Il faut cultiver notre jardin
Conkeldurr’s Cosmoem Conundrum
In a certain grassy meadow in Melemele island, a Cosmoem was resting among the yellow flowers, reading a magazine propped up against a small tree. Occasionally, a light breeze rustled it enough to turn the page, but the periodical’s spine was firmly stuck to the wood with by several globs of nectar. Just as the Cosmoem was getting to the juicy part of an interview with the mysterious masked wrestler who’d been taking the Battle Royale Dome by storm recently, two sets of meaty fingers wrapped around the sapling and ripped it out of the ground, taking Cosmoem’s magazine with it.
Cosmoem’s core rotated upwards within its encasing sphere. A hulking Conkeldurr stood before him, squinting at the magazine she’d just peeled off the tree. “Hey! What gives?” Cosmoem cried.
“Oh! I did not see you there, tiny Pokemon! I am clearing land for foundation of house I build, yes! Tree was in way!” Conkeldurr cast the sapling and magazine aside and looked down at Cosmoem with a genial, albeit slightly puzzled, grin.
“You can’t just rip up trees, dude! They’re like, part of the environment, man! You gotta respect them!”
“Ha ha ha! You are funny, little egg!” Conkeldurr bellowed, her head-bulb shaking with the force of her laughter. “Trees are for making fires, not for respecting! Now, I must move you out of way too. Where does little egg wish to go?”
“Uh, yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I’m way too heavy to carry,” Cosmoem said.
“Ha ha ha! You are tiny ‘mon! Tiny! Conkeldurr will move with ease.” Cosmoem was treated to the sight of Conkeldurr’s sweaty palm as she bent down and grabbed him, still chortling in amusement. To her surprise, the ultra-dense Pokemon resisted her initial yank upwards, remaining firmly on the ground.
“Eh? Egg is heavier than he looks! But Conkeldurr will still lift.” She tightened her grip and pulled upwards, exerting more and more force as Cosmoem continued to be unmoved. “Errghh… urghh… HURRGHH!” Purple veins began to bulge out of her arm as she grunted in effort. “Okay… that was just warm-up try! Now Conkeldurr gets serious and- ERRGGGHH!” The fighting Pokemon added a second hand and pulled even harder than before, but still to no avail. Finally, she let go and took several steps back to reconsider the situation. Conkeldurr breathed heavily as she glared down at the source of her trouble, a frown forming on her wrinkled face.
In response, Cosmoem rolled his core in a circle, lights blinking on and off. “See! I told ya, dude! You’re just gonna have to make your house somewhere else, pal.”
“Nonsense! Conkeldurr will use bulk-up move six times in row, and then she will hoist you into sky!” Ignoring Cosmoem’s muttered protestations that it wasn’t gonna work, the already quite-ripped Pokemon concentrated, and the muscles on her arms began to bulge and swell, growing seemingly without end, as if she were Popeye at an all-you-can-eat spinach buffet. Finally, over a minute later, just as Cosmoem was starting to get concerned that her skin might fail to contain her muscles and burst apart, she stopped, and flexed her rippling guns at the little Pokemon while the corners of her mouth turned upwards in a triumphant smile.
“Ha ha! Yes! Now you will see the true might of a Conkeldurr! Prepare to be hoisted, puny egg!” She took a single step forward and immediately toppled to the ground. “Okay… so Conkeldurr is little top-heavy now! Is no matter!” After dragging herself along the ground a few feet, she pulled herself to a kneeling position, and gripped Cosmoem once more.
“HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” The results were exactly the same as before, except this time, to his great annoyance, much more sweat got onto Cosmoem, trickling down his smooth surface in rivulets.
“I’M… TOO… HEAVY!” he shouted over Conkeldurr’s grunts. “JUST… GIVE… UP!”
“NEVER!” But Conkeldurr couldn’t maintain her fully bulked-up state for very long, and soon she was forced to step back and rethink her approach while her muscles slowly shrank back to their original size. “Ha… ha… ha… this… this must be trick, yes! There must be sneaky little psychic around using gravity move, yes!” The muscle Pokemon tore about the meadow, overturning rocks, pulling up trees, and stomping down flowers in her search.
Cosmoem’s lights blinked red in frustration. “Stop that! If someone was using gravity, you’d feel heavier too!”
“Hrmm… egg does have point…” Conkeldurr said, finally ceasing her rampage. “Wait… now I know what trick is! Egg is glued to big anchor below ground! Conkeldurr will prove it!”
“It’s not a trick, dude! Haven’t you ever heard of a Cosmoem before? We weigh like, a metric ton! It’s just how we are!” Cosmeom exclaimed as Conkeldurr began to dig underneath him with her thick hands. The dirt shifted below him, and he rolled down onto one of her fingers.
“YAAAAAARRGGGH!” Conkeldurr yelped in pain as the full weight of the protostar Pokemon pressed down on her fingertip. She continued to holler and curse for the better part of a minute as she frantically struggled to get loose. After planting both her feet firmly on the ground and applying truly titanic effort, she at last managed to pull her finger free and collapse backwards. Then, after spending a minute lying on the ground tenderly rubbing her swollen digit and moaning, Conkeldurr sprung to her feet and redirected her focus to Cosmoem.
“You crushed my finger, puny egg! Now it is personal!” she roared, pointing an accusing finger.
“Whoa, whoa, take it easy dude! I didn’t do anything!” Cosmoem protested.
“Tiny egg may be too heavy to lift with hands, yes! But Conkeldurr is as smart as she is strong! She will come up with way to move you in end! Is only matter of time!” With that, Conkeldurr turned and stormed off into the distance, her unhurt hand clenched into a fist.
