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Sabres in the Sandstone

Chapter Text

Eventuality



These last days Pokécenters boiled with activity all across the Cadrícean Widefields of the Suocé region – more so than usual. Everyone was coming in to share new reports, and going out to scout for a chance.

Today this particular Pokécenter was no different. To the Natu specimens that took turns perching atop the building and the nearby street poles it was all more of the same: more opportunities to learn new words, more chirping about for free food, more fates to inspect for the more experienced ones, more potential Trainers to adopt. The self-made flock on the roof comprised all three morphs or variants of Natu: there were the bunch round and green fledglings that carried the “Natu” name, the vain, longtailed adolescents that carried the ephemeral name of “Ñatu” and amounted to no more than four or five, and the ten or so full grown morphs, covered in white feathered wings and capable of some form of divination, carrying the name “Xatu”. Of these, two or three trained ones stood among the flock, each keeping tabs on the curious birds with one eye and on their respective Trainer below with the other, locked onto the infiniteness of the sky.

“No, I don’t think I’ve read it… where do we find this Natu colony?”

Colton, a foreign Trainer on a break from the circuits, was one subject to such scrutiny. Originally from the other side of the world, the human had fled from Unova after having a couple of ill-fated encounters and gone from region to region in his trips, now searching for quick jobs with other Trainers so they could sustain their temporary stays. The sudden increase in activity of the various wild colonies in the area happened to coincide with his trip and catch his attention – and that of his own Xatu companion.

One of the other Trainers he was talking to pointed him to some trails on a map. Colton’s eyes followed a nearby marked road, a few quarries and a lagoon, until he tapped his finger on a sign indicating a nature preserve.

Whereas the Trainers inside the Pokécenter frenzied about the recent emergence of the “Guardian Forces”, the three deer- and antelope-like guardian Pokémon of the region, and the chances for a battle encounter that could follow, the Trainers outside were going at the world at leisure looking for how to spend their time. As such, while the Trainers inside shared information on the Guardian’s sightings and some even evidence of brief skirmishes, the Trainers outside talked about maps, about packing food and water, about organizing in groups to stay safe in the wilderness, and about picking odd jobs here and there.

Colton’s group of Trainers had found already their goal in the wilderness: from a listing board nearby they had drawn some communal service requests, all following a path that would take them to the marked destination, a long-inactive quarry in the Widefields, that rumours said was adapted by the local wild population into a sort of venadrome – a place where wild Pokémon could safely go to learn the basics of fighting so they could then go into the human world in seek of Trainers.

Just twelve kilometres short from the preserve, too.

“Come look at this, Xatu!” called Colton. “We could find a native colony of your kin too. How’s that looking?”

Not receiving a reply, Colton looked up to see the rather indifferent flock that had formed on the rooftop. He blinked as he noticed the amount or birds minding their own business in silence. “...Which one of you is mine?” he asked the crowd.

A singular Xatu responded with a soft coo, though he deigned not to even look down at his Trainer otherwise. None of the birds even blinked.

Colton felt somewhat uneasy; he shook his head and returned his attention to the travel plan on the table. He would try to stay focused on it, as much as possible, ignoring the commentary on the Guardians from trainers coming in and out of the Pokécenter. In the recess of his mind there was one thing that made Colton feel his presence here would be uncomfortable, amusingly refusing to come to the surface despite the various news of Cobalion around and Colton’s experience back in Unova.

Some of the Trainers inside would eagerly share their experience getting to fight briefly against any of the three Guardians and some of them would even entice younger Trainers to try their luck; Colton on the other hand, he had once accidentally found Cobalion back in Unova but had ended the encounter in bad terms, an event the memory of he did not cherish.

True, like most Trainers around he inwardly desired for an opportunity; but also like the majority, he just did not expect it to happen.

As for Xatu on the roof he probably had his own ideas on what to expect. In dutiful silence he bat his wings, clicked his talons and hopped in place every once in a while, a mild exercise under the company of his lower morphs. The various Natu, probably finding his exercises fun, had taken to imitating his motions at unison, with near impeccable timing; whereas the few Ñatu around dedicated their time to fanning their tail feathers and giving judging nods at Xatu’s his every gesture.

