Sorry for the long absence; I've had a lot of things to do, a massive amount of writer's block recently (The latest Karistaa Usko chapter's presently in Limbo), and a complete overhaul of my mythos, so I decided to do one more in the general Pokemon universe. As the July contest inspired me a bit to write this chapter, it's a contest entry (or, at the very least, Nowhere and Everywhere is since I'm not certain how long this inspiration will hold).As usual: Pikachu, Pokémon, Mother et al. are the property of Nintendo. The characters are mine, as is the plot.
I Have No Shame and I Must Gasp
I Have No Shame and I Must Gasp
*)August 16, 2009-11:10 KDT(*
I wish I could give you a more sanitized detail of the breeding habits of the storm, but I have reconsidered this. Bowdlerization is an insult to this study, since our job is to study the storm inside and out, so I feel that I should be as explicit as possible - without resorting to pornographic detail, of course. I don't think you'd need to know the exact methodology of reproduction; certainly most of you there have already taken advantage of that methodology, and some of you more than once.
However, I will focus on a sample set of five different couples. With two exceptions, they are heterosexual Pikachu/Pikachu pairs. (One of these exceptions has a Raichu/Pikachu pair, and the other is a homosexual (male) Pikachu/Pikachu pair.) Now, rest assured I did my due diligence, and chose only the five pairs I felt were most relevant. (Eoin had to assist me with the homosexual pairs, as they're not allowed to openly present, and he has access to where they can do so without getting attacked.)
Study 1 is of Babatunji (Pikachu, male, 19 years old) and Raawiya (Pikachu, female, 16 years old). Before we continue, I feel I should explain that in the storm, it is more customary for the sexually-submissive partner to court the sexually-dominant one, under the belief that the dominant partner isn't willing to have sex with a submissive unless the submissive shows why it should be the dominant's partner. Usually, pairs mate for a season; in some circumstances they will opt to form a life bond similar to our conception of marriage.
August 4th, both were in proximity to one another. Raawiya, the submissive partner in the relationship, started by doing a short dance routine, shuffling its feet and jiggling its tail, releasing electricity from it. Two other females also attempted to court Babatunji, approaching and likewise starting to dance. The dance became more energetic, as all three females attempted to prove their prowess not through dance, but through attempting to deliberately sabotage the others' dances, mainly by jolting their rapidly-moving feet and causing them to trip. The first female was eliminated when she got too close to Raawiya and was ground into, electrocuting her and rendering her unconscious. The second bowed out after she saw Raawiya was willing to go to such lengths to have her man. Later discussion with the omulosi revealed that this was a relatively commonplace practice, but that it was illegal because of the risk of permanent nervous system damage.
Upon successful courtship, the two retired to a safe spot, aware I was following. I lost them in the trees.
Study 2 is of Chausiku (Raichu, female, 27 years old) and Linje (Pikachu, male, 13 years old). Chausiku is a widow, her prior mate having died from wounds sustained when defending the storm from Larvitar coming down from Mt. Silver three years ago, and has been seeking a male mate ever since. Linje has little desire to participate in the Ceremony of Ascension (which causes evolution as a byproduct) and intended mainly to "wed up" into a position of power.
As with Study 1, Linje and two other males started to dance before the dominant Chausiku, ignoring Study 3 which took place simultaneous behind her - in fact, she was out of her dwelling specifically because of them, and I was in the right place at the right time. The dancing was quick and furious, and none of the Chu ground into each other. Instead, they used their tails and feet to trip the other dancers, with Linje being successful using his tail.
Normally this would be where the female and male left to copulate in the woods. However, while approaching Chausiku, he muttered "Yes" under his breath, and Chausiku noticed it, snubbing him and going so far as to drive him off with successive Slams. While knowing our language is not unheard of amongst this storm due to the large amounts of human detritus that blows in from Pewter and Viridian Cities, being fluent in the language is a turnoff for any potential mate, as a result of the anti-human paranoia prevalent in the landscape. What happened here is that Linje revealed he knew the human language and was therefore rejected as a suitor for Chausiku.
Study 3 is Tendaji (Pikachu, male, age 12) and Ibrahima (Pikachu, male, age 14). While Studies 1 and 2 have been specifically spur-of-the-moment seasonal matings, Study 3 is more about long-term courtship. Ibrahima is the submissive partner in the relationship and is the biological son of Chausiku, and has been courting Tendaji for the past few years, even going so far as to mutilate his tail to add a notch to it (a means of identifying Pikachu present in Johto and Sinnoh, but not Kanto, where there is no sexual dimorphism.)
Eoin was present over the past few months and gave me details of their relationship and courting, and Chausiku, who is openly supportive of her son, described to me the beginnings of their relationship in 2007.
During an event that takes place during the full moon known as the "Moonlight Meet", all homosexual Pikachu and curious/questioning Pichu and Pikachu meet in a glade, where they are free to pursue whichever relationships they wish with whomever they wish. This is intended primarily to keep the other Pikachu from attacking them while they do so, as homophobia is endemic amongst the Chu here. (Eoin is himself part of the Moonlight Meets, which I only learned after he offered to help me with this field report. Assuming the Moonlight Meets are strictly for homosexuals, this would indicate Eoin is himself gay.)
