Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013 Update

Things have been pretty busy around here, so I haven't done as much writing or Nuzlocke as I'd like to have done.  However, things should go a bit more smoothly now, as I've finally gotten my hands on a proper gaming PC.  I'm in the process of moving things over there, but I should eventually be able to get nearly all of my games off of my main machine, which should really speed everything up.  This should also make things a bit less stressful, as I can have more fun when I play and have fewer hiccups in general.
I have taken the opportunity to get a more recent version of Minecraft, though mostly so that I could try out the Thaumcraft mod that I've seen.  So far, it's really hard, since it adds Angry Zombies, which do more damage, have a ridiculous number of hit points, can break down doors even on Normal, and seem to be just as common as normal zombies.  I might make a separate post on my Minecraft blog once I get farther into it.

SolLock's Log: Day 8

This morning, I went back to the Apricorn trees, letting King lead the way.  I was able to find some, which was nice.  After resting at the pokémon center in Violet City, I spent some time in the morning training King against the wild pokémon on the northern part of Route 32.  There were plenty of Ekans about, so most of the fights were basically grappling matches.  King was able to learn Bite, at least, which should come in handy.
Thinking that King was strong enough for it, I snuck through Union Cave.  As a note, the reception is surprisingly good in there, as Liz called to tell me about MooMoo Milk, which can be obtained at MooMoo Farm.  Supposedly, it's quite nutritious, so, if I ever encounter the place, I'll make a point to investigate.
The Apricorns on Route 33 were available, so I harvested them, too.  I decided to retreat through Union Cave to heal at the pokémon center, when I was accidentally spotted by Russel, a hiker.  As King was in a weakened state, I had Arsonist handle his first Geodude.  I sent Scrounger against the second, figuring that he could use some exercise.  Geodude's rocky hide was tough to penetrate, especially as it repeatedly used Defense Curl, but Scrounger was able to Bite his way to victory.  I used Pitcher against his third Geodude, to play it safe.  Russel will apparently be continuing to train in the cave.
I decided, after healing, to take on the other trainers that I had seen.  First was Bill, a fire breather.  Since King was weakened from wild encounters, I let Arsonist finish off his first Koffing.  His second was dispatched out of hand by Togepi.  As it happens, there was a Great Ball lying on the ground near him.  After I returned to the center to heal my pokémon again, Joey called.  He apparently missed an opportunity to catch a Weedle.  That made me think to lead with Sting once more.
With Sting at the front of my party, I sought out the final trainer that I'd spotted in Union Cave - though I admit that the cave goes deeper than I'd yet cared to explore.  I fought Larry, who claims to competitively collect pokémon, yet had only a single Slowpoke when I went to fight him.  Still, I erred on the side of caution and sent Scrounger out in Sting's place.  Although his Bite did significant damage, the foe's Yawn had him sleeping.  Still, it wouldn't serve to have my entire party asleep, so I pressed on and, as it happened, Scrounger woke up the very next turn, to deliver a devastating Bite.  I thought that a Quick Attack would finish the job, but it didn't quite, so I had to give it another one.  After the match, Scrounger learned Pursuit, which replaced Tail Whip.  I also put King in front, to give Sting a break.
As an aside, Larry mentioned, after the fight, that the roars of a pokémon could sometimes be heard from deep inside Union Cave, but only on Fridays.  I may wish to make it a point to return later, on a Friday.
I decided to return to the pokémon center for the evening.  On the way back through the tunnel, King got into a wrestling contest with a wile Onix, and learned Glare for his efforts.
Tomorrow, I intend to finally reach Azalea town.

SolLock's Log: Day 7

I started out the day by going back to the Apricorn trees, to see if there were any new Apricorns, but there were none.  Togepi readily handled the wild pokémon that appeared on the way back to Violet City.
Next, I spent some time training my pokémon against the wild pokémon on the northern part of Route 32.  Watchman isn't doing very well, but that's why she needs this training.  This worked well, though, as she's learned Fury Swipes in place of Scratch.  Also in that time, I happened upon a picknicker named Liz.  She challenged me with her Nidoran♀, which got a frightening critical hit in on Watchman.  I finished her off with Arsonist, though.  Afterward, we exchanged phone numbers.
I went to the southern end of the route and decided to take a brief trip into Union Cave.  I first encountered a Rattata; I caught him and named him Vector.  I also found an X Attack in an alcove.  After returning to the pokémon center, though, I decided to test my mettle against a trainer that I'd seen hanging around near the cave.  He turned out to be a bird keeper named Peter.  Thorough use of Quick Attack on the part of Watchman handled both of his Pidgey, but I let Scrounger handle his Spearow.  Joey called while I was in the pokémon center.  He thinks that his Rattata is in the top percentage of Rattata.  Should I be training Scrounger more?
Somewhat confident in my pokémon's abilities, I had Pitcher lead the way through Union Cave.  Eager to see what lay ahead, I avoided what trainers I saw, and emerged on Route 33.  By that time, though, I had switched Sting to the front of my party, as repeated fights against wild Rattata were starting to take their toll on Pitcher.  There, though, I encountered a wild Ekans.  Fortunately, Sting's Poison Sting was a good way to wear him down without knocking him out, and I managed to catch him.  I named him King.
Then, Liz called with some inane gossip.
Amidst the evening rains on Route 33, I did see some Apricorn plants' bearing fruit.  I was able to obtain one each pink and black Apricorn from them.
The return trip through Union Cave provided good experience for Scrounger, though twilight was already upon me when I emerged from the cave.
I decided to train Watchman and Pitcher against a hiker that I had seen in the cave.  His name was Daniel, and, as it turns out, his only pokémon was an Onix.  I immediately switched to Pitcher, who promptly finished him with two strikes of Vine Whip.  He also learned Sleep Powder, which I expect to be extremely useful.
After a fashion, Watchman evolved into a Furret.  I hope that this means that that hard work has paid off, but she was tired, so I retreated to Violet City, where I put her into the PC in exchange for King.  I tried to train him against the wild pokémon on Route 32, but the first Bellsprout was a tough win, so I healed him and took him back to Route 31.  He handled a Hoothoot alright, but was almost lost to a Rattata.  We'll resume training tomorrow.  Perhaps King will even learn a fourth move.

