Satori in Kalos

Chapter 4
Cliff 3

The rules for retrying a gym battle were as follows: Upon the first loss, the trainer can face the leader again after seven days have passed. If the trainer lost again, they would have to wait thirty days before they could try again. If they lost after that, they would have to wait another thirty days and so on and so fourth. Satori had learned this from the portly man who stood by the gym entrance. He had told her that most people never bothered to try again after the third loss, and they mostly gave up on collecting all the badges.

He then gave some words of encouragement. It's actually more common for people to fail the first time and win the second time, after they knew what they were up against. Satori didn't feel like giving up, but she didn't really know what to do. What gave her her edge wasn't effective against Grant. She would have to face him normally.

Well, she could still read his Pokemon's movements, but it was hardly effective. Her battle had come down to a matter of speed, in the end. That sort of situation she couldn't handle.

"So, ideas?" Satori asked. She sat on a bench a ten minute walk north of Cyllage, her three Pokemon resting around her. Absol laid down at her feet, Braixen sat on her left and Pikachu on her right. Satori was scratching Pikachu behind his ear, and his happiness spilled over into Satori's own mind. It relieved her a bit from her loss at Grant's hands.

Obviously I should go out against Amaura, Braixen said. Ice against fire? No question. No one debated the fox, who ruffled her tail a bit and generated a few sparks.

"Right." Satori said. "While that decision alone will put us at more of an advantage than yesterday, I'm not sure it'll be enough. Braixen can't help much against Tyrunt."

I never got to see this Tyrunt, Pikachu said. It can't be that strong, you guys are just wusses.

Satori shifted her grip on Pikachu's neck and shoved his face into the bench. "Don't be an ass," she commanded. Pikachu grumbled an insincere apology, but it was good enough.

Mistress, forgive me for letting it get the upper hand on me. Satori looked down, and saw the expression on Absol's face. Out of her three Pokemon, Absol seemed the most sorry. It was also the most submissive towards Satori, and Satori had no idea why. She liked it, there was no doubt about that. But it worried her that it had been so easy with Absol. At least with Pikachu she had to work to get him to obey.

"Let's go for a walk," Satori said and stood up. Her three Pokemon followed her as she looped around the field of flowers. She didn't want to go too far into the next route since she wasn't done with Cyllage, but she had to get away from the city.

Cyllage City was busy. Busier than Lumiose, even. While Lumiose was huge, it was still a normal city with people going about their normal lives. But in Cyllage everyone was out and about, exercising, cycling, roller blading, and a lot more. Satori had a tough time in that sort of environment.

It's not that the people bothered her, it was their thoughts. Her ability was not something she could just turn off. In such a place, she was forced to hear so many thoughts that she couldn't even hear herself think. It made her uncomfortable and gave her migraines. She much preferred more quiet, rural areas. And this route seemed very nice. The activity of Cyllage ceased almost immediately once she went past the city's borders.

"Don't worry about having failed, Absol. We all did." Satori said. "What we need to do is come up with a strategy for next time."

None of us are effective against Tyrunt, Braixen said. Neither fire nor electricity will hurt it much.

Satori leaned down and plucked a flower. She looked around for any Flabebe, but she couldn't see any. "It seems to me that all we can really do is wail on it and hope between the three of you that we can beat it."

Can't you do anything, oh master? Pikachu asked. Satori gave him a look and he backed down his aggressiveness. He had a valid point, but she didn't say so. She was somewhat ashamed that she was hindered in this regard.

Although they tossed a few more ideas around, the Pokemon couldn't really come up with anything and Satori found herself walking back to Cyllage. On her way back, she bumped into Trevor and Tierno.

"Oh, hey Satori." Tierno said. "That's a cool Pokemon, what is it?"

Satori looked down to see which one he was gesturing too. "Absol," she said. She didn't react visibly, but Satori could tell that Absol felt proud to be considered "cool." Nothing could hide from Satori's Third Eye, after all.

Tierno knelt down to pet Absol. Satori allowed it, and chuckled to herself at how Absol tried to stand proud while Tierno stroked her fur. Trevor stood standing, but he wanted to feel Absol's fur as well.

"Go ahead, she likes it." Satori said to Trevor. His face went red, but took her up on her offer anyways. "So what have you two been up to? Where's Shauna?"

"She's off trying to train her Furfrou," Tierno explained. "We're just hanging out."

I'm not just hanging out... Trevor's thoughts didn't mimic Tierno's words, but he didn't correct his friend. "What about you? What have you been up to?" He asked.

"I challenged the gym here."

