Update day. Chapter Three is a chapter which has significance much later in the story; for now, and for quite a few more chapters, it'll seem just a bunch of random events. Trust me on this one. :p
“Mannn!” Beth Scott exclaimed. “I’m tired. I wanna take a rest.”
“Squirtle! Squirr. Squirtle,” Shelly chimed in. From the slightly less energetic than usual tone of the tiny turtle’s voice, Sierra could tell that it was agreeing with Beth’s sentiment. And, as much as she hated to admit it, she was tired as well. Route One was not flat, as she had honestly thought- it was a steady uphill progression, which meant the three of them walking around had to fight against that stupid little physics law called gravity. She sighed, nodding her approval, and both Beth and Shelly dropped to their butts right there on the spot, in the dirty, short grass.
“Lazy people,” Sierra murmured. She would stand for a few more moments while slinging her backpack off her shoulders, then plopped down next to them. She opened up the top compartment of the pack, pulling out two normal-sized cereal bars, tossing the other one to Beth, then pulling out another two, smaller-sized ones, once again tossing the extra one to Beth. “Not exactly the most appropriate snack, but it’s something easy. We eat these, then we get our backsides back on track.”
Beth caught both bars with ease, opening her Squirtle’s first, handing it to her. Shelly accepted it cautiously at first. So Beth apparently decided to teach the water-type, opening her own next and nibbling on it gently, making her teeth’s connection to the surface of the bar open and visible. Shelly seemed to understand then, nibbling on her bar for a few moments, before taking a hasty, crunching bite. Beth giggled, but Sierra decided to pretend she was ignoring it, instead releasing her own Pokemon.
“Alright, Venus,” Sierra began. “I’m going to let you make your own choice. Either way, you get a bit’a fresh air for now, but one way gets you a lot more.”
Venus looked at her blankly, yawning after a few moments of silence on Sierra and her own parts (Beth and Shelly were both doing something Sierra considered irrelevant in the background).
“...Ah-hem. You can either get your lazy butt in gear after we get our snack, and walk with us, or I can return you to your Pokeball. One ‘saur’ for ‘I want to stay out’, two ‘saur’ for, ‘Screw you woman, I want to go inside my ball’.”
“Saur! Saur saur.”
Sierra blinked. She didn’t quite know what to think of this response. The little creature had just responded with three “Saur”s, a category which was not included in the possible answers.
“Let’s try that again. One for ‘Yes’, and two for ‘No’,” Sierra said.
One, then? That somewhat surprised her-
“Saur, saur saur!”
“...I swear to Arceus, Venus, if you do not stop these shenanigans...”
“Saur, bulba saur bulb!” Venus said.
Sierra unwrapped the smaller cereal bar, and tossed it to Venus. It hit the ground in front of her, and curiously, the Bulbasaur began to sniff it, before taking it into her mouth and beginning a steady chewing.
“Eat,” Sierra mumbled. “Then you’re going back into your Pokeball.”
So the four of them sat out and ate their snacks, basking in the light of mid-day and just enjoying themselves. After they were done, Sierra returned Venus to her Pokeball, and they went- much to the protest of Beth- onward.
Their walk was relatively uneventful for a while, consumed y idle chatter between the two siblings, and the occasional quieting as a fellow trainer passed y, equally silent. IT was like a code that all trainers had in instinct; if you didn’t want to fight, you didn’t speak. To exchange words would lead to the eventual exchange of fists, and if you weren’t ready for it when someone spoke to you, well... too god damn bad for you, buddy.
Of course, Beth felt far from ready when, as they were walking someone tapped her on the shoulder.
She turned around on her feet quite literally slapping the person who had tapped her on the shoulder with her forearm.
“Toilet Paper!- Oh!”
That, probably combined with the shock of having a fourteen year old girl’s shrill scream of restroom products blasted in your face sent the boy who had done the act tumbling down to the ground with a cry of surprise, is legs thrust out in order to attempt to balance himself, instead knocking Beth’s feet out from under her. Beth, in a desperate plea to maintain her balance, grabbed onto Sierra’s sleeve for support, but only ended up bringing her don with her. It was all Shelly could do to scramble out of the way of this tangled, screaming mass of flailing limbs.