Were any of those Pokémon able to discern anything about Xatu’s current fate? If so, they did not bother showing it, deciding perhaps that some things were better left to chance and surprise. All he got was a whisper from the other Xatus, that his Trainer ought to be ready.

For that matter, Xatu believed the same.

A few minutes later, Colton and the other Trainers started packing their things. It would be boring to have to take on some silly board quests such as “collect sandstone”, which seemed a better fit for tutored rookie groups to handle; but if it gave them something to do on the trip to the preserve, all the better. Colton readied his pack and called his Xatu to come down.

The bird cooed and glided down while his lower kin remained still and staring deep into him. Menacingly.

Down on the ground, Colton explained briefly to Xatu the trip for the day. Word was that there would be a good assortment of Pokémon to fight at the venadrome, so he would be bringing four more of his team around, then they would go meet the board quest groups that would be heading to the preserve and join them. Colton knelt besides Xatu and gave him a pat on the head, promising he could meet even more of his same species, and the bird blinked in exchange.

As the group got going, Colton noticed his Xatu trailing behind him without a word, picking a few bread crumbs from the ground. He turned and looked up to the other Natus on the rooftop.

“Aren’t you going to say goodbye to your pals?” he asked his Xatu.

The bird Pokémon straightened himself and just stared away. The assorted Natu continued to stare at the two of them from the roof, reminding Colton of how uneasy he had felt.

Without turning or blinking, Xatu extended his left wing. The roof Natus did as well, at unison as Colton saw them. Xatu dropped the wing slightly, and so did the other birds with the same exact motion – at the exact same time. He tilted his head left, so did they. Colton shook slightly, and noticed the other Xatus on the roof frowning at him.

Right wing half unfolded. Right wings half unfolded. Head up. Heads up. Blink. Blinks. Wings up. Wings up. Coo. Coos. Left wing down then right wing down. Left wings down then right winds down.

“Cute,” spoke Colton. “Creepy, but cute. Come on, we have work to do.”

Colton and Xatu headed off following other Trainers. The other birds remained behind in utmost meditation.

Only one Xatu took off a minute after and soared high, trailing the group.

 

 




Encounter



In a shaded corner of the sandstone arena, a group of Roggenrola and Boldore were pushing and shoving each other, teasing back and forth to see who would join the fray, as some wild local Pokémon were fighting a Trainer’s team for exercise.

Xatu and Luxray unleashed attacks left and right, picking on a few wild mons each time. They were on the penultimate part of an already hour-long gauntlet, slapping and smashing and shoving whoever came their way; they were just about to clear off the sandy brown, rocky board that made the floor of the venadrome where Terrakion had stationed himself with a few Pokémon as an entourage.

At the other side of the arena, Colton winced as he watched his Xatu try to outpeck a Pidgeotto’s invasion of his personal airspace. “Fall back!” he pointed out, seeing another Pidgeotto heading in; “drive them away with Confusion!”

Down at the ground a few loose thunderbolts hit the various sandstone pillars, with Colton’s Luxray shooting more to try and keep a few Scyther and Whirlipede nearby. Colton looked at the group and took notice that Luxray’s attempts to attack were also being blocked off by a few brave Boldore.

Colton shook his head. This was not what the travelling group of Trainers had expected when they had arrived. Instead of the room for peaceful picnic they found none other than Terrakion wiping the floor with an Ace-level Trainer’s team, and the Legendary had somehow convinced the journeying Trainers to let their Pokémon face his own entourage “to pass the time”.

By this point the other Trainers had just left for the next quarry whereas Colton had remained behind just a little longer while Terrakion gathered his entourage to leave the arena .

Luxray had to hop around the slabs of sandstone that make the battleground, trying not to trip as a few Scyther had managed to home in and were now circling the feline, venturing stabs from any direction.

Mae, to the legs! Sweep them off!” called Colton.