A friendly Oricorio had carried Cosmoem’s magazine back over to him, and now his eyes were glazing over as he read the same top-ten list for the twentieth time. “Hey, can someone come turn the page for me?” he hollered. In response, a thickly-muscled arm reached from behind him and yanked his magazine away once more. Startled, Cosmoem rotated his core 180 degrees to see a familiar fighting Pokemon leering down at him, standing next to a large wheelbarrow with various items jutting out of it.
“Ha! The only thing that will be getting turned today is you, tiny egg! You will turn from egg over here, to egg over there!” Conkeldurr spat, pointing at a spot far across the horizon.
“Ugh, this again! I already told you dude, I’m too heavy to move! Just build your house somewhere else!”
Conkeldurr scoffed, and reached into her wheelbarrow to pull out a long crowbar. “Conkeldurr has brought every type of simple machine in wheelbarrow! Levers, pulleys, wedges, inclined plane, even wheeled axle! Egg has no chance against power of mechanical advantage, yes!” With that, she stuck one end of the crowbar underneath Cosmoem, and set a rock down in a position where it served as a fulcrum. Then, with all her strength, she pushed down on the crowbar as she put a foot on the rock to keep it in place. Nothing happened.
Gritting her teeth, Conkeldurr bulked up to the max again. She closed her eyes and concentrated on nothing else except moving the lever. “I belive in Conkeldurr! I believe in Conkeldurr! I believe in Conkeldurr!” she chanted.
Cosmoem shut his eyes as well, and fantasized about having limbs to cover his… well, whatever part of him was responsible for hearing sound.
At first, nothing happened. But then, at first gradually, and then with increasing speed, Conkeldurr felt the crowbar move downwards. “HA-HA! YES! Conkeldurr has done it! She has-” The fighting Pokemon opened her eyes to see that she’d just bent the crowbar in half, while Cosmoem remained stationary.
“Arrrrgghhh! Useless thing! Conkeldurr knew she could not trust steel tool! Is not strong like concrete!” With a grunt of annoyance, she hurled the now boomerang-shaped crowbar away from her as hard as she could. It spun through the air, traveling at a deadly speed. “Oh well, Conkeldurr has many more simple machines to try!” Without even looking to see where the crowbar landed, she turned around to face the exact opposite direction she’d thrown in it, and began rifling through the contents of the wheelbarrow, completely oblivious to the aerodynamic forces that were now altering the flight course of the oddly-curved crowbar.
“Ha ha, yes, Conkeldurr can totally forget about that crowbar! There will be no consequences!” she said.
Cosmoem rotated his core, observing the path of the spinning steel projectile through the air. “Uh… Conkeldurr…” he said.
“Yes! No consequences! None!” Conkeldurr exclaimed. Cosmoem winced. And then…
Conkeldurr turned one-eighty-degrees again, and laughed at Cosmoem. “Ha ha ha! Did tiny egg think that crowbar would behave as boomerang and return to strike Conkeldurr in back of head? Ha ha! Silly egg! Bending something into curve does not make it act like boomerang! Tiny egg must have tiny brai-” The crowbar returned and struck Conkeldurr in the back of her head, having circumnavigated the Earth.
“Ooooh…” she moaned, her vision filled with images of miniature Cosmoems that rotated around her noggin. Luckily for the muscular Pokemon, she still had the defense boost from all the bulk-ups going, and so had survived the hit with nothing more than a mild concussion.
“Uh, you okay dude?” Cosmoem asked.
“Yes! Am fine! Am very fine! Just give Conkeldurr half of hour, and she will continue!”
In what turned out to be an hour and a half later, Conkeldurr returned from the nearest Pokecenter, bearing a large bandage on her head. “Okay! Now is time for using pulleys! This time egg will be moved for certain!” The fighting Pokemon took a thick chain out of her wheelbarrow and tied it around Cosmoem, then threaded it through an iron pulley with a greased wheel. “Now, Conkeldurr just need thing to attach pulley too… hmm…”
“Uh, you kinda need more than one pulley if you want to get any mechanical advantage, ya know…” Cosmoem remarked.
“Silence, egg! Conkeldurr knows that! She is just using one first as test!” Soon, Conkeldurr spied a suitable seeming branch on a nearby tree from which to hang the pulley. Grabbing hold of the loose end of the chain, Conkeldurr pulled down with all her might. Rather predictably, the branch snapped off the tree and crashed to the ground.
“Hmm… Conkeldurr needs something tall and sturdy to hang pulley from. Puny wooden trees are not strong enough! If only there was concrete tree… Or even steel tree would be better… Wait! Ha ha, that’s it! Conkeldurr is genius!” She walked back over to Cosmoem and gave him a hefty kick. “You there! Egg! I read about your power in pamphlet at Pokecenter! You will open ultra-wormhole for me, and summon the Stakataka ultra-beast so I can attach pulley to it!”
“Yeah, not sure that’d be a good idea… But you know what, if it’d get rid of you faster, why not?” Cosmoem said, and began to concentrate. Soon, a swirling ultra-wormhole opened up in the air beside her. Bolts of lightning shot out of it in random directions, and Conkeldurr was forced to stand back and hold up a hand to shield herself from the intense light pouring out of the pulsating vortex.
A long red leg stepped out of the portal, followed by another one, and then a third and fourth. The creature that had emerged wasn’t a steel tower, but rather a tall and heavily-muscled mosquito-like quadruped. “Hey, whazzzzzup, my sisters!” said the Buzzwole, flexing her arms as she noted the two Pokemon staring at her.
