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Darkfish17
August 12th, 2009, 08:24 AM
A Wrong Turn


Chapter One: Bad Memories.

The sun overhead was shining lazily through the scattered clouds over a worn dusty path where a lone figure walked. He had nowhere in particular to be, nor was anyone perusing him, yet Milo Tern walked at a bisque pace. The puffy white clouds slid by causing the solitary figure to be plunged into shadow and then, within moments, have the cheery sunlight gaze down upon him once more.


Milo liked to walk with a purposeful stride. He believed that it made him look important, confidant, like he was a person who had somewhere to be, like he was a person that was made to be looked at. Not that he needed any help in that department, for Milo's masculine looks came in at a very young age, younger than any of his friends. By the age of nine Milo had lost his tummy that all little boys seem to have and soon his midsection had developed into firm muscle. By the time he was ten, Milo had started shaving and was getting more attention for his strong chin and broadening shoulders than anyone.


Milo was a nice guy, easy to get along with, and so that matched with his good looks, he soon became the most popular kid in school and a favorite to all the girls, even if most of them were too shy to even talk to him.


The dusty road wound its way slowly up a large hill covered in green grass and wildflowers, and when Milo reached the top he saw the short rooftops of Cherrygrove City, his home town, though he would never think to call it a city. Cherrygrove had no Gym or Contest Hall but it did house a small Mart, a few blocks of quaint, family houses, a school, and a Pokémon center. With hardly anything to do and not caring much to go to school on nice days like these, Milo, found himself going on these kinds of walks frequently.


Cherrygrove wasn't the kind of place anybody would visit, it was just a small town with a population of barely twelve thousand where you either went to settle down and get a home to raise your family, or to pass through without giving a second thought. In a way, Milo found that better than living in the big city, he liked to watch people come and go, usually traveling from New Bark Town on their way to Violet City, and listen to the adventures they were off to have.


Milo walked down the hill following the dirt path which led to a grove that separated the town from the wilderness. The shade under the dense foliage was pleasant on this warm Spring afternoon. As he passed through the small excerpt of forest, the young man noticed Rattata run off to hide from the intruder and Metapod withdraw themselves farther up amongst the brambles suspending themselves by shiny silver thread that seemed to reflect whatever light that had managed to penetrate the ceiling of green.


After passing through the serene darkness of the grove, it was a bit like a slap in the face when Milo stepped back out into the harsh sunlight and onto the sidewalk.


Growing up, Milo had always expressed great interest in becoming a Pokémon trainer, and so it was a shock to everyone when on his tenth birthday, Milo had returned from New Bark Town with no Pokémon companion, and saying that he had decided that he no longer wished to become a trainer. His father who was raising Milo by himself had to of course ask, why he had changed his mind, but, like when all of his friends and teachers asked the same thing, Milo refused to tell.


As he weaved his way through the streets of Cherrygrove, Milo thought about the events that occurred that day six years ago when he had gone to receive his first Pokémon, the events that only he would ever know about.


It had been a day not unlike this one, sunny, warm, he might have even gone as far as to say whimsical. He remembered that as he followed the main road towards the rising sun thinking to himself and deciding which new companion he should get. I should ask for Chickorita, dad said she was always mom's favorite. Or maybe Totodile. No! Cyndaquil! Hmm, I guess I'll just have to decide when I get there.


Milo had difficulty not running the whole way to New Bark Town out of excitement. Still, he couldn't be helped to not take a few shortcuts along the way, veering from the road time and again to speed over a hill or through a brush that the road simply wound around. He had been to New Bark Town several times before to visit his grandparents and was no stranger to the route, though he was still ever cautious of wild Pokémon.


He had been told time and again of the dangers of wild Pokémon if one is not protected. When Milo was just a baby, his mother and father had gone on a vacation up in the north and left him with his grandparents. Milo had been too young to remember the day when only his father returned, but as he grew up he had heard the story of what happened to the late Mrs. Tern through bits of conversations that seemed to stop short whenever he entered the room and overheard telephone calls.


It was a tragic tale, as Milo had pieced together, about a stampede of wild Donphan that had overtaken his parents jeep. They had both run for cover after one of the creatures had rammed into the vehicle turning it onto its side. His father had sought shelter behind a large boulder and thought that his wife had done the same, but looking back he saw her sprinting back towards the now terribly dented jeep, like she had forgotten something inside.


