Status: Ongoing -_-
This is a story about friendship. Three girls, different as can be and living in three different regions, set off on their separate adventures. Along the way, they discover the darker, not-so-happy side of the Pokemon world...but it has its parodic moments. XD
The SS Anne cruised through the ocean, flashing in the sun. The on-deck pool was a bit crowded, but this was mostly because of the sunbathers lounging on the chairs around it. Fashionable sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats were common.
A nine-year-old girl (without sunglasses or a wide-brimmed-hat) stood impatiently by her mother’s chair, staring down at her face. She wore a one-piece bathing suit and had her light green-blue hair in two rather unkempt ponytails on each side of her head.
“Momma, please watch me so I can swim?”
“Why don’t you go in the kiddie pool?” Her mother gestured towards it without looking up. The girl scoffed.
“There are kids in the kiddie pool.”
“Aren’t you a kid?”
“I’m nine. Those kids are little.”
The woman sighed. “Alyssa. Go.”
Alyssa turned and stalked toward the kiddie pool.
A similar scene was happening further down, this time with a girl with honey-colored, shoulder-length hair and bright blue eyes. She wore a frilly two-piece bathing suit that she herself had picked out and clutched a pink towel to her chest. “Mother, I really would like to swim.”
“Go to the wade pool, darling,” the woman replied, adjusting her wide-brimmed hat.
“But those children are younger than I am! Much younger!”
“Cassandra, do as I tell you.”
And just like Alyssa, Cassandra turned and weaved her way toward the pool. Unbeknownst to both of them, a third girl was going through the exact same situation. She, too, wore a two-piece. It had a red top and white bottom, making her resemble a Poké Ball. Her black hair was long and reached her waist, and she also desperately wanted to swim. She, however, got the same command as her two fellows.
“Belle, go to the kiddie pool.”
And so Belle, Cassandra, and Alyssa arrived at the kiddie pool at the exact same time that fateful day, different as could be, with only a few things in common.
They stared at each other, each of them dumbfounded at actually finding someone their age. Alyssa spoke first, stepping in between them and sitting down on the edge of the pool as she did so. “My name is Alyssa,” she said, thrusting her legs knee-deep in the cool water.
“I’m Cassandra.” She sat down beside her.
“Belle.” She lowered herself down on Alyssa’s other side. “Me and my parents are from Cherrygrove City. Where are you guys from?”
Both Alyssa and Cassandra stared blankly at Belle. “Cherrygrove City?” Cassandra asked, leaning forward and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “Where’s that?”
Belle cocked her head. “Well, where do you guys live?”
Cassandra sighed daintily and flipped her hair over her shoulder. “I live in the most beautiful town in the world…Verdanturf! Oh, every day I see the Contest building! Every day I wish that I could compete!” She sighed again and looked over at Belle and Alyssa, smiling broadly. Her smile faltered when she realized that they had no idea what she was talking about.
“Verdanturf?” Alyssa asked. Then she snapped her fingers. “Oh, we’re all from different regions!”
“Oh,” Cassandra and Belle said in unison.
“I’m from Johto,” Belle said.
“And I’m from Hoenn,” Cassandra piped up.
“I’m from Almia,” Alyssa told them. “I’m from a place called Chicole Village. Well, right now I’m going to the Ranger School. I want to be a Pokémon Ranger when I grow up! What about you guys?”
“I would like to be a Pokémon Coordinator,” Cassandra said, raising her arms toward the sky happily.
Belle pushed her dark hair off her neck. “I want to be a Pokémon Trainer.”
And at the end of the day, they were all very best friends.
Well, this could turn out to be quite interesting. The fact that your protagonists are all girls initially caught my interest, and with them being from different backgrounds and with different aspirations, I think I'll enjoy seeing how you weave their trials and tribulations together in one story.
One thing I will note about your description of the girls... it doesn't flow and seems tacked on.
A similar scene was happening further down with another girl. Twirling her honey-colored, shoulder-length hair between her fingers, she glanced down at her frilly two-piece bathing suit as she clutched a pink towel to her chest. Looking up at the woman next to her with bright blue eyes, she said, “Mother, I really would like to swim.”
It's just a little change, but it helps greatly with the overall flow of the story.
Anyway, it's hard nowadays for anyone to convince me to read a new fic, but there was a certain something that drew me to yours, and I look forward to the next chapter :)
Thank you very much for reading my story XD. I don't have a lot of time to change my story right now (college is a you-know what), but I will look into changing that later...I took another look at it, and you're right, it does kind of interrupt the flow.
The sun shone down brightly, casting light over the three people standing at the dock in New Bark Town. A ferry glinted in the distance, and all three peoples’ eyes were on it. They were a mother and her two children, a sixteen-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son. The mother grasped her son’s hand firmly, her eyes watching the ferry with growing dread. She had raven-colored hair that tumbled in soft ringlets down her shoulders. Her lips were plump and red, and her skin was fair. She was beautiful, but her age showed in the lines around her eyes and mouth, made as much from worrying as they were from laughing. The son had dark hair as well, and he also watched the ferry with a bit of dread. He would miss his sister.
The sister in question stood as far up as possible on the dock without falling off the edge. Both her hands gripped the straps of her backpack tightly, and her blue cap shaded her eyes from the sun as she eagerly watched for the ferry. She wore dark khaki shorts and a blue T-shirt with a Poké Ball printed across her chest. Her hair was just as dark as her mother’s, but the ends bobbed around her chin as she stood on tiptoe and shifted her weight to see the ferry.
“Belle,” the mother called. “Could you please come back here with us?”
“Aw, Mom!” But Belle turned and dutifully walked back to stand with her mother and little brother.
The boy said nothing. He didn’t even complain that he was being made to hold his mother’s hand, or that she was squeezing too tight. He didn’t trust himself to talk; he was blinking back tears already. His sister was leaving on her Pokémon Journey…what was he to do?
“It’s getting closer!” Belle said excitedly, turning to look at the ferry again. She bounced on the balls of her feet, making her newly-shortened hair wiggle.
“I don’t know why you had to cut your hair,” Belle’s mother said sadly, reaching out to touch the back of her daughter’s bouncing head. Belle jerked away quickly.
“You can’t have long hair on a Pokémon Journey, Mom.” Her tone was dismissive. She glanced down at her little brother, who had finally torn his eyes away from the quickly-approaching ferry and was staring instead at his feet. “Hey, Derek. You okay?”
He looked up at her and met her eyes. Just like always, it startled Belle to look at them—they were the same crisp blue color as their father’s. Belle had gotten her mother’s dark brown eyes. He was like a little piece of her father, who had died in the Sinnoh region not long after Derek was born. Derek had never met him.
“Couldn’t you start your journey in Johto?” Belle’s mother asked, not giving Derek enough time to answer his sister.
“No. I wanted to start in Kanto because…well…Dad started there.” She lowered her eyes to Derek’s again, but he was looking at the ground. A strange silence descended upon the trio, broken a few minutes later by the loud bleat of the ferry’s horn.
“Sweet!” Belle cried, punching the air as she turned to look at the ferry, but her arm slowly lowered as she took it in.
From far away it had looked gleaming white, but up close it seemed dingy, almost gray. The name on the side was illegible. A tired-looking man came out and tied the boat off before standing awkwardly at the back of the ferry, looking in their direction. It bobbed in the water, which now looked more gray than blue—was the boat polluting it? Belle bit her lip and turned back to her family, forcing a smile. She didn’t have to try too hard; even though the boat looked bad, she was about to embark on her Pokémon Journey!
“Well, Mom…this is it. This is good-bye for right now.”
Belle’s mother tore her eyes away from the ferry. “Are you sure you want to ride this…thing? We can pay for a Lapras ride, it’s—”
“The ferry’s already here, Mom. I’ll be fine.”
She sighed heavily and nodded. “As you wish, dear. Just…be careful.” She reached out and hugged Belle tightly, closing her eyes. Belle allowed herself a small snuggle before breaking the hug.
“Derek,” she said, getting down on her knee. “Can I have a hug from you, too?”
