Bronzong and Exploud

The Bronzong was singing an ancient song. It was tradition, passed down through many generations. Levitating over the rice field, she danced to a specific pattern: move north the same as twice her body width, turn around thrice to the right until facing west, move west for thrice her body width, ring self five times with left arm… there was much more to it, but she never had trouble calculating the numbers and motions. There were different formulas to different fields, different plants, and local landscape variations. As it was her life's duty, she could adapt to any farm after a couple hours of observation.

Why was she doing this? It was to help the plants the humans watched over grow. As long as she or another Bronzong continued this work, the humans would hold her and her Bronzor kin in respect. And it was good to keep the favor of the humans. They could be a source of great blessings, or a monstrous curse, depending on how the Pokemon respected them.

As she continued her ritual song, she began to feel vibrations from elsewhere. She was never quite sure where this elsewhere was; it was like another world, in the few glimpses she had seen of it. More importantly, it never ceased raining there. She could hear the wishes of the rice plants for more water, as she had not been successful in previous dances at making contact with elsewhere. Feeling grateful that this song was successful, she shifted her song and sent pleas for rain from it.

The vibrations became stronger as the light began to dim. Overhead, the clouds became fuller, swelling until they released a gentle rain over the countryside. The elsewhere rain took in the light of her world and scattered it wide. It always felt a little different from normal rain, mysterious and even a little dark. Despite the mystical quality, it was just as nourishing as normal rain to plants in need of water.

She finished up her ritual, giving thanks to the mysterious elsewhere that let her borrow its rain. Then she left the field for the place she lived. As she drifted along, she saw that the rain was spreading to many other fields. That was good; all of them could use it today. Then, somewhere in the patter of the rain, she heard a loud multi-tone sound, like a small group of trumpets playing at once. What was that? She'd been hearing it for a few weeks now, but still didn't know. The sound came from different places on different days, so she had yet to go find the source.

But as the sound went on, she began to hear another sound underneath it: the trembling of the earth below its surface. This was not good. She clanged her arms against her sides, making four loud notes that she used when she needed to warn the humans of danger. Not long after, a tremor shook the ground. As she was a good levitator, it didn't affect her. But she knew a lot of the Bronzor would be badly shaken by this, so she hurried on her way.

Close to the edge of a rocky area, there was a human-made structure that was painted bright blue and gold, with open sides and a roof for cover. It was a place that the humans had made for her kind. The Bronzong and Bronzor were willing to live here, in a place that wasn't good for farming but had areas to hide and good minerals to eat. Past the shelter, she found that some other levitators had begun to move the grounded ones to one area, to better attend to them. They were all Bronzor, though; hardly any of their kin bothered to grow into a Bronzong unless they were ritual dancers like her.

"How are they?" she asked in concern.

"Not well," a Bronzor said. From the tone of his voice, he leaned towards male-ness. It was a personal choice for all of them when they were considered mature. "It must have been harder, because more of them have fallen."

"And that's the third one this week too," a female said. "Is it building to something much bigger?"

"I don't know," the Bronzong admitted. "I hope not. It would hurt many more besides these ones. Is someone gathering berries?"

"Yes, my lady."

"Good, then let's wait for them to wake up." She looked over those that had been brought to this place, trying to identify any grounded ones that were not brought here yet.

Sometime later, a trio of young humans came into the shelter, tracking muddy footprints and dripping with rainwater. "Bringer of the rains, caretaker of the fields, we wish to speak with you," one of them called out into the gray air. "We have something we wish to ask of you."

The Bronzong looked down at the shelter. "I should see what they want," she said. "Keep caring for the grounded ones, and be sure they have some healing berries when they wake up."

With the other levitators there agreeing to that, she went to the shelter, not bothering to shake the water off her. One of the males stepped closer to her and bowed. "Thank you for watching over our fields, to ensure a good harvest. But we have something else to ask of you. There has been another Pokemon in the fields, one few of us have seen. It's been ruining fields by stomping over the plants with its large feet. And, we think its calls are causing the ground to shake. Would you help us find it so we can drive it away?"

"We have heard it close by, so we think we can catch up to it quickly now," the female with them added.

"Yes, please help us, caretaker," the male said, offering the bowl he had to her. It was filled with shards of pottery, including some finely made fragments.

This surprised her. It was a delicious offering of tasty treats, but one that she usually didn't see until around harvest time. But then, if it was a strange Pokemon that was causing the tremors and ruining the fields, then it was important to them to stop it. And important for her because she watched over the fields too. If the harvest was poor because of this stranger, than it would partly be her fault as well.