He had tried to shout to her to go and find cover but it was too late as upon reaching the car, another Donphan had collided with its undercarriage turning the jeep fully upside down and on top of Mrs. Tern. The mad stampede of hundreds of Pokémon continued, preventing Mr. Tern from reaching his wife, and also kicking up a large cloud of sand enveloping the scene.


Once the dust settled, Milo's parents jeep was just a mess of twisted metal fifty meters away and the body of his mother was never found. Nonetheless, this never stopped Mr. Tern from talking about his beloved late wife for hours on end whenever Milo asked, as long as it wasn't about how she had passed, and eventually he learned so much about his mother from the stories his dad would tell him, it felt to Milo as if he had known her for years.


However, horrific stories and their morals of caution can easily be forgotten in the heat of excitement of going to receive your first Pokémon, but it was not a wild Pokémon that had attacked Milo that summer's morning, it was something much more dangerous.


Ten year-old Milo approached a bend in the road that would take him around a large stretch of woods and then to New Bark Town, but, being this way countless times before, he knew that to simply go through the forest would cut his travel time in half. So just like countless times before, Milo stepped off of the path and into the dense foliage of gnarled roots, towering trunks, and green shrubbery.


He had always possessed an excellent sense of direction, even when he was young, so as Milo pushed his way through the brambles and boughs he did not loose sight of where he was or where he was going. When he had gone a ways into the brush and must have been about half way through, Milo found himself stumbling out of the trees and squinting in the sudden brightness of the sunlight.


When Milo's eyes finally adjusted he saw that he had come across a small oval-shaped clearing, barely fifty meters around. The sweet perfume he smelled hanging lazily in the air was coming from the multitude of tiny pink flowers that littered the ground.


Milo inhaled the sweet scent deeply and a wash of calm swept over him almost completely extinguishing the excitement that had been coursing through him all morning. He bent down and sat on the green-pink carpet to take a short rest and to watch the clouds roll by overhead before continuing on his trek to New Bark Town.


He sat in the clearing enjoying the rest he had allowed himself for only a short while before he noticed that there was something a bit off about the grove. Milo couldn't hear a single twitter or scurry of any Pokémon nearby. It was an eerie, heavy silence that caused Milo to rethink his choice of staying too long.


The young boy climbed to his feet about to continue into the foliage when, before Milo could tell what was happening, a shout came from the dark trees, “Tangela, now! Constrict”! From Milo's left came out of the woods a dozen deep turquoise vines that wrapped around his legs and arms binding them close to his body.


Loosing his balance, Milo fell heavily onto his front knocking the wind from his lungs. His vision blurred for a moment as he struggled to start breathing again, made only more difficult by the vines wrapped tightly around his chest.


Being a fairly well-liked kid, usually surrounded by his friends, this was the first time Milo had experienced any sort of bullying. This unpreparedness caused him more shock than Milo would have otherwise experienced.


When his vision cleared, Milo could only see the grass and flowers swaying lazily around his head until a sharp jab in his shoulder forced him onto his side. Now Milo could see that there were three figures standing over him, two men, Milo guessed in their early twenties, and the short blue-green Pokémon that was still constricting his limbs.


The man that had turned Milo over with his boot was dressed in an all-black jumpsuit that had a large orange “R” emblazoned on the chest, with knee-high gray boots and matching gray gloves and belt. He also wore a black cap over his full head of short, curly, blond hair. The second man who was dressed similarly but with straight, brown hair was bending over Milo who could feel the man frisking at his belt and rummaging through his pockets.


Coming up clean, the man with brown hair said to the other, “He's got nothin' on 'im”.


“What do you mean nothing,” said the one with blond hair who was sneering down at Milo just a moment ago but now was furrowing his brows in frustration.


He then got down on his hands and knees so that his face was inches from Milo's. “Listen kid,” he said in a low but malicious tone, “where are your Pokémon?”


Being too scared to speak until now, Milo recovered his voice and shouted, “I don't have any!”


His face now contorted with rage, the blond man got back to his feet and delivered another kick to Milo's shoulder. “This was a waste of time, let's get out of here. And make sure the kid doesn't follow us.”


“Right, Tangela, stun spore,” the brown-haired man commanded before following his comrade back into the trees.


The vines binding Milo's arms and legs started to loosen but only when a shimmering gold dust came drifting down through the air. Wherever the powder settled on his skin he felt a tingling sensation followed by a stab of pain settling into numbness. Milo tried not to breathe in the spores, but when he could hold his breath no longer, unwillingly sucked in the damaging powder.