Luxray growled in acknowledgement and let a few Scyther inch closer, biting on the first’s and then dragging the Pokémon off-stage before he shot a few Thunderbolts at the other two Scyther coming his way. Up above, Xatu held some nearby Boldore and Beedrill at bay with psychic blasts while the Pidgeotto had fell back to catch their breath.

Atop the pillars of the once-a-quarry, a certain different Xatu observed, as it had been doing since morning. He remained quiet, inspecting every aspect of the fight and relaying notes on the behaviour of the Trainer both to Terrakion at the end of the arena, and to a different party shrouded in shadows.

Luxray was knocked onto the ground by another Scyther’s wind blade and the Electric-type only barely managed to unleash a get-up Thunder Wave – most of which was blocked by a nearby Boldore. The delaying maneuvers seemed to draw attention from Terrakion, who growled something at the defending Pokémon.

Taking the opportunity, Xatu dived in and tackled the Scyther out of cover for Luxray to engage again, the Boldore doing the shielding too slow to adequately pursue after the bird.

A few remaining Beedrill and Pidgeotto circled around to mount another attack as Xatu took to higher altitude; however they tensed up suddenly, and after a moment they shrieked to each other and turned tail, fleeing to the southern side of the arena where the rest of the entourage were resting.

On the ground below, the other wild mons also sensed something near the northern side of the arena and after a few warning growls also circled around Luxray to make a hasty exit south.

“What the…?” Colton asked. He wasn’t sure what was going on and he did not have the time to ask more; just as he turned to his Pokémon to check on them he felt it, and they did too.

A sudden pressure, a sort of empathetic rising beat, imposed itself upon the fighting grounds for a moment, foreboding a desire to fight. Luxray and Xatu flinched at the overpowering sensation and the bird Pokémon almost fell to the ground. Even Colton instinctively hunched over for a moment; the idea flashed through his mind that the sensation was something akin to his Weavile’s Pressure… only much “heavier”.

The pressure subsided much like a candle lit to the winds, until it was undistinguishable from all the Pokémon around; but it had lasted long enough that all the Pokémon there had discerned its location, perhaps even its identity.

Luxray and Xatu turned to the northern slopes that made part of the sort of “seats” of the arena; Luxray let out a hiss, Xatu an unamused shriek. On the rocky slope that served as an “entrance” to the area, they saw the figure of an oryx-like Pokémon descending towards them.

From his position Colton couldn’t see it clearly. He felt a brief exasperation. “Who’s up there?”

The Pokémon clad in steely blue climbed down the slope methodically, the tuft of fur on its chest waving with each motion. At some point close to the arena it stopped and then took a strong leap that landed him right atop one of the clear sandstone pillars surrounding the arena, a little over 10 meters aboveground.

That’s when Colton recognized it. He stepped back to get a better view of the newcomer; he frowned and clenched his hands while staring at the Pokémon that did not even deign to look down in his direction, just like the first and last time they had met.

Cobalion was here. Springing about from pillar to pillar, he moved around the arena at leisure.

Terrakion from the other end of the battleground buffed something in the oryx’s direction. Cobalion stopped for a moment and bellowed back. The two Pokémon engaged in what appeared to be their own conversation, unintelligible to Colton’s ears and still somewhat strange to the entourage of wild Pokémon from the challenge, who remained outside of the arena now giving wary looks to the two Legendaries in turns.

Whatever the conversation was about, it lasted little. All of a sudden, Terrakion got up from the ground and marched away, beckoning the rest of the wild Pokémon to follow him.

Unnoticed by Colton or his team, only a certain wild Xatu remained unmovable above, carefully pondering Cobalion’s position on the pillars sparsely arranged in various circles around the arena.

“...Hey! Mae?” called Colton to his Luxray. “What is going on?”

The Luxray, panting from the efforts of the day, mostly answered back with loud meowing and pointing her paw in Cobalion’s general direction.

The azure oryx glanced all around the arena, his antlers casting shifting shadows behind him and into the rocky walls of the quarry, and finally trained his eyes on the last remaining human for a moment.

