The Pokémon Crusaders

by Rainbow Dash the Awesome

Chapter 9: Hand-to-hoof combat

"Amazing," Twilight mused, carefully looking from one of Klink's minigears to the other, "your body is made up of two different entities joined together in a united form."

"Klink," both of Klink's faces responded in unison.

"Cool," Pinkie giggled, "I wish I had 2 heads, too. Then I'd never need to feel lonely."

"Pinkie, the last thing you need is a second mouth," Rainbow chuckled.

"Yeah," Pinkie nodded sadly, "I don't think there are enough sweets in Ponyville for that."

"Pinkie," Applejack tapped Pinkie on the shoulder, "I think what she meant was-" she was cut off by a low rumbling sound from her stomach, "great, you just had to mention sweets, didn't ya?"

Rainbow laughed, "Ha! Looks like this time you're the one who got tempted by Pinkie's sweet talk."

Applejack blushed slightly, but managed to grin smugly and reply, "Yeah, well at least ah'm not lettin' my hunger trick me into eatin' a super special cake."

"Um, Applejack," Fluttershy nervously tapped Applejack on the shoulder, "I did that too."

"Me too," Rarity sighed, "guilty as charged."

"Oops, sorry girls," Applejack chuckled, "didn't mean to insult all of ya, just Dash," she smirked at Rainbow.

"It's quite alright, darling," Rarity giggled, "I was only joking."

"Yeah, no offense taken," Fluttershy added, patting Applejack on the back and giggling.

"Still," Twilight interrupted, turning her attention away from Klink, "while we're here, we should go ahead and make ourselves a picnic."

Rainbow grinned and nodded, "Sounds like a plan to me, I'm starving."

"Um, girls," Applejack spoke up, "ah hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we don't have any food on us, unless you count Pokémon food."

"What?!?" Rainbow gasped, "What happened to our food?"

"We never had any," Applejack facepalmed, "we were in such a rush to come here that we totally forgot to pack lunch."

"Oh no," Pinkie pouted, placing a hand on her stomach just as it started to rumble, "now what are we going to do?"

"Well, ah'd be happy to go find some food," Applejack responded.

Rainbow raised an eyebrow and asked, "Where? We're still a few hours walk from the next town, aren't we?"

Twilight opened up the map of Unova that Cedric had given her. "That's right," she nodded, "based on our approximate location, we've still got a fair distance between us and Driftveil City."

"Don't worry yourself with that," Applejack grinned, "just leave it ta me. Ah'll just get some fruit from the forest."

"Are you sure, Applejack?" Twilight asked, "I mean, you're not really familiar with these woods."

"Come on, Twi, ah grew up on an orchard; ah know how ta find fertile soil and growing conditions fer fruit. It may take some time to get my bearings, but ah'll be back before ya know it."

Twilight's stomach growled, causing her to blush and chuckle nervously, "Well, I guess that's a good point. Very well, Applejack,go ahead."

"With pleasure, Twi," Applejack nodded with a tip of her hat, "ah'll be back before ya know it."

"I hope so," Rainbow groaned, holding her stomach, "I'm starving."

Applejack chuckled, "Don't worry, RD, I'll make sure to get enough fer everypony." With that, she turned and walked into the forest.


A large number of round, blue berries fell from the tree Applejack was standing under. Applejack grinned and wiped some sweat from her forehead. She reached down, picked up one of the berries, and took a bite, commenting, "Well, they ain't apples, but they sure are good." She gathered the others in a pile, but stopped momentarily, "Now, how the hay am I supposed to carry all of these?" After a moment of thought, she got an idea. She took off her hat, turned it over, and filled it with berries like a makeshift basket. "Perfect, this should work as an appetizer at least. I'll just ask Rarity to weave a basket so ah can get more."


Applejack jumped, startled by the sound of something striking one of the other trees nearby. Looking around, she called out, "Hello? Is somebody there?" She listened intently for a reply, but all she heard was another loud thud and the sound of leaves rustling. "What the hay is going on?" she asked herself as she listened for the source of the sound.