It felt as though his insides were ripping apart, but when Milo tried to writhe in excruciating pain he found that he couldn't move any part of his body. At that point he saw the dust stop spouting from the Tangela's crown and it too scurried off after its master leaving Milo all alone in the clearing.


Eventually the sweet perfume returned to the air when the dust settled and their special calming affect kept the young boy from panicking as he lay motionless on the ground for hours.


The sun arched through the sky and was on its downward decent when the feeling started to return to Milo's extremities, by which point he could hear the ruffling and chirping that indicated that the wild Pokémon had noticed that the threat was gone, and returned to the forest.


While he lay amongst the flowers and grass Milo had done a lot of thinking. He knew that the reason he had been attacked was because those men were after his Pokémon, and if he'd had any they would have taken them anyway. Maybe it was best that he not have Pokémon, not if they would only be taken by Team Rocket. Once Milo was strong enough to walk again, instead of completing his journey to New Bark Town he headed back home. He decided that it would be best to protect his Pokémon by not having any at all.


This first run in with danger caused Milo quite a bit of stress, and from which point on Milo had lost some of his confidence, not to say that he had become timid, but began more to enjoy the time he spent away from his friends to be contemplative and serene. Still though, the attack had left Milo feeling weak and vulnerable, but not wanting to show it, he decided to not speak of what had happened that day to anyone.


It was already twilight when Milo finally returned to Cherrygrove. Walking into town he was still scared and a little bit shaken, but he knew that he couldn't show that he was weak or people would start to think little of him. It was confidant Milo that had gotten all of his friends and status at school and it would be confidant Milo that kept them. And so he straightened his shoulders, put on a hard face, and walked the rest of the way home with the same purposeful stride he always had.


Now in the present day, sixteen-year-old Milo had turned down his street and was already walking up the drive to his home. Milo could tell his dad was inside by the way the front door was wide open and the only defense the house had from intruders was the rickety white screen door.


Milo pushed the screen open and stepped inside to be immediately greeted by a large four-legged creature that came lumbering towards him at top speed. The Pokémon rammed into Milo's legs, almost throwing him off balance, and immediately dropped to the floor and rolled onto its back.


“Hey girl, how's it goin',” Milo asked as he reached down to rub its deep purple-colored belly. His father's Granbull replied with an affectionate growl. “Dad, I'm home,” Milo called out as he started towards the staircase beside the ajar kitchen door.


“Hey bud, how was school,” came the reply from the kitchen.


“You know, same old. That Chris Hobbs is still on my case since the-”


“That was a trick question,” his father cut him off stepping out of the kitchen with a mixing bowl and dishcloth in his hands and blocking his son from going up the staircase. “I know you didn't go to school today, they called me. So where were you really today? And don't try lying, 'cause I'll know.”


Milo was often told as he grew up how much he looked like his father. He never personally saw the resemblance outside of the two of them sharing the same wavy brown hair, even if his father's was edging back on his scalp a bit.


Milo was caught off guard by this question. He could have sworn that he'd dropped off a doctors note that morning... unless that was yesterday. “I... I was in New Bark,” Milo quickly lied. He had actually been north of Cherrygrove, simply walking about to enjoy the scenery of the fresh cherry blossoms.


“New Bark Town? What on Earth were you doing there?”

“Well, I wanted to see if they had any new Pokémon at the lab,” he perpetuated the fallacy.

Now it was his father's turn to be thrown off balance as Milo could see from the blank expression he was being given. Finally getting his bearings his father asked, “Does this mean... does it mean that you're rethinking Pokémon training?” He had stopped drying the bowl in his hands and was waiting very anxiously for the answer.

“Well, I mean I've thought about it.” This was true, Milo had been thinking of getting a Pokémon, but more for a pet than to train. And since Team Rocket activity had really quieted down on the news since all the slowpoke had returned to Azalea Town, he really had nothing to worry about. “It's been six years since... since I gave it up, and I think I'm ready now.”

His father looked like he wanted to drop the mixing bowl and give his son a big hug but instead settled on asking him, “So what did they say at the lab? Do they have any?”

“They said to come back tomorrow,” Milo lied again also ensuring him another day off of school.

“Oh, alright. I'll call the school and tell them you won't be there tomorrow. Also,” his father said walking back into the kitchen, “I'll call Gran and Papa and tell them you'll be in town. Maybe you could check up on 'em, have a visit?”

