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New Fizz City: The Metropolitan Zone

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blu3shift- Having ignored your Pokedex until now, you're surprised to find some valuable information on it once you open it up. It confirmed a few things you already suspected, like Porygon tracing Trubbish's Stench ability and the second Rattata possessing the Guts ability. It also informed you that upon leveling up, Porygon had learnt a new move, Psybeam. The Psychic type attack was somewhat of a surprise, but it was certainly helpful as relying on Tackle was starting to feel a tad redundant. You felt a little uncomfortable using the newly acquired move, but it was really only natural for a Pokemon to get stronger by battling.

Epoch follows its new orders, preparing its new attack for the first time. It gathers energy at the point of its nose before firing a beam of glistening psychic energy at the Rattata. The attack causes the Rattata to issue a pained screech as it proves to be quite effective, likely helped by Trubbish's Acid Spray lowering the Rattata's special defense. If it wasn't obvious to start with that the Rattata were looking for an easy win, it is now as the second Rattata realizes that sticky around just isn't worth the hurt. It quickly rushes off in the same direction as its friend. With both of its attackers now gone, Trubbish can finally go about its business in piece. It happily continues to consume the garbage, completely ignoring your presence. It didn't seem to pose a threat to you or Epoch and it was cleaning up some of the garbage, maybe you should just let it be?

Trubbish couldn't clean up all this mess though, even a Garbodor would struggle to scoff all this down. You'd have to get to work now. It wasn't as simple as collecting all the rubbish and dumping it in the skip bins either, you'd have to sort out all the recycling. Perhaps there was an easy way to identify what needed recycling?
 
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blu3shift- Having ignored your Pokedex until now, you're surprised to find some valuable information on it once you open it up. It confirmed a few things you already suspected, like Porygon tracing Trubbish's Stench ability and the second Rattata possessing the Guts ability. It also informed you that upon leveling up, Porygon had learnt a new move, Psybeam. The Psychic type attack was somewhat of a surprise, but it was certainly helpful as relying on Tackle was starting to feel a tad redundant. You felt a little uncomfortable using the newly acquired move, but it was really only natural for a Pokemon to get stronger by battling.

Epoch follows its new orders, preparing its new attack for the first time. It gathers energy at the point of its nose before firing a beam of glistening psychic energy at the Rattata. The attack causes the Rattata to issue a pained screech as it proves to be quite effective, likely helped by Trubbish's Acid Spray lowering the Rattata's special defense. If it wasn't obvious to start with that the Rattata were looking for an easy win, it is now as the second Rattata realizes that sticky around just isn't worth the hurt. It quickly rushes off in the same direction as its friend. With both of its attackers now gone, Trubbish can finally go about its business in piece. It happily continues to consume the garbage, completely ignoring your presence. It didn't seem to pose a threat to you or Epoch and it was cleaning up some of the garbage, maybe you should just let it be?

Trubbish couldn't clean up all this mess though, even a Garbodor would struggle to scoff all this down. You'd have to get to work now. It wasn't as simple as collecting all the rubbish and dumping it in the skip bins either, you'd have to sort out all the recycling. Perhaps there was an easy way to identify what needed recycling?
"...Whoa."

That was the only thing that a dumbfounded Elijah could say as he watched Epoch fire off a Psybeam at the remaining Rattata, the latter scurrying away after it realized that sticking around to harass the Trubbish was absolutely not worth the effort of trying to hold itself up in battle. He'd come out on top, even if it was a bit of a hollow victory—a far cry from his mild distaste for Pokémon training just a few months earlier, which made his win all the more sweeter. The long road ahead of Elijah seemed shorter as he watched Epoch return to him, realizing that he had a knack for battling that he didn't realize that he had.

Basking in his own light didn't really help anything right now though except for his mood. Like he'd been reminding himself throughout the fight, there was a ton to clean up, and not a lot of time to do it in. The Trubbish that he spent the past while defending had happily returned to shoveling waste in its mouth, which looked like it could help, but that hardly made a dent in the sheer amount of trash lying around. Elijah looked over the tools that he had brought from the shed once again. It was obvious what the gloves were for, so he put them on immediately. He could probably use the rake to pull together piles of trash, and the shovel to scoop them in the wheelbarrow, which he would then wheel over to the closest empty trash can he could find so that he could dump all of it in there... if there were any. Elijah looked around for something that he could use, spotting a massive dumpster at the maintenance shed that he got the supplies from right next to... one for recycling...

...Right. There was probably a whole bunch of stuff to be recycled, too. How was he going to figure that out quickly? Sorting through all the trash just to make sure that everything goes into the proper one wasn't easy, and the fact that he had to do a lot of it in addition to the two other tasks on his to-do list wasn't helping. He'd have to figure out how to easily single out everything that could be recycled, and throw it in the right container, like a living computer...that he just so happened to have, actually!

"Alright Epoch, here's our new game plan. I'm going to go get those dumpsters from over there—" he pointed to the maintenance shed "—and then I'll dump some trash in this wheelbarrow to put in them. Can you figure out what I should recycle from it every time I fill it up and put it in the one for recycling?"
 
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blu3shift- You decide to let Trubbish continue to feast, every bit of rubbish it consumed was less for you to worry about after all. There was plenty to go around though and you now had to deal with the monumental task of sifting through it all. You pull on the rubber gloves as you prepare to get to work, explaining to Epoch how you'd go about the task. You head over to the dumpsters by the maintenance shed and attempt to pull them. Unfortunately you lack the strength to move them more than an inch as the wheels don't exactly like moving in the long grass. A shame, bringing them closer to the rubbish would've made life a bit easier. Fortunately you still had the wheelbarrow. Heading over to the closest collection of trash, you grab the rake and pull it into a pile. Epoch then throws himself into the pile, his programming somehow allowing him to determine which items could be 'recycled'. You load up the recyclable items with the shovel and quickly wheel them back to the large bins, tossing them in the one clearly labelled as a recycling bin. You then race back to grab the leftover trash, repeating the process except this time tossing it into the general waste bin.

