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Two Days LaterEdit
Mort snarled as he sat on a rock rubbing his foot. After fighting nearly a dozen Geodudes in less than an hour, he had elected to kick the last one he had seen off a ridge. It was made of rock and would thus be ok, but that hadn't made kicking it as hard as he could any less painful. Celia touched his shoulder gently from where she was riding in his backpack, broadcasting concern into his mind. He smiled at her, "It's alright Celia, I'm fine." Celia crooned happily and Mort's smile widened as her psychically broadcast happiness bled over into his mind.
He pulled his boot back on and rose as she sent images into his head, asking why they were climbing a mountain. Mort smiled and thought hard of an image of the friend they were going to see. Celia made an inquisitive noise and Mort grinned as he flexed his fingers and got ready to scale the next ridge, "She's an old friend Celia. We agreed that we'd travel together for a while when we were ready to set out, so I'm going over the mountain to meet her."
Celia shot him an image of the road they had left earlier and Mort laughed, "Yes we could've taken the road, but then you and Fen wouldn't have gotten as much experience with combat." Celia sent him an image of her and Fen fighting the Geodudes and Mort grinned as he hauled himself up the small ridge, "Yeah, it's good for you two to learn how to fight, you need to know how because we're going to do that a lot."
Celia asked why and Mort grunted as he hauled himself up onto the ledge, "Because that's how we make money and get food and shelter and things like that we want." Celia sent him back a feeling of soreness and Mort smiled as he strode up the slope, grabbing solid looking rocks with his hands as he went because the ground was loose and treacherous beneath his feet, "Yes, we do get hurt when we fight. We must fight though, and so we must learn to fight well. Like your mother, Celia, she fights very well."
Celia replied with an image of her mother fighting the Mightyena pack that had attacked them the day they had met the Grimsleys, "Yeah," Mort replied, "You want to be strong like her don't you?" Celia replied with a questioning image of herself blowing the Mightyenas away with her powers and Mort grinned, "Yeah like that! If you learn how to fight, you'll be able to fight like that! You won't have to be afraid of bigger pokemon anymore because you'll be strong enough to beat them."
Celia liked that idea and Mort continued, "And what's more, you'll have friends to help you, like me and Fen." Celia smiled and replied that she wasn't too sure Fen liked her that much. Mort smiled, "He's just getting used to us Celia. We've only known each other for two days!" Celia pointed out that she was already friends with Mort and Mort laughed as he put on a sudden burst of speed to counteract the loose patch of dirt he had stepped into, "Yes but you and I can talk! Fen, Fen can't talk like us. He can understand me, because of the link his pokeball gives us, but you can't connect with him because he's a dark type. Don't worry," he panted as he cleared the loose patch, "He'll warm up to you eventually."
He walked around a corner and a Graveler shot him a glare, the Geodude Mort had booted down the mountain sitting on its back. "Oh," Mort grumbled, "Of course you had a big brother." The Graveler lifted a rock nearly as big as Mort's backpack and suddenly stopped. Celia shivered as Mort's eyes narrowed and an aura of raw fear began emanating from him like the heat from a bonfire. Celia could tell from his mind that she was only receiving the very minimal amount of overspill from the huge blast that the Graveler was getting.
The Graveler set down the rock and rolled away down the mountain. Celia sent an inquisitive thought to Mort and nearly fainted from the terrible force as Mort turned his attention to her. It quickly disappeared, but Celia was still shaking. Mort took off his backpack and pulled her out to cradle her in his arms, "Sorry Celia, I forgot to turn it off before I talked to you." Celia timidly sent him a quizzical thought about it and Mort smiled, "Honestly Celia, I'm not sure what it is myself. The closest thing I've ever seen to it is the Intimidation ability of some pokemon. I don't know how it happens but it does. Sorry, I didn't mean for you to catch the brunt of it like that. I'll try to avoid hitting you with it again."
Celia made a content little crooning noise and Mort set her back in her riding spot gently with a smile before heading on up the mountain.
