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Paralysis

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Pokémon Diamond. My most beloved game ever, the one I had beaten within days of getting it. I was well on my way to catching every Pokémon, only a few left. Whenever I was bored, I'd whip out my old DS and have a wander around with the Poke Radar, looking for the ones that had escaped my attention. It was taking a really long time, but I refused to cheat, and I didn't want to trade for it either. That just left the old fashioned way—good old man power.

It was roughly 1 AM. I have quite severe insomnia, making it impossible for me to sleep some nights. It was times like these that I would play Diamond to tire out my brain, and half the time it managed to induce sleep in me. Maybe it would work tonight.

Yawning softly, I booted up the game and went to try for a hundred straight battles in the Battle Tower. I was at forty-eight, but then lost to the Battle Tycoon. Damn him. I didn't have enough will power to try again, so I decided to instead go looking for Pokémon with the Poke Radar. I had never searched the first route, so I flew over there on my Crobat, making sure to leave three spaces free for any new Pokémon. I set to work.

It wasn't long before I found something. A Nidoran male. I held in a shout of excitement—I loved Nidoran, but didn't think you could get in this game. Without attacking, for I knew it would faint, I went straight to my bag and threw an Ultra Ball. Ultra Balls will always catch a Pokémon lower than level fifteen, I had discovered, and I wasn't proved wrong. Grinning, I named him Caro, after a rabbit I used to own. He was only level two, but I didn't mind; that was what training was for! I immediately took him to the Trophy Garden, my favourite place to train, and gave him the XP share. My Crobat easily defeated every Pokémon I faced, and Caro slowly rose through the levels until he was strong enough to stand on his own four paws. He was at level fifteen, and I knew they evolved at level sixteen into Nidorino, but I never really liked that Pokémon at all. I switched his XP share for an Everstone, and began to train him again. He was a very good battler, and I didn't have to heal him that often.

Soon Caro was level twenty three, and I was on my way out of the Trophy Garden to train somewhere higher
Spr 4d 172

The little bastard.

levelled when I got into another battle. I thought that I might as well use the experience points, and let Caro go up against a Pichu, level seventeen. I thought I'd go first, but I didn't; the Pichu managed to hit me with Thunder Wave. Consequently, Caro was unable to move, which kind of ticked me off - I hated paralysis. 25% chance of not moving, my foot; it seemed my Pokémon were NEVER able to move when they got paralyzed. Because of this, I always carry around loads of Parlyz Heals, one of which I used to heal Caro. I waited for the Pichu to make its move, but it used Thunder Wave again. Okay, no sweat. Another Parlyz Heal. I once again waited for the Pichu's move, and cursed when it yet again used Thunder Wave. I was starting to get really pee'd off now, and as I used yet another Parlyz Heal I decided that if it used it again, I'd just forget the battle and go train somewhere else. The move Pichu used next? Thunder Wave.

Without another thought, I pressed "Flee." Upon returning to the Overworld I used a Parlyz Heal to get rid of Caro's remaining paralysis, and began to walk towards the Mansion. I hadn't gone two steps when I got into another battle. I cringed when I saw it was a Pichu, same level. I pressed "Flee" again. I couldn't be bothered with this paralysis nonsense, and I was wasting my Parlyz Heals which cost hard-earned money. But...

"You can't escape!"

Oh, wonderful, that was. And when the Pichu used Thunder Wave again, that just made everything so much better. I kept using my Parlyz Heals; this Pichu would NOT beat me, no way! I'd fight it until he ran out of PP...!

Or I ran out of Heals. I looked at the empty space forlornly. No Parlyz Heals left. Sighing, I returned to the battle screen, pressing "Flee" without much hope.

"You can't escape!"

I waited for the Pichu's attack, but it only used Thunder Wave again. Jeez, is that all Pichu's learn?! I began to grow uneasy as the same four lines kept flashing up on my screen...

"Caro is paralyzed! It may be unable to move!"

"Caro is paralyzed! It can't move!"

"The wild PICHU used Thunder Wave!"

"Caro is already paralyzed!"

This repetitive dialogue began to fill me with fear. There was no way Thunder Wave had that many Power Points. Holding my breath, I pressed "Flee"...

"You can't escape!"

Oh, yippee. I awaited the Pichu's Thunder Wave...

"The wild PICHU fled!"

Oh, thank the Lord! I breathed a sigh of relief as I finally returned to the Overworld. I walked quickly out through the Mansion, heading towards Veilstone City. For some reason my screen kept glitching, like when your Pokémon is poisoned, but I knew none of my team had a status condition except Caro, and he was paralyzed.

I made my way to the Pokémon Centre, eager to get Caro healed up.

"Hello! Welcome to the Pokémon Centre. We restore your Pokémon to full health. Would you like to rest your Pokémon?"

No. I came here to admire the view.

"Okay, we'll take your Pokémon for a few seconds."

"Oh? Your Caro..."

Huh? This wasn't part of the normal script...

"He has been permanently damaged."

"WHAT?! What do you mean, he's been 'damaged?' Give me some more information, lady!"

"Thank you for waiting. We've restored the rest of your Pokémon to full health."

Yeah, yeah, I bow back to you, and I don't hope to see you again because that means my Pokémon have been hurt. God, what does it take to get good help around here...?

I opened up my party and, to my shock, Caro was still paralyzed. I felt anger fill me. Can't a stupid virtual nurse do her job properly?! Grumbling, I went over the Pokemart and replaced all of my lost Parlyz Heals. I immediately went to use one on Caro.

"It won't have any effect."