“Wha- this is not the Stakataka! You will send back and get right ultra-beast!” Conkeldurr said, pointing at Cosmoem.
He ignored him and addressed the Buzzwole. “Hey, can you tell this dude to stop trying to pick me up? She’s been trying to do that all afternoon and I just wanna read my magazine in peace.”
“Whoa, sis! You’ve been trying to pick up a Cosmoem? That’s messed up, sis! Wait until he’s evolved first!”
Conkeldurr considered this, pulling at her beard. “Ah, the big insect has the good idea, yes! I will smack the tiny egg with Pokemon until they faint, causing egg to gain experience and level-up! Evolved forms of egg do not weigh as much, and will be easier to move!”
“Now you want to beat him up first? That’s even more messed up!” Buzzwole said, taking a few steps back from Conkeldurr. “Wait, is that why you have that chain wrapped around her? Is this some sort of sick kink thing?”
“No, no, no! Not the romantic kind of picking up! The hoist into air kind!” Cosmoem said, having finally recovered from their initial shock at Buzzwole’s earlier statement.
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, I getcha sis!” Buzzwole exclaimed as she casually ripped up a tree to do a parallel back squat with it, and then turned to Conkeldurr. “Wait, you’ve been having trouble lifting a Cosmoem? That’s so weak! Do you even lift, sis?” To demonstrate the ease of this action, Buzzwole tossed aside the tree trunk and bent down to grab Cosmoem with a single hand. After ripping the chains off the Pokemon, she then proceeded to lift him several feet into the air, showing no signs of exertion.
“Hey! Not cool! Put me down!” Cosmoem protested as Buzzwole began to casually toss him back and forth between her massive hands.
Conkeldurr stared at this scene in astonishment, then at last found her voice.“Conkeldurr does lift! She is very good at lifting!” she shouted at Buzzwole, veins bulging on her forehead.
The insectoid ultra-beast laughed in response. “Ha ha, yeah sis, I guess you just got out that pulley for shits and giggles, right? ‘Cause it seems like the sort of thing only a weak, un-swole Pokemon would need to use to lift stuff!”
“Sh- shut up! Big insect will shut up! When there is only one pulley, it does not provide the mechanical advantage, yes! It only redirects the force! Is for convenience only!” Tears were forming at the edge of Conkeldurr’s eyes.
“Wow, that sounds like nerd-talk! Nerd!” said Buzzwole, giving a hefty shove to Conkeldurr that knocked her to the ground. “Whoa, are you actually crying now? That’s not even beta-female level bro, that’s gamma! Damn, I sure hope the rest of the Pokemon in this dimension aren’t total losers!” With that, she tossed Cosmoem over her shoulder, where he landed at exactly the same spot he’d previously been with an incredibly heavy thud. “Later, twerps!” Buzzwole cried, and galloped off into the distance.
“This is- this is ridiculous! According to the Bulbapedia, Conkeldurr has the one more base attack point than you do! She is not weaker!” Conkeldurr cried at her retreating form, than broke down sobbing. Cosmoem hesitated, unsure of what to say. Suddenly, Conkeldurr sprang to her feet and started shouting at him in anger. “This is your fault, puny egg! You planned for that to happen! You are waging the psychological warfare on poor Conkeldurr, yes!”
“Whoa, chill out, dude! I didn’t know a Buzzwole was gonna come through that wormhole!” Cosmoem said, which reminded him to carefully close said portal with another moment of concentration. He then continued to speak: “And like, even if a Stakataka had come through, your pulley plan wasn’t gonna cut it! You’d need like, a bulldozer or something to move me!”
“Oh, Conkeldurr knows what will ‘cut it’! She will be using the wedge, next!” With that, she pulled a large battle-axe out of her wheelbarrow. “Conkeldurr will chop you into pieces, and then she will lift the pieces!”
“Holy shit! You’re going too far!” Cosmoem said, and began glowing with a pale light as he closed his eyes and focused on using his cosmic power move to boost his defense.
“YAAAAA!” Conkeldurr brought the axe down on Cosmoem with all her force, which had no effect other than to carve a tiny chip out of one of Cosmoem’s crests and to snap the handle of the axe in half. She cast aside the broken weapon and began rummaging through the wheelbarrow again. “Ha! There is more axe where that came from!”
A fireman’s axe, a felling axe, and a wood-splitting axe were all shattered against Cosmoem in turn, each doing even less damage than the last as Cosmoem’s cosmic power boosts accumulated. “Curse these pathetic wood and steel tools! Little egg is lucky that there are no axes with concrete handle, and that Conkeldurr does not know the chip-away move!”
Cosmoem finally opened his eyes to glare at his tormenter. “Dude, that’s not luck! Concrete would be a terrible choice for an axe-shaft! And chip-away is so situational that no-one learns it!”
“Concrete is best choice for everything!” Conkeldurr spat. “And is not true that no-one learns situational moves! Low kick is very situational, but Conkeldurr knows it! In fact, she will use it on you right now! Will do lots of damage because egg is so heavy, yes!”
“That move only hurts heavier Pokemon more because it makes them trip and fall over. It’s not like it just magically has a higher base power when used on a heavier ‘mon! And I can’t exactly be tripped, so-”
Conkeldurr’s foot crashed into Cosmoem’s face, and created a spider-web of cracks in the shell around his core.
The pain was indescribable, but the author will try anyways: It was searing hot, it was throbbing, it was unbearable. It radiated outwards from the site of the damage, making the wound feel even larger than it already was. But worst of all was the sheer feeling of wrongness that came with having a part of one’s body broken in such a way, the new sensations conflicting with every previous memory of how the damaged part should be.
