Here Comes The Sun
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July 3rd, 2011 (6:47 PM).
Time to kick ass? Definitely.
Remember? Yeah, I live at that place! At the time, with the thing! =D
In this chapter, Matt encounters an odd man down in the weight room of the Pewter City Pokemon Center.
Also: Roberry!? Who are these strange people?
here comes the sun
Chapter Seven: Pewter City Museum
The newly formed duo arrived in the city of gray that very night, tired and exhausted from their speedy travel: they didn't take the time to do any sightseeing or shopping, or anything of the like. Instead, they simply checked into the Pokemon Center for the night and crashed, both of them staying dead asleep until the next morning.
Matt Joyson was the first one to awaken, but he didn't quite get out of bed immediately. He lay in the comfort of sheets and a blanket until his muscles cried out for activity. He got through his morning routine, then went down to get some breakfast, waiting for Beth.
As he was waiting, Matt approached the desk and pulled out his wallet. "Yes, ma'am, can I please get a- no, two tickets down to the weight room?" Every Pokemon Center had a weight lifting room in its basement to promote good health for both people and Pokemon: Matt planned to take full advantage of that. Only thing was that it cost some money, but it wasn't all that much.
"That'll be ten dollars, sir," the nurse said. Suddenly, her eyes widened in recognition, and Matt remembered.
They both spoke in unison. "Aunt Jaqueline-"
"Oh, you're Matilda's son, aren't you?"
Matt beamed, nodding. He didn't really know the woman that well, but she was family, and Matt had learned at an early age to always act excited around family. "Yeah! Aunt Jackie, how have you been?"
"Wonderful," she said. "Quite busy around here, though. Especially since the A.N.T.I. trainers have come here- speaking of which, I hear you're part of it!"
Matt nodded. "Yeah. It's been fun, really. Plan on challenging all the gyms, though I'm a bit worried 'bout the gym leader, 'cause I chose Blair- my Charmander, Imean- and my only other Pokemon is a Pidgey... and I hear is a rock-type enthusiast."
His aunt smiled, patting hm on the houlder. "I'm sure you'll do fine. Have you, by chance, got a traveling partner?"
He nodded. "An old friend, yes." He raised an eyebrow. All Joysons tended to have this wry tone of voice when they were about to break something big.
"Did he pick a Charmander too?"
Matt shook his head. "No, SHE didn't..."
"Ooh, Matt is traveling with a female companion? Remind me to call your mother up later with this juicy bit'a gossip," she said, a sly smile on her lips.
"...I'm not afraid to tell you to shut up, Aunt Jackie."
"Right, right. Well, Indigo League rules state that a double battle can be done in some gyms, and both competitors face off against the one gym leader- if one loses and the other wins against the gym leader, both challengers still get the badge. It's still at the cost of facing more powerful Pokemon, though," she said this and her smile disappeared, "because of your combined T-levels."
He remembered a story his mother had once told him. His Aunt Jackie was not the happiest of the Joysons to be in her position, as she had aspirations to become a Pokemon Trainer of her own right. But it was all she could do to have this job, so she was stuck.
"Really?" Matt asked. "Thanks for the advice, Aunt Jackie: I'll come back with a warstory for you, eh?"
Her expression seemed to lighten up at this. "You'd better."
With that, Matt turned around and began to walk off, only to swivel back around and dash back to the desk. "Oh, right, the weight room passes..."
"Really?" Beth Scott raised an eyebrow, looking at the small pink ticket in her hand. "But what interest would I have in weight liftin', Matt?"
He saw him examine her body, and she lifted up her arm, examining it herself. In no way was Beth Scott overweight- in fact, she was a bit underweight. She nodded to him. "Point taken."
The two of them slipped past the guard, handing them their tickets. The weight room was a large place painted in drab gray, with a multitude of large (also gray) "stations", Beth named them on the spot. On the sides of these "stations" were multiple racks, each holding a multitude of different circular plates, all ALSO that dull gray. She saw men and women of varying sizes and appearances all doing a multitude of things, so many of them confusing to her as of their usefulness.
Matt's touch on her shoulder broke her out of this trance-like state, and she turned toward him. "Bit confusing your first time 'round, eh?" She wondered momentarily if he was a mindreader. "Don't worry. We'll start you off with an easy set. Bench, curls, shrugs, dead lifts, squats 'n' calf raises. Simplest excercises to understand."
The two of them walked over to an empty station, and Matt sat down on the blue bench that rested beneath and between the racks of weighted plates, placing his hand on the bar above him. He pulled it off of the rack, and lowered it to his chest, breathing carefully, before pulling it back up. He repeated this five times, before looking to Beth and nodding to her. "That's how you do a bench press. Simple stuff, really - a three year old could understand it. Give it a shot."