Applejack quickly turned to her right as another tree was struck. She looked up and saw the top of a nearby tree rustling. "There you are," she smirked, proud to have found the source of the sound. She carefully leaned down and emptied the berries out of her hat, pushing them together into a neat pile so they would be easy to collect when she returned. "Alrighty then," she said to herself, "time to get to the bottom of this." She took off running in the direction of the noises.

After a few minutes of searching, Applejack arrived at the edge of a clearing. She could tell that whatever was striking the trees was in the clearing, so she crouched down behind a bush and carefully peered out. "Alright, now let's just see who's causing all this ruckus."

Pinkie Pie's words echoed: "Fracas!"

"Causing all this fracas," Applejack rolled her eyes. She looked back into the clearing, and raised an eyebrow at what she saw. At the opposite edge of the clearing, there was a tall blue Pokémon punching away at the trees. What immediately struck Applejack as odd was that this Pokémon had the exact same body shape as a human, and was fully dressed in a white karate outfit complete with a black belt. Applejack was surprised to see a Pokémon that looked so similar to a human, but she decided it wasn't worth worrying about.

"Sawk, Sawk!" The Pokémon spoke as it continued to punch the trees like punching bags.

"Whoa," Applejack mused quietly, "now that's one tough workout. Ah may not have a Pokédex like Twilight, but if that thing's speaking the truth, ah'd say its name is Sawk." As she watched the Sawk punching away at the trees in the clearing, she came up with an idea. "Well, if that Pokémon likes hittin' trees so much, ah bet it’d be mighty helpful to have around the farm." She nodded to herself and grabbed a Pokéball from her belt. "Alrighty then, here goes nothin'" she said as she threw the Pokéball.

Sawk turned in confusion upon hearing a noise coming from the edge of the clearing. "Sawk?" his eyes widened as he saw a human girl standing at the edge of the clearing and a Pokéball flying towards him. Before he could react, the Pokéball struck him in the forehead, opened up, and pulled him in.

"Yee-haw!" Applejack jumped into the clearing victoriously, "And here I thought catching my first Pokémon was gonna be a challenge." She looked down at the Pokéball, but her excitement turned to confusion as she saw it rolling back and forth. "What in tarnation?" she asked herself. Suddenly, the ball burst open, causing Applejack to jump back in surprise. "Whoa nelly!" she exclaimed as Sawk materialized outside the Pokéball in a burst of white energy.

"Sawk..." Sawk glared furiously at Applejack, angry to have his workout interrupted. "Sawk!" He immediately used Bulk Up, causing his muscles to grow visibly larger. He then pulled his fist back, preparing to charge.

"Whoa there, partner," Applejack said slowly, raising her fists in a defensive stance, "if it's a fight you want, then it's a fight you're gonna get."

“Sawk, Sawk,” Sawk called as he began charging toward Applejack. He clenched his fist and swung it at Applejack’s face.

Applejack raised her arms in front of her face, blocking the punch. The force of the impact pushed her back a bit, but the force of the punch itself caused little damage. “Ha! That all ya got?” Applejack gloated, uncovering her face and preparing for the next attack.

“Sawk!” Sawk glared and charged at Applejack once again, raising his fist for another punch. Applejack smirked and began raising her arms to block it again, but she stopped in her tracks when Sawk’s fist began glowing yellow. As the glow intensified, Applejack realized that there was an electrical field surrounding the fist.

“Whoa nelly!” Applejack jumped to the side. As she did so, the fist passed right by the spot where her head had been moments before. The attack came so close that several hairs on Applejack’s head began to stand on end from the electrical force. When Sawk noticed that his adversary was momentarily distracted by the static of his Thunderpunch, he swept his arm to the side toward Applejack. Applejack quickly ducked and avoided the strike, but Sawk managed to hit her hat off of her head and onto a bush a few feet away. “Mah hat!” Applejack gasped, “Oh, you’re in for it now!” She clenched her fists and punched Sawk in the gut.