In late 2007, during the mating season's Moonlight Meet, Ibrahima and two other males attempted to court Tendaji. While none of the sides were successful in disrupting the dance (a somewhat common occurrence), Tendaji was impressed by Ibrahima's resolve and footwork and selected him to mate with, taking Ibrahima's virginity that night. The next meet, Ibrahima again danced before Tendaji - a sign he wished to continue the relationship.
While I have no idea as to how the dancing exactly went, Studies 4 and 5 suggest to me that Tendaji joined him in his dancing. As before, the goal of the dance is to make your opponent stumble. If the dominant partner won, the relationship would end there. If the submissive partner won, the two would begin a more long-term relationship. Ibrahima won by, in his (translated) words, "sweeping his tail short to make Tendaji take a defensive maneuver, falling over when the hit didn't happen."
Every now and again during a prolonged relationship, the pair dances the courtship dance again, but this time neither attempts to sabotage the other, isntead dancing for a full five minutes, to strengthen the relationship. I was invited to watch by Ibrahima; the two danced inside Chausiku's hut with Eoin distracting the Chu in order to keep them away. (Ibrahima and Tendaji refused to do the dance in the Moonlight Meet specifically so I could see it. I'm not allowed into the Moonlight Meet because I am heterosexual.)
The dance to maintain the romance is different from the main courtship dance. Instead of emphasizing the feet, the pair's dance emphasizes the trunk of the body, and includes swaying, gyrating motions, sparks shooting between the cheeks, this one more a gauge of emotion. After five minutes of dancing (during which I witnessed Study 2), Tendaji took Ibrahima in his arms, laid him down on Chausiku's bed, and the two mated before my eyes.
I had expected the two to be in the natural mating position, but instead Ibrahima lay on his back, parting his legs and gripping the ground as Tendaji mounted him, assuming the missionary position. It was at this point I had stopped watching.
Study 4 was of Mshindi (Pikachu, male, 31 years old) and Gimbya (Pikachu, female, 29 years old), a life-bound pair (The day they danced was their 17th anniversary). In this instance, Mshindi was the submissive partner. Gimbya is one of the few mated Pikachu that is fluent in English, and she explained what was going on as it happened.
Every dance move in all three variations of the courtship dance has a meaning, and Mshindi and Gimbya both explained the meanings of each move to me, starting with the initial courtship dance. The fancy footwork is intended to represent the agility of a mate - the faster the potential mate, the more likely his children would be as agile if not moreso. Indeed, sabotaging a dance routine is a challenge to the victim's agility, as all attacks are generally aimed at the legs and feet to make the dancer trip.
The second courtship dance emphasizes both torso and foot movements, and is a challenge to the dominance of the one being courted. Agility and endurance are important here, since the dance does not have a set time limit; it ends only when one party becomes too exhausted to continue or trips. However, the dancing contest occurs only if the dominant partner joins the submissive one in his dancing, indicating a willingness to continue the relationship. If he shows no interest, the dancer stops after one minute. While nothing keeps a losing submissive partner from continuing to try the second courtship dance, he will need to once more do the first courtship dance and mate with the partner again before another try at the second dance is attempted.
The third courtship dance emphasizes the torso and is more about unity. Each movement by the dominant partner is mirrored by the submissive, indicating they are of one thought and are one. This one I was allowed to see. This mating dance was far more complex than Tendaji's and Ibrahima's, but the two matched each other's moves without so much as an eighth of a beat being skipped, perfect mirror images of one another.
This brings me to my fifth couple, not life-bound but regular mates. The submissive partner is Nyframahoro (Pikachu, female, 9 years old); the dominant partner is Chibale (Pikachu, male, 13 years old). As we all know, Pikachu are sexually mature once they evolve from Pichu.
While Chibale has consistently defeated Nyframahoro in each of the last three dances to continue the relationship, Nyframahoro is very persistent - so much so that only one other female dared to dance alongside her. (To add insult to injury, a questioning Pichu also danced alongside Nyframahoro; he was quickly eliminated when the latter knocked him over with her tail.) As with the three years previous, Nyframahoro won the dance and Chibale and she mated. Three days later, she danced again before Chibale, whom, with a resigned look on his face, danced with her.
Nyframahoro was very agile as a dancer, but Chibale was more cunning. I watched as the dance continued; she opened by swinging her tail at his legs; he jumped over and landed with his right foot on it, then pirouetted, tail extended; Nyframahoro dodged, but due to her tail being pinned couldn't capitalize. She was nothing if not persistent, and swung at Chibale's torso; he flipped over and danced on his hands for a few seconds, approaching her and flipping back over, catching her on the chin and making her lose balance, falling on her backside. Chibale then chased the failed suitor away.
As I stated before, a failed relationship dance kills all possibility of a long-term relationship until the submissive partner wins. The submissive partner is free to try again after (s)he and his/her target have successfully bred.
This concludes my report for this week. I will report in next week with something a little easier to digest.
Lori TannerChapter End Notes:I am well aware there's not a lot of story in this one. However, I wasn't too pleased with myself that Lori's reports were little more than 10-o'clock news soundbites, so I decided I would dedicate a chapter to a more full-winded report. Depending on how it's received I may do more