All the other Pokémon had been quick to flee after Terrakion, and both of Colton’s Pokémon remained in a somewhat tensed stance eyeing Cobalion’s movements.

To the human the significance of the moment was patent. It was certainly not the first time Colton had seen the oryx-like Pokémon, but as it seemed now it was certainly the first time he was going to fight him.

Acting on impulse, Colton reached into one of his vest pockets and produced his phone. He aimed the device’s camera at the Legendary and held a finger against the main button, while the oryx focused his sight on the device, looking somewhat confused.

“You dare…” asked Colton, tensing at the presence of the figure. “Never thought I’d see you again.”

Mae eyed the oryx for a moment, bating her tail. After a moment she turned to Colton and let out a soft, warning growl. She somewhat relaxed her posture towards the Legendary, and Rae, upon questioning the feline, more or less did the same.

Colton frowned and eyed the Legendary again, noticing Cobalion seemed to be confused as well.

Something was amiss.

Just to check, Colton pointed the phone again at Cobalion and held the button for longer. Once an on-display menu came up, he moved his finger across the screen without looking – he knew the device interface by heart now, and curtly activated the option to draw out more information.

❲Cobalion tracked❳, read the new text on the bottom of the screen. ❲Pokémon of iron will. Acknowledged in history as the guide of the immigrants who founded the nation of Suocé. Specimen 2 out of 2.❳

“Two… out of two?” mused Colton to himself.

Colton looked hard at the creature in front of him for a moment. Mae meowed at him and relaxed her posture – just not too much. And with her more inquisitive approach and the announcement from his phone, a wave of common sense suddenly hit Colton like probably Terrakion would have.

Just to make extra sure, Colton tapped the device; a yellow triangle with an exclamation sign immediately catching his curiosity.

❲Warning: specimen is ranked JALECO-C class and registered as a national security interest. Unprovoked attack is punishable with jail starting at 121 days. ❳

“That doesn’t feel like a game at all. This is not the same Cobalion from that time, then,” he conceded with a sigh.

«I do think I have never seen you before.»

Colton stumbled. He was sure the voice had come from nowhere in particular.

«What I know of you,» Colton “felt” as Colabion bleated, «is what Sahlai has forewarned.»

Colton seemed surprised. He eyed Cobalion up there more closely, he was sure he had heard the voice yet the Legendary had not moved a muscle past his muzzle; it came off thundering yet polished, unlike the more high-pitched and guttural bleats. Colton breathed. It surely was some form of telepathy, but at the moment it was not a subject he had the mind, pun intended, to delve into.

“Figures… there is more than one of you. It only makes sense…” Colton frowned. “Wait… who is Sahlai?”

Colton’s Xatu turned and waved a wing at Colton, then pointing to the walls of the battleground. Sure enough Colton turned and up there saw another Xatu, very patiently (and very judgingly) staring down at them from atop his pillar.

Colton raised a brow, refrained from commenting on how creepy that was, and returned his attention to the azure oryx. The Pokémon had resumed his meandering on the pillar above, eyeing the Trainer and his team every once in a while.

The message both from Cobalion and from his team was clear, no need for telepathy or any of that.

Colton turned to the Luxray and got closer to her, looking into his bag for a potion and comforting her with words in the meantime. “Do you think you can continue, Mae?”

The feline’s panting would not stop and the Pokémon did not otherwise answer, merely retaining her hesitant stare at what loomed ahead – outside even the predatory capacity of her species to handle. Her fur, sparking and on end, carried a clear message.

Colton nodded as he treated the Luxray for a moment; still, in the end he decided to return her to her Ball.

The same question, slightly reworded, was then given to his own Xatu but the Pokémon shrugged it off and let himself be treated for some minor wounds before he could continue. For emotional support Colton gave his Pokémon a very brief pep talk. All the while the oryx shuffled about and every once in a while shook his head as an invitation gesture.

With his Pokémon now ready, Colton stood up and announced to the Legendary that he was ready. Cobalion instantly stopped his idling, he bellowed and shook his head this time as a sign of aggression and eagerness for battle.