With this in mind, she took the bowl and set it aside under a bench of the shelter. The Bronzor usually knew not to mess with anything there, as it was hers. "Yes, let's look for this stranger," she said, then left the shelter for the road, looking back to the young humans for guidance.

The odd trumpet sound continued, allowing the four of them to follow the roads west until the sound was coming from nearby fields. However, it was further away then they had thought, louder as well. It was nearly deafening, enough that the Bronzong could hardly hear herself ring. The humans were having a hard time dealing with it, but one of the males came with her into the field that the din was coming from. Many of the bean plants had recently been trodden on, with large feet as the humans had said. The Pokemon itself was large and squat, with many large tubes like trumpets over its body. In the lore that she had been taught as a ritual singer, she knew what Pokemon this was even if she'd never seen one before: an Exploud, a destructive and chaotic Pokemon to have so close to the farms.

Hovering in front of him to get attention, she spoke as soon as the tones from his horns lowered. "Please, stop," she ordered. "You are not welcome here if you mean to cause harm to the fields."

"Why should I listen to you?" he asked, but with his eyes on the other. "You are an ally to the humans, so I hate you."

"It is my duty to serve the humans," she said. "They can be of great benefit if you work for them. Why would you think so ill of them?"

Then the Exploud looked at her. "Benefit? They're awful. Keep driving me away from any place I would try to settle. They won't even let me come to places like this to get food without harassing me."

Noticing that the male human wanted to sneak up behind the Exploud for some reason, the Bronzong continued to speak with him with the intent of distracting him. "You are dreadfully loud; two of them could hardly come up here close to you. Not only that, but you're trampling over the food that everyone around here shares. If you would be so thoughtless, then others would share with you."

"Thoughtless?!" he growled, narrowing his eyes at her.

"You could have simply eaten some from the edges of the field, not walked all the way in here," she pointed out. The Exploud did have very large feet, as well as a hefty tail which was tearing vines out of the ground as he moved it.

"I do that because they're so mean to me," he said, clenching his fists. A sharp rush of air sounded as his horns began to swell.

"That only makes them turn on you quicker," the Bronzong said.

Then the Exploud trumpeted again, but this time far louder with all of his trumpet horns directed at her. It made her metallic body quiver and squeezed at her mind. Behind the Exploud, she saw the male human cringe at the sound. He darted forward and grabbed hold of some hairs on the Exploud's body, tearing them out. Then he hurried out of the field as the Pokemon yelped, adding another harsh tone to his sound attack.

Now that the human was out of the way, the Bronzong picked up the Exploud with levitation and hurled him clear out of the bean field. Although her body still hurt, she pursued him. The earth was groaning again, but the shock of landing had stopped the Exploud's trumpet calls. "I'm sorry for your troubles, but I will protect the fields I watch over," she called to him. "You are not only ruining the fields, but you are also causing the earth pain enough to tremble. If you continue to be like this, then you are definitely not welcome here either."

He barraged her with sound again, causing a second earthquake to strike. While the quake still did not affect her, she felt a crack tearing into her side. Her tone was going to be off until that got fixed up. For the moment, she fled the battle, going back to where the young humans were.

The one male was on his knees now, trembling in pain as well. "Here, I got some hairs off it," he said, shakily giving his hand to the other male. "Take that to Gran and see if she can't do something about it."

"You should also give one to the caretaker, so she can track the monster's presence easier," the female said, then noticed her. "Oh my, you got hurt badly too."

"You take the hairs," the other male said. "I'm going to run to the nearest house and see if there's a way to transport the two of them to the healer's place."

"I feel that it may be troubling us for some time," the Bronzong said, although they would not understand. Gran might; that old human female was quite adept in figuring out what she meant.

And she was right about that; once the crack in her body was healed up, she spent the next moon cycle keeping track of the Exploud with one of his hairs. She led both humans and other Pokemon in efforts to drive him away from their fields. While much damage was done, they managed to drive the Exploud away with a brilliant plan. But that is another story.

Bronzong Platinum entry: It brought rains by opening portals to another world. It was revered as a bringer of plentiful harvests.

Ruby entry: Exploud triggers earthquakes with the tremors it creates by bellowing. If this Pokemon violently inhales from the ports on its body, it's a sign that it's preparing to let loose a huge bellow.

This was written for the first day of autumn, 2012. Since the time of harvests is coming up, using this entry of Bronzong seemed very appropriate. And it uses a bit more of superstition that runs in some farming communities; I've been doing a fair bit of research on that recently, so it's been on my mind.