Great, thought Milo as he started ascending the stairs, now I actually have to go. “Sure thing, dad.”

When he got to his room, Milo sat on his bed across from his dresser and thought about what had just happened. He flopped onto his back and lay there for a while thinking about what he'd have to do tomorrow and hoped that, with any luck, there wouldn't be enough at the lab for him. He did want a Pokémon, just, maybe not yet.

After a while when supper was ready, Milo went downstairs where he found his father in a particularly good mood. Over dinner he had asked Milo a million questions including what had persuaded him to reconsider being a trainer and what type of Pokémon Milo wanted to get seeming to have completely forgotten that his son had skipped school. He then went on to try to persuade Milo to ask for a Normal type like he had until Milo had cleared his plate and retired back upstairs.

He played on his computer for a while before deciding to go to bed early. After all, Milo thought as he climbed under the covers and flicked his desk lamp out, I do have a big day tomorrow. He then groaned contemptuously, rolled over, and eventually fell into an uneasy sleep filled with blond men in black suits capturing him in Pokéballs.

Dagzar
August 12th, 2009, 07:18 PM
Okay, let’s see what we have here. :)

Firstly, I see a lot of grammar errors, mostly ones involving the comma. In the first paragraph, for instance:

The sun overhead was shining lazily through the scattered clouds- Eh, not really an error, but I fail to see how the sun can shine ‘lazily’.

-nor was anyone perusing him, yet Milo Tern- A comma is needed between ‘him’ and ‘yet’.

-and then, within moments, have the cheery sunlight gaze down upon him once more. Another comma should be between ‘moments’ and ‘have’.

Anyways, I’m too lazy to go through the rest of the story with a comb, but I suggest you get a beta to fix the mistakes you miss. They’re really useful in that regard and will help you improve the story overall.

-it was just a small town with a population of barely twelve thousand- Not an error as far as I know (I don’t know much about this type of stuff), but this part just threw me. In the previous paragraph you said that Cherrygrove only had a few blocks and one Mart, but twelve thousand is a lot of people if you think about it.

He had tried to shout to her to go and find cover but it was too late as upon reaching the car, another donphan had collided with its undercarriage turning it fully upside down and on top of Mrs. Tern.

Once the dust settled, Milo's parents jeep was fifty meters away and the body of his mother was never found. This passage doesn’t make much sense to me. From what I understand, a Donphan pushed the jeep on top of Mrs. Tern… and then the car is suddenly fifty meters away. Not only that, but if the car was thrown, or something, that far away, Mrs. Tern wouldn’t have been thrown with it, but instead released from her imprisonment. I dunno, maybe I’m just not getting something.

It was already twilight when Milo finally returned home, without a Pokémon. While he lay amongst the flowers and grass Milo had done a lot of thinking. He knew that the reason he had been attacked was because those men were after his Pokémon, and if he'd had any they would have taken them anyway. Maybe it was best that he not have any Pokémon. So once Milo was strong enough to walk again, instead of completing his journey to New Bark Town he headed back home. After all, he didn't want to be attacked again, so he decided not to receive a Pokémon companion, at least not yet. I don’t really get Milo’s logic here. He decides that he doesn’t want any Pokemon because he doesn’t want to be attacked, but the problem is that the Team Rocket grunts only attacked him because they thought he had Pokemon. I don’t see how not having any Pokemon is going to stop him from getting attacked if people are just going to assume he has some.

Okay, weak points aside, I like where this is going. Your description is pretty good and I could really see Milo’s surroundings. Heh, looks like Milo is finally going to get his first Pokemon and I’m really curious to see what it’s going to be. Is it going to be a starter or something different?

I don’t have many predictions since this is only the first chapter, but I’m already wondering: is the mother still alive and going to pop up later in the story? Because whenever I read that ‘the body was never found’, the first thought that pops into my mind is: “They’re still alive! They’re still alive!”

… I dunno if it’s true here or not, but it definitely has me thinking.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll be looking forward to your second chapter! Consider me a reader. ;)

fordjon88
August 12th, 2009, 09:15 PM
It has a bunch of potenital, and I do hope you continue this, but I've seen some Fics with grand potential die hard. So it's not the potential, it's what you do with it that matters

Feign
August 12th, 2009, 09:53 PM
He believed that it made him look important, like he was a person who had somewhere to be, like he was a person that was made to be looked at. Not that he needed any help in that department, for Milo's masculine looks came in at a very young age, younger than any of his friends. By the age of nine Milo had lost his tummy that all little boys seem to have and soon his midsection had developed into firm muscle. By the time he was ten, Milo had started shaving and was getting more attention for his strong chin and broadening shoulders than anyone.

