Total Posts: 1594
Member No. 1923
Joined on 24-February 15.
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire
Pokemon: Antoine, Coralie
- Antoine begins working on honing his movements, most notably hopping on his left leg
- Antoine learns the basic ideas of transitioning his falls into lunges and rolls
- Bonding between Marie and Antoine
- Marie starts aptitude: Psychic Interaction (likely low, but getting it on the radar)
Marie had not been in Marchton City for a long time when she heard about Jackson Fletcher, a pokemon trainer extraordinaire who set up shop near the town center. She heard people boasting of their pokemon’s feats after a single encounter with him, how he was such a good handler that it was almost like he could move with the power of elements himself. And when Marie entered his shop in the hopes of finding someone to help her with her newest pokemon friend, she was not at all disappointed.
She was greeted by a man with a large mustache and an even larger smile who swooped on her nearly instantly, asking, “And what can I do for you today, madam?”
Slightly peeved at being called ‘madam’ – she was not that old, after all – she simply said, “I need help with a pokemon of mine. I need to know how to train him.”
“Say no more, say no more! What sort of pokemon will I be working with? I don’t know if I can get you in this week, I’m very busy, but Winston here will write down all the details,” he motioned to a young boy who ran up to Marie with a parchment and quill.
“A meditite,” she said softly.
“A meditite needs help training?” he said incredulously. “Meditites are very disciplined, I often have them help me teach my students…” An unasked question hung in the air.
“He was born a little… differently than other meditites,” Marie said diplomatically.
“Can I take a look?” he asked, and nearly spoke again when he saw how hesitant Marie’s hands were on the surface of the shiny new poke ball. But she eventually pressed the button, and a red light heralded the arrival of the meditite who stumbled and fell as soon as he tried to stand, a sour look on his face.
“Cancel my next slot, Winston,” he mumbled to the boy.
“But you’re scheduled to meet Dorian, he won’t be pleased…”
“As I recall, Dorian’s slaking has no problem with a bit of a wait,” he replied with a sharp tone in his voice, and Winston scurried off. “Come with me,” he said gently, and Marie scooped up the meditite and followed him into a back room that looked threadbare, like it had been the site of so many explosive attacks that the room itself was giving up. “You and your meditite will work with me today, and there will be no charge,” he said in a more solemn voice.
“I cannot just steal your services, I know you are a fine trainer – a great trainer,” Marie protested.
“And even great trainers like myself need a challenge every now and then. If your meditite doesn’t want to work with you, it’s got to be that he doesn’t think he can do things himself. He must be jealous seeing other meditites, and even if he hasn’t, psychic-types are smart, he knows there’s something wrong. What we need to do is play to his strengths.”
“How do I do that?”
“You learn what he can do, and come up with ways to push that boundary little by little until he can do what he wants. Usually, I start by thinking of an exercise to do based on moves, but that might be a little bit advanced… let’s see, a first exercise…” He puzzled for what felt like a long time, then asked: “Do you have a weight?”
“Something for the meditite to hold that would give him more of a challenge. Meditites and other fighting-types love to work towards challenges, and if you can give him something light to hold, and perhaps to begin lifting, he will be able to work at his own pace.”
Marie didn’t know of anything in her bag like that, but as she thought of her other pokemon, she gasped and pulled out Coralie’s ball, releasing the pyukumuku into her hands. “Will she do? Her name is Coralie,” she said.
Jackson reached over for the water-type, who was placidly transferred into his hands. The pyukumuku did nothing as he lifted her up and down to gauge her weight, and she made no protest when he put her down on the ground next to the meditite. The water-type was about half his size. “Pyu,” she greeted the unfamiliar pokemon.
“Meditite,” Antoine replied gruffly, but there was a hint of curiosity in his voice.
“Antoine, if you will,” Jackson began, uninterrupted by Marie’s slight chuckle at how he had pronounced the meditite’s name, “While sitting on the ground, try to lift this pokemon.”
Antoine looked up at Jackson, almost as if to ask are you kidding me? before reaching over and touching the pyukumuku’s rough, rocklike body. He picked her up with ease.
“Great job!” Marie said, but Antoine’s look was not one of pleasure.