One pile down, countless to go.....

It is grueling work but somewhat rewarding. You can take pride in your achievements as you slowly but surely turn the cesspool back into a spotless clearing. You cross paths with the Trubbish occasionally but it doesn't seem too concerned about you cleaning up all the rubbish. By the time you're done, your back is starting to ache and your shirt is soaked in sweat. You load all the tools back into the wheelbarrow and prepare to return them to the shed, only to find the Trubbish blocking your path. For a moment you're concerned that the Poison type is finally ready to fight, however that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead it tosses a couple of things at your feet. An apple core, likely the Leftovers of someone's lunch, as well as a broken TM disc. The disc seems to be missing a shard and the label is worn, but perhaps it could be repaired somewhere in the city? The Trubbish then looks up at you like its waiting for something. Did it want to come with you? Perhaps you could catch it if that's what you wanted, if not though, maybe there was a way for Trubbish to be of further use to the park?
 
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blu3shift- You decide to let Trubbish continue to feast, every bit of rubbish it consumed was less for you to worry about after all. There was plenty to go around though and you now had to deal with the monumental task of sifting through it all. You pull on the rubber gloves as you prepare to get to work, explaining to Epoch how you'd go about the task. You head over to the dumpsters by the maintenance shed and attempt to pull them. Unfortunately you lack the strength to move them more than an inch as the wheels don't exactly like moving in the long grass. A shame, bringing them closer to the rubbish would've made life a bit easier. Fortunately you still had the wheelbarrow. Heading over to the closest collection of trash, you grab the rake and pull it into a pile. Epoch then throws himself into the pile, his programming somehow allowing him to determine which items could be 'recycled'. You load up the recyclable items with the shovel and quickly wheel them back to the large bins, tossing them in the one clearly labelled as a recycling bin. You then race back to grab the leftover trash, repeating the process except this time tossing it into the general waste bin.

One pile down, countless to go.....

It is grueling work but somewhat rewarding. You can take pride in your achievements as you slowly but surely turn the cesspool back into a spotless clearing. You cross paths with the Trubbish occasionally but it doesn't seem too concerned about you cleaning up all the rubbish. By the time you're done, your back is starting to ache and your shirt is soaked in sweat. You load all the tools back into the wheelbarrow and prepare to return them to the shed, only to find the Trubbish blocking your path. For a moment you're concerned that the Poison type is finally ready to fight, however that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead it tosses a couple of things at your feet. An apple core, likely the Leftovers of someone's lunch, as well as a broken TM disc. The disc seems to be missing a shard and the label is worn, but perhaps it could be repaired somewhere in the city? The Trubbish then looks up at you like its waiting for something. Did it want to come with you? Perhaps you could catch it if that's what you wanted, if not though, maybe there was a way for Trubbish to be of further use to the park?
Taking care of all of this trash was quite possibly the worst thing that Elijah had ever been through, but it was also immensely satisfying to see everything cleaned up in the end. The north side of the park looked absolutely spotless by the time that he was done—there wasn't a single wrapper, can, or ticket left on the ground by the time that he was done. He made sure of it too, asking Epoch to do a quick survey of the land just in case he missed a spot. So far, so good; Elijah's back was absolutely killing him at this point but he was already prepared to move on to his next task—some lawn care on the west side, if he recalled correctly. He'd probably remember it while he brought the tools back to the shed.

He made it about halfway before he hit a roadblock in the form of the Trubbish from earlier. Elijah recalled crossing paths with it a few times while he was cleaning up, but it didn't look like it cared all that much, so it was a bit of a surprise to see it intervening. Was he about to get himself into another battle? Did it want something from him, or was it here to say thanks for saving it earlier? It was probably the latter, because it offered him two gifts in the form of Leftovers and a broken TM. It definitely didn't look like much, but Elijah was grateful anyway, picking up the two items and storing them in his backpack (he'd probably have to use the Leftovers before it rotted away too). It wasn't until he looked back at the Trubbish when he noticed that it was... waiting for something? He wasn't sure what was up: it couldn't be hungry because it had plenty to eat during his cleanup session, and he'd already established that it didn't want to battle. Which only left...

It wants to join me, doesn't it?

Elijah wasn't exactly sure what to do. Having a second team member definitely wouldn't hurt, but was he ready for it? He wasn't sure if he proved himself back there, and he wasn't supposed to... uh, catch anything as a ranger, was he? Is this even what the Pokémon wanted? Would doing this result in some weird divine entropy thing that would prevent him from possibly catching anything else in the park?

...Wouldn't hurt to try. Elijah pulled a Poké Ball out of his backpack and crouched down as well as he could to try not to look menacing. He recalled those Plasma goons that were running around back in Castelia ages ago talking about treating Pokémon as equals, and while they were obviously more than a little off their rocker, it kind of sounded like the right thing to do. Steeling his nerves, he glanced at the plasticky red-and-white orb that he was holding in his left hand and then looked back at the Trubbish.

"Are you, uh... asking me to join my team?"

This was either the silliest thing that Elijah had ever done or he was about to hit one of the first big milestones in his Pokémon training journey.
 