Preparations complete, Colton stepped back even further from his original place – his Pokémon would need as much room as possible, and if the tales about “Legendary” Pokémon were true he would be wise to concern himself about his own safety. He knew he needed to send in someone to hold the fight in close quarters if Xatu was to run support with his avian nature, special ability and type combination.

Colton held a scuffled Poké Ball in his hand, just for a moment; feeling the device shake ever so slightly.

“I know you want this,” he hushed, shaking his head, “but not yet – we need to test the waters for you first.”

After that Colton stored that Ball and produced a different one – a Great Ball. He needed someone who had enough energy and mobility to keep Cobalion busy, someone who could assuredly set the pace for the fight; even if it came at the cost of being weak to the Legendary’s attacks…

The Poké Ball was thrown and from its beam of light emerged a Weavile. Rei, as Colton called her, was already hunched over and ready for the battle, lending only a furtive glance back at her Trainer to confirm they were on the same page strategy-wise. She knew the risks and knew already what she had to do.

Cobalion for his part fussed about in his place and eyed Colton before turning to the two Pokémon below him. The Legendary probably already knew that Colton’s team would go for pressure; the human gulped at the thought of facing an opponent of both sturdiness and intelligence possibly above that of a Champion level team.

Suddenly Cobalion stomped the ground and raised his head pointing to Colton. He shot the human a message.

«If you are to send out two, to take this risk, I would allow you even a third challenger,» the voice spoke from nowhere. «I do not mind.»

Colton seemed surprised – both because he was still not used to the voice in his mind and because of the ample room the Legendary was offering him. It would be unwise to refuse such an offer, perhaps, but Colton clenched his fists, for he knew he could not afford to risk too much.

“I know I’ll need every advantage and I would thank you,” he announced, reminding himself that commanding two Pokémon in a battlefield was taxing already, “but we would fight you at our best, so I can’t throw everything at you with reckless abandon. I’ll… keep my options open.” Still, he had other reasons to stick with his strategy, thinking back to his stay in the region so far. He added. “The tag teams that seem to be typical here are two on two, which I want to try and adhere to. Besides, three Pokémon already out on the field would severely restrict our options, more that it would help.”

The oryx stared long at Colton, blinking every once in a while; after a moment of no response, Colton worried for a moment if he had made himself understood. A moment after Cobalion bleated in comprehension, then let out a sound much more like a whine.

With an energetic leap Cobalion stepped down from his perch and landed cleanly on the slabs surrounding it, to the left of Colton’s view. The Legendary wasted no time in turning around and approaching a few steps in Rei and Xatu’s direction.

For their part, the two Pokémon leaned to their left and spread around; Xatu went to stand on a particular, decorated slab that seemed to strike his fancy, wings ready for flight, whereas Rei crawled ahead and attempted to warn the oryx off with a growl, not that it would work anyway.

Cobalion snorted. «Two now, two more then,» he spoke to Colton’s mind as if to confirm the terms of the challenge.

Colton held his breath and nodded.

«Name and homeland?» Cobalion asked, leaning his head closer.

Colton hesitated. “Colton… Colton Kendall Rever. From Unova,” he blurted out.

«Sahlai has assured me you have a good experience to show,» challenged the Legendary. «Do not disappoint.»

The oryx leaned his head, pointing Colton in the general direction of his two Pokémon, and took a single step back.

Colton got the message and also took a step back. He addressed his Pokémon. He was clear already on how the fight had to go. He shot a glance at Xatu and the bird cooed, confirming they were ready to strike.

“Rei, Cobalion might be Steel type but he’s quite agile if he’s been prancing about like this,” he informed his Weavile for a final check. “We need you to impair his movement. Ice to the legs, tears to the chest… do what you can manage, don’t stop and don’t let him aim at Xatu,” he encouraged her.

Both Pokémon gave sounds of approval, without turning to look at their Trainer.