Wow, I’m sure glad this body can’t feel pain, Cosmoem thought, watching Conkeldurr clutching her broken foot as she laid on the ground of the meadow, moaning in agony.
“C… CURSE YOU NEWTON’S THIRD LAW!” she wailed. After what felt to Cosmoem like an endless period of cursing, crying, and gnashing of teeth, Conkeldurr finally managed to drag herself over to the tree Buzzwole had uprooted earlier, and broke off heavy branches to use as crutches. When she pulled herself up and hobbled back over to Cosmoem, she felt like she was moving in the most natural way she had been ever since she’d been forced to leave behind her concrete pillars before boarding the plane to Alola.
“It is you who has gone too far this time, egg! You have broken Conkeldurr’s foot! Now she gets really serious!” Conkeldurr said, pointing an accusing branch at Cosmoem and nearly falling over in the process.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! That was entirely your fault! And like, your foot may be broken, but now I have to look at everything through all these cracks all the time! Thanks a lot, dude! That’s never gonna heal until I evolve! Unlike your stupid foot!”
“Ha! Before I come along, tiny egg just sits in one place and sees same thing all day! Tiny egg should be thanking me for giving them change of view, yes?”
Conkeldurr scoffed and began to hobble away from the meadow. “You will be getting much larger change of scenery soon, egg! You will see! Conkeldurr will move egg in the end!”
“You’re obsessed, dude! Just give it up!” Cosmoem yelled at her retreating form. She didn’t respond, and quiet soon returned to the meadow.
About a week later, Cosmoem was getting bored enough to contemplate opening another ultra-wormhole, when he saw Conkeldurr approaching her, foot healed and carrying a large burlap sack over her shoulder.
“I hope you just returned to get your wheelbarrow back, dude,” Cosmoem said.
“NO! Today is last day you sit on foundation of Conkeldurr’s future house! Her latest plan is flawless! Flawless! Although, thanks for reminding Conkeldurr of that wheelbarrow. But for the right now-” Conkeldurr set down the burlap sack, and reached into it to draw out a squirming Dratini, “-is dragon raging time!”
“Help…” the Dratini squeaked as Conkeldurr pointed his head at Cosmoem and stretched out his tail with her other hand.
“Wha- what the actual fuck, dude! You can’t just kidnap people! That’s illegal! Unless you’re a human and you do it with a pokeball, of course.”
“Silly egg! Dratini are for kidnapping, not for obeying law with! Now, FIRE!” Conkeldurr yelled, yanking on Dratini’s tail. The hapless Pokemon shrieked and coughed up a ball of blue fire which sailed towards Cosmoem and burst upon impact with his cracked shell. A tingling sensation swept over Cosmoem’s body, and he felt a sudden sensation of fatigue.
“Um, sorry about that…” the Dratini said.
“What was that?” Cosmoem shouted.
“Is dragon rage! Move ignores defense and always takes away forty of the hit points! Is like nature’s chip-away attack!”
“They’re both natural, and that’s not even how chip away works! Look, Conkeldurr, I’m just as heavy fainted as I am conscious, so just cut it out, okay?”
Conkeldurr scoffed. “Ha! Am only weakening you for next part of plan, where I capture with you with pokeball, then move pokeball! FIRE AGAIN!” Dratini belched out a second ball of fire as Conkeldurr pulled on his tail even harder than before.
“OW! Sorry, sorry, sorry…”
Cosmeom winced as the second fireball struck him. “Plan’s not gonna work, dude. Pokeballs don’t work on me! I’m too dense for them!”
“Maybe normal pokeballs, yes, but Conkeldurr has very special one! FIRE THREE!” After a final yank on the Dratini’s tail and a final dragon rage striking Cosmoem’s face, Conkeldurr cast the hapless Dratini aside and reached into her sack again as the little dragon slithered away as fast as possible. She drew forth a large red-and-white sphere bearing grinning teeth and narrowed eyes. “With this, there is no chance tiny egg will not be caught!”
Red lights started to flash on and off at a rapid pace all over Cosmoem’s core as he realized what Conkeldurr was holding. “Wha- that’s not a pokeball, dude! That’s a frigging Electrode! If you throw it at me, it’ll explode! How could you possibly get them mixed up!? Pokeballs are like a tenth the size of that thing!” Reflexively, he attempted to start accumulating cosmic power boosts again, but the dragon rage attacks left him too fatigued to be able to use the move, and all Cosmoem accomplished was to glow for a few seconds before returning to his normal degree of luminosity.
“Nonsense!” Conkeldurr scoffed. “Is big pokeball, so is better pokeball!” She raised the Electrode over her head with both hands.
“Yeah! I’m totally a pokeball! And, wow, I’m so excited that I’m finally going to get to catch something!” the Electrode said.
“NO! You are an Electrode! Normal pokeballs don’t have eyes! They don’t have teeth!”
“I’m a special model! The eyes help me see my way to the target, and the teeth are so I can chew up food to give to the Pokemon inside me!”
“Okay, look. If you’re an Electrode, at some point, you must have evolved. Explain how a pokeball can do that, dude!”
“Easy!” the Electrode responded, voice as cheery as ever. “You know how normal pokeballs can be miniaturized and then you hit a button on them and they get larger? Well, that’s what happened to me!”
“Can Conkeldurr hurry up and throw pokeball now? She is getting tired of egg’s inane objections.”
“Yeah! Throw me throw me throw me!” Sparks were starting to fly from the grinning Electrode, who was vibrating with anticipation. Cosmoem’s core began to twitch back and forth in place. He knew his shell was pretty tough, but with the previous fractures from the low kick he wasn’t sure it’d survive a direct Electrode explosion without any cosmic power boosts.