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blu3shift- Was this it? Your first capture? Trubbish had certainly caught you off guard. Sure, you'd helped get rid of those Rattata that were pestering it, but did that really warrant such a moment? The Poison type had been rather nonchalant the whole time, it hadn't even bothered to acknowledge you until now. As a Park Ranger, were you meant to capture Pokemon? Well you were really only a casual Park Ranger, you were a full-time trainer. Maybe this was meant to be?

You pull out a spare Pokeball, holding it in your left hand as you question the Trubbish's intentions. The Trubbish looks into your eyes, what was it looking for? Maybe it sensed your apprehension, because it gives a shrug of its bag like one would shoulders and turns, walking towards the skip bins. What a strange little Pokemon. It didn't seem intent on going anywhere, there was a good supply of garbage for it to feed on still and it was certainly doing the park a service. Woody was worried about not having enough rangers to keep the park clean, perhaps he was a little closed minded? You knew where to find Trubbish if you wanted to, perhaps once you were certain of your intentions. There wasn't much point standing around thinking about it, you could think while you walked. You return the tools to the shed, watching as Trubbish scrambles up into the loaded bin, letting out a joyful screech as it drops into a treasure trove that only a Trubbish would love.

One task down, two to go. Where to next?
 
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blu3shift- Was this it? Your first capture? Trubbish had certainly caught you off guard. Sure, you'd helped get rid of those Rattata that were pestering it, but did that really warrant such a moment? The Poison type had been rather nonchalant the whole time, it hadn't even bothered to acknowledge you until now. As a Park Ranger, were you meant to capture Pokemon? Well you were really only a casual Park Ranger, you were a full-time trainer. Maybe this was meant to be?

You pull out a spare Pokeball, holding it in your left hand as you question the Trubbish's intentions. The Trubbish looks into your eyes, what was it looking for? Maybe it sensed your apprehension, because it gives a shrug of its bag like one would shoulders and turns, walking towards the skip bins. What a strange little Pokemon. It didn't seem intent on going anywhere, there was a good supply of garbage for it to feed on still and it was certainly doing the park a service. Woody was worried about not having enough rangers to keep the park clean, perhaps he was a little closed minded? You knew where to find Trubbish if you wanted to, perhaps once you were certain of your intentions. There wasn't much point standing around thinking about it, you could think while you walked. You return the tools to the shed, watching as Trubbish scrambles up into the loaded bin, letting out a joyful screech as it drops into a treasure trove that only a Trubbish would love.

One task down, two to go. Where to next?
...Yeah, should've seen that one coming. Elijah probably just hadn't been assertive enough to catch the Trubbish—either that or it just wanted to throw him for a loop. He'd probably try to be better about that going forward: in fact, he resolved himself to catching the next Pokémon that just so much as looked like it wanted to be trained. So what if he screwed up? He could probably fare well with just Epoch if things really went south. For now, though, there wasn't really any use in waiting around. Elijah tossed the Poké Ball back into his backpack and continued to move towards the shed to put everything back where it belonged... wait, was that door supposed to be open?

Never mind that. Elijah still had some work to do. What was next... weeding and trimming bushes on the east—no, west side? That sounded right. He'd probably need something to cut things with, so he glanced around the shed to find the right tool for the job. There was bound to be something in here like there was for all that trash-picking.
 
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blu3shift- although you fear you may have made a mistake in your hesitation, you resolve to do better next time. The next time an opportunity like this presented itself you'd grasp it with both hands and secure your first capture. You switch focus back to your next task, gardening. You were already in the shed, it was probably worth checking for more tools to help out. Sure enough, after a bit of searching you find something that may be of some use. A pair of old hedge clippers, coated in rust but they would work with a bit of effort. After a quick check of the map you hit the path once more, Epoch following you closely as you head off to your next chore.

Woody had really undersold the condition of the gardens, if you could even call them that at the moment. The bushes were wild and overgrown. Weeds had spread wildly between them, their prickly stems would prove a pain to pull and you were already beginning to regret leaving those rubber gloves behind. You look around and find the area to be quite quiet. This would be a lot of work for you to handle on your own, but perhaps there was a way to get more hands on the job? Trubbish had certainly made cleaning up the rubbish a little easier, perhaps their were some Pokemon around that could help you clean up the garden? You'd need something to help trim back the bushes as well as clear away the weeds. A large copse of tightly knit trees rests off the far side of the garden, a nice sheltered location for Pokemon to hide in. You could get straight to work and try and complete the task by yourself or you could take a chance and try and find some help. The choice was yours.
 
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blu3shift- although you fear you may have made a mistake in your hesitation, you resolve to do better next time. The next time an opportunity like this presented itself you'd grasp it with both hands and secure your first capture. You switch focus back to your next task, gardening. You were already in the shed, it was probably worth checking for more tools to help out. Sure enough, after a bit of searching you find something that may be of some use. A pair of old hedge clippers, coated in rust but they would work with a bit of effort. After a quick check of the map you hit the path once more, Epoch following you closely as you head off to your next chore.

