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 Over My Head (Better Off Dead)

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the sunset hero

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PostSubject: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:35 am

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Pricklemist Hill stood as out-of-place as ever.

It was only on the edge of Rainfront town, perhaps a twenty or thirty-minute walk for most able-bodied Pokémon. But, despite the close proximity of the two locations, the aura between them could not be any more different. Rainfront was cozy and welcoming, a small town nestled on the coast boasting a number of different attractions. Between those and the beach, it was a content lazy little corner of the world, happy with itself and its place in life. A tourist attraction for most people. On the other hand, the hill on the edge of town was as dour, dark and sullen as it could be. Thick, swirling mist wafted through the air, clouding what little light was in the air in the first place, thanks to the eternally cloudy skies overhead. An old, faded trail lead from town to a small copse of trees atop the hill, somehow appearing foreboding despite the innocence of the picture. It was difficult to tell the time of day, but the gently chilling bite of the cooling air told one particular croagunk that it was nearing evening if it wasn't there already.

Goro shivered. He was pleased to be back.

The last time he'd been here was when he was checking out his metaphorical backyard after settling down in Cattail Marsh. The area had struck him as distinctly creepy and gloomy, and he remembered wanting to share a sense of kinship with the area. It'd given him a bad case of the creeps, though. The fighter had been constantly looking over his shoulder, wary of whatever night-time terror would burst through the thick mist to claim his life. Now, though... now, he was different. Stronger. More capable. A better fighter and a Pokémon with his head on straight. He'd been an aimless vagabond looking for a hole to hide in last time he came here, but this time he had a purpose, power, and experience. He was a little bit older, a bit more wisened. When he came to Rainfront last time, he believed the story the old cronies used to tell on the streets about the tragic fate of a family atop the hill. Now... it was probably just an old wives' tale to get tourists out of their hair. As he strolled down the faded trail beaten into the grass leading up to the old hill, Goro felt more at ease with himself than he had... perhaps ever before.

The Umbreon in front of him probably had a lot to do with that. The croagunk was less interested in surveying their surroundings, as he'd been here before, and busied himself with staring at Krikka's figure in front of him. She'd plucked him out from the hovel he was squatting in inside of Cattail Marsh and taken him on the kind of harrowing desperate adventure that he only used to hear stories about, drifting from seedy town to town wishing for a purpose in life. Krikka had given him that, too. And now she'd brought him here, to the haunted hill on the edge of the tourist's town. Why, exactly, was a mystery, but he didn't plan on asking. At this point, she had long since earned his trust and respect. If she had something she wanted to take him to do in the middle of nowhere, then he'd come along for the ride, no questions asked.

Still, maybe he would have appreciated it if she'd had said something about how cold it would have been outside. At least warned him to bring a cloak or something. Absently, the croagunk rubbed his palms together before exhaling a hot breath into them, trying to warm his hands before folding them into one another.

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Last edited by the sunset hero on Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : editing description after things TOOK A TURN)
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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:42 am

Goro knew absolutely nothing about hand injuries. He knew nothing about injuries in general, except how to cause them. That part he knew all too well, and it was something he indulged in often, but it never dawned on him that perhaps he should learn a thing or two about first aid. As the croagunk half-kneeled on the ground, clenching his left forearm tight enough that he felt it creak in response, he realized that he had no way of knowing how bad he'd just fucked his hand up. Turning over his hand dreadfully slowly, it appeared... mostly normal enough. If it weren't for the ominous crack that had resounded through the air upon contact, the searing pain ever-present below his knuckles, or the immediate bruising, he wouldn't know anything was wrong with himself. But as he turned his palm over and curled it into a fist, uncurled it and turned it right back over, over and over again, he had to admit it. His shit was fucked. Each individual motion brought with it severe pain, and he wasn't quite able to form a perfect fist - his two leftmost fingers refused to bend all the way down. And the curvature of the top of his hand had this small indenture right below his knuckles that sent a lance of dread through him; that definitely wasn't healthy looking, and the way it was rapidly swelling only confirmed this. Even he was able to deduce that he'd messed his shit up given enough context clues. The hushed shout of pain that he'd let slip a moment ago was followed by a low groan, sounding equal parts pained and frustrated. Even putting aside the agony he was feeling... Of all the things for him to walk away from a fight with, it had to be a fist injury.

Resolving to take his mind off of this revelation and focus on more important matters, the croagunk turned to observe his opponent. Fortunately enough it seemed he'd packed enough power into that blow to get the job done. While he was busy staring at his fist and shitting himself, it seemed that the umbreon opposing that had taken quite a tumble, eventually ending up at the bottom of the slope slumped up against a tree trunk. The sight brought him no small level of satisfaction, but that soon turned to exasperated dread as the bitch started to get up again. The umbreon veritably dragged herself up off the ground once more, because clearly this thing wasn't concerned with things like her own health or wellbeing. At this point, he had to really wonder what was driving this girl. They knew next to nothing about her - or at least he didn't because it seemed that Krikka knew her fellow umbreon from somewhere - so he had no clue as to what she fought for or what she was doing here in the first place. It didn't seem like she fought for the sake of fighting, or else she wouldn't have been so adamant about not starting in the first place. Was she still trying to fight on, then? If nothing else, he had a begrudging respect for her tenacity. At this point, she had to be seriously hurting, but she was still focused on the battle. It didn't change how he felt for her, though; if she started back up this hill, he was going to do his absolute damndest beat her to death for what she'd done to Krikka. He wanted to run down there and keep going, but between his injuries and Krikka's extremely vulnerable state, he had second thoughts.