"Nice," Tierno said. "How'd you do?" Satori averted her gaze and Tierno picked up on it. "Oh. Well, better luck next time eh? Don't feel bad, neither Trevvs nor I have one badge."

That didn't really make her feel any better. Satori continued to catch up with the others although there wasn't much to say. They met up with Shauna around evening, apparently her Furfrou training wasn't going too well.

Trevor, on the other hand, said he was focused on collecting as much data on Pokemon as he could and filling up his Pokedex. He was eager to explain more, but stopped himself out of fear that it would bore the others. Satori thought she would indulge him, albeit it was for somewhat selfish means.

"Trevor," Satori said. He looked up at her. "What can you tell me about the Pokemon Tyrunt?"

Trevor jumped at the chance to show off what he knew. He pulled out his little notebook and Pokedex and started flipping through the pages. "Tyrunt, that's the one with the giant head and massive jaw, right?" Satori confirmed and Trevor flipped to near the end of his booklet. It was well-worn, but he wasn't careful with the pages as he hurriedly flipped through them. "Ah, here we are." He said and stopped flipping. "I've been taking a lot of notes. Tyrunt is no longer found in the wild in Kalos, it can only be obtained by resurrecting it through a—"

"Fossil, yes. Something I can use, please. It's the pokemon Grant used to beat me."

"R-Really? I guess if anyone had one it would be him." Trevor scribbled something new into his notebook. Satori realized she had given him some new information. "Well, it's a hybrid rock and dragon type pokemon. Its jaw is especially deadly."

"Anything else?"

"Yeah..." Trevor gave a noncommittal response. "I have some more info here. Ummm..." He skipped over saying some of what he judged non crucial, but he still read it to himself so Satori picked up on it. Lived one hundred million years ago, predominantly male, revived from a jaw fossil, evolves into Tyrantrum. "Ah, er, it has a tendency to throw a tantrum if something happens that it doesn't like."

Satori raised her brow. "That is useful." She said, and placed her hand on Trevor's shoulder. "What sort of things would a Tyrunt not like?"

Trevor was uncomfortable with Satori's hand on his shoulder, which is mainly why she did it. He stumbled his words a bit. "W-Well, presumably things that it's type-weak against..."

That left Satori back at square one. She was about to walk away from Trevor, but he kept talking. "You don't need to deal serious damage though...just a little bit to distract the Tyrunt, right? I mean, if you're willing to eat the cost buying a TM then—"

"How would that help?"

"Well, er...I mean, Pokemon can usually use moves that are of different types than they are. It's counter-intuitive, but if a Rhydon can learn surf—"

"—then one of my pokemon can learn something useful. I see."

It was a brilliant scheme. Satori was depressed she didn't think of it, but it was brilliant. Pokemon did have the ability to learn moves not associated with their own type. It was something people rarely did as far as Satori knew, although this limited way of thinking was not completely unfounded. Pokemon are generally better able to handle attacks suited to them. There was a clever acronym Satori heard once about this phenomenon, but she had long since forgotten it.

The point was that Pokemon could learn moves outside of what would be expected. These were taught through a Technical Machine, which Satori had one of courtesy of Viola. It probably wouldn't be useful, but she could trade it or sell it for something she could use.

Satori excused herself from the group and rushed off to the Pokemon Center. In the back was a small shop, and when Satori asked the clerk about TM trading, he directed her to a computer terminal on the wall. Apparently technical machines were bought, sold and traded online. Each TM was encrypted with heavy copy protection, but it was just computer data. There was an official trading network and everything.

No one else was waiting for the terminal, so Satori took her time and poked around the market's features. There were a few reference links, forums and chatrooms that she explored in addition to the actual market. She tried searching for a list of what moves she could teach her Pokemon, but it wasn't very well organized. It's not like every Pokemon could learn every move, and she didn't want to waste money and time on trial and error.

She eventually just entered one of the chatrooms. She typed out a quick message and waited for a reply.

(Sacchan) looking to teach ice move to absol/pikachu/braixen

It didn't take very long for people to start talking, there were a good number of people in the chatroom and it was pretty active.

(xcraigx) pikachu can't learn ice idk about others

(gep) not worth it no stab gtfo

(Wulf) Try ice beam or blizzard on Absol

(pikachu_lover_12) expensive. Hail is cheaper

(Wulf) hail not worth it on its own

Satori didn't care to stick around for the ensuing argument over the relative advantages between ice beam, blizzard and hail used on an Absol. She wasn't really interesting in debating theory, she just needed to know what she could do. She left the chatroom and searched the market for those three moves.

