> ...[Sapphire] ran after the Absol, careful to hop within the elder
> canine's tracks to avoid the quite soft dirt which were the result
> of a mild rain the night before.
. . .
A dog-trot later, the pair reached the lake. [OOC: Hope that doesn't
count as "moving" Sapphire.] Shanti stood on a narrow shore that
began as short grass emerging from the forest and sloped down to
moss-covered rocks before surrendering itself to the water. She found
a safe place for Sapphire to wait while she hunted, then stepped in
The Absol's home had not consisted solely of barren crags. There were
also gentle, forested or wooded slopes; cliffs with as much vegetation
on their flat areas as there was on the ground below; alpine meadows
of grass and wildflowers; sunny clearings surrounded by rocks and
trees. All of these were kept well-watered by any number of
fast-rushing rivers and streams, carving channels in the rock on their
way downslope to lakes such as this one. Shanti had done most of her
swimming, and all of her fishing, in the pools that formed on the
slower sections of those streams. She looked out now over a large
expanse of deep, still water, something quite outside her experience,
and wondered if she was about to literally get in over her head.
She waded in up to her chest a bit at a time, pausing to let her body
adjust to the chilly waters. The temperature, at least, was nothing
new. She ducked her head under a couple of times to clear it from the
last effects of yesterday's feast; then, mane dripping, she stood very
still and contemplated.
It was the way of her People to be in tune with the forces of nature,
and, while she could not sense the earth's moods directly, she did
commune with it as best she could. Now she paused to get the
spiritual 'feel' of the lake, to ask its permission to go any further,
and to petition it for the food she hoped to take from it. Having
done so, she let the water rise up to her shoulders and fully
committed herself to the gently-lapping waves.
The Absol did not expect that any fishes living in such deep waters
would spend much time making themselves available to predators near
the surface, and they didn't. So Shanti dived...
...and awakened herself to a whole new experience. Here, submerged in
the density of water, she *could* feel the planet's vibrations...its
respirations...its heartbeat. At first she was overwhelmed by the
sensation, which pressed in on her from every side of her body and
invaded her very being. She flailed, kicked, came up for air gasping.
Then, treading water for a bit, and still 'hearing' the lake with her
torso and hindquarters, she came to understand what the experience
was, what it meant. It was as a concerto to a man who had once been
deaf. She had to have more...
But there was the cub to be fed. Shanti dove again, this time knowing
what to expect and ready to flow with it. Her broad feet, which gave
her traction on the crags of her homelands, turned out to be good
paddles; with them, and using her bladelike tail as a rudder, she
found a way to swim submerged, paddling and steering and rolling with,
if not the grace of a Buizel or the power of a Bibarel, at least the
competence of an underwater Absol.
[OOC: I had a Toy Poodle who would swim underwater in just this
way...so it can happen. <g>]
So it was that she finally spied an unsuspecting Feebas. The fish
Pokémon, alert for threats from above and food from below, was simply
not programmed to deal with a submarine mountain-dog. Shanti kicked
hard and rose forcefully beneath the two-foot-long creature with her
mouth open, bit down hard, and broke the surface with a 16-pound fish
flailing in her jaws. She had quite the struggle getting it back to
the lakeshore; but eventually she emerged, still clamped onto the
fish's belly, and laid it flopping weakly on the grass near where she
had hidden the Glaceon.
"Come 'n' get it!" she said cheerfully, panting hard.
= = =
Marius the Wanderer (and SEAL Poodle Squad)