Woody had really undersold the condition of the gardens, if you could even call them that at the moment. The bushes were wild and overgrown. Weeds had spread wildly between them, their prickly stems would prove a pain to pull and you were already beginning to regret leaving those rubber gloves behind. You look around and find the area to be quite quiet. This would be a lot of work for you to handle on your own, but perhaps there was a way to get more hands on the job? Trubbish had certainly made cleaning up the rubbish a little easier, perhaps their were some Pokemon around that could help you clean up the garden? You'd need something to help trim back the bushes as well as clear away the weeds. A large copse of tightly knit trees rests off the far side of the garden, a nice sheltered location for Pokemon to hide in. You could get straight to work and try and complete the task by yourself or you could take a chance and try and find some help. The choice was yours.
If there was supposed to be a garden here, Elijah didn't see it. What he had imagined to be a few sporadic weeds and some bushes that looked just a bit unkempt turned out to be a chaotic mess of thorns and leaves everywhere. The rusty pair of hedge trimmers that he had grabbed from the shed would have barely been able to prune a mildly overgrown shrub as is, so trying to use it to cut down... whatever was happening here would be pretty much impossible. Epoch wouldn't be much help either, unless repeatedly slamming into a bush or shooting lasers at it with its mind counted as trimming it. How was he going to solve this problem? He couldn't just ask for help when the park was already understaffed as is.

Hey, wait a second, Elijah thought. Asking another ranger for help was definitely out of the question, but a Pokémon could probably tear through these plants in a way that these hedge trimmers couldn't have ever achieved, even by instinct if that Trubbish from earlier was anything to go by. He'd already established that Epoch couldn't really make a dent in the garden, so he'd probably have to... catch something else. He still wasn't fond of the idea as he still wasn't confident about who he wanted on his team or how whatever he caught would see him...maybe he should just bring something on temporarily to see if it would be a good fit for him?

Elijah was overthinking things again. He had promised himself earlier that he'd just catch the first thing that he saw that looked like it wanted to come with him, and he wasn't one to break promises. Inwardly sighing, he looked up and spotted a densely wooded area on the other side of the ruined garden—a perfect place to find a new hire. Mentally preparing himself for whatever came next, Elijah weaved his way around the garden and entered the forest, trying not to worry about if he made the right decision or not.
 
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blu3shift- finding some Pokemon to help was a good option, however you were still unsure about capturing another team member. You'd sworn to yourself that you'd catch the next Pokemon you encounter, but what if it wasn't a good fit? It wasn't uncommon for a trainer just to befriend Pokemon, hell, Pokemon Ranger's didn't catch Pokemon at all, although they had means of controlling Pokemon for a time. You would just have to play things how they come and hope that when the time to capture a Pokemon presents itself, it feels right. As you weave through the garden, you notice Epoch pauses to analyze the weed that has taken hold. Strange behavior from the man-made Pokemon but its not the first time it has acted odd.

After a brief pause for Epoch you make your way into the small patch of forest. It is eerily quite, not exactly what you needed right now. Either the Pokemon here were really good at hiding or there just weren't many here right now. You and Epoch spread out a bit, keeping within sight of each other while expanding your search radius. Eventually you get an alert from Epoch, the Porygon has found something! You race towards it, finding it near the base of a tree. A large weed similar to those found in the garden has been growing near the base of the tree, however its end its quickly approaching. A trio of Weedle feverishly feast on the spiny plant, not at all worried about the barbs that would've stung your hands numb. They seem to have a big appetite and a taste for the weed, you even knew where they could find a banquet of it. If you could lead them back to the garden, they could take care of the weeds, essentially cutting your workload in half! The only trouble would be getting them back there....
 
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blu3shift- finding some Pokemon to help was a good option, however you were still unsure about capturing another team member. You'd sworn to yourself that you'd catch the next Pokemon you encounter, but what if it wasn't a good fit? It wasn't uncommon for a trainer just to befriend Pokemon, hell, Pokemon Ranger's didn't catch Pokemon at all, although they had means of controlling Pokemon for a time. You would just have to play things how they come and hope that when the time to capture a Pokemon presents itself, it feels right. As you weave through the garden, you notice Epoch pauses to analyze the weed that has taken hold. Strange behavior from the man-made Pokemon but its not the first time it has acted odd.

After a brief pause for Epoch you make your way into the small patch of forest. It is eerily quite, not exactly what you needed right now. Either the Pokemon here were really good at hiding or there just weren't many here right now. You and Epoch spread out a bit, keeping within sight of each other while expanding your search radius. Eventually you get an alert from Epoch, the Porygon has found something! You race towards it, finding it near the base of a tree. A large weed similar to those found in the garden has been growing near the base of the tree, however its end its quickly approaching. A trio of Weedle feverishly feast on the spiny plant, not at all worried about the barbs that would've stung your hands numb. They seem to have a big appetite and a taste for the weed, you even knew where they could find a banquet of it. If you could lead them back to the garden, they could take care of the weeds, essentially cutting your workload in half! The only trouble would be getting them back there....
For all that nature had reclaimed this section of the park, the forest seemed uncharacteristically silent. Elijah heard his shoes collide with the dirt on the ground as he pushed onward, the trees composing a leafy canopy that provided some much-needed respite from the afternoon sun that had been beating down on him all day. Epoch was... doing its own thing, completely of its own accord? Elijah was told that Porygon couldn't do that, actually—something was up with Epoch and he knew it, but he let it slide. It seemed to have gotten the memo, searching for something just as intently as he was. Hopefully it was something that he could take advantage of for the task at hand.

Elijah was intently staring at a particularly large oak tree when he heard a ping from behind him, causing him to yell in surprise. What in the world was that thing doing?! He turned around to discover Epoch staring at a weed that looked an awful lot like the ones that had taken over the garden being eaten by what looked like a bunch of worms with spikes on their heads. Those were... Weedles, right? He'd heard a ton about them from the trainers that he bumped into online—they were apparently really common outside of Unova and were poisonous, sort of like the Venipede that he'd see crawling around on the sidewalk sometimes. They seemed less threatening than the bugs that he was used to, which was probably a good thing, actually. Besides that, they were absolutely devouring that weed like it was nothing, not only meeting but passing Elijah's expectations.