Milo was a nice guy, easy to get along with, and so that matched with his good looks, he soon became the most popular kid in school and a favorite to all the girls, even if most of them were too shy to even talk to him.

With hardly anything to do Milo, found himself going on these kinds of walks frequently.

he liked to watch people come and go, usually traveling from New Bark Town on their way to Violet City, and listen to the adventures they were off to have.

Growing up, Milo had always expressed great interest in becoming a Pokémon trainer,

Milo refused to tell.

the events that only he would ever know about.

Hmm, I guess I'll just have to decide when I get there.

though he was still ever cautious of wild Pokémon.

It was a tragic tale, as Milo had pieced together

it felt to Milo as if he had known her for years.

simply go through the forest would cut his travel time in half. So just like countless times before,

He had always possessed an excellent sense of direction, even when he was young, so as Milo pushed his way through the brambles and boughs he did not loose sight of where he was or where he was going. When he had gone a ways into the brush and must have been about half way through, Milo found himself stumbling out of the trees and squinting in the sudden brightness of the sunlight.

extinguishing the excitement that had been coursing through him all morning.

It was an eerie, heavy silence that caused Milo to rethink his choice of staying too long.


Being too scared to speak until now, Milo recovered his voice and shouted,

kept the young boy from panicking as he lay motionless on the ground for hours.

Maybe it was best that he not have any Pokémon. So once Milo was strong enough to walk again, instead of completing his journey to New Bark Town he headed back home. After all, he didn't want to be attacked again, so he decided not to receive a Pokémon companion, at least not yet.

“You know, same old. That Chris Hobbs is still on my case sine the-”

. “I know you didn't go to school today, they called me. So where were you really today? And don't try lying, 'cause I'll know.”

Milo was often told as he grew up how much he looked like his father.

Milo quickly lied.

“Well, I mean I've thought about it.” This was true, Milo had been thinking of getting a Pokémon, but more for a pet than to train. “It's been six years since... since I gave it up, and I think I'm ready now.”

His father looked like he wanted to drop the mixing bowl and give his son a big hug but instead settled on asking him, “So what did they say at the lab? Do they have any?”

He did want a Pokémon, just, maybe not yet.

After a while when supper was ready, Milo went downstairs where he found his father in a particularly good mood.

I do have a big day tomorrow. He then groaned contemptuously, rolled over, and eventually fell into an uneasy sleep filled with blond men in black suits capturing him in Pokéballs.

Okay, so I'll try and help to focus on character here.

The above quotes are ones I have isolated that concerns Milo's character.

While some of it I find realistic and congruent there are some discrepancies that could use a little work.

You describe him as having already basically going through puberty including muscles. Sometimes this can be interpreted as confidence, especially when you join it together with him being the social cool guy at school.

Further on, it is mentioned that he likes to go on walks often. It would seem he likes to be alone at times, yet I expect him to be with friends. However it can still be left the same, after all, he can be considered very contemplative and analytical (as shown later, and mentioned further on). Otherwise he does sound very much like a people person.

Really wants to be a pokemon trainer, okay that's no problem. As we go on, we find out he refuses to tell as to why he changed his mind though. This I find is the hardest "conversion" in character. However, it doesn't mean that it has to be changed, but rather, I believe better explained. Up to this point, it sounds as though Milo hasn't ever been approached by bullies of any sort, so unpreparedness makes sense. I think perhaps if you conveyed to the reader more, that he is willing to protect the pokemon, by not having one, then it could work. Of course however, he could still feel guilt as there are countless other pokemon around.

Another big change too is as to why he decided not to tell anyone about his story. Like the above, I don't believe this was conveyed to the reader as easily. But there is a way to fix that. Like I said before, he was a popular kid who hadn't been bullied or something in the past. And this attack has left him weak and vulnerable. If you convey that to the reader, then we can understand what Milo is going through. Currently, to me, it seems as though Milo is defending Team Rocket more than feeling ashamed and powerless. Thus as the story goes on (of the next 6 years) we can see a definate deteriation in Milo, like you have written otherwise.