Derek plunged his hand into his pocket and pulled something out, which he thrust at her and looked away. Belle took it from him and he put his arm down by his side as she inspected it. It was a small plastic Charizard toy, poised with its wings open and head thrown toward the air as if it were roaring loudly. The paint was chipped in some places from being played with too much. “Your Charizard figurine, Derek?”
“I want you to have it,” he mumbled, the first words he’d spoken all day. “So you won’t forget me.”
Belle almost burst into tears. Charizard was his favorite Pokémon, and this had been his favorite toy. She hadn’t been allowed to touch it until now. “I could never forget you, Derek.”
He fidgeted. “Just in case.”
“I’ll keep it with me always,” Belle assured him, tucking the toy away in a pocket of her backpack. She reached out and pulled him toward her, hugging him. He returned the embrace, and she allowed a few tears to slip onto her little brother’s back. She had tried to be a companion to him. There weren’t a lot of little boys in Cherrygrove, and she had tried so hard to be interested in boyish things with him. She would miss him very much.
Belle finally stood, discreetly brushing away some tears. “Okay…I love you both.” She turned and went to the ferry. The tired man reached out and helped her onto the boat before untying it from the dock and going in the cabin to inform the captain. Belle gripped the rail with one hand and waved with the other. Clouds began to roll in as the boat pulled away, covering the sun as she got further and further away from the dock. Her mother and little brother were reduced to colored specks in the distance before it finally started to rain.
This was not the way she had planned to begin her Pokémon Journey.
I’m writing to you from the ferry that’s taking me to Kanto. My journey didn’t really get off to a good start. I expected to be standing on the deck of a boat, enjoying a gentle breeze and some sunshine while I talked to other budding Pokémon Trainers, not sitting alone in the rain under a smelly poncho that I borrowed from the not-so-boyish cabin boy. I guess I found out why that ticket I bought was so cheap.
Anyway, hope you’re having more luck starting out than I am!
Hmmm... She's nine in the prologue, and sixteen when she first starts out on her journey? Any reason for the long wait, especially when most start training at 10 or 11? (Yeah, I know the character in my fic started at 15, but she has the "brainiac who went to college first" excuse XD) I mean, it's okay if she has a reason to do so, or if policies have changed regarding the minimum training age.
Your use of description is improved in this chapter, which really helped. I liked the heartfelt send-off by her family - much more detailed than the "rush out the door" beginnings I've seen too often. Given this, I ope the mother and brother don't fall off the face of the earth once the journey gets into full gear - I hope Belle remembers to check in with them every now and then (this is advice for later in the story, actually). And you accurately portray the pitfalls of going budget - you get what you pay for, in this case a rickety old boat of questionable safety.
Well, I think I'll end this reply by saying that I liked Belle's starting off. It felt real, with her family worried about her but at the same time wishing her good luck. Even if the conditions aren't the best :P
Cassandra’s palms were sweating and she thought she might have a fever.
Not too long ago, Cassandra and her mother had taken the trip down to Littleroot Town to collect her first Pokémon. Her mother had wanted her to import a different type of Starter Pokémon from Kanto, Johto, or Sinnoh (“Oh, dear, why don’t you get a lovely Piplup? You know, I hear Bulbasaur are loyal little things. What’s wrong with a darling little Cyndaquil?”), but she had wanted to start out in her own region. She had chosen Mudkip and named him Finny, and she thought he suited her just fine. He was a friendly little creature. Not too long after that, she had been successful in capturing a Swablu on their way through Rustboro, which she had decided to enter to use as her first Contest Pokémon.
Now she was registering for the Contest in her own town of Verdanturf. She couldn’t say why she was so nervous; it was just registering, after all. But no matter how much she told herself that, she couldn’t help trembling as she stepped up to the desk. The woman looked down at her and smiled warmly.
“Just sign your name under which date you’d like.”
Cassandra picked up the pen and pulled the sheet toward her, looking down the line. There was one in three weeks…but was that too soon? She had been training both Finny and Swablu, but would they be ready in three weeks?
Yes, said the strong, confident part of her brain. They will be ready.
Cassandra shook some more. But what if they’re not?
They will be ready.
Trying to steady her hand, Cassandra signed herself up for the contest in three weeks. Under the column heading “Competing Pokémon”, she wrote down Swablu.
The woman took the sheet back as Cassandra pushed it toward her and looked it over. “Okay…and may I see this Swablu? I have to make a small inspection.”
Should I be worried? Cassandra wondered, pulling Swablu’s Poké Ball out of her purse. She tossed the Ball into the air with a slight flourish; she had been practicing for being a Coordinator since she was small, and this was now a habit. Swablu burst out of it and crowed happily before descending slowly to land on the desk. This was Swablu’s habit, having been practicing this very thing for days on end.
“Very impressive,” the woman at the desk told her. She put a hand on Swablu’s head and touched her wings. After a while of looking her over, she nodded to Cassandra, looking at her full in the face for the first time. “You’re done.” Then she frowned. “Say…aren’t you that girl that lives in the house not far from here? Oh, what’s her name…Joanna’s daughter?”
“Y-yes,” Cassandra replied, speaking for the first time. “I’m Cassandra.”
The woman laughed. “Well, it’s about time I’m seeing you in here! I’ve seen you out in your backyard since you were tiny, practicing your Coordinator moves. I’m glad you’ve taken your first step!”
Cassandra blushed furiously. “Thank you…” She returned Swablu to her Poké Ball and turned to leave.
“Oh—Cassandra!” the woman at the desk called.
Cassandra turned, pushing her hair away from her face. “Y-yes?”
“Your hair is really long. If you keep it that way, it could be your trademark.”
And with a huge, satisfied grin, Cassandra left the Contest building, her thick, waist-length hair swaying with the bounce in her step.
Isn’t it almost time for you to graduate from Ranger School? Belle and I should make arrangements to come see it! Tell us when it is!
What’s your Partner Pokémon going to be? I know that you don’t really catch and train Pokémon like Belle and I do.
My first Pokémon is Mudkip. I named him Finny. I caught a Swablu! I didn’t name it anything, because soon it will evolve into Altaria, and that’s a pretty enough name. I registered for my first Contest! The lady at the desk told me that my hair could be my trademark. I’m so excited! Finally, my dreams are starting to come true!
Hopefully I’ll get to see you at your graduation!
Hmmm... I thought this chapter was a bit short. Perhaps after registering, a scene with Cassandra expressing her worries with her Pokemon and seeing their reactions would have been nice. You could have had her find a bench outside of the Contest Hall, sit down, release her Pokemon out of their Pokeballs, and have her talk with them a little. It's not much more plot-wise, but it would help develop her character a bit more.
But what you do have is good. You show that the prospect of a first contest is daunting for Cassandra - so much so that even the process of registering three weeks in advance is making her nervous. She's worried that she hasn't got the time to train her Pokemon sufficiently for her debut contest. That gives a realistic side to her character. And that is one of the strengths of your story so far - believable characters with real emotions that makes the whole that much more interesting.
I will be looking forward to the next chapter :)
Thank you so much. ^_^ The reason for the length of the chapter is that they're actually broken up; I used to have a scene with all three girls in each chapter before I moved on to the next, but the length was getting ridiculous. I had about five chapters, and when I broke them up to give each girl her own chapter, I had fifteen. 0.o I figured the length would be more manageable this way.
It was, indeed, almost time for Alyssa to graduate from Ranger School, and she knew it. She stood in her dorm room, hurriedly throwing her hair into its usual ponytail as she grabbed her Styler.
Alyssa was famous. She was at the top of her class. She was pretty. She “captured” Pokémon extremely well with her student Styler. And, above all, she was nice. Alyssa was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone, and she did so without asking for anything in return. It was just her nature. Everyone knew Alyssa, even though she didn’t know everyone else.
She turned, tightening her ponytail, as one of her roommates came in. Casey had light brown hair that she kept in a bun, with two ringlets falling on either side of her face. She was taller than Alyssa; in fact, she was one of the tallest girls in the school. She was studying to be an Operator, not a Ranger. Her father was a Top Ranger, making her famous as well.
“We’ve got to get down to homeroom. They’re briefing us on final exams.”