She eventually decided on hail, simply because it served her purposes best. It wasn't too expensive either, although she decided to sell the TM she got from Viola anyways so she wouldn't break the bank. Satori didn't actually know how Absol would manage to use the move hail, but according to the people in the chatroom it could.

After all the relevant transactions were done, a TM popped out of the computer. Satori grabbed it and slid it into her pack. It looked similar to an SD card but a little bulkier. Satori left the pokemon center and left to go back out to her training area just outside of Cyllage City.

It took Satori a little while to figure out how the TM worked. Apparently you popped it into the Pokedex, connected the Pokeball to the Pokedex, and downloaded the information. Satori was in awe of the technology. It was a shame this only worked on Pokemon. Satori daydreamed a little bit about how easy life would be if she could just download skills to her brain.

The download didn't take more than a minute to complete. When Satori re-summoned Absol and asked her to use her new move, she easily obeyed. It's like I've known how to do it for years, mistress. It's a strange feeling, she said as the sky above turned dark and it began to hail. Satori noticed a shiver crawl up Absol's spine. I don't like the cold, she added.

"After this battle you probably won't have to ever use it again, Absol." Satori said.

The two of them practiced using the move a bit. The move didn't actually effect the weather, it created a sort of bubble-environment in the immediate area. Still, it was impressive. Most of the difficulty came in maneuvering through the hail, rather than using the move itself. Satori also pulled out Pikachu since he would fight too. A much better plan started to form in Satori's mind on how to deal with Grant.

The day before Satori's "cool-off period" was up she ran into Calem. It was unexpected, seeing as how she expected him to be at Ambrette for the next two to three weeks. "Calem?" She asked to catch his attention.

He swiveled around from the counter he was leaning on. They were in the Pokemon center, a sort of default gathering place for trainers. Calem looked to be getting his Pokemon healed, but with nothing better to do was just resting next to the nurse while she did her work.

"Oh. You." Calem said.

"Shouldn't you be in Ambrette?"

Satori could tell Calem was a bit offended by Satori's immediate question, but answered it anyways. "I thought I would drop back here and take on—"

"Take on the gym before going back for your fossil? I guess that makes sense."

"Have you faced him yet? Grant, I think his name is." Calem asked the question Satori wished he didn't.

"Yeah, but he won. I didn't exactly have the advantage, but I've got a plan for the rematch."

Calem nodded. "I'm not surprised. Your primary types are fire and electric, which leaves you a wide range of—"

"Vulnerabilities, I know."Satori was miffed that she was being lectured, but didn't make anything more of it. "I suppose you're in a better position, then?"

"We'll see." Frogadier will clean up, I'm sure. Water versus rock will be an easy win.

"Ehhh~" Satori mocked. "You seem a bit more confident than you're letting on~"

"Hmph." Calem turned back to the nurse, who had finished providing care to his pokemon. She handed a tray of three Pokeballs to him, which he stuck into his roster. Satori followed him a little ways to the gym, but veered off before they arrived.

It wasn't really unexpected, but Calem returned victorious. Satori had hoped that he would have failed like she did, but it was an unrealistic thought. He didn't make a big deal out of it, but Satori could read his thoughts. He was damn pleased with himself. The only reason he didn't voice it was out of some sort of concern or desire to be polite.

Satori pushed his buttons on this until they parted ways to go to their own separate rooms for the night. She couldn't really help herself, it was just what she did.

Soon enough the next day arrived and Satori was allowed to try again. She felt much better this time around, surprisingly so. She had an actual plan. And when she climbed back up the spire in the gym and faced Grant, she knew exactly what she was to do.

"You're back," he said with a smile. "Excellent."

Satori was catching her breath from climbing the massive spire. She was more efficient at it than last time, but it still was a tiring endeavor. "Gimmi a minute, here." Satori said between breaths.

Grant chuckled. "The wall is not there to keep you out. The wall is there for you to show how badly you want it."

"How philosophical."

"A phrase I take to heart. I wish I could meet the man who came up with it." Grant paused. "Ready to begin?"

With those words, Satori prepared herself for battle and focused her Third Eye on Grant. I guess I won't be too cruel and just start out with Amaura again. If she's learned anything she'll send out her Braixen. Satori didn't need the information but it was a nice confirmation of her plan of attack. Grant threw out his Pokeball at the same time Satori threw out hers, and in the arena appeared Amaura and Braixen.

"Amaura, take it down." Grant shouted, and the Amaura charged Braixen. It was slow enough for Satori to direct Braixen away to dodge, and Braixen retaliated by charging the Amaura, her entire body surrounded by flames. After a repetition of the same maneuver, Amaura had feinted with no real trouble.