Wait. Is that why they call them Weedle? Who's the comedian that thought of that one?

Never mind that. Elijah's just needed to lead them to the garden, and then he could get to work with the admittedly very pitiful tools that he had on hand. Bugs liked fruit and berries, right? He hoped so, because that was the only kind of food that he had on hand at the moment. Asking Epoch to give up its Sitrus Berry (who thankfully immediately complied without any more of its own weirdness), he dug his fingers into it, tearing it into pieces that he could use as a breadcrumb trail of sorts to lead them to the destination that he had in mind for them. He then scattered the items behind him as he headed back towards the garden, hoping that the Weedle would follow suit.

Now that he was thinking about it, Elijah knew a lot more about Pokémon than he thought. It probably just came with the territory of growing up in an area with an active League presence, though.
 
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blu3shift- Although Epoch's behavior was odd, acting of its own accord was something you considered to be outside of its programming, this time it had paid off. You'd found some free labor, these Weedle would surely make quick work of the weeds. In order to lead them back there, you request that the Porygon give up the Sitrus Berry you had gifted it earlier. It complies without issue, as you would expect. Tearing the berry up into smaller pieces, you lob a couple of pieces towards the Weedle who are just finishing up their snack. The smell of fresh berry is enticing and a welcome change of flavor from the weed. They fight over the pieces but it is a harmless quarrel, there was plenty more to go around after all. Once you know you've got the Weedle interested, you turn and continue to drop a trail of the berry behind you.

Epoch monitors the situation as you weave your way back to the garden, the Weedle seem to be following without issue. They're a bit hesitant as you break from the cover of the trees, but once they see the garden and the feast that awaits them, their little eyes light up. The charge into the garden and quickly get to work, munching away at the weeds that you'd been tasked to clear away. That couldn't have gone any better. With the Weedle working on the weeds, you just had to put the rusty old hedge clippers to work and trim back the bushes. Hopefully by the time your done, the Weedle will be as well. Epoch hovers above the Weedle, intent on keeping a watch on them.
 
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blu3shift- Although Epoch's behavior was odd, acting of its own accord was something you considered to be outside of its programming, this time it had paid off. You'd found some free labor, these Weedle would surely make quick work of the weeds. In order to lead them back there, you request that the Porygon give up the Sitrus Berry you had gifted it earlier. It complies without issue, as you would expect. Tearing the berry up into smaller pieces, you lob a couple of pieces towards the Weedle who are just finishing up their snack. The smell of fresh berry is enticing and a welcome change of flavor from the weed. They fight over the pieces but it is a harmless quarrel, there was plenty more to go around after all. Once you know you've got the Weedle interested, you turn and continue to drop a trail of the berry behind you.

Epoch monitors the situation as you weave your way back to the garden, the Weedle seem to be following without issue. They're a bit hesitant as you break from the cover of the trees, but once they see the garden and the feast that awaits them, their little eyes light up. The charge into the garden and quickly get to work, munching away at the weeds that you'd been tasked to clear away. That couldn't have gone any better. With the Weedle working on the weeds, you just had to put the rusty old hedge clippers to work and trim back the bushes. Hopefully by the time your done, the Weedle will be as well. Epoch hovers above the Weedle, intent on keeping a watch on them.
While Elijah wasn't too thrilled with wasting a perfectly good Sitrus Berry, his plan to use it as bait to lead the Weedle to the thorny garden that he was trying to clean up worked flawlessly. He wasn't sure if they'd be able to cover the entire garden, but they'd at least make quick work of most of it, which took a load off of all the lawn care that he was about to do. Epoch was still doing... whatever it was that it was doing, which still vaguely alarmed Elijah, but not to the point where he'd freak out about it.

Those bushes weren't going to get taken care of if Elijah didn't step in, though. Unfortunately, the worn rusty metal on the hedge trimmers that he was holding looked barely sharp enough to snap more than a few thin branches, but he'd probably manage. It was the sharpest thing that he could find, and if push came to shove he could probably find something else to work with. Sighing at the amount of work ahead of him, Elijah walked into the gardens and proceeded to groom the shrubbery with the hedge trimmers, hoping that he'd have a much easier time here than at the concert grounds.
 
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blu3shift- With the Weedle working it was time for you to get started on the trimming. The first couple of hacks with the rusted hedge clippers are a struggle. After a while though, the rust seems to wear off a bit and they become slightly easier to use. Your height makes trimming the bushes somewhat easier, being able to reach the tops of them where a shorter person would struggle without a ladder. You occasionally check on Epoch and the Weedles, however all seems fine on that front. Under the watchful eye of the Porygon, the Weedle were making quick work of the spiky weeds, growing themselves as they consumed more and more.

You were nearly done, one bush to go. Your forearms were starting to cramp and your hands were starting to blister, but relief was in sight. The Weedle were just about done as well. With the weeds all but cleared, one of the Weedle decides to give something else a try. A small green and pink plant nestled by the edge of the garden. Epoch watches as the Weedle attempts to consume the plant, only for it to make a grave mistake. That wasn't a plant, it was a Pokemon! The plant-like Pokemon's pink eyes snap open as it is woken from its slumber. The Weedle lets out a horrified screech, drawing the attention of its companions. They race from the half eaten weeds to confront the Pokemon their pal had awoken. Whatever it was the Weedle had disturbed, it was pissed. It swings small scythe like leaves at the Weedle as it works itself into a frenzy. Suddenly the Weedle are sent souring through the as little Pokemon hits them with a devastating Leaf Storm! A powerful move from such a small Pokemon. The Weedle seem to have no intentions of holding their ground, instead they pull themselves up into a tree with a sticky String Shot. You watch as the trio dangle back and forth from a branch, then suddenly begin to glow. Their bodies swell as they become cased in a hard protective coating. It seems through helping you they'd eaten enough to evolve into Kakuna! With the Weedle gone, you can't be blamed for hoping the little plant Pokemon would calm down. Not a chance. Now that its been awakened it seems to be locked in a state of fury. It leaps at Epoch, sickle like leaves clawing at him with a Fury Cutter.