Alyssa groaned. “Those aren’t till next week!”
“Yeah, but they’re giving us the schedule. I haven’t been home in a really long time,” Casey added a bit sadly as they left the room together. She lived in Pueltown, which was farther away from the Ranger School than Chicole Village was.
“Have you gotten any letters from your dad recently?” Alyssa asked.
“Yeah. He’s in the Fiore region right now.”
“Will he be able to make it to your graduation?”
Casey shrugged. Alyssa found this extremely sad, so she decided not to question it any further. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker, so there was really no doubt that they would be making it to her graduation. She hadn’t told them that she was at the top of her class, and she had asked the teachers to follow suit. She wanted her parents to be surprised when she got up to make the valedictory address.
As if Casey had been reading her thoughts, she asked, “Have you thought about what you’re going to put into your speech?”
Alyssa shrugged. “I guess something about your dreams coming true, and how you can achieve anything through perseverance.”
They arrived at their homeroom and entered. Alyssa and Casey sat beside each other. On Alyssa’s other side was Greg, a small, rather geeky-looking kid. He was number two in the class, and because of this, he had never liked her. He had never told her if he wanted to become a Ranger or not, and he had only spoken to her in sharp growls. He deeply resented her for making better grades than he did, and this made her very sad every time she came upon him.
Their homeroom teacher came to the front of the class and began informing them of next week’s testing schedule. Alyssa felt a familiar fluttering sensation in the pit of her stomach. She got this feeling whenever she started thinking about graduating and leaving the Ranger School. It was a mixture of dread, apprehension, and overwhelming excitement, and it always made her fidget in her seat.
The bell rang for first period, and Alyssa left the classroom with a piece of paper outlining the schedule for exams as well as graduation practice on top of her books.
Do you know how we’re supposed to get up with Belle now that she’s traveling? I’m not sure, and I really want to send her the date of my graduation. It’s not till sometime next month, but still…I really, really want you guys to come! And you need to make plans to stay for more than just a day; at least stay for a week!
It’s really cool that you got a Mudkip and a Swablu. I don’t know what I’m going to get for a Partner Pokémon; I don’t choose, really. It’s not like they make me decide between a Mudkip or a Chimchar or a Bulbasaur, or whatever it is that you guys pick between. It’s whatever Pokémon I meet in the field.
I have to start studying now. I may be really busy for the next two weeks, so I might not get a lot of time to write. Break a leg in your first contest, and if you get any word to Belle, tell her good luck on her journey!
Love you bunches,
This chapter was good, but personally I felt that the introductions of the other two girls were done just a bit better. It's hard for me to explain why... it just felt that their intros were more personal. Not that hers was badly done - I like how she wants to keep her achievements a secret and surprise her parents, and her uneasiness around Greg (who I'm thinking will play a fairly big role in the story - but don't spoil it :P ). And her personality, character, actions, and words seem every bit as believable as her friends'. But we don't really get into her head and her personal thoughts like with the other two girls. Of course, we never got any alone time with her, so that may be the reason for this. And that's understandable. She's caught up in talking to her roommate while getting ready for class, and that situation doesn't really allow for too much self-reflection.
I guess I'll close by saying that I'll look forward to getting to know Alyssa better in the coming chapters. As well as getting to see how the three meet up, and where things go from there. I'll be looking forward to it!
Belle hadn’t realized that she got seasick. She gratefully stepped onto the firm, solid ground of Pallet Town with the help of the tired-looking man who served as cabin boy. She had never spoken to him enough to learn his name, and on her whole one-day journey, she had never seen the captain.
“Thanks for the poncho,” she told him.
“No problem,” he replied in his gruff voice. He saluted her briefly and turned back to the boat, walking away to tell the captain to take off. Belle reached into her pocket to make sure she still had the Charizard toy before turning away.
Pallet Town was very small. It was smaller, even, than New Bark Town. The only remarkable thing about it was the huge building on a hill, with pastures extending behind it. From here, they looked to be full of Pokémon, so Belle assumed that this was the Pokémon Lab, and therefore where she needed to go.
She picked her backpack up off the ground and slung it over her shoulder. The sky was still overcast, but at least it wasn’t raining anymore. It was a long walk to the Lab, but she finally came to the door and entered.
People in lab coats where bustling around, making notes on clipboards, talking animatedly, carrying Pokémon and Poké Balls. Bookcases stretched from the floor to the ceiling. Belle walked forward slowly, a bit nervous. Now that she saw all the people, she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to be in here.
“Can I help you?” A busy-looking person caught Belle by her elbow. It was a tall, dark-haired man with glasses. He peered down at her in an accusatory way.
“I…uh…was looking for the professor…I need to get a Starter Pokémon,” Belle tried to explain.
The man narrowed his eyes. “Uh-huh. How about I just show you to the door, and you can call later…”
“Where are you taking that girl?”
The man stopped and looked up. A boy with black hair and an orange headband was standing there, a sketchbook under one arm. He frowned at the man as he walked forward.
“I was just showing her the way out,” the man told him.
“She said she needed to get a Starter Pokémon,” the boy said. “I’ll just take her with me.”
“If she needs a Pokémon, she’d better see the professor. I’ll take her to him.”
The man appeared to be gritting his teeth. He relinquished his hold on Belle’s elbow finally and nodded. “Take her, then.” He then turned and bustled off.
“Sorry about that,” the boy said, taking hold of Belle’s other elbow and guiding her through the lab. “The aides get a bit touchy sometimes, him in particular. He seems to think people starting their Pokémon Journeys distract the professor, but it’s part of his job. He’s not very trusting, either. He’s usually under the impression that whoever comes in here wants to steal something.” He smiled and glanced down at her. “My name’s Tracy, by the way.”
“Belle? It’s nice to meet you.” He took her to a large room. Towering bookshelves lined the walls. In the center of the room was a counter with three Poké Balls, and in the corner was a desk and a computer. Sitting in front of the computer was a gray-haired man in a white lab coat, and beside him was a giant purple blob.
“Professor?” Tracy called. “We’ve got another starter.”
The professor swiveled his chair around and stood up. He had large eyes and thick, bushy eyebrows. He smiled broadly as he walked over, but the giant purple blob suddenly came to life and threw itself upon him, wrapping purple arms around him and making some sort of loud sound.
“No, Muk!” the professor yelled, and he grabbed a Poké Ball that had been lying on the desk. He returned the strange Pokémon to its Ball, which he set down. “So sorry,” he said, panting as he walked toward Belle. “Muk is a tad affectionate. I am Professor Oak! And who are you?”
“I’m Belle,” she replied. This was Professor Oak? He didn’t look anything like she expected. He wasn’t skinny and gangly with big square glasses, not at all like Professor Elm.
“And would you like Squirtle, Bulbasaur, or Charmander?” Oak walked over to the counter and gestured to each of the three Poké Balls in turn. Belle frowned. This was the hardest part.
Which Pokémon did she want? This would probably be the one she would grow closest to, the one she would spend the most time with. Her very first Pokémon…how could she choose?
“I’m not quite sure,” she said, putting her hands in her pockets and dipping her head. Her fingers closed over the Charizard toy in her pocket, and suddenly she thought of Derek. What if she brought home a Charizard? How cool would that be? Derek would be so impressed, and it might even inspire him to go on his own Pokémon Journey. And anyway, Charmander was a really good Pokémon. She looked up and smiled. “Actually, scratch that. I want Charmander, please.”
“Charmander?” Professor Oak nodded and went to the table, picking up a Poké Ball. It opened in his hand and a Charmander appeared in front of him, tail flaming brightly.
“Char!” it cried happily. Upon seeing Belle, it became quiet and cocked its head.
Belle knelt down on the floor. “Hi,” she said to it. “I’m Belle.” How many times was she going to introduce herself today?
The Charmander eyed her for a second before taking a tentative step forward. Belle reached her hand out toward it very slowly. “I’d like you to come with me on an adventure,” she told it. “I’d like you to be my friend.”