[NOTE:  This entry corresponds to Saturday, March 30th, 2013.]

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sudden Short Story 47

Paul sat across from his host.  At first, he did not partake of the meal.
"It's not poisoned, you know," stated John.  "If I'd wanted you dead, then I'd kill you myself, and not take a chance at accidentally ingesting the wrong morsel."
"Gee, thanks," replied Paul, begrudgingly.
"You should really try the steak.  My applied biologists have re-engineered the aurochs to 99.999... maybe another nine - well, to some very high degree of accuracy, at any rate.  This is the fruit of those efforts.  Well, it's meat, but you get the point."
"Are these whole wheat rolls?"
"They're barley, actually.  There are some medieval wheat ones next to them, though, and there's some precolumbian corn bread around here somewhere," John said, looking around the table.
"This is an awful lot for just the two of us," commented Paul.
"Well, it won't go to waste, if that's what you're thinking.  Besides, this is a special occasion, and I wanted to make sure that I had a variety.  I know how picky you can be, after all.  I also didn't order a dessert, since I know that you don't like sweets."
"This is still a lot, though.  Look at how big this table is."
"Oh, the table's not this big for the food's sake.  I suppose that it's serendipitous, though."  John took a swallow of some punch.
"And what's 'serendipitous' mean?"
"It's basically a pleasant coincidence.  I needed a long table to dine with someone working for a rebellion, and it happens that it holds more food, which means that I didn't have to have any side tables brought in."
"Well, I'm glad that that was convenient for you," quipped Paul, sarcastically.
"I do want to say, though, that I'm quite surprised to see your opposing me so vehemently.  I always considered you a friend."
"What was I supposed to do, dude?  You're literally taking over the world!"
"You sound surprised."
"Yeah I'm surprised.  Who does that?"
"I do that," answered John, matter-of-factly.
"Well, don't.  It's evil."
"Says who?  Says a bunch of comic books that you read as a kid?  Only evil people take over the world, is that it?"
"Your soldiers are killing people."
"It's not nearly as many as were being killed in the other wars.  Here."  John grabbed a tablet from a pocket on the side of his small throne, tossing it across the table.  Paul caught it deftly.
"Is this an old iPad 7?"
"Well, the shell is.  I wiped it and installed a small Linux kernel for the OS.  It runs faster now, and I'm not beholden to some corporation.  The data's all there, but the first few charts that you'll see convey my main points.  War death rates are down.  Accidental death rates and disease death rates are down in the areas that I control.  Childhood obesity is down here.  I'd go on, but it would start to sound like I was making things up."  John finished off his punch, then grabbed a pitcher for a refill.  "I might be taking over the world, but I'm not evil.  That's why my home is in the area that I conquered first, by the way.  They've been under my rule long enough to know that things are better than they were before."
"Maybe you just tell them that.  How do they know that it's true?  How do I know that any of this is true," asked Paul, indicating the tablet.
"It's because of something that your rebellions take for granted.  It's for something that the politicians of the other governments don't say.  They don't hide it, but they don't mention it, either, letting it be hidden among the noise of their resistance, the politicking, and, well, anything that they think will help them keep their jobs.  You may have noticed that I haven't restricted communications.  There is plenty of open talk of rebellion.  Talk is cheap, of course, but it is what it is."  John pulled out his pocket watch.  "Oh, is it that late, already?  We'll be arriving soon."  He stood and stretched.
"Where at?"
"Oh, we're stopping off at my house to drop me off.  You'll be taken to a facility in the city center to be kept overnight.  You're still a prisoner for now.  I can't very well go around getting assassinated, now can I?  We'll continue our conversation over breakfast or brunch or something."  John started toward the door.
"And here I was hoping to hear how you'd handle Afghanistan," said Paul, half-jokingly.
"Oh, that's easy.  I have an army of transforming robot dirigibles.  Well, goodnight."