And, as it turned out, they made little to no progress in terms of traveling that day. Beth had learned each of those six excersises pretty easily, but Matt supposed he had gone off on a limb to get her to do both upper body and lower body excersising on the same day. She had been virtually crawling up the stairs by the time they had been done, and with an awkward silence, she had to be carried to her room after that (she probably could have walked, but she begged to the point of where Matt did it just to shut her up). So he imagined they would be staying in Pewter for a few days. He would go down to the weight room alone today, as he imagined the poor girl was very, very sore.
He slipped on two twenty pound weight plates onto each side of the bar, then lowered himself down onto the bench. Lifting without a spotter was something he had always been taught NOT to do, but today, everyone in the room seemed to be pretty busy, and he could handle the weight. He knew he could. So today he would defy that teaching. He lifted the bar off the rack, bringing it down to his chest, before pushing it back up. He loved the feel of this: forcing himself to work his muscles, to feel sweat trickling down his face, to smell the familiar musky smell of strained bodies. Something about it all just cried out masculinity. Masculinity was a constant he needed in his life, because after all, he had grown up in a house of female nurses. He cracked a thin smile, and on his last repitition, as he moved his arms upward to place the bar back on the rack, his stomach burst into a flare of sudden pain and he felt the bar drop: rolling right onto his neck. He felt his windpipe be constricted, his air supply cut off, and he clawed frantically to lift the bar off him, but found himself unable- and then it was gone.
He sat up quickly, hearing the bar hit the rack but not paying attention- he let loose a gale of breath, happy that the weight hadn't crushed his windpipe entirely. He looked around, examining something to see the cause of what had happened- he saw an apologetic looking rock. It was small, round and a deep shade of gray with two, bulky arms. Then, he heard the voice.
"Weight lifting without a spotter is pretty dangerous, kid."
Matt rubbed at his neck, looking up at the seasoned, tanned face looking down at him. "I know. The one day I decide to give it a shot, I end up nearly choking m-m-...myself." He coughed quickly. "Thanks for your help, though. And you, Rocky, buddy- it's alright..."
He looked toward a second rock-with-arms floating over, and from some scratches on its coarse surface, he guessed the two were having a practice battle. Such things were common in weight rooms, though not quite legal. Matt wasn't going to say anything, though.
"Not a problem, kid. Do you need a spotter?"
Matt shook his head. "N-nah, I think after that, I'm pretty much done for the day."
The man smiled. Suddenly, Matt realized that the man had closed eyes, leaving his expression to be a slight bit odd: he wondered how he could see. The man then extended his hand, and Matt shook it.
"Name's Brock," the man said.
"Matt Joyson," Matt responded.
"A Nurse Joy relative?"
Brock had asked that with an alarmig rapidness. His expression seemed to light up, and interestingly enough, his lips seemed to moisten up visibly.
"...Uh, yeah," he said. "I'm-"
"Introduce me to one! Your best friend Brock! That's who I am. Heh... heheh..."
"...I only really know my mom," he said. "I tended to stay away from family gatherings. Too..."
"...cute? Hot? Sexy?" Brock chimed in.
"...feminine," Matt deadpanned.
"...Oh. Well, then... erm, I guess, well... see ya later! C'mon, Dude and Dudette, back to practice."
The two floating rocks followed Brock off to an obscure corner of the wait room, and Matt sighed, walking back up to the entryway of the Pokemon Center.
He approached the desk with a slight frown on his face. "'lo, Aunt Jackie."
"Matt! Have you challenged the gym yet?"
He shook his head. "No. Been down in the weight room since this morning... had a little accident, though. Wouldn't happen to have any Excedrin, would you?"
She shook her head. "Will Tylenol work intead?"
Matt nodded. "Thanks... by the way, would you happen to recognize the name 'Brock'?"
She grabbed a small bottle of pills, pouring two out onto her palm and handing them to Matt. He swallowed them quickly.
"Brock Flintson?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I don't know... he was in the weight room. Lil'..."
"...pervy? Yes. The man has an all-access pass, that he uses quite often. Mainly to come down here and flirt with me." She shrugged. "Why?"
"No reason, no reason..."
"Want to have more information on him for when ya challenge him?" Jackie asked.
"What? Why would I-"
Her eyes widened slightly. "You didn't know? Why, Brock Flintson is the Pewter City Gym Leader."
Beth Scott wasn't quite wanting to head out the next day, but Matt was dragging her out of bed. Her muscles were still aching, albeit not as bad as the previous day. He forced her to do a workout, only as she was still too sore to resist, though it was only half the size. Then, as if Matthew Joyson was a sadistic little beast, the two sent on a shopping trip, restocking on supplies, before finally heading to their last destination of the day- the Pewter City Museum.
"Two below eighteen?" the receptionist asked.
Matt nodded. "Yep."
"Ah, guess what? We have a special this week. For youth visitors, buy one get a ticket free. So, your cost will be just ten dollars instead of the typical twenty."