Ten minutes later, with Beth still apologizing profusely and Sierra telling her through grunted whispers to shut up, the situation was... relatively tame again.
“So sorry! You aren’t hurt, are you?”
The boy pushed his glasses up his nose, shaking his head, his long bangs bouncing in front of his eyes with the motion. “No... and, for the seventh time, it’s alright. Really. You can stop apologizing.”
The boy looked at Sierra. “Is she like this all the time?”
Sierra narrowed her eyes. “You have no idea, pal.”
The boy cleared his throat, nodding slowly. Then, total and awkward silence burst through the air, and none of the three people spoke despite their shared feelings that it would be for the best to break it.
Finally, Beth decided to do so. “...So, uhm, I’m Beth. And this is my sister Sierra. Who are you?”
The boy looked at her for a moment, staying silent for almost a full ten seconds (Beth counted) before speaking slowly. "You can call me Jackie, I guess."
Beth raised an eyebrow. "Isn't Jackie a girl's name?"
A sharp glow entered Jackie's eyes. Beth would later swear on her mother's grave that she saw it happen, his neck whipping in her direction once again. "It's a perfectly masculine name, thank you very much!"
apologizing profusely with her eyes, not wanting to further anger the boy with her words.
Sierra looked at Beth for a moment. "Alright, well, Jackie... I think it is time for me and Beth to leave. Sorry, see you later, maybe-"
Jackie swiftly turned his head toward Sierra, so fast that Beth was a bit surprised she did not hear his neck snapping. "Not so fast, buster!...ettes," he said. He turned his head toward Beth, now. "I wanted to battle you!"
Beth pressed her finger against her chest, not quite sure he meant her, but enough so that she wouldn't feel like a moron when asking him for some slight confirmation.
"Yes, you." Jackie reached toward his belt, removing a Pokeball. He extended the arm that had the ball in it now in Beth's direction, a grin crossing his lips.
"Well, uhm... I-...oh, alright," Beth conceeded, motioning for Shelly to come close. She scrambled over in front of Beth, taking a slack, but Beth assumed battleready, position.
"Go, Shifty!" Jackie exclaimed, pressing his thumb down against the silver release mechanism in the center ofb the Pokeball. The Pokeball opened wide, sending out a zap of white light that materialized into a small, round Pokemon with a tan coloration, a stem on its head and no arms, only two small feet. Its eyes were oddly emotionless.
"What the heck is that thing?" Sierra asked, voicing Beth's rather present confusion.
"It doesn't matter," Jackie murmured. Suddenly, his face had gone red. "Just... hey, Beth, I think it was, are you gonna go first or should Shifty?"
Beth's face went an equally odd shade of red. She was tempted to press the issue further, his defensiveness rather suspicious, but she didn't think it was wise to press the issue much further due to said defensiveness. "I guess you can go first-"
Jackie nodded. "Bide, then, Shifty!"
Shifty took a creepy, stiff stance, eyes flashing a momentary pinkish red. Then it just stood there, completely and totally immobile.
"...Is that it?" Beth asked.
Jackie's eyes flashed with a sly sense of knowing, thoughts of mild fear entering Beth's mind. "For now."
"...Right," Beth murmured. "Shelly, use Tackle!"
Shelly stood there for a moment, before beginning a steady jog in place. Then, when she felt she had brought herself up to the necessary speed, she ran forward and rammed into the tiny, tan Pokemon with her shoulder. She skidded to a stop, while Shifty was sent almost flying. Shifty landed with a thud, then lay there, still stiff, still motionless.
"Shifty, keep it up!" Jackie yelled. "Your turn, Beth!"
Beth raised an eyebrow. "Eh? But you didn't do anything..."
That knowing smile crossed his lips again. "Oh, trust me, just do as you please..."
Sierra interrupted her. "Just do it, Beth."
"Fine! Jeez... Shelly, punch it!"