“WAIT! WAIT! You’ll be wasting the pokeball, because I’m… I’m… oh, I’m so tired… I’m fainting…” he said, and closed his eyes, and willed the lights on his core to turn off.
Conkeldurr laughed. “Ha! Puny egg cannot fool Conkeldurr! She knows egg is just pretending! Now, pokeball, go-”
“W-wait!” the Electrode said, their grin becoming tight and nervous. “I-if you throw me at a fainted Pokemon, I’ll break without getting to catch anything! Can’t I just catch that Dratini instead?”
“Very well, Conkeldurr will prove tiny egg is not fainted! She will use dynamic punch attack on egg to confuse it, and then egg will betray the wakefulness, yes!” The fighting Pokemon set down the Electrode and walked over to Cosmoem. She curled her fingers into a fist and aimed down at the little Pokemon, then let fly with a wild sockdolager. Her hand rammed into the ground right next to Cosmoem. “Eh?” The next punch still missed Cosmoem, landing on the opposite side of him. “Curse this fifty percent accuracy! Hold still, little egg!” Conkeldurr wrapped a hand around Cosmoem to steady him, and then went with punch three. This time, it collided with the thumb she’d wrapped around Cosmoem. “AAAAAAA!”
Conkeldurr cursed and wrapped her hand around her swollen thumb, but then, as the confusion from the dynamic punch set in, she stopped, looked around in a daze, and stumbled away from Cosmoem, a confident grin on her face. “Ha! There! Egg confused! Conkeldurr can see the little stars spinning around it!”
“…are you sure?” Electrode asked, squinting at Cosmoem, whose eyes remained tightly shut.
“Hmm… Pokeball must be confused too! Conkeldurr can also see the stars around him!” The Electrode began to roll away as Conkeldurr walked towards them with outstretched hands, slowly at first, and then with increasing speed as Conkeldurr broke into a run. “Come back, big Pokeball! Conkeldurr needs you!” Although the speedy Pokemon quickly outpaced her, Conkeldurr continued to chase after them, and followed them straight out of the meadow.
Cosmoem waited a long time, and then carefully opened his eyes. His tormentor had vanished. No one was around except the Oricorio, dancing cheerfully and sipping the nectar of the meadow’s flowers. He rotated his core upwards. Overhead, the thick layer of clouds that had been present that morning was finally dispersing. That was good, Cosmoem thought. He didn’t like it when rain got on his faceplate and obscured his vision even more than the cracks in his shell already-
“Is that the little ‘mon I’m to capture? Jolly good! Hurry up and give me a throw, old sport!” a genial voice blurted out from behind him.
“What the-” Cosmoem rotated his core to find Conkeldurr standing before him, holding an Amoongus up in the air triumphantly. The red-and-white fungus Pokemon’s two arms were waving excitedly as they beamed down at Cosmoem.
“Ha! Conkeldurr bets egg was not counting on her finding another giant pokeball! Tiny egg’s time of not being in even tinier ball is over!”
“WHERE DO YOU EVEN FIND THESE PEOPLE?” Cosmoem shouted. Conkeldurr yelled a battle cry and threw down the Amoongus with all her strength. They bounced right off Cosmoem, and released a thick cloud of spores into the air. After a fit of frantic coughing and eye-rubbing, Conkeldurr began to blindly grope around the meadow.
“Where did little egg go? They cannot hide from Conkeldurr for long!”
“I believe he’s a little to your left, my good fellow-”
“Aha! There egg is! Right inside pokeball, exactly as planned!” Conkeldurr’s questing hands ended their search as they closed around the Amoongus.
“Er, I hate to say this, old bean, but you seem to be mistaken-”
“Now Conkeldurr will lift into STRATOSPHERE!” she roared, and flung the poor Amongoos upwards with all her might. Cosmoem watched the flailing fungus as they ascended into the sky, their image growing smaller and smaller until disappearing entirely. Conkeldurr joined him in looking upwards, and stared into the heavens for a long while until the effects of the spores and dynamic punch confusion finally wore off. A slow grin of triumph formed on her face, and she turned back towards the meadow.
“Now, to get to business of building, nice concrete house- YOU!”
“Yep, it’s me,” Cosmoem said, sighing.
“But how did-! You little-! ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!” Conkeldurr yelled. The veins on her forehead swelled three sizes. “That does it! There was only the one straw remaining, and you have just taken it! Now Conkeldurr has no choice but to come up with best plan ever, and get rid of little egg once and for all!”
“You’ll see! Next time will be different!” the fighting type yelled as she stormed away from the meadow.
Next time, as it happened, came very soon. Later that same day, Cosmoem watched her return to the meadow in the company of a skeptical-looking Smeargle wearing a paint-besplattered apron. “So this is the ‘mon that can’t be moved, eh?” the Smeargle said, squinting down at the little psychic Pokemon.
“More like she’s the ‘mon that can’t stop being totally crazy! I’m warning you, don’t get involved with this dude! She like ripped up a bunch of trees, attacked me with axes and tried to blow me up!” Cosmoem protested.
“Ha ha ha! Egg tells the funniest stories!” Conkeldurr bellowed. “Lies, all of them! Do not believe single word, or even half of word!” The Smeargle looked around the meadow, noting the broken axes, uprooted trees and trampled flowers in the vicinity, as well as the sizable crack in Cosmoem’s shell.