Overall I think it can work, and otherwise it has been a great read. Thanks ;)

EDIT: The reason I point this out too, is not only because of realism (as much as an extent as possible), but also for story continuity. With a transition as you have already laid out, it can be hard to convey a character going from all happy and otherwise socially confident to a liar and a loner.

Darkfish17
August 12th, 2009, 10:12 PM
Thanks everyone for your criticism and support. I know there are a lot of mistakes to deal with (mostly since I wrote it at practically 1:00 in the morning) but I'll definitely try to iron out all the kinks before posting the next chapter.

Darkfish17
July 21st, 2010, 09:32 PM
Chapter Two: The Lab and the Pokémon


George and Cassidy zoomed around another corner in the road heading towards Cherrygrove in their small rental car, top down, wind rushing through their hair, and sunlight shining red and gold on the horizon. They had been driving ever since they had left Viridian City that same morning.


Cassidy leaned over and gave George, who was driving, an affectionate kiss on the lips. She then whispered into his ear, “I love you, sweetie.”


George tore his eyes from the road long enough to return the kiss. The young couple were on their way up to Olivine City, which would be the last stop on their honeymoon, where they would then take the boat back to the Hoen region.


“They say,” George commented to his new wife, “that the lighthouse in Olivine is so bright that you can see it from practically any place in Johto.”


“I can't wait to see it up close with you,” she replied. “It's too bad we won't get to see the Sprout Tower though.”


“I know honey, but if we're going to make it back in time, we needed to cut out a few sights.”


Cassidy pouted and looked out her window. “Yeah, I know. Your boss is such a hard-ass that he won't let you take a couple of extra days off for your own honeymoon.”


George reached over and put a hand on his wife's thigh turning her attention back to him. “Listen,” he began seriously, “it doesn't matter to me where in the world we go, or don't go, as long as I've got you there with me, I'll always be happy.”


Cassidy let out a squeal of pure bliss upon hearing such syrupy romanticism, and leaned in to kiss her husband on the ear while throwing her arms around his neck.


The two continued on like this down the road for a while until a droning noise filled the air. At first the couple didn't notice, until the sound elevated into a loud hum. George reached out to fiddle with the radio, but then saw the real source of the buzzing in the rear-view mirror.


Behind the car, and gaining quickly was a massive swarm of Beedrill. Following her husband's gaze, Cassidy let out a scream of terror. George pushed the accelerator to the floor, but to no avail as the giant bugs quickly overtook them.


The Beedrill had enshrouded the vehicle and, within moments, had gotten up underneath it and began to carry it off the road and towards the forest off to the left of the road, passengers still inside.


Cassidy was screaming madly as they flew over the treetops. She fought to bat away the multitude of wings and stingers before she could reach down to her belt and throw an apple-sized red and silver ball at her attackers screaming, “Help! Please!”


Unfortunately, the Pokéball didn't open until it fell down to the topmost branches, releasing the small blue creature held inside with a flash of white light to fall the rest of the way to the ground, where it watched its trainer fly off in a cloud of yellow and black.


* * *


Milo kept to the far right of the road as two bicycles passed him from behind in the direction of New Bark Town. They zoomed off around a corner and Milo looked up to the dark gray sky swirling overhead, threatening to rain.


Today was not nearly as nice as the one before. The overcast of storm clouds muddied and darkened the otherwise vibrant colors of the cherry blossoms that dotted the side of the road. The air too was thick with humidity that made it feel much more heavy, but without cooling the sweltering atmosphere.


Milo had left Cherrygrove early, as his father was only too eager to usher him out the door. Now it was almost noon and New Bark was only about ten minutes of walking away.


He rounded a familiar corner with thick trees to his right side and rolling green hills to his left. A distant rumble of thunder prompted him to pick up the pace, however a loud rustling in the underbrush immediately to his right caused him to stop in mid stride. For a brief moment Milo simply stood there on the side of the road, waiting for the sound to come again, but wishing that it wouldn't.


Again, the rustling came, except closer to the road this time. Before Milo could take a hurried step back, a blue and yellow blur streaked out from underneath a large fern growing close to the pavement.


In the space of a second, the creature had already zoomed around Milo's legs and darted back into the foliage leaving a sweet, nectary scent in its wake. As the leaves of the bush that the creature had dashed behind quieted once more, Milo was about to make a run for it, but his anxiety was immediately sapped from his body when he inhaled the perfume still hanging lazily in the air.