It came toward her, and inquisitive look in its eye. “Would you like to come with me? Would you like to be my friend?” She leaned forward ever so slightly, and the Charmander reached out with its tiny little claw and touched her fingertip. She drew in a breath and held it. Silence descended upon everyone in the room, which seemed to consist only of Belle and the Charmander.
And suddenly, the Charmander cried out happily and threw itself at Belle, hugging her. Belle laughed as it toppled her over, and she hugged it back. “You wanna be my friend?” she asked, and it cried out again. Finally it let her up and she sat up, stroking its head lovingly. “Hm…how about I nickname you…Charmy! Do you like that?”
“You do, huh?” She tickled it.
“He seems to like you quite a bit,” Professor Oak said.
“He? Charmy is a he?” Belle asked, scooping the Pokémon into her arms and standing.
“Yes. Is that a problem?”
“No…it’s just good to know.” She tickled Charmy under his chin. “So, the next town is Viridian City, right?”
“Right,” Tracy said. “You’ll want to stop there to rest for a while and buy some Poké Balls.”
“I don’t have enough money for a hotel room,” Belle said uncertainly.
“Trainers are allowed to stay for free at Pokémon Centers,” Professor Oak told her. “You look familiar…do you have any older siblings, by any chance?”
“No, but I have a face like my father’s.” Her stomach lurched. Did Oak perhaps know her father?
“What is your father’s name?” Oak asked her.
“Uh…my father’s name was Daniel,” she told him. “His first Pokémon was a Bulbasaur.” She remembered being five years old and clambering all over the flower on Venosaur’s back.
Oak frowned. “His name was Daniel? Is he…”
Belle took in a deep, shuddering breath. “He died when I was eight. He was continuing his Pokémon Journey in the Sinnoh region, and a bunch of cult freaks killed him in some quest for a better world.”
“I remember him,” Oak said softly, putting his hands behind his back. “He often sent me updates on Venosaur.” He sighed. “I would like to give you, young lady, a Pokédex.”
Belle watched Oak go over to his computer and pick up a red thing that had been lying next to it. “A Pokédex?”
“Yes. It’s an encyclopedia of sorts. It records information on Pokémon. It’s quite useful.”
“It’s kind of a high-tech encyclopedia, then?”
Oak sighed. “I’m so tired of using those words, but yes.” He handed her the red thing. It was rectangular. She placed Charmy on the ground and opened it up, moving it so the little lens on it was fixed on her Charmander.
“Charmander,” it said, startling her. She jumped and almost dropped it; instead, she shut it and tucked it into her backpack.
“Here’s Charmy’s Poké Ball,” Tracy said, handing the Ball to Belle. She took it from him. “Charmy goes inside it.”
“Right. Uh, return, Charmy!” A beam of red light shot from the center of the Ball and enveloped Charmy. Charmy was sucked back into the Ball. Belle blinked. It was strange to be doing this herself; she had seen her father do it so many times.
“Well, good luck on your journey,” Oak told her.
“Thank you,” she replied. “And thanks for the Pokédex. Can I hook it up to my laptop?”
“Yes, if you have a USB cord.”
“Okay. Well, I guess I’ll see you later, then. I can transfer Pokémon I catch here, right?”
“Yes. And I’d love to get them.”
“Cool. Okay, well, I’ll see you guys!”
“I’ll walk you out.” Tracy opened the door for her. He looked over his shoulder at Oak. “That way, a certain aide won’t pick on her.”
Oak sighed. “I really need to have a talk with him.”
Tracy smiled reassuringly at Belle as he led her out of the Lab.
To:dancing_through_life@pokénet.com, [email protected]
Subject: How to get in touch!
From now on, you guys will have to send me e-mails. I’m going to be on the road, so there won’t be a physical address to send any letters to. I’m going to send you guys e-mails too, so CHECK IT OFTEN!!!!! I don’t want to be ignored!
Alyssa, you’re graduating soon, right? I’d better be invited! Also, you REALLY need to ditch the student e-mail address and get your own.
Cassandra, when’s your first Contest? Break a leg! (That’s what artsy people say instead of good luck, right?)
Okay, girlies, I need to go on up to Viridian City, so I’ll write back later.
Love you both,
Good job on the chapter Nokyo. Good pokemon choice with Belle, it fits her rather fiery personality. I still think Cassandra is my favorite, though I kind of like Belle. I for one think that everyone will have a character that they can connect to his this story, creating some sort of link with the reader. At any rate, keep it up, Nokyo-Chan.
I noticed this:
Personally, I'm not a big fan of Tracey showing up given my hatred of the anime, but that's personal preference and has nothing to do with the quality of the story.
I do like, strangely enough, the one moody lab employee. Where it's often shown that all lab workers are these friendly, happy people, it's somehow refreshing to see one who isn't coping well with the stress and everything. Again, it adds a touch of realism to the whole setting.
But on the whole, another enjoyable chapter. It's interesting to read about these three different characters, each with their own distinct personalities, and how each of them has their own quest to embark on. Still too early for me to say who's my favorite, though :)
Thank you much for correcting my spelling. I was having a major brainfart while writing this chapter and forgot how it was spelled. So thank you!! ^_^
As for Tracy, I actually HATE Tracy. But as this fic is an anime/game hybrid (as will become evident in Cassandra's Contest chapters), I felt the need to pay due homage to the anime. On a side note, the reason I really hated Tracy was because he replaced Brock...and I had the biggest crush on Brock.
And Sgt Shock, thanks much for the review!! I'm glad you like Cassandra. XD
Cassandra came downstairs to the kitchen quickly. She paused by the window and looked out; it was barely light outside. Good. She grabbed an apple for herself and some Pokémon food for Finny and Swablu, scribbled down a note for her mother, and went out the front door.
Route 117 was usually full of people training for some elusive triathlon that never seemed to happen, but now it was just Cassandra and her Pokémon. She let Finny and Swablu out of their Poké Balls and settled down in the grass to eat her apple. Swablu had taken to perching atop Cassandra’s head, making her look as if she was wearing a large, fluffy hat. Finny simply cuddled against her leg as he ate.
“We’re going to start training every day around this time,” Cassandra announced to them. “Now, even though I’ve chosen to compete with Swablu, you’ll be training just as hard, Finny. I’m going to act as if I’m competing with both of you.” She looked down at Finny, almost tipping Swablu off her head. “That way, you two will be at the same level.”
Swablu chirruped softly. She had finished her food. Cassandra polished off her apple and checked to make sure that Finny was done before standing up. “Okay, you two. First things first. We’re going to review the way you come out of your Poké Balls. Okay?”
She only spent fifteen minutes on this, seeing as they had already worked very hard on it, before she moved on to actual moves.
“Swablu, Astonish! No, do it gracefully. Gracefully! While your moves need to be strong, they also need to be beautiful!” She ran her fingers through her hair briefly. “Try it again!”
And they did. Swablu did Astonish so many times, it finally chirruped feebly and fluttered to land on a nearby fence. Cassandra sighed. “I’ll work with Finny now, okay? When we get back to you, we’ll use Wing Attack. How does that sound?” She fed Swablu a Poké Block and planted a kiss on its head.
“Go, Finny!” She tossed the Poké Ball into the air. Finny leapt out and did a perfect front-flip before landing gracefully on all fours. “Excellent! Now, use Water Gun!”
It was lunchtime before Cassandra called it quits. She carried Finny home in her arms and let Swablu rest on her head. “You two did very good work today,” she told them. “I’m so proud of you. If we go on at this rate, we’ll blow everyone away at the contest!”
Finny made a happy noise and snuggled into her chest. She giggled and tickled him under his chin. “I love you guys,” she said.
The cook was making lunch in the kitchen when Cassandra came inside. “Hello, Dorothia,” she greeted her.
“Welcome back, Miss Cassandra,” the cook replied. “What were you doing all this time?”
“Training, of course. My first contest is in three weeks!”
“So soon? Didn’t you just sign up yesterday?”
“Dorothia, it is not your place to question my daughter’s motives,” said a voice from the stairwell. Cassandra’s mother, Joanna, descended from the stairs. She wore a lavender dress and a large hat made of white straw with a matching ribbon. “I’m taking Staraptor up to Lilycove to do some shopping. Care to join me, Cassandra?”