Those second thoughts were reinforced as the goddamn umbreon turned and stared right up at him. It was difficult to tell at this distance, but she seemed... different. Calm, cool, and confident - not the same empty yet animalistic aura she wore whenever she was fighting him earlier. He didn't know what prompted the change or even how he felt about it. He did know he didn't like the way she was postured compared to him though. As soon as he was able, the battered bruiser hauled himself up to two feet, letting his arms fall to either side of him as he stared right back at her. If only he were strong enough to go down there and finish things. But he wasn't quite strong enough to do that. Not yet, at least. He watched helplessly as the fox turned on her heel and prodded away behind a tree, presumably leaving them behind. She hadn't won, but she definitely didn't lose, either. He hadn't won either way. At best, it was a draw, and that silent admission tore at him more than he ever thought it would. For challenging him the way she did, she deserved pain and defeat at his hands. For the insult she dealt him and for what she'd done to his leader, she deserved death... Not this, whatever it was. He was supposed to have won here tonight, but instead, it felt like he had failed worse than he ever had before. Goro resolved to finish what they started the next time he crossed paths with this mysterious umbreon. He'd be stronger next time.

Krikka broke him out of his silent reverie, and the croagunk visibly jerked at the sound of her voice. He slowly turned, not quite having it in him to move with anything resembling speed after that desperate battle. At least, he didn't until he saw the state of his boss. Some feet away Krikka lay on the filthy ground, her lifeblood seeping out of her by the second. Either she didn't feel concerned about it or it hadn't registered to her, though, as the dark type started cackling like a madwoman. It was weak, though, her laughter. It worried him very much. He jostled over to her with a sense of tired urgency, his concern temporarily overriding his exhaustion and pain. As he drew closer to her, it occurred to him that he was looking down on Krikka for the first time in his life. It was something that he wished for desperately as he first met her, and as he slowly got to know her and her own particular brand of insanity during that trip to hell, but now it was such a demoralizing and depressing thing.

After she cut off her own deranged giggling and abruptly, seriously admitted that she was bleeding own, Goro let himself fall to his knees in front of her. She seemed so... matter-of-fact about this, like there was nothing to worry about and she had the situation completely under control, despite all the evidence that pointed toward the opposite. She then went on to inform him that it was up to him to stop her bleeding somehow, and internally Goro despaired. Even as she let her head drop to the ground, exposing her neck to him and slurring instructions to him, panic and worry dominated him. Even if she made it sound simple, he was deathly afraid of somehow fucking this up. Still, her words automatically prompted action from him, and he mechanically leaned over her body, reaching around her and snaking his right hand - his good hand, he realized - into her bag, feeling around for something. He felt a few things (pointy things) that didn't quite strike him as cloth, but there was something in particular... but it was solid. It was the only thing that fit the bill, though, so he pulled it free and was treated to the sight of a stuffed toy. A stuffed shiny eevee toy, that he was currently dangling over a calmly dying Krikka by the tail.

"Jus' gonna pretend I didn't see this," He made it a point to stuff the plush back into the bag, out of sight and out of mind. Judging from her little fit of laughter, slurring words, and complete lack of any idea of what the fuck she was talking about now, he figured he should just use what he had on hand. Rather than use her bandana or the plush toy - somehow he knew those were bad ideas - he elected to yank his joy ribbon off of his left bicep, clutching it tightly in his right hand. All of the sudden, he was staring down at Krikka's very open neck wound. He'd wasted enough time at this point, though. With a deep inhale of air, Goro tried his best to calmly follow her instructions, taking the ribbon in hand and pressing down on her open wound firmly. "Like - like that?"

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:52 am

So lightheaded.  So dizzy.  So hard to think.  Every second spent awake was another second Krikka's mind tried to go blank on her.  It came in waves; with every beat of her heart she could feel her thoughts slipping away, and it grew more difficult to cling to consciousness with every repetition.  She had to think simple things to keep herself focused, but even then it was difficult.  She tried to open her eyes and find something to focus on only to be stopped by blurred vision and an inability to focus on any single point.  Her eyelids felt heavy to the point of drifting closed every few seconds, and forcing them back open even slightly was proving harder with every passing moment.  It was all she could do to continuously remind herself that she needed to stay awake at least until she could be sure Goro knew how to keep her alive; this thought soon decayed to a simple "Stay awake," with no apparent context surrounding it.  This was basic enough to focus on and keep in her mind, but even then, it was a true challenge to keep from slipping.