You managed to make it through most of this job without confrontation, now when you were nearly done, this happens. Epoch was already under assault, you'd have to act quick before his opponent gained too much momentum.
 
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blu3shift- With the Weedle working it was time for you to get started on the trimming. The first couple of hacks with the rusted hedge clippers are a struggle. After a while though, the rust seems to wear off a bit and they become slightly easier to use. Your height makes trimming the bushes somewhat easier, being able to reach the tops of them where a shorter person would struggle without a ladder. You occasionally check on Epoch and the Weedles, however all seems fine on that front. Under the watchful eye of the Porygon, the Weedle were making quick work of the spiky weeds, growing themselves as they consumed more and more.

You were nearly done, one bush to go. Your forearms were starting to cramp and your hands were starting to blister, but relief was in sight. The Weedle were just about done as well. With the weeds all but cleared, one of the Weedle decides to give something else a try. A small green and pink plant nestled by the edge of the garden. Epoch watches as the Weedle attempts to consume the plant, only for it to make a grave mistake. That wasn't a plant, it was a Pokemon! The plant-like Pokemon's pink eyes snap open as it is woken from its slumber. The Weedle lets out a horrified screech, drawing the attention of its companions. They race from the half eaten weeds to confront the Pokemon their pal had awoken. Whatever it was the Weedle had disturbed, it was pissed. It swings small scythe like leaves at the Weedle as it works itself into a frenzy. Suddenly the Weedle are sent souring through the as little Pokemon hits them with a devastating Leaf Storm! A powerful move from such a small Pokemon. The Weedle seem to have no intentions of holding their ground, instead they pull themselves up into a tree with a sticky String Shot. You watch as the trio dangle back and forth from a branch, then suddenly begin to glow. Their bodies swell as they become cased in a hard protective coating. It seems through helping you they'd eaten enough to evolve into Kakuna! With the Weedle gone, you can't be blamed for hoping the little plant Pokemon would calm down. Not a chance. Now that its been awakened it seems to be locked in a state of fury. It leaps at Epoch, sickle like leaves clawing at him with a Fury Cutter.

You managed to make it through most of this job without confrontation, now when you were nearly done, this happens. Epoch was already under assault, you'd have to act quick before his opponent gained too much momentum.
Thankfully, it turned out that bush-trimming was way easier than trash-picking. So easy, in fact, that Elijah wondered why he even thought that the latter was going to be the easier task a few hours ago. That didn't mean that it wasn't going to take a lot of time and effort, though—by the time that he got down to the last bush, his arms were shaking like they were about to fall off from all of the work that he was doing. Bringing the Weedle over was also a really smart choice, seeing that there wasn't a single weed left for as far as he could see. In fact, they were still hungry, seeing as one of them had started to nibble on a plant at the edge of a garden. He'd probably need to get them back to the forest soon so that they couldn't cause any more harm to the garden that he just what the—

In what seemed like an instant, the "plant" had awoken and sent all three of the Weedle flying through the air like they'd been caught in a storm of leaves. It was a sight that was equally as shocking as it was mesmerizing, the Pokémon showing an impressive display of strength for something that small, but it wasn't as mesmerizing as the three Weedle suddenly evolving into Kakuna right above Elijah's head. Guess that's one liability down, he thought as he was momentarily distracted from the infuriated Grass-type, returning his attention to it right as it rushed to Epoch to land a well-placed Fury Cutter in the midst of all its rage.

Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap...

"Epochtacklethatthing!!!"

Elijah didn't waste any time, reacting before he even processed what he was looking at. What was that thing anyway, and why did it have the nerve to give Epoch the slip when it wasn't even doing anything?! Whatever it was, it was going down, no matter what weird trick it was about to pull.
 
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blu3shift- The small plant Pokemon the Weedle/Kakuna had awoken appeared to be a little bit of a powerhouse. That was a worry, Epoch had managed to beat the Rattata but they were weak and Trubbish had helped out a bit there. Scrambling, you order Epoch onto the offensive. The programmed Pokemon charges into its attacker, colliding with it as it lands another Fury Cutter, this one stronger than the last. If was allowed to continue with the Fury Cutters, the attack would only keeping getting stronger. You had to work out what this Pokemon was so that you could find a way to stop it......

A familiar beep breaks your train of thought. Your Pokedex! You'd neglected it during your last battle and once you finally opened it, you were given the information you needed to gain the upper hand. You flick the device open and it promptly spurts out information, including the identity of your mystery assailant. Fomantis, the Sickle Grass Pokemon. It sleeps during the day while undergoing Photosynthesis, viciously attacking any Pokemon that dares disturb its slumber. Well that explained why it was acting so aggressively at least. The Grass type flings itself wildly at Epoch once more, cleaving through the air with another Fury Cutter. Epoch swivels to the side, avoiding the attack at the last moment as Fomantis cleaves a branch off of one of the bushes. Missing may have reduced the power of its attack, but its anger doesn't appear to be dissipating. It begins to glisten with energy, preparing another Leaf Storm like the one it had used to send the Weedle packing. Epoch seems rather concerned, an attack like that could deal a lot of damage.
 