Shelly nodded, curling her small hand into an even smaller fist, a smile crossing her lips. Beth imagined she probably was pretty confident, facing a totally motionless opponent. She ran toward the downed Pokemon, leaped up on top of it and slammed her tiny fist into Shifty's face.
"Time," Jackie said. Suddenly, Shifty began to glow.
"Get off him, Shelly!" Beth yelled, but her commands didn't reach ears that could follow the commands quick enough: just as Shelly turned her head back to acknowledge the orders, she was sent flying off on her own, a white light eminating from Shifty's round body.
"...dot," Shifty said, finally. He leaped up to his feet and ran toward Shelly, who was now laying on her back, struggling to get up. A firm grunt came from him as he hopped up, landing on Shelly's stomach, small, flat feet pounding into the shell. He then leaped off, running back a bit.
"...What WAS that?" Beth asked.
"Shifty's Bide attack! It absorbs the physical or special energy that is delivered during a short, half-minute period, then delivers it back... two-fold!"
Beth's eyes widened. She had fallen right into his trap, and Shelly was paying for it. "Shelly! Are you okay?"
No response. Obviously unconscious, the tiny turtle Pokemon lay there, still as could be.
Beth returned her, nodding her approval toward the Pokeball. She pocketed it, pulling out a second.
"Alright," she said. She paused a moment, thinking heavily. She hadn't given this one a nickname yet, but she wanted to now. "I'll put my faith in you... uhm..." She pressed the silver release switch with her thumb, watching the white light burst out from inside the ball, materializing into the tan shape of the Mankey. "...Buck!"
The newly christened pig monkey Pokemon turned to face Beth, giving her an odd look. "Ayeiii! Man, mank!"
"Wah? You don't like the name?" Beth asked.
"...I don't think it likes YOU," Jackie noted.
"...Oh. Well, uhm, Buck, we can settle that issue later! Right now, please, uhm, well, I guess, er... scratch that thing!"
Buck had it in his nature. He enjoyed violence. That was a guarantee, Beth realized suddenly, when he leaned in forward on his paws, before dashing toward Shifty with little to no hesitation. Once close (and this was quickly: by no means was this Mankey slow), he swiped his paw out, batting the round, tan Pokemon toward the left. Fiercely, he caught him with his other paw, slamming him down toward the ground.
Shifty did not get up. This seemed to incite a panic in Jackie, who quickly returned the unconscious Pokemon, hugging it close to his chest. "Ahhh! You... you hurt Shifty! Mean girls! Mean!"
And with that, he ran off.
After a few moments of silence, Sierra spoke up. "...Alll...righty, then. Well, Beth, you ready to keep going?"
As Jackie ran off, holding his unconscious Seedot close to his chest, screeching random insults to the two girls, he felt glad. He had made the mistake of letting his eagerness and weakness to girls get to him and possibly reveal his identity; something he didn't want quite yet. They might have given him special treatment, something he far from wanted. But, then again, he supposed this was Kanto, wasn't it?. What did they know of his father, or his sister? They hadn't recognized something as common as a Seedot. Once confident he was alone, he stopped to a steady walk. Jackie Birch let loose a contented sigh.
It was nighttime now for Route One, and thusly, all of Kanto. Matt Joyson was appreciative of the company that Blair kept him, but to let the fire-type sleep outside under the stars and near the trees when he could possibly get hit by any sudden rain? Any good Charmander trainer knew that was incredibly dumb.
"Night, guy," Matt said to the orange lizard. "Good work today. Nice excercise." And then, with a quick nod, he watched the red beam of light from inside the ball envelope him.
The night was something Matt had learned a long time ago to appreciate. It was a time in which the entire world was decently quiet (admittedly, the buzz of nature around him was a bit annoying, but oddly peaceful at the same time), full of thoughts and dreams and natural light that the starry skies provided. He loved it. If it were up to him, he would change his patterns so that he were nocturnal, so he could forever enjoy the night and sleep during the noisy day; but as he laid his head down on his sleeping bag, drawing himself in, thoughts like that were utterly forgotten. He sighed, and nodded to the world itself, giving it his approval, before he drifted off into a thin, dreamless sleep.