What? Do you mean... Did it mean that Caro was paralyzed for life? That I couldn't heal him? I went over to the PC. Placing a Pokémon in the PC got rid of status too. I deposited him, exited, then went back and got him out. He was still paralyzed. I shook my head, refusing to believe it. But I didn't care if he was paralyzed or not, I was going to make Caro a permanent member on my team! I sent him out to get trained again. After all, he could still attack 75% of the time, even if he was a little slower. In fact, I could use it to my advantage. I taught him Façade using a TM, a move which power doubles from seventy to one-hundred-forty if the Pokémon was burnt, poisoned or paralyzed. Also there was the fact that he couldn't be frozen, put to sleep or burnt because he already had a status condition. Oh yes, I could use his disability very well.

I couldn't be bothered with training a paralyzed Pokémon, so I gave him the XP share and took him and five of my usual six to the Elite 4. After many run-throughs, and even more cancelled evolutions later, I got him all the way up to level fifty five. I took him to the Battle Tower and entered him for the double battles with three of my other team members. I put him up front with my Raichu as a partner. Raichu didn't last long—Earth Power from a Golem took him out immediately after he took out the opponent's Gyrados. I waited for Caro to attack.

'Caro is paralyzed! It will never move again!'

What?! Caro... What was wrong with you?! My opponent replaced Gyrados with Hitmonchan. I sent out my Crobat and told it to use Fly, telling Caro to use Horn Attack. However, my opponent's Hitmonchan moved firstwith Bullet Punch on Caro. It hardly took any of his HP though, thank God. Crobat flew up high, avoiding my opponent's Golem's Rock Tomb. Caro was next...

"Caro is paralyzed! It will never move again!"

Caro! Do something, anything! Don't just sit there! Crobat moved first, taking out Hitmonchan with a critical hit. Golem knocked out Crobat too, using Rock Tomb. And Caro's turn...

"Caro is paralyzed! Why won't you understand?"

Wait... It said a different message that time! I had passed it without thinking, meaning I never really grasped what it said. I sent out my final Pokémon, Mr. Mime. My opponent sent out Scyther. Mr. Mime used Grass Knot, getting rid of Golem, whilst Scyther used Fling, which unsurprisingly didn't faint Mr. Mime but burnt him, as the Scyther had been holding a Flame Orb. I already knew the gist of what Caro's turn would give me.

"Caro is paralyzed! But you don't care."

Okay, that was not true! I did care, but what could I do? I couldn't heal him, and I couldn't switch him out either. Scyther used False Swipe at the start of that turn, taking Mr. Mime's health into the low red with a critical hit. And Mr. Mime used Encore. Caro's turn? You know what happened.

"Caro is paralyzed! Someone, please listen!"

Mr. Mime fainted from his burn that turn. That left Caro and the Scyther. The Scyther was of course forced to use False Swipe, which took Caro to 1 HP, but of course no lower.

"Caro is paralyzed! It is in extreme pain!"

The worst thing was, the most I could do was nothing. I had no other Pokémon, the Scyther was stuck on Encore and Caro couldn't attack. I was left watching the same text scrolling...

"The foe's SCYTHER used False Swipe!"

"Caro is paralyzed! It is grimacing and crying..."

"The foe's SCYTHER used False Swipe!"

"Caro is paralyzed! Why are you doing this?"

"The foe's SCYTHER used False Swipe!"

"Caro is paralyzed! Stop this torture!"

"The foe's encore ended!"

Oh, thank God for that! Now I can finally get out of this horrible, torturous loop...

"The foe's SCYTHER used False Swipe!"

"Caro is paralyzed! PLEASE LET ME DIE!"

Why wouldn't it use a different move?! The encore had ended; it was free to do anything... I found myself weeping silently, horrified at what I had done to Caro. Forcing him to battle, when he couldn't do anything... Over and over again, those same two lines, Scyther using false Swipe and Caro begging for death, until...

"The foe's SCYTHER used Mercy Strike!"

"Caro fainted!"

I breathed a sigh of relief as Caro slid off the screen and I returned to the Overworld. Once outside, I went straight to the Pokémon Centre PC and went to Caro. I lingered over "release"... Was it really the right thing to do? How would a paralyzed Nidoran survive in a world all alone? Without a prompt, the screen closed itself and I was greeted with the sight of Caro on my top screen. Well, greeted is hardly the right word. I stifled a scream as I looked upon his mangled form—Continuous yellow flashes came from him, and one of his ears was torn and bloodied.

There were slashes all over his body. One of his eyes was tightly squeezed shut, crimson liquid pouring down from it. He appeared to be trying to speak from his sprite, mouth opening ever so slightly before closing again. Shaking faintly, his ruined eye opened to reveal a gaping hole, deep black and red. Even more of the life giving fluid ran out of the eyeless socket. As I watched, another tremor wracked his body and it sparked faintly.

"I want to die..."

The text that appeared at the bottom of the screen was understandable. I knew I would want to die if I were in that state.

"Kill me..."

"No!" I yelled in horror; how could it ask me to do that?

"Please... I'm suffering..."

I felt tears falling from my eyes as I slowly nodded. But I didn't know how I supposed to fulfil his wish. I wasn't kept waiting long. A Pokémon Battle started. Caro came out on the other side, but I wasn't given the option to send out a Pokémon. Instead it acted like the Safari Game. I was given only one option: "Mercy Killing." Without pause, I clicked it. The screen flashed black, and a sickening snap was heard. I didn't need to look at the screen to know what had happened, but I did anyway. Caro's eye was wide and staring, mouth open in a silent o. His neck was bent at a horrible, unnatural angle. I had broken his neck.

To this day, I have never forgotten Caro, and I still fear battling Pichu. I live in constant terror that I will relive this story, perhaps with one of my more dear friends that I travelled with on my original journey. I tell you all this story so you don't make the same mistake as me—never, ever underestimate the severity of paralysis.

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