That part of the battle hadn't worried her, however. Satori recalled Braixen—she wouldn't be of use against Tyrunt—and prepared to send out Absol.

"It's only been a week, but you look a bit more confident than last time." Grant said. I wonder if she has a plan or is just hoping to get lucky this time. Perhaps I'll up the ante on her a bit. "Go, Tyrunt."

Satori threw out her Absol, but told it to be cautious in response to Grant's thoughts. The Tyrunt's opening move was to trot to one side of the stage, heave a rock and throw it at Absol. The Absol dodged, but it caught Satori off guard. She shook it off before the Tyrunt could do it again, and commanded Absol to use hail.

A dark cloud formed over the arena and it started to rain ice, hitting the stage. Satori realized she and Grant were in the radius of the attack, as well as some people who were probably still trying to climb up the spire.

Satori grinned as she scanned Tyrunt's thoughts. It was pissed off, exactly what she had planned on happening. "Absol, now!" Satori yelled, and Absol charged towards the Tyrunt and swiped at it. The attack hit. Tyrunt wasn't out, but he took a good chunk of damage.

Absol got one more hit on Tyrunt, but before she could retreat Tyrunt spun around and grabbed her in its massive jaw. Satori knew what would come next, and winced in sympathy as Absol was crunched between Tyrunt's teeth. She recalled Absol as soon as she could.

Pikachu was last up. Tyrunt was weak, and Satori told the Pikachu to use quick, light attacks. Tyrunt was weak from the Absol's attacks, and although Pikachu couldn't do as much damage the Tyrunt was far too slow to keep up with him. Satori lost count after Pikachu's seventh attack, but it wasn't too more after that when Tyrunt visibly fell over, unconscious.

Boom, baby. That's how you fight. Pikachu trotted around the stage that was covered in little ice pellets from the hail. The storm had stopped during Pikachu's turn and the ice was just starting to melt. Satori couldn't help but clap her hands and cheer at her victory. Unlike with Viola, she felt like she had overcome something. She had put a plan into action and it worked, she didn't just scare the person into submission.

"Congratulations," Grant said. "I'm impressed, that was a great plan." He walked over to one of the rocks and pulled a small wooden box out from behind it. Satori walked up, and Grant handed it to her. Inside was very similar to what she had received from Viola. There was a badge shaped like a jagged cliffside, a small card with TM39 written on it, and a wad of cash.

"Thank you," Satori said.

"That's the cliff badge there, and the TM is for Rock Tomb. That's the move that Tyrunt used to throw rocks. It can be really useful depending on the environment you're fighting in, although in some places it will be less than useless. Use it wisely.

"That being said," Grant said apprehensively. "I want to ask you something, specifically." Satori gave him a questioning look. "Well," he said, "I was on guard last week and today about you trying to throw me off like you did with Viola. But you didn't do that, you actually used a very good strategy to win."

"That's not really a question," Satori pointed out. "But, uh, thanks?"

Grant shook his head. "I mean, why didn't you?"

"Honestly?"

Grant nodded.

"I didn't know what to say." Satori admitted. "There didn't seem to be anything that would really bother you like there was for Viola."

That didn't seem to be the answer Grant wanted to hear, going by the look on his face. Well, I guess it would be too hopeful to think that she had a change of heart. His thoughts confirmed it, but Satori didn't really care.

"Well," Grant said. "I wish you the best of luck." I'm curious what kind of person you'll turn into, Satori. "Here, there's a slide to the bottom behind me so you don't have to climb all the way back down."

Satori took him up on his offer and slide down to the ground level. It was kind of fun, and on her way out of the gym Satori admired her new badge. The Cliff Badge. She felt it with her fingers, and found the texture to be rough and jagged. She figured it was on purpose, to represent rocks or something along those lines.

Satori placed her new badge with the old one, but she realized that she should probably find some place safer to keep it. Collecting badges was a fairly common activity, there was probably some clever way of keeping them Satori was not made aware of. She decided to head to the Pokemart to see what they had.

Just as she left, Satori found her all of her companions waiting near the gym's entrance.

"I'm back," Satori said.

"Mhmm. How did it go?" Shauna asked. With pride, Satori flashed the Cliff Badge and smiled. "Cool," Shauna replied.

"Thanks."

"We would have come with you, but it wasn't exactly accessible." Trevor said. There wasn't really any room to spectate either if Satori recalled correctly. A few people looked up from below, but they couldn't of had much of a view. "So we were talking about Pokemon."

"Were you, now?"

"Calem was telling us about some super rare legendary," Shauna exclaimed. "What was its name? ee-vol-tule?"