“That is not the full extent of the exercise. In my exercises we use something the pokemon can do – like holding this other one aloft – and develop it into a new skill.” The meditite looked slightly more interested. “Do you have a way to fasten the other pokemon to Antoine’s littler leg?”
“I do not have any rope, but sometimes Coralie can do a thing – that, yes,” she said, flustered, as the pyukumuku’s white protuberance emerged and grasped onto Antoine’s shorter leg, toppling the meditite over again.
“That will work,” Jackson said, looking at Coralie with amusement in his eyes. “Now, what I’d like you to do, Antoine, is hold onto both of my hands like this with your arms. Put all of your strength into your hands, like this, and you can try to move and pull the other at the same time.”
The meditite looked scared, but Marie knelt down and put a hand on his head, and he began to inch forward. Marie couldn’t tell if he was actually moving his weaker leg, but Coralie’s body made scraping noises as she was dragged along the floor thanks to some hopping from the stronger leg. “You will have to help him work with the weaker leg to prevent muscle atrophy. He will likely prefer to stand one-legged in battle, like many hoothoots and noctowls. I daresay you haven’t seen one, but if you do, take some time to look at how it balances.”
“Which brings me to my next point,” he said when the meditite managed to take a few more steps, and a small smile began to grace his face. “Balance will be very important. It may be difficult for him to balance because of the missing eye, but there is a solution for that as well. If he turns his head like this – you have to come help here, if he’s standing,” he said, and Marie dropped to her knees and looked into Antoine’s single eye. “Help him turn his head so that his eye is more in the middle – yes, like that. Can you see better?”
Marie didn’t understand how this would work, but she was heartened to hear the meditite’s affirming “Tite.”
“Centering the eye will help him see more of both sides, which will be very helpful in a battle.”
Just saying the word ‘battle’ had an instant negative effect on the meditite. He dropped Jackson’s hands, sitting down as Coralie unwound herself from him. A horrified Marie looked over to Jackson. “What’s wrong? Did I do something wrong?” she whispered.
“He likely thinks he can’t battle, given how much trouble he’s having right now.” That hit Marie like a Hyper Beam. He was so young, and his journey had only just begun, and he already doubted that he could do anything.
“I am sure there are ways for you to battle,” Marie said hopefully, looking over to Jackson.
“Of course there are, and that’s what we’re working towards. I’m not just teaching useless things,” he said with a smile. “Marie, come over here and support him. Antoine, I’m going to teach you two ways to fall that can be turned into attacks eventually, and for now will help you not get hurt if you’re trying to get around.”
“I have you. Give it a try, you will not get hurt,” she assured him as he began to hop again. He seemed comfortable with the movement, and she could feel a good deal of force coming from his stronger leg.
“All right, now let him go down towards the ground. Antoine, try to bend your knee on your right leg, and extend the left leg behind you for support.” His right leg shook as he tried to use it, and without Marie’s assistance, he would have fallen over. “That is the ideal position of a lunge, which would be nice to work towards. He’d be able to use Low Sweep like that, if he can work up to the point where he can support himself unaided and lean on his right leg for a moment. And the other thing is, try to help him kick up with his back leg and roll forward. In time, he should be able to do this with his right leg, but for now he can modify it.”
Jackson put his hands on Marie’s and demonstrated the movement of basically flipping the meditite over. “What does that do?”
“It’ll let him get some momentum back if he does a kicking attack from a low position like that. It can also just help him get back on his feet faster if he’s about to fall. He might be able to turn it into an attack one day, but for now I’m focusing on mobility.”
The meditite, to Marie’s surprise, took the initiative and pushed himself to a standing position with the help of the wall and Coralie by his side, and hopped forward another few times. “Yes, gather the momentum, you must keep hopping to get stronger. And then – yes, go for a lunge now,” he said as the meditite began to sway on his foot, falling forward. His shorter leg shot out in front of him and he managed to brace the fall, but he still ended up with his face on the ground.
“That was a great try,” Marie said.
“Yes, just make sure to gather some more momentum next time – Marie, come here and help guide him, yes?” Marie approached again, taking Jackson’s place as she held her pokemon’s hands.