“Well, I don’t know about that, but she’s promised to pay me pretty well just to use a single move on you. And I’m not the type of Smeargle who turns down a good deal.” The Smeargle walked up to Cosmoem and aimed her tail at him. “Now hold real still for just a second. This won’t hurt a bit.” A pale, green light emerged from the tip of her tail and enveloped Cosmoem. As it faded away, it seemed that Cosmoem did as well, or at least partly. His whole body turned translucent and hazy, like he was a holographic projection of poor quality.
“Hey! What did you do to me?” he asked.
“Trick-or-treat attack. Congratulations, you’re a ghost type now.”
“Wait, what? You can’t just turn people into ghosts! That’s like, against the natural order, dude!”
The Smeargle turned to Conkeldurr. “Now, as for my fee-”
But Conkeldurr brushed her aside and approached Cosmoem. “Ha-ha! Now that tiny egg is tiny ghost-type, egg will weigh almost nothing! Conkeldurr will have no trouble lifting now!” She reached down for Cosmoem, but when she tried to grab him, her hands passed straight through him. Brow furrowing, she tried again, and again, waving her hand back and forth through Cosmoem’s body like she was trying to waft away a fart, but to no avail.“What- what is this trickery? Painting dog will explain at once!” she roared.
“I don’t know what you expected, pal. Ghosts can’t be picked up by non-ghosts. That’s just common sense. Now, are you going to pay me, or-”
“Make Conkeldurr ghost too!”
The Smeargle sighed. “Fine. Have it your way. But don’t come crying to me if the result’s not what you expected.” With another burst of pale light, Conkeldurr was transformed into a ghost-type, as hazy and intangible as Cosmoem now was.
Conkeldurr took a moment to marvel at her new body, holding her hands up to her eyes and staring straight through them into a foggy, sepia-tinted meadow. Then she laughed. “Ha-ha! Little painting dog has worked miracle! Conkeldurr feels so light and young again, like first time she finally stopped carrying steel beam on shoulder all of the time! Payment is in sack over there,” she said, gesturing vaguely at a sack she’d dropped on the ground earlier.
“Sure.” As the smeargle walked over to it, Conkeldurr bent down to reach for Cosmoem once again. This time, her hands made solid contact with the fellow ghost-type’s body. She exerted all her force once again, only to no avail, as, now that they were both ghosts, the situation was exactly the same as it was when they were both fully corporeal.
“Eh?” Conkeldurr asked, bemused.
“‘Eh?’ is right! What do you call this?” the Smeargle said, holding up a thin concrete disc she’d pulled out of the bag Conkeldurr had gestured at.
“Oh, that? Is concrete currency! Much better than coins of worthless non-concrete materials!”
“Look, pal, I was promised real, cold cash for this job and I even threw in a second Trick-or-treat attack for free! This concrete junk ain’t gonna cut it!”
“Well, Conkeldurr had promised self solution for moving pesky egg, and she didn’t get her promise either!” the fighting type snapped. Suddenly, the trick-or-treat move on Cosmoem wore off, and Conkeldurr’s incorporeal hands shot up through his now solid body to slap herself in the face. “Arrrghh! And your move did not even have the lasting! Is very shoddy service, yes!”
Meanwhile, two new figures had entered the meadow: A young human girl and a boy of similar age, both adorned in the traditional tie-die dress of Unovan tourists. The boy, laying eyes upon the Cosmoem, pulled a pokeball out of his pocket. “Whoa, is that a real Cosmoem? Those things are super-rare! I’m gonna catch it for sure!”
“According to that pamphlet I got at the Pokemon center, Cosmeom are an endangered species and aren’t legal to catch,” the boy’s sister pointed out.
“So?” he asked, taking aim at the psychic Pokemon, throwing arm cocked.
“So there’s literally a cop right there!” his sister hissed. It was true; a middle-aged man in a brown trench-coat entirely unsuited for the Alolan climate was now approaching the Cosmoem, looking down at a strange, high-tech gadget in his hands. Although he wore no badge, something about the man suggested he was in a position of authority. The boy turned white and dropped the pokeball. Luckily, the man apparently hadn’t noticed him, and kneeled down by the Cosmoem.
“Ah, excusez-moi, but I’m investigating a recent Ultra-Wormhole, the most unauthorized, that recently made his appearance in this area. Would you happen to know anything about this incident?”
“Who, me? I dunno man, I haven’t seen any Ultra-Wormholes around here,” Cosmoem replied.
“Ah, I wish I could believe you, but the dimensionometer here, she says you are a liar,” the detective said, tapping the screen of the gizmo he was holding. “The frequencies of the wormhole, they match up with the ones you emit. I’m afraid I have no choice but to write you a ticket.”
“Ah, what? This is bullshit! This is racial profiling, man! Sure, just blame the nearest Cosmog-line Pokemon!”
The man simply shook his head and taped a yellow citation sheet to the front of Cosmoem’s face-plate.
Meanwhile, the boy, having recovered from his shock at seeing the cop, took sight of the squabbling Conkeldurr and Smeargle. “Okay, well, maybe I can catch that cool Alolan Conkeldurr variant over there!” he said, once again readying his pokeball. Conkeldurr overheard him and turned to face him, arms raised in protestation.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Conkeldurr is not the Alolan Pokemon! Conkeldurr is Unovan Pokemon, yes! She is emigrant from Motherland! Current ghosty appearance is only due to weird move used by painting dog, yes!”
“Aw, really?” the boy asked.
“Hey, if you want a real criminal to prosecute, how about that Conkeldurr over there who’s been hassling me non-stop! I overheard that girl over there saying something about how I’m a protected species, so that makes it like, doubly illegal!” Cosmoem was hollering at the detective at the same time.
