.

"Lopia, use leech seed!"

Finally obeying her trainer's commands consistently, the bulbasaur lowered her front legs and straightened her back ones, tilting the bulb on her back forward enough that when the small, brown seed shot forth, it hit its target. Before the krabby knew what hit her, one of her claws was all but useless, wrapped up in an energy draining plant.

The krabby scuttled towards Lopia, bashing her trapped claw repeatedly against the ground as she moved. Finally, when the leech was almost complete anyway, the krabby was able to tear her bound claw free with the tip of the other one, but Lopia was far from idle during that time. Feeling especially powerful after the leech, Lopia scampered forward and bashed her opponent with a tackle attack right when the krabby had both claws in front of her face. Since the water-type scuttled sideways, the attack proved quite effective, and all but finished her off.

"Let's give it a shot," Madison said with a smile, tossing her nest ball in the general direction of the prone pokemon. Like a strong magnet, it curved down to hit its target, but was unexpectedly batted aside by a claw when the button was only inches away. The ball lay on the side of the battlefield, useless until it could be recovered.

Looking up, Madison saw Catherine for the first time since the battle began. She'd been so focused that she hadn't even seen her friend enter her line of sight. The platinum blonde only had Karina out, silently telling Madison that she had faith in her.

"Looks like this one won't quit until it's over, Lopia. Try another tackle, but watch out for its claws."

Lopia barked out an agreement and dashed forward once again, having to wade into the stream to hit her opponent. In her weakened state, the krabby was even slower than normal, so neither Madison nor her bulbasaur were particularly concerned that she would get away. Within seconds, Lopia had managed to slide in between the attacking claws, and prepared to deliver another devastating tackle.

Only to receive a bubble attack full in the face.

If she hadn't been resistant to water attacks, that alone might have finished Lopia off, but she was able to shake it off and come back a second later with a slightly weaker tackle. Not one to take any unnecessary chances, Madison tossed a regular pokeball before the krabby had recovered, catching her easily.

When it was clear that her friend had succeeded, Catherine finally approached to congratulate her. "You did so well, Maddy!"

"Thanks," Madison said, hugging her friend. "Way to go, Lopia!" Her victorious pokemon didn't acknowledge the compliment, but did begin to nudge the krabby's pokeball in her trainer's direction.

"It's a shame the nest ball didn't work," Catherine said, walking over and picking it up. "Was it a gift from your parents?"

"Yep! I'm actually glad that my new krabby was tough enough to knock a pokeball aside. Not all wild ones have the reflexes, especially not after getting beaten up so badly."

"Very true, have you thought of a name?"

"I'm calling her Santi, I think," Madison said, accepting the nest ball from her friend. "Shall we go see if Ian finally caught up to his stalker?"

Catherine grinned. "Yes, let's."


Meanwhile, on Ian's advice, Njord was now fighting with extreme caution while his trainer worked on a new strategy. His early tackle had hurt the bellsprout, but it was now painfully clear that the sneaky grass-type had been exaggerating his injury.

"Njord, I don't think we're going to make it out of this without taking another hit or two, so let's make them count! I need you to grab it near the base of its vine as best you can, and then go to town!"

Njord grimaced at the thought of feeling the sting of that vine again, but started forward anyway. When he was close, the bellsprout popped mockingly and began swinging his vine again, tantalizingly slow this time.

"Try a tail whip to intercept it," Ian said.

His squirtle obediently swung his body around, intercepting the stinging vine with his tail. Fortunately, he caught the vine near its base, forcing it to wrap around his tail several times over and taking only minimal damage in the process. His mind working almost as one with his trainer's, Njord then completed the full turn and grabbed the skinny pokemon with both hands, easily wrapping his fists around the grass-type's torso and arms. With a decidedly evil grin, Njord spat a bubble attack right into his opponent's face.

"Great! Now toss it and pull it back down!"