Goro was talking.  The umbreon glanced up at him in an attempt to focus on his figure and voice, but she could barely hear him.  She didn't know whether he was talking quietly or her senses were just failing her, but she did know he was holding something.  Something to help stop the bleeding?  She was brought back to lucidity and reminded of the situation at hand, motivating her to fight harder to keep herself awake and alert.  Her faithful follower was holding something grey, but she couldn't make out what it was.  She felt a rush of panic at something she could only register on a less-than-conscious level, but it quickly passed as the object was moved out of view.  In this case, out of sight quite literally meant out of mind, with her fragile state only able to comprehend things in her immediate realm of perception.  Her eyes fluttered shut once more as she lost the only thing worth paying attention to, and this time, she wasn't sure she would be opening them again.

Then a sudden wave of pain hit her out of nowhere, jolting her out of her lulled state.  She could feel something pressing down on her wound, signaling Goro at least semi-understood what he had been told to do.  She could hear his words crystal clear now; he was looking for affirmation, to be told he was doing it correctly.  "Ooooow," she responded in pain, though her tone was one of annoyance rather than true distress.  She doubted she had the energy to be more emotional even if she were to have tried.  For a moment she was silent, unable to formulate a response due to... well, a lot of things.  Her train of thought was being interrupted by so many sensations that she had simply stopped bothering with elaborate thoughts.  "Yep, that feels about right," she groaned, finally acknowledging the question.  She didn't need to look to know Goro was actively pressing on her wound, and she was confident enough in her own knowledge to believe it would be enough to stop the bleeding.  She could now freely slip into the void and let the rest of this scenario play itself out without her having to be conscious for it, but she found herself struggling still.

The idea of fainting due to injuries dealt by another of her own species threatened her ego, to say the least.  It was easy to hide behind an excuse such as needing to keep herself up to ensure she was in good care, but with that out of the way, she was forced to face the reality of things.  As far as she was concerned, she had lost, and there was no way it wouldn't leave a lasting mark on her pride.  However, the idea of being beaten so badly she couldn't even keep herself conscious was... worse.  Suddenly she had far better motivation than fear for her own life, and her eyes opened once more to stare at the feet of the croagunk in front of her.  She began speaking to aid her endeavor, but she couldn't quite register the words in her thoughts; they passed by as they came, fleeting from her memory as soon as they were out of her mouth.  "You need some way to fight at a distance if you're against something you can't overpower," she stated, matter-of-fact and confident.

Krikka's voice was weak and she could barely think, yet she still remained calm and collected.  Her eyes trailed up Goro's body to his face as she continued her evaluation of his performance: "And your guard needs work.  I didn't see you even try to block a single attack; you just kept trying to trade blows even once you knew she was stronger than you."  This had opened her eyes to the fact that she, too, needed to refine her own skills, but she didn't need anyone to guide her.  The whole point of this trip had been to provide a training exercise for Goro so they could see where he needed improvement, and if nothing else, Krikka now knew the answer to this inquiry.

____________________________________________________

It didn't take long. The relief from finally being out of the fight didn't take away the serious issues still draining away her vitality. Walking in a straight line grew difficult with the double vision and spinning sensation, forcing her to redirect her gaze down to the ground in front of her just to keep from stumbling and falling. She then noticed the physical state she was in: she lacked wounds, but she was literally dripping sweat. To most, this would probably have just seemed mildly unpleasant, but it wasn't the same for her. Every bit of water was draining from her, and she was poisoned on top of it; if the dehydration alone didn't kill her, the combination would. She had no one to lean on for help in this situation, but could she make it to Rainfront? The answer was no.

It didn't take long. Dusk's legs gave out under her after only a few minutes of walking, leaving her lying helpless on the ground. Memories of her past flashed through her mind once more; of how she had fled from her life and collapsed in the wilderness. Much like now, the reason was dehydration caused by her own poor genes. She had been fortunate enough to have someone come along and find her, but she didn't like her odds of having that happen twice. Overcoming poison was possible, but dehydration wasn't just going to go away because she was "determined." She was dead. This thought echoed around in her head as she lay on the ground, helpless and waiting for her life to slip away from her. In truth, part of her was actually looking forward to the presumed relief, the escape from all her problems. What reason did she truly have to want to live this life that had been laid out for her? She was presented with nothing but pain at every turn, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seem to do anything to fight it.

...But try as she might, she just couldn't bring herself to quit. There was a moment of peace in her mind at the idea that she didn't have to push any further, but a sense of unrelenting anger snuffed it out. Her barely-open eyes widened slightly and her pupils thinned to slits; a look of shock painted itself on her face before melting into a glare. She grit her teeth and slowly shifted her legs under her, pressing her paws firmly against the ground. Her body quivered as she lifted herself, but she persisted. She lifted her head to point her eyes forward and took a step. Her legs were heavy, and she had to put her undivided attention on the simple act of moving one of them, but she managed it. She took another step, and another. No matter how long and painful it was, she would manage. She would prove that she could progress beyond the scared little girl who should have died alone and thirsty.

She would live, and she would find a way to overcome the ruin of her waking life. She would not remain a victim of harassers or even of circumstance. She would fight the cloak and make it hers. No matter what it took, she would take control of her life.

She had to.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   

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