“Yeah, and that dame’s also defrauded me out of the money she owed me! Arrest her!” the Smeargle added.
The man in the trench-coat rubbed his chin, considering the situation. “Ah, it is true, Cosmoem are indeed the protected species. But the protection only extends to humans and non-native species. When an Alolan native Pokemon is doing the hassling, it is merely, ah, how do you say… the wheel of nature?”
“But she just told me she’s not an Alolan native!” the boy pointed out.
“HA HA HA!” Conkeldurr bellowed nervously. “That? That was just little white lie told to avoid the little Pokeball, yes! A move that changes Pokemon’s type? Ridiculous! Of course Conkeldurr is ghost-type Alolan variant species!”
“What a bald-faced lie! You only look like a ghost ‘cause of my trick-or-treat move, pal!” the Smeargle protested.
“Oh? If move is so real, why doesn’t painting dog prove it by using move to change herself into ghost?” Conkeldurr challenged.
“It ain’t self-targeting, pal! It only works on other Pokemon!”
“Then use on tiny egg over there!”
“I just used it on him a few minutes ago! It’s not safe to use it on the same ‘mon twice in a row!”
“Excuses, excuses! Move does not exist!” Conkeldurr proclaimed.
“Yes, I am not of the familiarity with this ‘trick-or-treat’ move you spoke of,” the detective said, glaring down at the Smeargle.
“No, I can prove it! I just need to find some other Pokemon to use it on!” the Smeargle said. She cupped her hands around her mouth and hollered, “Hey, does anyone here want to become a ghost?” Some of the Oricorio nearest to her flapped into the air and landed further away. No one seemed eager to offer themselves as a volunteer.
“..seriously?” she said.
“Look, forget about the trick-or-treat move. I’ve lived here in Alola my whole life, and I can tell you there’s no such thing as a ghost-type Alolan Conkeldurr,” Cosmoem said.
“Yeah, I haven’t ever heard of them either,” the girl chimed in.
“...me neither, I guess,” the boy said.
“Yeah, it’s total bunk!” the Smeargle agreed.
“N-nonsense! Of course ghost-type Conkeldurr exist! We carry the tombstones instead of the concrete pillars, yes! Conkeldurr’s are just, ah, undergoing renovation at the moment, yes!”
The detective rubbed his chin, deep in thought. “Hmm… in the left shoe, is the fact that boy, girl, Cosomoem, and Smeargle all agree that there’s no such thing as Alolan Conkeldurr, which I must say I’ve never heard of myself. But in the right shoe is the fact that the Conkeldurr is the only one of you who doesn’t talk all funny,” he concluded.
“Wh- what!?” Cosmoem protested. “What does that even have to do with anything!?”
“The situation, she is very murky indeed. Hmmm….” the man said, puzzling it over some more. “Very well, how about this. You there, prove you are a native. Say something Alolan!” The detective thrust a pointing finger at Conkeldurr.
“Um… er...” the fighting type spluttered, desperately trying to think of something to say. “Uh… Conkeldurr worships the Tapu-Kahunas every day, and her favoritest food of all time is the malasalads, and she is biggest fan of Team Skull, the best footballing team in the world!” she finally said.
The detective shook his head. “Well, I think that settles this matter most conclusively,” he said. “This ‘mon is definitely an Alolan native!”
“Finally!” Cosmoem said, rolling his core. “Now you can give him a big fat ticket for- wait, what?”
“Yes, all of you should be ashamed for trying to cast guilt upon this perfectly innocent Alolan native, playing her part in the food chain by engaging in natural predation upon this Cosmoem! I’ll be taking my leave now,” the man said, and strode away from the meadow, his long strides soon carrying him out of sight of the group of befuddled Pokemon and humans.
“...wait, so if you really are a cool Alolan variant species, then I think I’m going to catch you!” the boy said, once more raising his Pokeball. At that very moment, the trick-or-treat effect finally wore off on Conkeldurr, and she returned to her usual appearance.
“Ha-ha! Everything Conkeldurr just said was clever lies! She is actually Unovan native for real, yes!” she bellowed.
“Oh, how boring,” the boy said, lowering his pokeball.
“Look, buster, don’t think you’re out of hot water just yet! You still owe me that money!” the Smeargle said.
“...although I guess this means that you really do know a move that can change a Pokemon into a ghost type! Awesome! I’m gonna catch you!” the boy declared.
“Whoa, wait-” the Smeargle started to say, only for a Pokeball to bounce off her noggin and suck her inside in a flash of light. The ball wiggled back in forth in the meadow grass, before finally falling still with a loud click. Seeing this, the boy scooped it up and strolled away, excitedly talking to his sister about all the cool pranks he could play with the ability to turn Pokemon into ghosts.
“Ho ho ho, it looks like Conkeldurr’s luck is finally turning around!” the fighting type gloated.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Just then, the Amoongus she’d thrown up into the air earlier came falling back to Earth, screaming and flailing their arms wildly. They landed right on top of Cosmoem, the hard edge of one of their shields striking his cracked shell, before bouncing off and collapsing into the soil, unconscious.
“Well, that sure was a thing- wait, what’s that hissing noise?” Cosmoem asked, alarmed.
Sure enough, there was a subtle hissing sound now audible, and it seemed to be coming from Cosmoem. Conkeldurr examined the surface of the psychic-type’s shell carefully. “...tiny egg’s shell has crack that goes too deep! Gas is leaking out!”
“W-what!? You mean I’m going to die?” Cosmoem shouted.