Two Hours LaterEdit
"CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!" Mort bellowed as he charged across the mountain top, the angry Exploud chasing after him bellowing up a storm as Celia exhausted herself trying to knock it out with her Confusion attacks from Mort's backpack. For all Mort's bellowing, it was still completely drowned out by the Exploud's roaring. Celia, now would be a really good time to learn how to teleport so we could get out of here! Mort thought desperately. Celia would've blinked if she'd had eyes and then suddenly smiled and an instant later PFFAT!
Mort and the Exploud both stopped as Celia suddenly teleported herself and Celia behind it. Before it could turn and spot them, Mort ran off down the mountain, jumping and sliding through the loose earth as he yelled, "Celia! That was brilliant!" Celia made a happy noise with a smile and her delight at the praise and the puzzled expression on the Exploud's face flooded across her mental link with Mort as he slid down the mountain side in an avalanche of loose gravel, one hand extended to steady himself and the other holding his hat down on his head with a huge grin.
"He still chasing us?" Mort yelled to Celia over his shoulder. She made a happy noise as she confirmed that it had given up and Mort called, "Good! Cause I don't know how to stop!" He raised Celia's pokeball over his shoulder and Celia had just a moment to be surprised before she was back inside her pokeball. Mort stuffed the pokeball in his pocket and started running as the ground suddenly leveled out, going far too fast to stop and uncomfortably aware of how quickly the tree line was approaching.
Three Hours LaterEdit
Flannery Moore checked the clock on her pokenav as she sat outside the Pokemon Center in the small town of Verdanturf. "He's late," She told her new Cyndaquil, Cindy, who responded with a snore. She set her chin in her hand, "He's never late. I hope he's okay..." "LOOK OUT BELOW!" Mort suddenly bellowed from up the mountainside. Flannery's head snapped up and she saw a dusty gray and black clad form rolling down the slope, swearing loudly the whole way.
Mort managed to right himself halfway down the slope and wound up running the rest of the way down, pumping and flapping his arms furiously to keep himself balanced. He jumped and managed to skid to a halt right next to Flannery. Then he fell flat on his back, spread eagled. He waved his hand weakly, "Hi Flannery. Sorry I'm late." "Oh my god Mort what happened to you?!" Flannery exclaimed as she set Cindy down and knelt to help Mort up, taking in his numerous scrapes cuts and bruises.
Mort grimaced as Flannery pulled him into an upright sitting position, "Fell down the mountain. Twice. Very, very angry Exploud up on the top ridge." He looked around for his hat, "Do you see my hat?" Flannery handed it to him with a smile, "Right here." Mort smiled and set it on his head, wincing in pain as he raised his arm and putting it back down, changing hands to put his hat on.
He managed to haul himself upright, and smiled weakly, "Oh good, a Pokemon Center, I think I need one." Flannery stood up and caught him as he tried to take a step and nearly fell, "Yes you do."
An Hour LaterEdit
Mort pulled his coat over his shoulder and the arm the nurse had put into a sling on their way out of the Pokemon Center as Flannery told him, "You're really lucky, falling down the mountainside like that could've killed you." Mort grimaced, "Yeah, but what's life without the occasional misstep and stumble?" He raised his good hand and gently scratched the top of Cindy's head, "Who's this? Sorry I haven't asked yet." Flannery smiled, "Mort, meet Cindy. I hatched her from an egg we got from my grandpa's Typhlosion."
She looked Mort over, "Where's your pokemon?" Mort smiled at her, "You didn't think I'd leave them out and make them tumble down with me did you? I put Celia back into her pokeball as soon as I realized I was going to have a rough run down, and Fen had been there for a while." Flannery tilted her head, "You've got two pokemon already?" Mort smiled as he reached for one of the two pokeballs, "Yeah, I caught three, but the third one was a Gardevoir that Corrigan had to knock out, so I left that one with dad."