Once again following his trainer's train of thought perfectly, Njord flung his extremely lightweight opponent up into the air in front of him, only to pull him back down with his bound tail, backing away enough to let the bellsprout his the ground face first. His tail was now in a considerable amount of pain, having been wrenched viciously by the bellsprout's weight, but Njord was still much better off than his foe.

"Jump to the far side, and see if you can get the vine off of your tail," Ian said, pokeball in hand.

Njord found that command easy to follow, because the vine had gone somewhat slack after the impact. The bellsprout was shakily trying to rise even as the squirtle freed his tail, but this time the shakiness was no act. Ian didn't give him time to recover, though, nailing him in the back of the head with a pokeball.

When the ball shut down with its capture, Ian pumped his fist in the air and screamed out his victory. Njord, on the other hand, sat down and lay back, gently patting the big welt on his cheek.

"Come on, Njord," Ian said, grabbing his bellsprout's pokeball and placing it back on his belt. "I've got a potion for you somewhere in this stupid bag."

After using most of a potion on his first pokemon, Ian joined Njord on the ground, content to wait for his friends to return, which they did just a few minutes later.

"Did you catch it?" Madison called out when they were still a few yards away.

"Of course! That crazy bellsprout won't be tripping us up anymore!" Ian said.

"Congrats! I made my first capture as well."

"A krabby," Catherine put in.

"Did it put up a tough fight?"

"Lopia beat her pretty easily, but she did knock the first ball I threw at her away like it was nothing," Madison said, still extremely proud of her pokemon.

"Lucky you, we were in the battle of the century over here," Ian bragged, "but we pulled it out in the end."

"I'm calling my krabby Santi, have you decided on a name yet?"

"There's only one name that really fits this bellsprout, I've gotta call him Trip."

Catherine and Madison both laughed a bit at that, but with approval.

The group didn't linger much longer, continuing on their way as soon as Ian recalled his weary squirtle. Over the next few hours, they didn't encounter many wild pokemon. Catherine's trio took care of most of the ones they did run into with some help from the relatively unhurt Lopia. They had just finished lunch when all three pokedexes began to beep.

"What the heck? I thought I put mine on silent," Ian said, reaching into a pocket for his pokedex.

"Don't you recognize the tone? That's a League alert. It overrides silent settings," Catherine explained.

"It says here that the Rockets were spotted at Mt. Moon, and that local trainers should be careful," Madison said, her eyes scanning her own machine.

"Isn't that where we're headed after Cerulean?" Ian asked.

"It was," Catherine began carefully, "but we might want to start devising a backup plan. I know I don't want to go into a dark cave and fight a bunch of terrorists."

"If the league says it's ok by the time we're through in Cerulean, then it won't be a problem," Madison said. "Otherwise, um...Any ideas?"

"Several," Catherine said, surprising no one. "First, of course, we could go around Mt. Moon to Pewter. That might not be safe either, though, depending on what the League says. A safer bet would be to go through Celadon, which would mean either going back home or going through Saffron. I think that unless we can go straight to Pewter, we should go through the rock tunnel to Lavender."

"And then to Fuchsia?" Ian asked.

"Probably, but if we have to go there, we can decide later."

"We'll be spending at least a couple of days in Cerulean anyway," Madison said. "The League doesn't mess around when they're dealing with Rockets, so the problem should be resolved before we head that way. I know I'm not going to leave the area before catching an abra."

"That will probably take all three of us to catch," Ian said. "Unless you count leech seed, bulbasaur won't learn anything that can slow abra's teleport until just before evolving. Can krabby?"

"No, she won't learn anything of use," Madison said. "When does bellsprout learn wrap?"

"Pretty soon," Ian said. "There's no guarantee that wrap will prevent teleport, but it's better than nothing."

"Just like leech seed," Catherine said. "Combine the two with your nest ball and you shouldn't have too much trouble."

"Finding one is the trick," Ian said. "We should check out the market in town and see if they have anything that might lure an abra out into the open."

"Great thinking," Madison enthused.

The three friends all shared a solemn look, one that reflected the unspoken agreement between them to ensure that Madison successfully caught an abra.
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