“SAWK!” Sawk yelled, leaning forward in pain and placing his arms over the spot where he had been struck. Seeing an opening, Applejack stood up, raised her hands over her head, clenched her fists together, and slammed them down on the top of Sawk’s head. The force of the impact made Sawk lose his balance and fall down onto his knees.

Applejack raised both of her fists and smirked, “Give up yet? Why don’tcha make this easy on yerself and just let me catch you, huh?”

“Sawk…” Sawk grumbled.

“Is that a yes?” Applejack raised an eyebrow.

“Sawk Sawk Sawk!” Sawk quickly swung his arm outward with a Low Sweep attack, smacking Applejack’s legs out from under her.

“AH!” Applejack yelled in pain as the attack struck her, causing her to fall down and land on her side.

“Sawk, Sawk!” Sawk yelled, jumping to his feet.

“This ain’t over yet, partner,” Applejack growled, “not by a long shot!” With that, she too picked herself up and stood ready to continue. However, when she got back up, she found herself struggling to remain standing, because her legs were still sore from the Low Sweep.

Sawk smirked when he realized his opponent was slowed down. “Sawk!” he yelled, using Bulk Up once again and making himself even more brawny.

“Whoa nelly…” Applejack said to herself, “this can’t be good.” She raised her fists, preparing to counter whatever Sawk’s next move would be.

“Sawk,” two perpendicular rings of white light appeared around Sawk’s torso. Applejack watched in confusion, not sure what to expect. “Sawk Sawk!” Sawk shouted. Suddenly, large, jagged stones began to materialize within the rings.

“What the hay?” Applejack’s eyes widened in fear.

“SAWK!” Sawk roared as the pointed stones began to shoot out of the rings, flying straight toward Applejack.

“AH!” Applejack yelled as the stones struck her. The force of the impact pushed her back into a tree. “Ow, that smarts,” she groaned in pain. Sawk narrowed his eyes and began to charge toward Applejack, his fist pulsing with electricity for another Thunderpunch. When Applejack saw Sawk coming in for another attack, she realized she had no time to dodge, so she quickly reached up and pulled the Element of Honesty off of her neck. A blinding flash of white light engulfed Applejack as she returned to her pony form.

“Sawk?!?” Sawk squinted his eyes against the light, but was unable to stop his charge. When the light faded, Sawk saw that his opponent wasn’t there anymore, so his Thunderpunch ended up slamming into the trunk of the tree.

“Down here,” Applejack taunted. Sawk looked down in confusion, and he raised an eyebrow in confusion when he saw what looked like an equine Pokémon glaring up at him. Before Sawk could respond, Applejack spun herself around, raised her hind legs, and delivered a powerful kick to his chest.

“Sawk!” Sawk shouted as the force of the kick pushed him back into the center of the clearing. He held his chest and panted, having had the wind knocked out of him by the kick.

“Time to finish this,” Applejack said as she began to charge toward Sawk.

“Sawk… Sawk,” Sawk gritted his teeth as he watched Applejack running toward him. “Sawk!” he yelled, charging up for another Stone Edge.

Applejack narrowed her eyes, “If you think that’s gonna work, you’ve got another thing comin’!” She closely watched the stones appear around Sawk, and when Sawk released the attack, she quickly spun around and kicked, knocking several of the rocks away. “Ha! Nice try, partner,” Applejack taunted. Sensing an opening, Sawk leaped forward and swept his arm outward, hitting Applejack’s front hooves out from under her before her hind hooves had hit the ground. “Oh darn it, not again,” Applejack grunted as she fell down onto her side once again.

Sawk stood over Applejack and raised his fist, preparing to finish her off with one last Thunderpunch. “Sawk, Sawk Sawk!” he shouted, punching downward with all his might.

“Ah don’t think so!” Applejack rolled out of the way just in time to avoid the punch.