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blu3shift- The small plant Pokemon the Weedle/Kakuna had awoken appeared to be a little bit of a powerhouse. That was a worry, Epoch had managed to beat the Rattata but they were weak and Trubbish had helped out a bit there. Scrambling, you order Epoch onto the offensive. The programmed Pokemon charges into its attacker, colliding with it as it lands another Fury Cutter, this one stronger than the last. If was allowed to continue with the Fury Cutters, the attack would only keeping getting stronger. You had to work out what this Pokemon was so that you could find a way to stop it......

A familiar beep breaks your train of thought. Your Pokedex! You'd neglected it during your last battle and once you finally opened it, you were given the information you needed to gain the upper hand. You flick the device open and it promptly spurts out information, including the identity of your mystery assailant. Fomantis, the Sickle Grass Pokemon. It sleeps during the day while undergoing Photosynthesis, viciously attacking any Pokemon that dares disturb its slumber. Well that explained why it was acting so aggressively at least. The Grass type flings itself wildly at Epoch once more, cleaving through the air with another Fury Cutter. Epoch swivels to the side, avoiding the attack at the last moment as Fomantis cleaves a branch off of one of the bushes. Missing may have reduced the power of its attack, but its anger doesn't appear to be dissipating. It begins to glisten with energy, preparing another Leaf Storm like the one it had used to send the Weedle packing. Epoch seems rather concerned, an attack like that could deal a lot of damage.
As Elijah struggled to regain his bearings, he watched as Epoch rushed to collide with the attacking Pokémon as it responded with another Fury Cutter. This thing was strong, and it was only getting stronger. If it kept attacking like that, there was no telling how much damage it could deal to the polygonal bird. He'd have no fighting chance if he couldn't figure out what—

The Pokédex beeped in Elijah's pocket yet again. Did Epoch learn another new move or something? Even amidst the chaos that was unfolding in front of him, Elijah wagered that it was worth a check, reaching into his pocket and flipping it open. It immediately displayed the Pokémon's name, type, and a brief description... oh! Of course he'd forgot about the device's main feature of cataloging every Pokémon that came near it, having been so caught up in all of this labor that he simply didn't have time to really think about it. Fomantis, Grass type... native to Alola? No wonder he didn't know what it was; the Unova League hadn't even allowed anything from that region last time he checked. The Pokédex also mentioned that it slept during the daytime, which explained why it was so grumpy.

This Fomantis probably wouldn't back off though, as much as it probably wanted to go back to sleep. It had thrown another Fury Cutter at Epoch, who had thankfully narrowly dodged the attack. Elijah would have to figure out how to exploit its weaknesses if he wanted to make it out of this mess without his Pokémon getting knocked out. Grass wasn't weak to Normal, though, and whatever attack that Epoch could fire off wouldn't help, either... but Epoch didn't have to be a Normal type, could it? Conversion 2 was a bit of a big risk since Epoch wasn't even getting hit with a Grass-type move, but it could provide it with the edge that it desperately needed.

"Epoch, use Conversion 2 and follow it up with Psybeam!"

It didn't hurt to throw in the strongest attack that the Porygon knew. Elijah just hoped that it would be able to survive long enough to use it.
 
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blu3shift- The fiery Fomantis was certainly a puny powerhouse and a strong attack like Leaf Storm would likely be devastating for Epoch. Thankfully you think quickly, Epoch's greatest skill was being able to change its type! You order the programmed Pokemon to use Conversion 2. The Porygon flashes as it initiates the program, inputting the type of the last move that hit it, Bug, and changing its type to one that resists it. You watch as Epoch's color changes to a bright red, signalling that it had converted into a Fire type! Fire was perfect, not only would it resist Bug, but it would resist Grass as well. Fomantis launches the barrage of leaves which slam into Epoch, driving it back through the air. The attack still stings but not as much as it would've if the Porygon had remained its original typing. The attack seemed to be even more forceful than it was when Fomantis had attacked the Weedle, but how? Leaf Storm was a strong attack but it reduced the user's Special Attack, it should've been getting weaker each time it used it.

Epoch fires back with a Psybeam, the laser sniping the Fomantis in the chest, sending it tumbling through the dirt. The little Grass type scrambles back up and rushes towards Epoch, sickle arms swinging as it launches a Leafage at the man-made Pokemon. The attack does little to the makeshift Fire type but it doesn't look like Fomantis plans on backing off anytime soon. Epoch was well positioned defensively, it was just a question of whether his defenses could outlast the Grass types offensive assault.
 
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blu3shift- The fiery Fomantis was certainly a puny powerhouse and a strong attack like Leaf Storm would likely be devastating for Epoch. Thankfully you think quickly, Epoch's greatest skill was being able to change its type! You order the programmed Pokemon to use Conversion 2. The Porygon flashes as it initiates the program, inputting the type of the last move that hit it, Bug, and changing its type to one that resists it. You watch as Epoch's color changes to a bright red, signalling that it had converted into a Fire type! Fire was perfect, not only would it resist Bug, but it would resist Grass as well. Fomantis launches the barrage of leaves which slam into Epoch, driving it back through the air. The attack still stings but not as much as it would've if the Porygon had remained its original typing. The attack seemed to be even more forceful than it was when Fomantis had attacked the Weedle, but how? Leaf Storm was a strong attack but it reduced the user's Special Attack, it should've been getting weaker each time it used it.