“No thank you, Mother,” Cassandra replied through gritted teeth.
“I will be back around suppertime. I promised Nancy I would meet her for lunch, otherwise I’d stay until Dorothia was done cooking. She does make some fairly decent dishes.”
Cassandra tried hard not to say anything. She hated it when her mother talked as though Dorothia wasn’t in the room. Her mother hardly treated Dorothia like a person.
Finny noticed that Cassandra’s body had gone rigid and tense, so he sat up in her arms to find the source. Swablu noticed the change as well.
“I need to train some more,” Cassandra told her mother. “Surely you can understand that?”
Either Joanna ignored the sarcasm dripping in her daughter’s voice or she didn’t hear it at all. She nodded and took her large sunglasses out of her purse. “I’ll just be going, then. Do well, dear.” She turned to leave, but stopped in the doorway and looked over her shoulder. “Cassie dear, why are you wearing those clothes?”
Cassandra looked down. She was wearing a knee-length, pleated pink skirt with white designs tracing up from the hem, and a white peasant blouse to match.
“They’re so…common.” And with that, Joanna swept out the door.
Cassandra moved to the table and allowed Finny to jump out of her arms onto it. She sat down heavily in a chair. Swablu fluttered off her head and perched on the back of the chair next to her.
“I hate it when she calls me Cassie,” Cassandra said. “I’m really sorry about her,” she added to Dorothia, turning in her chair to address her.
“It’s no problem, really, Miss Cassandra.” Dorothia poked something in a frying pan with a spatula. “I’ve been working here for a very long time. I’m used to her. What she says doesn’t affect me anymore.”
“Is Dad coming home for lunch?”
“He has a business lunch to attend, so no,” Dorothia replied.
Cassandra’s father was an executive for the Devon Corporation. He was often away on business, but he adored Cassandra. He sent her souvenirs from wherever he happened to be. Once he went on a business trip to Johto and popped in on Belle. He had taken a picture and sent it to Cassandra enclosed with a letter saying he would be bringing Belle home with him. It made him visibly sad when the company sent him away, but he needed to put food on the table.
“So, it’ll be just me and you, then!” Cassandra smiled.
“And Finny and Swablu,” Dorothia reminded her.
Cassandra patted their heads. “Yeah. As long as Mom’s not here, they can eat at the table.”
And so Cassandra, Dorothia, Finny, and Swablu all had lunch at Cassandra’s large dining room table.
Subject: My Contest and Pokémon!
My contest is in three weeks, thank you for asking. Yes, break a leg is what us “artsy” people say instead of good luck. And I’m a bit upset with you. If you’re in Kanto already, that must mean that you have your first Pokémon and YOU DIDN’T TELL US WHAT IT WAS!!!!!
…ahem. Please inform your friends of what Pokémon you have. I started out with Mudkip. His name is Finny. I caught a Swablu, and I didn’t nickname her. YOUR TURN!!!
*Clap* Very Nice I Am Now Begging the third Chapter I Don't know why i didn't give you Props for this Before because this is very good
Cute chapter. Yeah, not much happened, but we got a little glimpse into Cassie's (oops, Cassandra's, forgive me XD) family life.
Still, I'm liking this so far, and Cassandra may be my "character" becuase she's from a well to do family just like my own fan fiction character. Plus so far she has the best fashion sense out of the three :P
Just work on expanding some of the details a little bit, and you should be just fine. You've got a great start so far, and I'm looking forward to seieng where things go from here :)
Alyssa brushed her bangs out of her face as she marked the last answer on her test triumphantly. She gathered all the papers into a pile.
The teacher smiled as Alyssa approached the desk and brought the papers. This was Alyssa’s second final exam, and she only had three more—they had scheduled one for each day. She grabbed her messenger bag as she passed back by her desk and left the room. Greg glanced up at her angrily as she passed his seat, but she smiled rather than let him bother her today.
The atmosphere in the hallway was so much less stifling than that of the classroom; Alyssa breathed deeply, filling her lungs with non-test-room air. She was free for the rest of the day. She knew she should be studying, but instead she went up to her room and changed into her bathing suit. She had an itch to go to the beach.
Alyssa packed a towel into her mother’s old canvas tote bag and slipped on a sundress she never wore. She packed her Styler just in case and headed out, putting on her sunglasses as she went. The sun felt good on her shoulders. The sky stretched above her, amazingly blue, with only light, wispy clouds. It felt so good to be out.
She pointed herself in the direction of Vientown. It wasn’t a long walk to get there, but it was the beach to the west that she was headed for. Her trek took her past the Vientown Ranger Base, and she paused in her walk to look at it. It was a round building; that alone had always attracted her to it, even as a child. She would tug on her father’s hand and point at it as they passed, saying, “Look, Daddy, that one’s shaped like a circle! All the other ones have corners!” Inside were Pokémon Rangers doing good work to help people. She sighed happily.
The door opened and startled her. A Ranger stepped out. He couldn’t have been that much older than her; he had dark brown hair and slightly tanned skin. His Ranger uniform fit him well. He was at least a head taller than she was, and he looked so dashing as he placed a hand on his hip and looked around.
He spotted Alyssa. She blushed furiously, embarrassed, as he walked over and offered her a hand. “Hello. Do you need some assistance?”
“Oh—uh—no,” she said quickly. “I was…just…” But words failed her, and she couldn’t tell him what she was just doing.
“Where are you going?” he asked. God, he was handsome. He smiled, revealing a huge dimple. Alyssa almost swooned; he had such a gentle look in his eyes.
“The beach,” she said finally. “I’m going to the beach.”
“You look awfully familiar,” he told her. He put his fingertips on his chin and tapped them thoughtfully. “Hey, wait…you look about sixteen. Shouldn’t you be at school?”
“I go to the Ranger School. It’s final exam week, and—”
“The Ranger School!” He snapped his fingers. “I graduated last year, so I know all about final exam week. Of course. That hair…” He reached out and pulled the sunglasses off her face. Alyssa stiffened as he did so. “You’re Alyssa Thompson! I didn’t recognize you without the uniform!”
Alyssa blinked in the sunshine. This extremely handsome boy knew her name? She really needed to start paying attention to who knew her. He grinned broadly down at her as she tried to remember him.
“You probably don’t recognize me,” he said. “Last year about this time, I was running to make it to an exam and I dropped my bag, and all my papers went everywhere. Everyone was rushing to their class, but you stopped to help me get all my papers. I’m Ian Walton. I, uh, wore glasses back then.” He put his thumb and index finger together to make a circle and held them up to his face. “And I was a lot shorter.”
And then it clicked. Alyssa remembered handing some papers to a scrawny-looking kid half her size. They did, indeed, have the name Ian scrawled across the top in untidy handwriting. She had thought he was a freshman. “I do remember you…I thought you were a freshman.”
He laughed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, I was little.”
“Wait—did you say your last name was Walton?”
“You wouldn’t happen to have a younger brother, would you?” Alyssa pulled the tote bag off her shoulder and set it on the ground beside her. Walton was Greg’s last name.
“Yeah, I do. Greg. You should know him. He’s always complaining that you’re the top of the class, and he’s only number two.” Ian laughed appreciatively. “I don’t know why he’s so worked up. It’s not like he’s living in my shadow or anything; I wasn’t top of my class, either. I was more into video games than studying, but I had a strange knack with Pokémon. I wanted to be a Ranger so bad. Greg only wants to be a Ranger for the money.” His face darkened. “I guess there’s a few people like that, but…I just wish I could talk him out of it.”
“Greg wants to be a Ranger?” Alyssa shook her head. “I never knew. He seems more like the Operator type.”
Ian laughed. “He does, doesn’t he? Hey, listen…I have some down time right now. Can I walk with you to the beach? We can reminisce about old times that we never shared.”
“Sure!” Alyssa grabbed her tote bag, but Ian beat her to it.
“I’ll get that for you. Oh—here.” He handed her sunglasses back to her, and she smiled as she put them on.
They walked to the beach, talking and laughing. When they arrived, Alyssa spread out her towel and they sat together on the sand.