He held out one of the pokeballs and out popped Fen, who looked around and then growled at Flannery and Cindy, his hackles standing on end as he prepared to pounce. "Fen!" Mort barked, "That's enough!" Fen flinched and looked properly abashed as Mort continued in a gentler tone, "This is Flannery and Cindy. They're going to be traveling with us for a while, so get used to them and play nice." His hand was still clenched on Fen's pokeball, so Fen understood the intent of his words even if he didn't fully understand the words themselves.
He whined apologetically and Mort smiled slightly, "He says he's sorry he just didn't recognize you." Flannery gave him a concerned look, "You're not mean like that to all your pokemon are you?" Mort snorted, "I'm not even mean to Fen. He just needs a little firm direction sometimes to help curb his more aggressive tendencies. He would've attacked you if I hadn't barked at him. Don't worry, he's already come a long way towards being civilized in two days. He hasn't barked at Celia since the day before yesterday, and they've been tag teaming quite well today." He stuck Fen's pokeball back in his pocket and extracted Celia's pokeball, "And this is Celia."
Celia materialized in a flash of red light and immediately wanted to know what had happened to Mort's arm. Mort smiled, "I had a rough landing on my way down the mountain. Don't worry, Celia, I'm fine." Celia turned and looked at Flannery and then looked back at Mort, asking if Flannery was Flannery he had told her about. "Yeah," Mort smiled, "This is Flannery and her Cyndaquil Cindy."
Flannery raised an eyebrow, "You got a Ralts?" she asked with a smile, "I thought your family was all dark type specialists!" Mort smiled, "We are, but Celia just happened to stumble across my path at the same time as Fen, so I figured, eh why not. We get along quite well, so I'd say it's working out." He set his backpack down and Celia climbed in. Mort hefted his backpack onto his good shoulder, "Shall we be off then?" Flannery smiled, "Yeah. Where you want to go?"
Mort looked up and sniffed the air, checked the wind in the leaves and then looked off down the road, "Looks like Mauville. I saw a storm coming in from the West while I was up there, it'll probably get a lot weaker as it comes over the mountain, but we'll probably be drier if we head East towards Mauville." Flannery smiled, "Sounds like a plan, but don't you want to battle first?"
Mort smiled at her, "What level is Cindy?" Flannery frowned, "Level three, she just hatched!" Mort smiled, "Celia's at level nine and Fen's at level ten. We took the mountain because we were looking for a fight." Flannery's jaw dropped and she stared, "How long were you up there?!" Mort thought for moment, "Mmm...day and a half thereabouts. Spent most of it fighting." Flannery looked at Fen and Celia, who didn't look any the worse for wear, "You've been pushing them that hard?" Mort looked at her, "We ate plenty before we went up and snacked in between." Flannery didn't look any less horrified. "I had potions!" Mort protested, "Neither one of em fainted even once!"
He paused and looked at Celia, "Yeah I did have to punch that one Whismur out, but you two handled the rest of them just fine on your own." Flannery blinked, "You...intervened in a pokemon battle?" Mort looked at her, "You wouldn't? It was the last one of about half a dozen. Celia and Fen were both exhausted! Of course I punched it out for em." "But you can't do that!" Flannery protested. Mort raised a finger, "In a formal battle with another trainer you are indeed correct, but in a fight with a feral pokemon everything is fair game. I just have to be careful. Half the fights we won were because Celia was riding in my backpack and firing Confusion attacks while I took evasive maneuvers."
Flannery was having a hard time ceasing to stare, "how many fights have you intervened in?!" Mort shrugged, "Enough to get Celia to level nine so she could learn teleport and start evasion training. Never had to help Fen out, but he's a little bit more built for combat than Celia." He knelt down and scratched Fen's ears, "I probably won't have to interfere in anymore of Celia's fights because she knows teleport now, but if my pokemon ever need me, I'm going to step in, rules or no rules."
Flannery shook her head with a slight smile as an image of Mort facing down an Aggron flashed across her mind, "Crazy."