Epoch fires back with a Psybeam, the laser sniping the Fomantis in the chest, sending it tumbling through the dirt. The little Grass type scrambles back up and rushes towards Epoch, sickle arms swinging as it launches a Leafage at the man-made Pokemon. The attack does little to the makeshift Fire type but it doesn't look like Fomantis plans on backing off anytime soon. Epoch was well positioned defensively, it was just a question of whether his defenses could outlast the Grass types offensive assault.
Elijah watched Epoch nervously as it used Conversion 2, intensely hoping that it would somehow switch its type over to something that would give it some sort of advantage over the rampaging Fomantis. Thankfully, against all odds, whatever random number doohickey that it had invoked had given the Porygon the Fire type, and Elijah's Pokédex confirmed it, much to his relief. The Pokédex also happened to confirm that the "Fury Cutter" move the Fomantis used was a Bug-type move, which didn't make too much sense to him but he shrugged it off. Moves were weird sometimes and it was a miracle that he managed to remember quite a few of them today—it was probably just a side effect of him studying a little too hard to apply for his trainer ID a while back. He'd definitely have to brush up on these things during his downtime so that he didn't get roughed up by a move that he should have definitely seen coming.

Speaking of moves, the tenacious Fomantis fired back with a Leaf Storm, obviously completely unfazed by Epoch's bolstered defenses, who returned the attack with a Psybeam. The former was definitely getting stronger for some reason, and Elijah wasn't sure why. If he could just help Epoch tough it out and land enough hits before the pint-sized powerhouse managed to overpower the newly-christened Fire type, then he'd be able to win this. Psybeam might have been pretty strong, but it wasn't quite enough to lead him to victory. Elijah needed something stronger, and he needed to do it fast.

As the Fomantis finished up a... whatever a "Leafage" was, Elijah had already settled on a plan—a very familiar plan, but considering the amount of moves that Epoch could do any damage with, it was worth a try.

"Let's try another Sharpen and Tackle! Try to tank those hits!"

Hopefully nobody noticed the slight twinge of nervousness that had somehow wormed its way into his orders. This battle was getting very dicey.
 
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blu3shift- You were learning, slowly but surely. That said, you couldn't help but feel like you were a bit behind other trainers. It would take time for you to learn and memorize the myriad of moves that Pokemon could pull off, something you'd have to do if you were going to be a good trainer. Fomantis had already thrown a few interesting moves at you, placing you on the back foot, but you decide to stick to a familiar strategy to try and wear the Grass type down. You order Epoch to use Sharpen, but as it goes to use the move, something goes wrong with its programming....

"Error detected", your Pokedex beeps, "Porygon's attack has been lowered." What? Lowered? Sharpen was meant to increase its attack! "Source of error located, Porygon has Traced the ability Contrary. Contrary makes stat changes have the opposite effect." If Epoch's ability had changed to Contrary, that meant Fomantis had to have that ability as well right? Perhaps that was how it seemed to be getting stronger?

Fomantis slashes Epoch with another Fury Cutter, the attack isn't very strong yet and Epoch's Fire typing means he barely registers the damage. As the Fomantis lands back on the ground, the Porygon pursues, slamming into him with a Tackle. The attack is weakened due to the stat drop, but any damage was good damage at this point. Fomantis strikes again with its Fury Cutter, this one having a little more sting about it. Watching closely, you notice the Grass type is beginning to pant from exhaustion. It was still furious, but perhaps its endurance was beginning to wane?
 
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blu3shift- You were learning, slowly but surely. That said, you couldn't help but feel like you were a bit behind other trainers. It would take time for you to learn and memorize the myriad of moves that Pokemon could pull off, something you'd have to do if you were going to be a good trainer. Fomantis had already thrown a few interesting moves at you, placing you on the back foot, but you decide to stick to a familiar strategy to try and wear the Grass type down. You order Epoch to use Sharpen, but as it goes to use the move, something goes wrong with its programming....

"Error detected", your Pokedex beeps, "Porygon's attack has been lowered." What? Lowered? Sharpen was meant to increase its attack! "Source of error located, Porygon has Traced the ability Contrary. Contrary makes stat changes have the opposite effect." If Epoch's ability had changed to Contrary, that meant Fomantis had to have that ability as well right? Perhaps that was how it seemed to be getting stronger?

Fomantis slashes Epoch with another Fury Cutter, the attack isn't very strong yet and Epoch's Fire typing means he barely registers the damage. As the Fomantis lands back on the ground, the Porygon pursues, slamming into him with a Tackle. The attack is weakened due to the stat drop, but any damage was good damage at this point. Fomantis strikes again with its Fury Cutter, this one having a little more sting about it. Watching closely, you notice the Grass type is beginning to pant from exhaustion. It was still furious, but perhaps its endurance was beginning to wane?
Okay, so far, so good. Epoch had been taking the battle in stride, despite being taken by surprise earlier on. In fact, that Sharpen seemed to... do nothing? That seemed like the opposite of right. Apparently Elijah's Pokédex seemed to concur (somehow), because it called itself to his attention with a beep, obviously alerting him to something important. Let's see here... Epoch Traced the ability "Contrary..." which reversed all stat changes... you've got to be kidding.

That was a thing that could happen?! Why didn't he notice that before? This Fomantis was definitely getting on Elijah's nerves. Infuriated, he forcefully shoved the Pokédex back into his pocket and glared at the Fomantis. If it's a battle that it wanted, then it was going to get that battle. Even if it landed an extremely well-placed Fury Cutter, almost like the one that it had just dealt to Epoch, he was ready to see this battle through to the end, even if something really weird happened in the middle of it. Epoch still only knew two ways to attack, but that was definitely enough to get the job done.

"Alright, two can play at that game, bud. Epoch, let's give it another Psybeam."
 
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