“Oh no, is moral dilemma!” Conkeldurr gasped, gripping her head with both hands. “Will Conkeldurr let egg slowly bleed gas until he dies and is light enough to move? Or will she take heroic action to save tiny egg, even after the many insults he has dealt to the brave Conkeldurr? Or maybe she takes third option and builds house around leaking egg, using him as fuel source for gas-powered stove?”
“NO MORAL DILEMMAS! JUST HELP ME!”
“Very well, it is time for Conkeldurr to become hero!” she declared. Conkeldurr leaned down and put her thumb over the source of the gas leak.
“Ha-ha, problem solved!” she declared triumphantly. A sharp snapping noise emitted from Cosmoem’s shell as the pressure forced it to break in another area, and the hissing noise returned louder than before. “Okay, so requires two thumbs to solve! No problem!” Conkeldurr put her second thumb over the new leak. Almost immediately, a third gas leak sprung open.
“STOP HELPING ME! STOP HELPING ME!” Cosmoem shouted.
“Okay!” Conkeldurr stood up, removing her thumbs, and gas started to flow out of Cosmoem at a faster rate than before.
“N-NO, WAIT, I CHANGED MY MIND! KEEP HELPING ME!”
“Make up your mind, tiny egg!” Conkeldurr said, crossing her arms.
“Okay, okay, calm down dude, you can think of a way out of this… okay, I’ve got it!” Cosmoem concentrated and opened a swirling ultra-wormhole in mid-air.
“Eh? How does this help? You are not planning to summon the rude giant bug again, yes?”
“I’ve opened an ultra-wormhole to the part of Ultra-Space where Nagandel live! They’re these giant purple dragons with a big bulbous butt filled with poisonous glue! I think one of them could glue my shell back together, but you’ve gotta go in there and find one!”
Conkeldurr peered at the throbbing, pulsating vortex dubiously. “Conkeldurr does not know if her heroism extends beyond just placing thumb upon tiny egg’s shell! This Ultra-Space seems very dangerous, yes!”
“It’s really not that bad! Come on, please? I’m dying here!” Cosmoem pleaded. “You’re really strong and clever, right dude? It shouldn’t be a problem for someone as tough as you are!”
“Hmm…” Conkeldurr slowly thought it over for what seemed to Cosmoem like an agonizingly long period of time. “Very well, but little egg must promise to stop blocking Conkeldurr’s home-building site after this!”
“Yes, I promise! Just go before I lose too much gas!”
“Okay then! Conkeldurr will do it!” she declared. “Yes, she may not know the first or even the second thing about exploring the Ultra-Space! Yes, she might not even recognize this Nagluedell Pokemon from crude and inadequate description given by tiny egg! And yes, the winds of Luck may blow harshly and there might not even be any such Pokemon within hundred miles of vortex opening on other side! But you are right! Conkeldurr is brave! She is smart! She is very, very, strong! Why, for her, this mission will be a breeze! Yes, Conkeldurr is expecting absolutely no difficulty whatsoever in achieving goal!”
And with that, Conkeldurr strode boldly into the Ultra-Wormhole.
She experienced no difficulty whatsoever in achieving her goal, stepping back through the portal with a Nagandel in tow in under a minute. “So where’s the emergency?” the Nagandel asked.
“Is right over there! Little egg has sprung several leaks yes!” The Nagandel flew over to the Cosmoem and appraised the damage.
“Yeah, that’s definitely a problem. Looks like there’s some cross-orbital splintering mixed in with some trans-planar splanching of the outer shell. Only one way to fix something like that...” The Nagandel aimed her giant stinger at Cosmoem and sprayed him with a mass of purple goop. Most of it slid off of him, but that which remained sealed up the cracks in his shell. As an added bonus, it also dissolved the Unauthorized-Ultra-Wormhole-Opening citation he’d been given earlier.
“Huh, to be honest, I really wasn’t expecting that to actually work,” Cosmoem said.
“Now egg will keep his end of bargain and move off of Conkeldurr’s property, yes?” Conkeldurr asked.
“Uh… so about that… yeah, I can’t actually move, as you really should’ve noticed by now. Sorry.”
“Treachery!” Conkeldurr shouted.
“Wait, why can’t you just teleport away? Cosmoem know that move, right?” the Nagandel asked.
Cosmoem sighed. “We do, but I ran out of power points for it a long time ago. And since I don’t have a mouth, I can’t eat a leppa berry to restore them, and since Pokeballs don’t work on me, I can’t get my PP restored at a Pokemon center.”
“Wait, is that what the problem has been all along? No power points? Ha ha ha! That is easy to fix! Conkeldurr will just buy you an ether!”
“An ether? What’s that?” Cosmoem asked.
“Is item everyone forgets about because no one ever refers to power points mechanic in fanfic, ever! Not even in ones where rule about only knowing four moves at once is kept in, yes!”
The Nagandel returned into the Ultra-Wormhole, and Conkeldurr went down to the nearest Pokemart and came back with an Ether. “Ha-ha! Conkeldurr swindled shopkeeper into accepting worthless metal currency instead of good concrete coins, yes, so it is like Conkeldurr acquired item completely for free!” she boasted, and sprayed the contents of the bottle onto Cosmoem.
“Whoa, it’s actually working! I feel like I can teleport again!” Cosmoem closed his eyes and concentrated, and then he blinked out of existence before reappearing several dozen feet away. “Cool! Hey, I guess you’re not so bad after all, dude!”
“Ha-ha, and Conkeldurr supposes tiny egg is lacking most of the badness, too! Now, Conkeldurr will build house of her dreams, you can teleport somewhere where you can snitch Exp Share and use to gain enough experience to evolve, and we can all live happily ever after!”
And so they did.