Realizing that all of his muscles were tensed, Milo relaxed his shoulders and inhaled another deep breath. The intoxicating aroma made him think of the tiny pink flowers that were known to grow in the forested areas around Cherrygrove, since they had the same effect.


As the sweet smell started to dilute through the air, Milo actually found himself taking a step towards the trees now in front of him. Catching the scent once more, he took another step, and another, and again until he was eventually enshrouded by trees and the dark green shadows were pressing in all around him.


Milo followed the perfume through the brush, no longer fearful of whatever small creature may be lurking within, all thanks to the scent's calming effect.


He continued past trees drenched in thick moss until a glare near his feet caught Milo's attention. He bent down and retrieved the glimmering object to find that it was a shiny red and silver ball about the size of his big toe with a silver button in the middle. When Milo pushed the button, the Pokéball grew to fit his palm, but when he opened it, it was empty.


“That's really weird,” Milo thought out loud. “Who would leave a new Pokéball lying out in the woods?” He glanced around nervously as if looking to find the owner, then slipped it into his pocket.


Remembering what he had been doing before wandering out into the woods, Milo turned around and started heading back towards the road. He only made it a few feet however, when he walked into a particularly thick cloud of sweet, nectary air.


That's when Milo saw it. Half concealed behind a tree nearby was a small creature with a round, blue body and four spindly legs extending out of it at all sides. On the top of its head it looked like it was wearing a yellow cap with a single antenna sticking straight up, covered in a sticky liquid that seemed to ooze out of the tip.


Sensing it was being watched, the Pokémon turned to face Milo who could now see its two large black eyes with half-moon red spots hanging just underneath. Not seeming frighted at all by the person standing only a few feet away, it skirted a few steps closer to Milo.


He was used to being around people's Pokémon and had seen his fair share, but this little bug-like thing in front of him was completely unfamiliar to Milo.


It didn't scurry off into the bushes or trees when he came near, which made Milo think that it was used to being around humans. Then he remembered the ball in his pants pocket. Without having to think about it, Milo took out the Pokéball and held it in front of him, pointed towards the small, blue bug.


Just as he had suspected, a bright red beam poured out from the ball drawing the little Pokémon inside. It appeared to Milo as if somebody had just abandoned their Pokémon in the forest. Or lost it. Either way, Milo now had more reason than ever to get to Professor Elm's lab in New Bark, he'd know what to do with it.


By the time Milo had reached New Bark Town the rain had started to fall in large drops that soaked right through Milo's t-shirt and jeans in seconds. It wasn't a cold rain, but still he wanted to be out of the downpour as soon as possible.


As soon as Milo walked into town, the large, gray building with fluorescent light shining out from the high windows that was obviously the lab came into view. He began to run towards the building, his shoes squishing as they filled with water with every step; and before long, Milo was stumbling in through the lab's glass doors and out of the rain.


Once inside, Milo stopped to catch his breath and take in the sight. The lab was much bigger than it looked from the outside. All around on the walls, computers and machines with various dials and blinking lights were stacked up to the ceiling. Men and women in white coats were ambling around with clipboards or Pokéballs, not paying any notice to the dripping, young man that had just burst through the doors.


Milo continued inside leaving a trail of wet footprints as he went until he reached a door frame on the far side of the room. He stepped through the arch and into a room even bigger than the first, and it was clear that this larger room was where the majority of the experiments were held. Off to the left side of the room there were two enormous treadmills parallel to each other, one with a Doduo running on it, and the other with a Tauros. To the right, Milo could see the entire wall was stacked with shelves of different sized and colored eggs under incubation lights. In the middle of the room was a glass case, under which were two Poéballs and an empty slot where it looked like another ball belonged.


Behind the case at the far wall with his back turned was a slim man with short brown hair and a white jacket. Milo had seen him before on television and on the covers of books, it was Professor Elm.


As Milo drew nearer, he saw that the professor was talking to a young man holding a Pokéball, probably the third from underneath the glass case.


Once Professor Elm noticed Milo walking up behind him, Elm cut off his sentence and turned towards the soaking wet boy. “Another visitor? It looks like you weren't lucky enough to have missed the rain. My name's Professor Elm, what can I do for you today? Looking for a Pokémon?”


Milo shook Elm's hand and said, “HI, it's nice to finally meet you. My name's Milo and I am here for a Pokémon if there are any left-”


Professor Elm looked as if he was about to cut in and lead Milo to the case in the middle of the room, but before he could say anything, Milo continued, “-but I think I have something that you should see first.”