“It’s really nice seeing you again,” Ian told her.
“It’s nice seeing you too,” she replied. It would be nice to see you anywhere, she thought.
He laughed. “Yeah, but you didn’t have a crush on me for a year.”
Alyssa blinked. “What?”
Ian was blushing, and he leaned back on his hands and looked up at the sky. “Everyone knew about you, Alyssa. You’re smart, really friendly, and very beautiful. People who would start out being jealous of you would end up really liking you. I saw you in the hallway every day, and once I saw you capture a little girl’s runaway Skitty and give it back to her. You smiled at her so comfortingly and acted so surprised and happy when she gave you a hug…” Ian smiled and looked over at her.
Alyssa blushed fiercely and looked down at her ankles. He had called her very beautiful, and that had only been the beginning of his compliments. She remembered that little girl’s Skitty. It hadn’t been especially tough. She had thought no one had known; the little girl had wandered onto the grounds looking for the Skitty, and she would have gotten in trouble if anyone had found out.
“I had a huge crush on you from that moment on,” he said, and then he laughed. “But you never noticed me. I guess that happens. Now I’m a Ranger, and I’m really happy! You’re becoming a Ranger too, right?”
“Of course!” Alyssa replied, happy that the conversation had turned lighter. “I love Pokémon, and I love helping people!”
“Well, hopefully you’ll get stationed in Vientown with me. Usually they try to station people close to their hometowns…where’s yours?”
“I have a friend who lives in Pueltown…does that mean she’ll get stationed there?”
“Probably. That’s what they try to do, unless the person requests otherwise.” Ian stretched. “What’s your friend’s na—”
Just then, a Zigzagoon came crashing through the underbrush near Marine Cave and scrambled across the beach, a scared look in its eyes. A rather large Krabby was chasing it, clicking its claws threateningly as it went. Ian leapt to his feet, pulling out his Styler as he went.
The Krabby waved its claws around angrily when it saw Ian step into its path. Alyssa sat up on her knees as the Zigzagoon rushed around to cower behind her, pushing its warm body against her back. It trembled pitifully. She tried to turn around to pet it, but it backed away from her hand. “I don’t want to hurt you,” she told it, but it wouldn’t listen; it whimpered and backed away from her, towards the water. Hoping to calm it down, Alyssa pulled her Styler out of her tote bag and proceeded to use it. She captured Zigzagoon easily, and it cuddled up to her happily as she stroked its head.
“Good work,” Ian said, walking up to her. The Krabby followed behind placidly. “I’m going to go see what upset this Krabby so much. You stay here with that Zigzagoon.”
He turned to walk away and Alyssa crooned over the Zigzagoon until he got back, this time without Krabby. “Apparently Zigzagoon over there accidentally got too close to Krabby’s nest. I saw the tracks. The Krabby got angry and chased it away. How’s it doing?”
“Just fine,” Alyssa replied. “He didn’t mean any harm, did you, Ziggy-pie?” She scratched him lovingly.
“They sure are funny Pokémon,” Ian said, putting his hands in his pockets. “He seems pretty attached to you already.”
“Oh, he’s just grateful.” Alyssa kissed the Pokémon between the ears.
“Yeah, that’s how it starts. The next thing you know, they’re your Partner Pokémon.”
Alyssa looked up at him, astonished. Did he really think that this Zigzagoon would want to be her Partner Pokémon? “Hey…what’s your Partner Pokémon? And where is he?”
“Oh, I have a Prinplup. He’s taking a nap at the base. I met him as a Piplup, all alone and abandoned near Puel Harbor, being terrorized by an Elekid. He started following me around, and the next thing you know…he’s my partner.” Ian shrugged. “It’s that random.” A beeping sound issued from his Styler. “Oh—excuse me, hold on.” He picked it up and examined it before giving a tired sigh. “I’ve got to get back to the base.”
“I’ll walk with you!” Alyssa said brightly, jumping up. She folded up the towel and pushed it down into her bag.
“Oh, but you didn’t even get to swim.”
“It’s okay!” Alyssa threw her bag over her shoulder and leaned down to pet Zigzagoon good-bye. “I have to go back to school now, okay? See you later!” She turned and walked off the beach with Ian. Zigzagoon scurried off into the bushes, but two beady black eyes watched her as she left.
To: dancing_through_life@pokénet.com, dingdongbelle@pokénet.com
From: [email protected]
Oh my God, you guys!!!!!
You know I don’t normally send e-mails to both of you at once, but OMG I have to tell you guys something!!
I MET A TOTAL HOTTIE TODAY!!!!
His name is Ian. I’ve met him before, but he was really scrawny and little then. He’s a Ranger stationed in Vientown, and he graduated LAST YEAR!! And get this…drumroll, please…he said he had a crush on me for a year!! O! M! G! He is sooooo hot, and I don’t mean kinda hot, I mean REALLY hot, like a thousand-white-hot-suns hot. Hopefully I get stationed in Vientown so I can get his crush going again! Ooohhh boy!
Oh, and another small, trivial piece of information that means nothing to you two, I’m sure…my graduation is the second Saturday of next month. That is one week before your contest, Cassandra, so I’m SURE you can make some time to stay for a while. HM? HM?
I’m expecting you two to stay with me for a while, so DON’T DISAPPOINT ME!!
Love your totally obsessed Ian-lover,
P.S. Belle, I think my student email is just fine, thank you. It works, doesn’t it?!?!
Aww, somebody's got a crush too :) It's kinda surprising how much Ian's looks had changed in a year, and even more surprising how he and that jerk Greg are brothers. I might suggest going into more detail on the capture process... as someone only vaguely familiar with the Ranger series (and more familiar with the Ford Ranger, lol) it would help to visualize what happened with the Zigzagoon and Krabby scene.
But I thought this was a pretty good chapter, and it reminded me of many a romantic anime episode. I'm looking forward to the next chapter! And sorry for the short, late review...
Ha, the capture process is so hard to explain because you do it by drawing a circle around the Pokemon. I'm totally unsure as to how to explain that.
Actually, speaking of that, if anyone knows how a ranger actually captures Pokemon, could they tell me so I can stop being all vague in my story?? Thanks! XD
Cassandra swept her hair out of her eyes and placed her hands on her hips, squinting up into the sky. Swablu was going through a difficult series of turns and loops. Since her last week before the contest was going to be spent in Almia with Alyssa, she was working extra hard.
“Good, Swablu!” she cried. “Very graceful!” Swablu chirruped happily and continued its work. It was almost time to start putting her own moves with her Pokémon’s. In the morning, Cassandra worked on their moves. After lunch, she went into the backyard and worked on her moves. It was only fair. She let Finny and Swablu out of their Poké Balls to watch her dance and plan, plan and dance.
“Cassandra!” called a voice. She turned to see her mother astride a Manectric, which Cassandra was quite sure belonged to Dorothia. It was scowling unpleasantly at its task. Cassandra didn’t blame it one bit.
“Whatever are you doing out here every morning, Cassandra?”
“I’m training for my contest. It’s in two weeks, Mother.”
“Oh, yes, your contest…don’t be too upset if you don’t win, darling.” Joanna slid off the Manectric. “I’ve seen you dancing, and you’re not that good.”
Cassandra’s hands balled into fists. “Is that all you came for, Mother?”
“No. Dorothia says you got some electronic mail this morning from your Almia friend.” Cassandra gritted her teeth and tried hard not to roll her eyes. Why couldn’t her mother just say e-mail like a normal person? “She says that the girl is graduating from her school, and she wants you to go.”
“Do you want to go?” Joanna said this as if Cassandra couldn’t possibly want to go.
“Yes, Mother, I do. She is my friend. I’m very happy that she’s graduating. She’s worked very hard.”
“And how do you plan on going?”
“I was going to ask Dad—I mean, Father, for some spending money, and I was going to borrow Staraptor.”
Joanna scoffed. “Without asking? If you want to go to Almia, darling, you need to get your own transportation there. I am going to need Staraptor that week.”
“I can send him back,” Cassandra said. “I was just going to keep him overnight to rest, and then I was going to send him back.”