"Yveltal," Calem corrected. "It and Xerneas are supposed to be two legendaries of destruction and creation. Just stories though."

"Boring." Satori uttered.

"So what now?" Tierno asked. It gave Satori and the others a moment consideration. Calem was the de facto navigator of the group, but he would have to go back to Ambrette so the rest couldn't venture too far.

"So I guess I'm going up to Geosenge," Satori said. "I'll wait for you guys there, I could use a break."

"From us?" Calem asked. Satori smirked instead of replying.

"I kinda want to see Ambrette, to be honest." Shauna said to bring us back on topic. "I'll head back there with Calem, if that's alright." Calem nodded.

Trevor and Tierno decided to stay in Cyllage for a bit. Once again, their group would be splitting up. Their situation seemed to be drifting away from a large group walking together, and a loose group that just meets up every once in awhile on their own journeys. Satori didn't really have a problem with this, it was kind of painful for her to be around a large group. She enjoyed the quiet.

The group decided to part ways, and Satori resumed her walk to the Pokemon center. Once she arrived, she walked up to the nurse and handed over her three Pokeballs. Her pokemon needed healing after her battle with Grant. While she waited for the nurse to do her job, Satori walked to the back of the center where the Pokemon Mart was located.

"Welcome to the Pokemart," greeted the shop clerk. "How may I help you?"

"Hi. I'm a trainer, and I was wondering if there was something I could use to hold my badges and stuff like that."

"Hmmm," the clerk thought for a moment. "You would have better luck at a boutique than here. We carry cheap plastic cases, but if you go to a specialty store they will have some really nice ones."

"Oh?"

"Yeah." The shop clerk thought a moment. "I don't know what your budget is, but I think the Cyllage boutique will sell you something nice between two and ten thousand. If you're rich then Lumoise will have cases upwards of one hundred thousand."

Satori considered her funds. After her TM trading she had about fifteen thousand left over. Not nearly enough to afford Lumoise prices, but she could easily pick something up from Cyllage.

"Thanks," Satori said. "Can you tell me where the Cyllage boutique is?"

The clerk happily gave her directions. Satori picked up her Pokemon from the nurse and headed to where the clerk said. The boutique was right on the side of the large bicycle path that ran through the city, and there was a good amount of activity around it. Satori hesitated at first, but bit the bullet and entered.

She was bombarded immediately.

"Welcome to Cyllage Boutique, my god aren't you cute? Here, come with me, you absolutely must try some of these accessories." The clerk grabbed Satori's arm and led her deeper into the shop.

"I, uh, er," Satori had a hard time getting a word in edgewise.

"Here, try this hairband on. It was rated one of the top ten sports hairbands in Cyllage Monthly." The clerk slid a yellow hairband onto Satori's head before she could stop her. "Yes, now let's just pull the hair out here—ah, snag it in here a bit. And now we fluff this part. Oh, I know what would go perfect." The clerk then pulled a heart-shaped hair clip from the shelf and clipped it on Satori's left side. "Oh yes that frames your face perfectly."

"W-Wait, I didn't want—"

"Nonsense, you must take a look at yourself." The clerk pulled Satori over to one of the full-length mirrors hanging on the wall.

"No, really, I'm a trai...ner..." Satori trailed off as she looked at herself in the mirror. It took her longer than she would like to admit to gather her thoughts. She looked cute. It was weird that she thought that about herself, but the clerk had been completely right. She was amazed that a simple hairband and hairclip had that much of an effect.

Satori didn't really focus too much on her appearance, but she was starting to have second thoughts. Her face flushed red. "H-How much for..."

The clerk smiled with delight. "A mere 3,300P my dear."

"I'll take them, then..." Satori was very embarrassed, but the clerk didn't seem to mind. The clerk was going to go ring up the items, but Satori stopped her. "Wait, I need to buy something else. I'm a, er, Pokemon trainer and I needed a case for my badges."

"Oh, why didn't you say so? We have some marvelous badge cases right over here." The clerk led her by the hand to the other wall, where there were numerous cases propped up near the wall. "This deep violet case matches your hair and eyes, it will bring together your whole persona. A small 2,400P, and it has individual slots for each of the eight Kalos badges, as well as a slide for your ID card and photo."

Satori ended up buying it and the hairpieces for 5,700P. It was still in her budget, although she definitely ended up with more items than she planned on. She walked out of the store, still blushing, and rushed to find a quiet corner where no one could see her. It was hard in Cyllage, but there were a few.

When she was alone she smiled and fiddled with her new hairband. She liked it.