Marie tried to envision what he said, and although she didn’t have a great understanding of how fighting-type moves worked, she could see how the position was defensive and if he gained more strength in his right leg, he would be able to swing out with his left and then roll forward to avoid losing any momentum and possibly even confuse his opponent.
Jackson stated a desire to keep things simple, so for the remainder of their time, he worked with the meditite and Marie, separately and together, as Coralie supplied the role of an easy first weight to lift at about two pounds. The meditite slowly began to gain confidence with the hopping, and soon Marie and Jackson were standing on opposite sides of a wall, allowing him to hold on as he hopped over to them. When he fell, which he frequently did, he tried to do the movements he had been taught, but he succeeded more in remembering the moves than executing them.
At last, the meditite began to tire, and the training session came to an end. Jackson had a few final instructions for Marie: “Have him hold the other pokemon as he stands, with and then without assistance. Then let him try to hop, if she’s all right with it.” He petted the pyukumuku, but took his hand away when he realized how slimy her spines were. “He should spend some time every day hopping, and preferably learning how to aim himself to reach one point or another. This will take time, of course, but I have no doubt in time you’ll be a fierce little fighter,” he addressed Antoine at last, patting him on the head before standing up and turning to Marie.
“Come by every once in a while, show me how he’s doing. It’d be my pleasure to have him help other pokemon too, in how to learn how to work with what they’ve got. You’d be surprised how many octilleries come in here trying to walk too,” he said with a small chuckle as he turned around. Winston was tugging on his arm and pointing to a surly-looking man and a large pokemon standing near the entrance.
“Slaking and I have been waiting forever!” The man gestured towards a pokemon with enormous muscles who looked like it didn’t care less about waiting, but when it noticed Jackson and ran over to greet him, Marie could feel the floor underneath her feet shaking.
She was not at all prepared for the odd tickling sensation that turned into discomfort as she found herself looking at the image of a meditite whirling around in battle. “You… can do that?” she wondered aloud as she looked down at Antoine, still holding her hand. She had never interacted with psychic pokemon before, and even though this meditite was only half-psychic, it seemed like he was more comfortable expressing himself this way.
“Tite,” the pokemon grumbled, showing a different vision. The meditite was using a powerful kicking attack followed by several punches.
“That is a nice attack, is it one you want to learn?”
The frustrated meditite tried again, but all Marie got was a headache as she saw the same thing she had seen before. She wondered why he was showing her this – if it wasn’t that he wanted to learn it, was he trying to tell her that he wanted to do a move like that one without having to learn it? “Oh, you can do that one day,” she said, and then the breath caught in her throat, because in all likelihood Antoine could not do that one day.
He would never be the meditite whose kicks astounded everyone with their might. He would never be agile, nimble on his feet. He could learn to drag the pyukumuku with his weaker leg and perhaps even pick Coralie up, he might even learn to walk more steadily with time and perhaps even turn his hop into a run, but he was never going to be the strongest meditite.
“I know what you are feeling. Like you cannot be the strongest, the best, even though you try. And that makes you not want to try.” She patted him on the head. “I know the feeling. I have given up many times, and it feels easier at the time, but all it brings is pain. You do not need any more pain, and I will help you however you want to get stronger.”
“You might not be the strongest meditite, or the fastest. But you can be the meditite who can use psychic powers better than any other, and you can have the strongest punches and the most determination. But before any of that, you have a challenge to beat. The other meditites might look strong now, but when you have faced your challenge, you will have climbed so much higher on the mountain. You will not fear hard work, and you will know what success it brings you. And you will know yourself.” The meditite’s eye met hers, and he blinked slowly and with what appeared to be deep understanding.
She was not at all surprised to wake up the next morning to find Antoine already awake, his head turned to the right, holding onto the inn’s windowsill as he hopped gingerly on his left leg, the toes on his right leg occasionally wiggling. Nor was she surprised when he nudged the sleeping pyukumuku awake and allowed her to clamp her white protuberance around his weaker leg, hopping and dragging in his own way. A fine sheen of sweat bloomed on his forehead as his handler smiled, knowing there was no way he wouldn’t do exactly what he wanted, in time.