“And you would expect him to come and collect you at the end of your stay?” Joanna asked her, placing a hand on her hip.
“Yes. Is that so difficult?” Rage was building up inside Cassandra, so she had to be very careful. She had a tendency of exploding when she got angry.
Joanna opened her mouth to speak, but a great barking sound drowned out whatever it was she was going to say. Cassandra whipped around to find the source of the noise and saw a Poochyena, running wildly from an Illumise and a Volbeat, both of which seemed to be enjoying themselves. The Poochyena, however, looked terrified. The Volbeat charged the Poochyena from behind while the Illumise circled around to the front, swooping down on it. The little dog-like Pokémon froze for a moment before darting off to the side. Illumise used a move; it looked like Leech Life.
“Aren’t Dark-types weak against Bug-types?” Joanna asked nonchalantly.
Cassandra sucked in a breath. It was true; Bug was strong against Dark. Now Volbeat was using Leech Life as well; they both continuously shot the move at the running Poochyena. Finally, the little puppy Pokémon stopped in its tracks and turned, barking angrily. It began to use counter-attacks, but they did little damage if they even hit at all. Still, Poochyena was spunky.
“Cassandra, you may not use Staraptor to visit your friend in Almia. I need it that day. Nancy and I planned a shopping trip in Lilycove.”
“Don’t you ever get tired of squandering your family’s money?” Cassandra snapped angrily, not taking her eyes off the Poochyena. It was growing weaker; just a little while now and it would faint. Joanna’s parents were very rich; they were in the mining business. They lived in a mansion in some obscure part of the Sinnoh region. While Cassandra’s father really raked in the dough as an executive, the majority of the family’s money came from Joanna’s parents.
She gulped. She had gone too far.
“It would serve you well to remember who is the parent around here. Your father is coming home tonight; I will speak to him then.”
Cassandra looked over her shoulder as Joanna mounted the Manectric. It turned and walked back toward Verdanturf Town.
There was a great cry; Cassandra looked back and saw that Poochyena had fainted. The Volbeat and Illumise, however, were not flying away; they continued to use Leech Life on the unconscious Pokémon, giggling in their buggy way. Cassandra’s rage built up again and she ran toward them, not quite thinking things through. “Hey!” she yelled. “Get away from it! Get away!”
The Illumise and Volbeat hovered uncertainly. They watched her for a while as she ran toward them, waving her hands.
And then they attacked.
Volbeat swooped down angrily and caught her in the side of the head, almost knocking her to the ground. Illumise shot Leech Life at her, which she dodged. “Swablu!” Cassandra yelled. “Swablu, help me!”
Swablu came hurtling out of the sky. She crashed her wing into Illumise, making it faint instantly, before turning in a graceful arc toward Volbeat. She used Astonish, making Volbeat flinch, and then used Wing Attack again to finish it off. Cassandra leaned forward, placing her hands on her knees and panting. “Thanks so much, Swablu,” she said. “Do me a favor…can you go grab my bag for me?”
Swablu grabbed the strap of Cassandra’s messenger bag in her mouth and brought it over. Cassandra dug through it to retrieve a Poké Ball, which she used to catch Poochyena. She then turned toward the Volbeat and Illumise. “I suppose I should take them to the Pokémon Center too, huh?”
“Bravo! That was wonderful!”
Cassandra blinked and looked up. The woman from the contest building was running towards her. “That was magnificent! However did you pull that off? Oh, my!”
The woman stopped in front of Cassandra, panting and brushing her hair off her face. “You’re Cassandra, right? Joanna’s daughter? I got here just as you were calling for Swablu; that was magnificent! Oh, my! You certainly have been working hard!”
“Thank you,” Cassandra replied, elated.
“Swablu was a thing of beauty! Powerful and graceful!”
“Thanks so much! Listen, since you’re here, you think you could help me?” She gestured towards the unconscious forms of Volbeat and Illumise.
Cassandra lifted Volbeat as the woman picked up Illumise. All the way to the Pokémon Center, she jabbered on about how magnificent and wonderful Swablu had been, which for the first five minutes made Cassandra feel incredibly happy and accomplished; after that, it was very annoying. She was happy to say good-bye to her when she got inside the Pokémon Center.
Nurse Joy came around the counter, frowning. “What happened?”
“Well, I also have a Poochyena with me that’s hurt pretty bad…” Cassandra told Nurse Joy the story as she helped her bring the two wild Bug Pokémon to the back room.
“That’s terrible,” Joy said, arranging Volbeat on a bed. “Yes, just put that Illumise over there—thank you. It sounds as though these two were just bullies. I’ve gotten a lot of hurt Pokémon in here because of these two. It’s good someone finally taught them a lesson. Where’s the Poochyena?”
Cassandra pulled the Poké Ball out and let Poochyena out of it; it appeared on the floor, sprawled out and bleeding slightly. Nurse Joy swooped down on it immediately, picking it up and taking it further back.
“Chansey!” she called. “Chansey, I’m going to need your assistance!”
“How bad is it?” Cassandra asked, tripping after her.
“It’s bad. If you had let it go on much longer, they would have killed this poor Pokémon.”
Killed? Cassandra thought as Nurse Joy laid Poochyena on a special bed.
“I’m terribly sorry, but you’ll need to wait in the lobby. I can’t have you back here.”
Cassandra blinked as Nurse Joy shut the door in her face. She left the back room and went to the lobby, settling in a plastic chair to wait. She was very worried now. Would that poor Poochyena…die? What had been stopping her from rescuing it sooner? What would it have mattered if her mother had gotten even angrier at her? Why didn’t she just interrupt her mother to rescue that poor Pokémon?
Cassandra buried her face in her hands, and Swablu rested comfortingly on her back. If that Pokémon died, it would be her fault.
I’m sitting in a Pokémon Center right now, waiting for Nurse Joy to say that the Poochyena I rescued is okay. Two Bug Pokémon were bullying it. I caught it and brought it here. I feel just terrible…Nurse Joy said that it’s near death. I can’t believe I didn’t come to its rescue sooner. I was fighting with my mom at the time, and she said that I can’t use Staraptor, that I’ll have to find some other way to get to Almia. But don’t worry! I’ll get to your graduation! I’ll be able to stay with your parents for the week, right? If I can’t, I’ll have to start researching hotels ASAP.
Well, I can’t bear to think about anything other than Poochyena right now, so I’ll finish this letter off. Sorry for all the bad news all at once…
Wow, even my mom wasn't as bad as Cassandra's mom... and an interesting bit of drama added for this chapter. Although I do find it a bit hard to believe Leech Life - among the weakest of Bug attacks - would bring a Pokemon close to death, even if it was super effective.
I also think the battle between Swablu and the two bugs could have been drawn out a little. Assuming both were at full strength, I would think it would take at least two or three hits each to take them down. It would have also been a good opportunity to show Swablu in action, gracefully dodging counter-attacks while getting into position to launch its own attacks.
But other than that, I liked the chapter. The quarrel between mother and daughter helped to develop their character and relationship, and the incident with the wild Pokemon now puts a lot of responsibility on Cassandra's shoulders. It's certainly interesting how the character's paths are already starting to develop even in the early stages of their respective adventures.
...*hides shame about not knowing much about Bug attacks*
Maybe I should go back and look at that chapter.
Belle blinked and reached up to rub her eyes. Charmy lay curled in a ball on her stomach, his tail positioned carefully so it wouldn’t burn her. He was still asleep. Trying not to wake him, Belle shifted until she was in a sitting position and Charmy was slumbering peacefully in her lap.
On her way to Viridian City, Belle had caught a Pidgey, which she had nicknamed Swifter for no good reason. She just liked the sound of the name. Now she sat inside her sleeping bag on a plastic couch in the Viridian City Pokémon Center.
By the looks of the light streaming through the window, it was morning. Belle yawned. She needed to get moving. She had heard that Mankey could be found on the way to Indigo Plateau, and she really needed a type of Pokémon that was strong against Rock Type. But first, she needed a shower.
“Charmy? Charmy…good morning!”
The Charmander sat up and yawned, stretching his tiny little arms. Belle giggled and stroked his head. “I need to go take a shower, okay? I’m putting you in the Poké Ball.”