Then, in the blink of an eye, Xatu took to the sky and started charging psychic energy. Cobalion eye-tracked him for a brief moment before returning his attention to the ground and realizing Rei had already entered his close range with a swift dash. Rei leapt up aiming for Cobalion’s left flank with a wide slice, and Cobalion managed to avoid it by moving one step to the right.

The Xatu above the pillars held his attention on the fight, both eyes open and focused. He saw four slashes from Rei going from the ground up, with Cobalion tanking or evading every one; the oryx would at random times attempt to land a hoof on the Weavile’s legs, to no avail as the black Pokémon was nimble on all fours and the even ground. Still, a moment went between two parties without either managing to push the other. Xatu felt a ping in his mind, a change in the level of aggression; his left eye refocused slightly to see Colton’s Xatu circle about and shoot a psychic wave, but the attack hit only the ground as Cobalion, apparently forewarned by Rei’s own change in aggression, sprung away and moved to the portion of the arena behind the Weavile.

Joining forces, Colton’s two Pokémon headed at Cobalion’s again,this time the Xatu batting his wings to unleash a strong wind current and Rei taking advantage of the moment to slide in and try a few slashes. Two or three hit their mark on Cobalion’s chest and flank and the Legendary, unable momentarily to push against the winds, was forced to turn his flank and try to sidestep Rei.

Colton gave their Pokémon a quick, prearranged command; the Weavile was smart enough to not press a risky position and instead hopped back closer to Xatu’s position, both Pokémon already breathing in and siphoning elemental energy. Just as Cobalion readied to spring away, Rei breathed out a cone of icy dust which Xatu then propelled in Cobalion’s direction.

Cobalion bellowed; even if he guessed what was coming, he was still not used to icy winds so rare in his region. He shook for a moment, eyes closed, resisting the combined wind and snow, when a tremor in the ground surprised him. He turned and tried to tuck his head, only for Rei to appear right under his chin and headbutt him in the chest, slightly lifting the oryx off the ground. Taking advantage of Cobalion’s lost balance, Rei quickly sprung up with another leap and attempted to slash at the Legendary’s legs but she had not gained enough lifft; Cobalion returned to the ground quickly and brought his own head down to headbutt her back, making her screech as she fell back to the ground.

Fortunately for her, right before Cobalion even lifted his hooves for a strike, two blades of wing shoved him aside, and the oryx growled angrily as he turned to follow Xatu flying past him; in that brief distraction Rei also rolled the opposite way and made her escape.

The observer Xatu heard Colton issuing some instructions to attack Cobalion from two adjacent sides, and tilted his head as he tracked the change in tactics.

It took about twenty seconds before the changes made themselves apparent. Xatu would now fly wide circles, remaining far from any possible reach Cobalion could have, bating wind in Cobalion’s direction every once in a while; Rei would remain at Xatu’s relative left or right, invading Cobalion’s personal space and trying to get good slashes on his legs and chest, trading direct hits with the oryx’s head and antlers where necessary, and falling back to spew out icy wind or lumps of ice every time it seemed Cobalion was about to regain momentum or change his balance to aim for Xatu.

For his part, Cobalion kept trading blows with Rei for the most part, withering the wind blades with his flank and springing about to reorient himself every time stronger wind came his way; he made sure to not turn his aggression towards Colton’s Xatu yet, as he had no way to securing a target with Rei blocking every potential shot.

In the eyes of that Xatu above, it was a courteous scene to be recorded, still early enough in the battle that the three Pokémon were limiting themselves to educatedly trading blows.

That however was not to last. Cobalion had been warming up, letting Rei have it on close quarters and in general limiting himself to headbutts and shoves; but he understood it would be all a waste if he could not get the Weavile out of the way. Cobalion took a moment while Rei was rolling past him to leap ahead in the same direction Rei had come from, essentially doubling the distance between them with a single move, and then he took off to the base of one of the nearby standstone pillars just as Xatu let out a gust, against which the pillar offered good protection.

The Legendary eyed Rei as she headed towards him to press his position. He saw her try to circle around and only slightly turned himself to track her.

His eyes narrowed and sought the moment where she would drop to all fours to carry out her dash; and once he saw the moment, he leaned his head down, turning it only slightly away from her, and in an instant pooled a large amount of Fighting-type energy.