“Sawk?!?” Sawk’s eyes widened as his fist drove into the ground where Applejack had just been lying. When the dust cleared, Sawk noticed that there was a lasso lying on the ground around his fist. Applejack smirked, having intentionally left her lasso right where she had seen Sawk was about to punch. She quickly grabbed the end of the rope and pulled on it, causing the lasso to tighten around Sawk’s wrist and pull his fist out of the ground.

“Yee-haw!” Applejack cheered as she swung the rope, and Sawk with it, in a large circle around the clearing. She swung the lasso twice more,and then let go of it, sending Sawk hurdling head first into a tree.

“Sawk!” Sawk yelled as he struck the tree. “Sawk… Sawk,” he muttered, trying to get back to his feet. He placed a hand on the trunk of the tree for leverage, and when he got back to his feet he turned around to face Applejack. “Sawk…” was all he could manage, because as soon as he took a step forward he collapsed from exhaustion.

“Alright,” Applejack smiled, placing the Element of Honesty back around her neck, “looks like we have a winner.” She was once again engulfed in a bright light as she returned to her human form. “Now then,” she grabbed a Pokéball, “let’s try this again!” She threw the Pokéball, striking Sawk in the forehead. The ball rose into the air, opened wide, and pulled Sawk in. “Come on, you can do it,” Applejack spoke nervously, remembering what had happened with the first Pokéball. This time, however, the ball stopped moving and released a small shower of sparkles, showing that it had caught Sawk. “YEE-HAW!” Applejack yelled victoriously as she grabbed the Pokéball, “ah got myself my first Pokémon!”

“Come on, Applejack,” Rainbow Dash groaned, holding her stomach and looking impatiently at the forest, “what’s taking you so long?”

“Relax, Rainbow,” Twilight patted her friend on the back, “she’ll be back soon.”

“I sure hope so,” Rainbow sighed, “I’m starving.”

There came a sudden voice from the edge of the forest, “Well, then it sounds like I got here just in time.” Rainbow and the others all turned in surprise to see Applejack approaching them with a hat full of berries.

“Applejack,” Rarity gasped, running up to her friend and staring in horror at the dirt splotches and tears on her attire, “what in the world happened to you?”

“Are you okay, Applejack?” Fluttershy asked.

“Ah’m fine,” Applejack chuckled, “ain’t no need to be worrying about me. Ah just got in a bit of a scuffle with a wild Pokémon.”

Upon hearing this, Rainbow’s interest was suddenly piqued. She rose to her feet and rushed over to Applejack, asking excitedly, “What kind of Pokémon? What did it look like? What kind of moves did it know? You’ve gotta tell me!”

“Rainbow!” Twilight grabbed Rainbow by the ear and pulled her back toward the picnic table, “give Applejack a moment to get settled.”

“Ow, ow! Okay, I’ll give her some space,” Rainbow complained.

“Good,” Twilight released Rainbow’s ear and turned to face Applejack, “now then, once we get lunch started I would love to hear all about this Pokémon you encountered.”

“Aw shucks,” Applejack chuckled, “how about I just show you instead?” She reached down to her belt and took out Sawk’s Pokéball. “Come on out, Sawk!” she called, throwing the ball into the air.

The ball burst open and the light it released materialized into Sawk. “Sawk, Sawk?” he looked around, confused to see so many new humans.

“Oh my,” Rarity started, intrigued by Sawk’s outfit “I had no idea there were Pokémon that wore clothes.”

“This is amazing,” Twilight added, “it looks so much like a human, but it’s definitely a Pokémon. Let’s see what the Pokédex says about it,” she held up her Pokédex and aimed it at Sawk.

The Pokédex announced, “Sawk, the Karate Pokémon. Tying their belts gets them pumped and makes their punches more destructive. Disturbing their training angers them.”

“That explains a lot,” Applejack commented, “when I first found Sawk it was using trees like punching bags. Ah guess I made it mad when I got in the way of training.”

“Sounds to me like Sawk is very dedicated to training,” Twilight smiled, “like Rainbow Dash but without all the naps.”

“Hey! I heard that!” Rainbow yelled from her seat at the picnic table, causing everybody present, including Sawk, to burst out laughing.