For a second the professor was quiet, then, looking intrigued, gestured towards a white table up against the far wall with a blinking computer screen on top while pushing his glasses up on his pointed nose, and said, “Well all right then, what is it you'd like to show me?”


Milo was about to follow Elm over to the table, but then noticed the boy that the professor was talking to when Milo showed up was still standing there.


“Oh, don't worry,” Professor Elm said once he saw what Milo was looking at, “you weren't interrupting much. Ethan here is a trainer from the Isshu region, I was just getting him set up with a starter Pokémon before he goes to tackle the Johto League Challenge. All we have left is to update his Pokédex, I'm sure you don't mind waiting a few minutes so I can do both of them together, right?”


“Of course not Professor.” His voice was deeper than Milo would have suspected, but it seemed to suit him.


The two boys went over to the table next to the professor and Milo drew the Pokéball from his pocket. "I found this in the woods near town and I was wondering if you knew what it was. It's a Pokémon species that I've never seen before." He enlarged the ball and opened it allowing the blue Pokémon to come out with a flash of white light.


The creature skirted around the table for a second but came to rest when it noticed all of the unfamiliar faces observing it. Then the same sweet liquid as before began to ooze from its tip.


Milo knew that the professor would know this Pokémon, but he was surprised when the other boy, Ethan, that spoke first.


"That's a Surskit," he stated matter-o-factly. "We have tons of those where I come from, but I'm pretty sure it's native to Hoen, right Professor?"


"That's right," Professor Elm verified, "and right now I believe it's using the move sweet scent. Frankly I'm surprised that you found a Surskit around these parts, that's very uncommon. Congratulations on making the catch."


Milo was about to comment on how he didn't actually catch the Pokémon but rather found it with the Pokéball, but something in his subconscious made him hold his tongue. He and Ethan followed the Professor back to the desk where Milo had found them and Elm pulled out what looked like two red mini computers. Each boy took one and Professor Elm began to explain.


"These are the latest issue Pokédex's. They have much more detailed information about all Pokémon including a new, better move radar which now not only reads to you which moves your Pokémon know, but also moves it could potentially know."


Ethan opened his Pokédex and started flipping through the different menus shown on the little screen. "How're the technical machine rods on these new ones?"


"Much better," the Professor replied, "far fewer glitches in the software than the last model."


Before Milo could ask what technical machine rods were, he felt Surskit, still out of its Pokéball, rubbing against his leg. Milo returned the Pokémon to its ball and held it in front of the lens on the back of his new Pokédex. He flipped it open to see that the Surskit page was already up. As he read through all the information on the bug Pokémon Milo had an idea.


"My grandparents are waiting for me so I'd better get going," Milo announced to the other two as he began to back out of the room.


"I thought you came for one of my Pokémon, aren't you going to take one?" Professor Elm looked confused at Milo's sudden urgency to leave, and Ethan merely stood where he was and watched Milo edge closer to the door.


"On second thought," Milo thinking of something to say can would permit him to leave quickly, "I'm just going to stick with Surskit, I mean I did catch him first. Besides I really prefer water types."


"Well that's good, Ethan here just snatched up my last water Pokémon. Good luck young man, I hope to hear good things from you soon." And with that Milo was through the glass doors out into the night.


The rain had died down to a drizzle while Milo was in the lab and wasn't altogether unpleasant to walk through. Once he had rounded the first corner and was out of sight from the lab Milo pulled the small Pokéball from his pocket once more and released the Surskit at his feet.


The small creature whizzed around delighted by the puddles everywhere. It seemed like Surskit was running even faster now.


Milo crouched down and Surskit came to a stop in front of him anticipating what he was about to say. "Okay little guy," he began, "I think we can help each other out here."


Surskit seemed intrigued so Milo continued, "I'm not sure if I really want to train a Pokémon yet, though it seems everyone else wants me to. So here's the deal, why don't you come along with me for a little while so that everyone will get off my case, and in return I'll help you find your trainer. Does that sound like a plan?"


Surskit seemed to consider the offer for a moment and then jumped up onto Milo affectionately leaving muddy tracks all over his shirt.


Milo laughed and returned Surskit to his Pokéball. "I bet we'll be friends in no time" Milo said as he dropped the ball back into his pocket and continued down the road.