Cynth hobbled along the well-tread path that lead up to the frozen lake, Indomitus padding along behind her. On her left foot, a bladed shoo was strapped. On the bottom of her truncated right leg, a wooden peg was fitted uncomfortably snug and tied tightly with cloth to keep it in place. It was nearly unbearable, but she only needed it to remain on for the next few moments, and then she could be rid of it. But she had to do this.
The young woman could feel her heart hammering in her chest. She was suddenly acutely aware that she did not enjoy being in the spotlight and having so many eyes on her. Funny how she was still discovering these sorts of things about herself, nearly a year after having suffered the amnesia.
She was able to take some small comfort in knowing that she wasn't here to win, or to be judged. She was here to prove to herself that she could do it. She recognized her limits, of course. She wasn't graceful or poised with only one foot to move with- and even if she had the foot, she doubted she'd have the ability to pull off a win here. But she- with a little inspiration and a lot of encouragement from her friend Shae- had planned a short and simple performance, and if she could pull it off here, it would be a moment of pride for her. A defining event to illustrate just how far she'd come since her first day in Ashfield, spent crawling around in the mud.
It would definitely be a quick performance, compared to all of the performances she had seen so far. And it was all performed in a very small area, as she truly couldn't get around well on the ice. Even the simple acts that she had planned out were challenging for her, but that was why she was doing it.
Worried that she might abandon her determination to do this if she waited to long, Cynth pushed out onto the ice, wobbling on her single skate, holding out her arm and peg-foot in an effort to keep herself perfectly balanced as she slid across the lake to position herself closer to the "front" of the lake, where the judges were. She heard the clicking of claws on the ice behind her, indicating that Indie was following just behind her. Appreciation and love for the Rockruff blossomed in her chest, and she made a mental note to shower the canine in gratitude when this was over, for doing this with her.
In the meantime, though, they had a show to put on. Cynth did her best to ignore her pounding heart and tried to keep her limbs from quaking as she and Indie took up positions opposite each other in front of the judges' table, about three yards between them. Cynth was centered before the judges as she would not be moving in any way that would really cover distance.
The judges announced Cynth Petalburg and Indomitus the Rockruff, and gave them permission to begin when ready. Cynth took a deep breath and let the quiet settle in around her.
The young woman and her Rockruff stood silent and still, facing one another with a small distance between them, each holding a tall and proud stature. After a long moment, Cynth raised her eyes slightly to meet Indie's. The dog barked once, loud and clear, marking the beginning of their performance.
They each stepped toward each other in quick unison to begin their first combination; then Cynth crouched, putting most of her weight on the peg foot and initiated a spin as if she were a toy top on its pointed end, spinning counterclockwise. Movements synchronized with Cynth, Indie ran in a quick and tight circle in the same direction that Cynth spun. As Cynth's spin brought her back around, she allowed her gloved left hand to drop down to the ice, ceasing her spin and providing her more balance and slight relief from the pain of the peg-foot. Her skate-clad foot continued moving and stretched outward in a slight arc, blade cutting into the ice to cause a small spray of ice to rush over Indie. The Rockruff did similarly, ending her controlled twirl with a Crush Claw to the ice, sending a spray over Cynth. The Rockruff's was much larger and more impressive than Cynth's, given the Pokemon's experience with both her Crush Claw and her Sand Attack moves.
Their second combo began after the ice dust settled back down, and Cynth moved as if to stand up. Indie gave an aggressive bark and charged toward her; Cynth ducked back down, sort of curling into herself, as Indie jumped and sailed over her, snapping her jaws shut in a simulated Bite attack as she reached be peak of her arc. The sound echoed over the otherwise quiet lake as Indie descended and landed on the ice behind Cynth. As Cynth had ducked, she had begun spinning counterclockwise again, much slower than her previous spin. After Indie landed, she began lightly jogging in a circle around Cynth, moving clockwise, the opposite direction. As the canine did so, she began snapping her jaws together in rhythmic Bites, giving their performance a beat. The beat increased gradually at first, then exponentially; as the rhythm of the beat grew faster, both Cynth and Indie increased their speed by the same degrees. After three spins around, Cynth thrust out her peg leg, putting all of her weight on her ice skate while she kept balance with her left hand. This outstretched leg forced Indie to jump at certain intervals over the leg as she continued circling Cynth in their aggressive, predatory act. Indie continued increasing the rhythm of her Bites, managing to jump in small, contained leaps over Cynth's leg as it came around each time, faster and faster. Finally, after three more spins around, Indie stopped dead, ceasing the rhythm of her snapping jaws, facing the judges with both front paws gaining a dark glow. Cynth kept spinning, leg outstretched- as the leg approached Indie, she barked and charged the leg, running up to it and shoving it with both front paws in a dual Sucker Punch. Cynth gasped in pain, a harsh intake of breath through her clenched teeth, but moved with the momentum and allowed the attack to spin her suddenly and rapidly on the toe of her skate in the opposite direction, her peg-foot carving a shallow circle in the ice as it remained outstretched, digging into the ice. As the friction forced her spin to slow, Cynth stretched out the rest of her body in as fluid a motion as she could manage, uncurling from her more defensive position, her back straightening, her head lifting, her severed arm reaching out above her head, though her whole arm stayed tucked for now, providing her balance. She spun once, twice, the momentum slowly leaking from the spin.
Cynth was thoroughly exhausted and worn at this point. Her legs ached and her severed leg with the peg-foot in particular was screaming in pain from the focused and constant pressure on it. She was definitely going to walk away from this with bruises. It took nearly all of her energy and determination to keep her shaking, protesting muscles from causing her to wobble and fall.
The second combination ended and the third began with Cynth suddenly ceasing her slow spin as soon as her body had turned enough that she faced the judges again. Indie had moved behind Cynth to allow the judges to appreciate her spin and dramatic pose. Now, beginning their fast-paced final combo, Indie backed up a few paces and then charged forward and jumped onto Cynth's back; the human was stretched out like a steep ramp, so Indie was able to continue her momentum and run up Cynth. Meanwhile, Cynth was sneaking her hand into her pocket and retrieving the first object required for this finale; as Indie reached her shoulders and then leaped out over her head, Cynth flicked up the flint from her fire starter as subtly as she could; Indie caught it in her jaws with a Thunder Fang, causing a fountain of sparks and embers to erupt from her jaws as she flew through the air towards the judges. As Indie reached her maximum height in the air, Cynth let out a cry and with a flourish she tossed out a luxury ball at the Rockruff's soaring form, holding that pose with now both arms outstretched toward the sky.
Cynth remained unmoving in her dramatic pose as the luxury ball connected with Indomitus, absorbing her in a flash before falling to the ice. The ball shook once, twice, then clicked and fell still.
The performer released the breath she had been holding, allowing her posture to go limp. It was over. She had done it.