Charmy nodded, so Belle returned him to the Poké Ball and packed up her sleeping bag, stuffing it into her messenger bag. She pulled out the things she needed for a shower and walked over to the counter.
“Hey, Nurse Joy! Can you watch my stuff for me? I need to use the shower.”
“No problem, Belle.” Nurse Joy took Belle’s bag and put it safely behind the counter. “Are you leaving this morning?”
“Yeah, I suppose so.” Belle had spent two days in Viridian, trying to figure out how she would be getting to Almia. She had it figured out; she would head to Saffron City, take the train to Goldenrod City in Johto, and then borrow her mother’s Skarmory. She had two weeks to get to Almia, so she figured she had time to defeat the Gym Leaders in Pewter City and Cerulean City on her way through.
After her shower, Belle packed everything up, said good-bye to Nurse Joy, stopped in at the PokéMart to buy a few things, and headed off to catch a Mankey, her ball cap tucked over her wet hair. It was a short trek to the area where Mankey had been seen. She found one almost immediately and sent Swifter out to take care of it.
It wasn’t long before Belle tossed a Poké Ball and caught the Mankey, much to its displeasure. She had to try three times before it finally succumbed. With her new Mankey in tow, she made her way to the Viridian Forest.
“Half a day!” Belle said, throwing her free hand into the air. “Half a day I spend wandering in that godforsaken forest, and what do I get? A freakin’ bump on the head, that’s what!”
“I’m so sorry!” the boy next to her cried. He kept trying to support her, but she kept waving him away. “I didn’t mean to!”
The boy in question had come bursting unexpectedly out of the bushes near Belle just as she had gotten out of the forest, making her jump back in surprise and trip over Mankey. She had tumbled backwards, but she managed to grab a low-hanging branch and keep herself from falling all the way. Mankey, who had grown attached to her over the trip, had scrambled to help her, but she had just ended up tripping over him again and banging her forehead onto a rock on the ground. Now she had a cut and it was bleeding profusely. The boy had offered her a wad of tissues, which she was now pressing against the cut.
“I really am sorry,” he told her.
“It’s fine, really. Just...go. I’ll be okay.”
“No, I’m going to go with you to the Pokémon Center,” he said, reaching for her elbow. She jerked it out of his grasp. “Let me help you a little!”
“You’ve helped enough. Thanks for the tissues.” Belle increased her speed, walking past him up the path toward Pewter City.
“I won’t accept that.” The boy was beside her again. “I need to make it up to you! Let me get my Squirtle to help you wash your face.”
“No,” she said exasperatedly. “I will wash my face when I get to the Pokémon Center. Just let me go alone!”
“We’re both going to the Pokémon Center,” he pointed out. “I’ll just go with you there. And anyway, it’s getting dark. You shouldn’t be alone.”
“What’s going to happen to me? Is somebody gonna jump out of the bushes and scare me and make me trip and hit my head—oh, but wait! That’s already happened!”
They carried on in a similar manner until they reached the Pokémon Center, where they entered, still bickering. Nurse Joy looked up from the counter as they entered, but none of the other Trainers paid them any heed. There was a low buzz of conversation around them.
“What happened to you?” Joy asked kindly as they approached the counter, eyeing Belle.
“This idiot jumped out of the bushes and made me fall and hit my head on a rock!”
“I told you, I’m sorry.”
“Why did you jump out of the bushes?”
The boy sighed. “I thought I heard a weird noise and I got spooked, okay?” He looked slightly ashamed.
Joy nodded, but Belle snickered. “Okay, then. You must be Belle,” she added to Belle. “My sister in Viridian called and told me to watch out for you. She was worried about you going through the forest.”
“Well, you can call and tell her that I’ve hit my head.”
“Well, come to the back and wash your face,” Joy told her, ignoring the boy, “and I’ll take a look at that cut. Chansey! Watch the lobby for me, please.”
Belle followed Joy, pressing the tissues against her forehead. Joy took her to a private bathroom first and allowed her to enter. She actually looked quite gory; a line of dried, caked blood ran from the cut toward the side of her eye and down her cheek, and dried blood surrounded the cut itself as well. It was still bleeding, too. Now that she examined the cut, it wasn’t a cut at all—it was more like a gash, extending diagonally from the center of her left eyebrow to her hairline. At least her bangs could hide it, since it leaned toward her left ear.
When Belle came out, Joy directed her to a seat and the boy drifted after her, holding a tray full of medical supplies. “What are you doing back here?” she snapped at him.
“I need to make this up to you,” he told her.
“That’s going to need stitches,” Joy said. “And he’s quite useful. I have to make Chansey watch the front, after all.”
Belle sighed. “Fine.” As Joy prepped her for stitching, she eyed the boy. He was about her age. He had untidy blonde hair and a slightly pale complexion. Although he had a slight build, Belle could see wiry muscles tracing his upper arm before his short-sleeved shirt blocked her view. “I’m Belle, by the way,” she told him as Joy picked up the needle and special surgical thread.
“Derrick,” he replied.
“How do you spell that? Ow!”
“Uh, D-E-R-R-I-C-K. Why? How do you spell your name?”
Belle rolled her eyes. “B-E-L-L-E, but I was asking because I have a little brother named Derek. He spells it D-E-R-E-K.”
“Oh. I just thought it was your weird way of committing people’s names to memory or something.”
Belle rolled her eyes again. “So how old are you?”
“Sixteen,” Derrick replied. “Just started out. You?”
“I’m sixteen too. I just started.” A few years after her father had started, a law had been passed increasing the age limit to sixteen— this was due to several ten-year-olds lying dead or severely battered by wild Pokémon.
“What Pokémon do you have with you? All I saw was a Mankey.”
“I started out with Charmander, nicknamed Charmy. Other than him, I have Mankey and a Pidgey named Swifter. What about you?”
“I started out with Squirtle, and I have a male Nidoran and a Pikachu.”
“Pikachu? How’d you get one of those?”
“You can find them in the forest.” Derrick looked slightly proud of himself.
“Did you nickname them?”
“No. I’m not so good at nicknames.”
Belle laughed appreciatively. “Hey, it’s really okay about this whole thing.”
“Really? You forgive me?”
“Well, maybe I don’t forgive you, but it’s okay for right now.”
Derrick laughed. “That’s good enough, I guess.”
Belle smiled. Joy finished up the stitches expertly. “Okay, you’re done!”
“Thanks, Nurse Joy.” Belle slid off her seat and stretched. “It’s been a long day. I’m ready for some sleep.”
“You want to get some coffee or something first?” Derrick asked.
“Coffee? Before I sleep?”
“Ice cream, then?”
“Sure, why not. You’re paying.”
To: [email protected]
Subject: I’M COMING I’M COMING I’M COMING!!!
First off, congrats about graduating! w00t!! And second off, congrats about meeting the HOTTIE!! I just met a boy today, but he’s more like a pest than a potential boyfriend. He jumped out of the bushes and scared the crap out of me, so I tripped and fell and cut my head on a rock and had to get stitches. My Pokémon Journey is going GREAT!!! Oh yeah, I forgot—I started out with Charmander, nicknamed Charmy, I caught a Pidgey, nicknamed Swifter, and I caught a Mankey. Noooo idea what to nickname the Mankey, so I’m just calling him Mankey. But don’t tell Cassandra yet. I want to tell her myself!
Okay, now down to business—am I going to have a place to stay when I get to Almia? It’s gonna suck REALLY BAD if I get there and I’m all homeless. I know how I’m getting there, so that’s no big deal, but…y’know. I’ll need a place to sleep. Sleep is important. Yosh.
Well, I really need to get to sleep now…I have a big day tomorrow, because I am CHALLENGING MY FIRST GYM!!! That’s right! I’ll send both you and Cassandra an email later telling you how it goes!!!
I think Bug Buzz will be a better replacement for Leech Life in Chapter 7, since Bug Buzz is a powerful move, enough to hurt Poocheyena to hospitalization.
^_- Overall, it was a good chapter. I'll review Chapter 8 as soon as I get to it. :D
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