Colton saw it happen, guessed what Cobalion was about to do, but he simply had no time to warn her; human voice was ever so slow to come out, and still in silence he saw as Rei lunged right at Cobalion’s neck only for her arm to become lodged between the Legendary’s curved antlers. One swift motion later and Rei was reeled in to be hit by the oryx’s head at full force and then juggled back into the air, defenseless.

Colton managed to scream for Rei to get out of there just as Cobalion’s head and hooves shone an arrant, choleric red-brown colour and he reared up for a strike… or strikes, that Colton’s mind could only guess it could be Close Combat as his heart skipped a beat. Rei was still falling back to the ground gasping for air.

Cobalion reared up and sprung at Rei – only to be pushed away by an invisible force, a wall of wind and insidious thought that dragged him across the ground and tugged with animosity at his senses. Losing control of the energy, Cobalion had to let it go as his hooves dug themselves on the ground, leaving cracks that quickly ripped outward.

Angered at the interruption, Cobalion breathed in to recompose himself and turned to watch Xatu in the air, having circled around the pillar to reach his position; already another mistake that Rei took full advantage of to recovery roll on the ground and slide in to jab one of Cobalion’s legs.

Still, there was little more Rei could do on the cracked ground and she haphazardly hopped away as Cobalion swung a leg at her, and she headed over to Xatu’s direction. Cobalion’s concentration still altered after the psychic attack, he was not able to chase after her and had to just let her go to catch his breath.

“Are you two okay?” yelled Colton. “Don’t scare me like that, please don’t.”

Rei and Xatu answered back with energetic grunts and chirps, and Colton felt like he could breathe again.

Colton mused for a moment. That had been only the first energy attack; there were sure to be more to come, and as far as he knew Cobalion was still not displaying any of the species’ often touted abilities anyway.

The Xatu observing the pillar straightened his head. He stretched for a moment taking advantage of the temporary lull in battle and resumed his careful accounting as Colton’s Xatu flew behind some pillars to try and secure a good firing spot while Rei headed away from the cracked area of the ground and spew more icy wind at Cobalion, assured that the Legendary would have to come closer in order to properly stomp or ram her.

The oryx knew he needed to be fast, for his opponent were agile in the air and on the ground. By the time he turned back to Rei after shielding from her icy wind, he had once again lost track of Xatu; thus he decided the safest path to her was to leap closer to one of the sandstone pillars. He eyed Rei back as he went – the Weavile made motion to breathe in and attempt her frigid breath again, but Cobalion inched close enough to the pillar that Rei was forced to forgo the obvious obstacle in the way and instead dashed closer again, trying to secure a leap at Cobalion's flanks.

For a few moments Rei and Cobalion danced around the pillar, each daring the other to make a frontal attack. Still, Rei was a Dark-type, masquerades were only natural to her, and just as Cobalion saw her drop to all fours to make her assault and he readied himself with a hoove up to respond, something clicked in the oryx's mind and before he could brace himself a blade of wind hit him right in the other leg and almost sent him skidding.

At this point, Cobalion was really not liking the very brief warning he would sense against Xatu’s attacks.

The oryx had to do something soon. Perhaps, since he could not directly strike the bird, switching to mid-range and reactive techniques was in order.

Colton saw something like a spark fizzle in Cobalion’s antlers for a moment. His voice caught himself in his throat that he would observe just for another moment.

Another spark, blue-ish in colour, and something also lighted up in Colton’s mind. Of course Cobalion, like any Pokémon, would have access not only to the Steel and Fighting energy that made his types – it could be Electric, it could be Bug, heck it could be Psychic for all he knew.

Just as Rei dashed right between Xatu’s blades of wind to try and slash directly at Cobalion’s flank, the oryx’s antlers let out what appeared to be brief, orbiting sparks of blue energy.

Colton’s mind was made up. Blue was totally Electric. It had to be.

“Rei! Xatu!” Colton warned, eyes going wide. “That might be a Thunder!”