Beth looked over to him. "Talk about a deal..."
Matt nodded again, pulling his wallet out and pushing forth ten bucks. "Treat's on me, Beth, since I'm dragging you to the place."
Beth supposed she was glad for that, and flashed an appreciative smile toward him, before turning and walking into the museum on sore legs.
The first exhibit the two of them examined was a small collection of stones: all of them about the size of Matt's fist, smooth and shiny. The exhibit was labeled, "MOON STONES: Press button beneath to learn".
Curiously, Beth pushed the red button beneath the sigh, and heard the auditory systems flare to life.
"Moon Stones are a constantly valued item throughout history for their origin and their origin only. In terms of composition, they seem entirely secular, but in fact, they are meteorites infused with a peculiar energy from the moon, hence their name. Old organized crime organizations including even the likes of Team Rocket constantly search for them in hopes to sell them for their tremendous price as a collector's item."
Beth looked at Matt for a moment, nodding slowly. "From the moon? Wow."
Matt grinned. "Yeah. I hear they can evolve some species of Pokemon, too... like Clefairy, Nidorino or Nidorina..."
They moved onto the next exhibit, then the next one, continuing on throughout the museum and just having a- for once in her life, Beth thought- fun learning experiences. Finally, they finished their tour off with looking at a few old Pokemon fossils, before heading for the door.
With Beth just inches away from it, a metallic shield slammed shut over it.
Matt grabbed her by the hand and pulled her away out of reflex, she supposed. She was distant enough so that the shield wouldn't harm her, but still, as she leaned up against the receptionist's desk, listening to the ragged breathing of herself, Matt and the receptionist in sync, as well as the sudden, surprised yelps of other tourists, she felt her heart beating in her throat.
"This indeed a robbery," a male voice said from seemingly out of nowhere.
"So please, folks," a female voice chimed in. "Do not panic."
The male voice again. "Our corollary is a simple one."
The female voice followed in sync. "Do not think we are manic."
From seemingly out of nowhere, two people appeared. Both were dressed in the same outfit: the male with an old-style hat, flat with a small button-like top, and the woman's bare head were the only differences. Both wore tight black suits with silver belts, the tops in these suits both labeled a hot pink, "TR".
"We merely request you listen," they said in sync. "To our demands. If you do, you shall leave with no harm done to yourselves. If you don't, we will be forced to hurt you."
The male spoke alone this time. In person, his voice sounded much less in the elegant section, and more on the gruff side. "All of you into..." He turned, pointing toward a corner with no exhibits. "Into that corner."
The woman unclipped a Pokeball from her belt, and the room was momentarily enveloped in a bright flash of light. In the place of where the light had focused, a large Pokemon with bladed gauntlets for arms appeared, its body a sleek mix of red and silver except for the yellow "horn" on its head.
"Sharp!" it cried.
Beth felt her heart pound in her chest. Her legs seemed frozen to the spot, and only when the male yelled, "MOVE!" did she finally gather up the necessary force. Quickly, the inhabitants of the first floor moved toward the empty corner and stood there, some shivering, some only holding their breath, all of them dripping fearfulness from their pores.
"Now!" the male commanded. "Any trainers amongst you, remove your Pokeballs and roll them toward us! Any one of you that is otherwise armed, remove your firearms. We will frisk you afterword, and if anyone tries to be a hero and keep something for later, guess what? It's only gonna make you a martyr, and you don't want to be that."
All the trainers in the room, Beth and Matt included, unclipped the Pokeballs from their belts, and rolled them in the direction of the male. Very quickly, the woman walked over to the group and frisked everyone, and after determining no one was hiding anything, ran back over to the male's side.
"Alright, folks. We are Tierra One- myself- and Tierra Two- my partner. We are members of a terrifying organization: an old scar on the world returning with white hot pain!"
The male- Tierra Two- smiled widely, sending shivers down Beth's spine. She felt tears well up in her eyes, and only because she could have sworn he was staring right at here.
"Dearies, that is correct. Nine years ago, we were defeated. It was an embarrassment, but we were... weak back then compared to how we are now. Our old boss is dead. You may recognize his name..."
Tierra One spoke up next. "It is Giovanni Russo. His death has given room for a stronger, wiser and much more competent leader, who you will all know soon. Our new boss's name is Tierra Radiance. Remember it."
At the mention of Giovanni Russo, a few gasps came from the crowd. Beth was confused as to the identity, and as Tierra One continued to speak, Beth felt her heart skip a beat as it all came together.
"Folks, Team Rocket has returned from the grave! And we are here to wreck the Kanto region into rubble! Bit by bit we will conquer until the world belongs to us!"
"There's no ****in' way!" a man cried out from the crowd. "Red kicked Team Rocket's butt into the ground!"
"...Yet they still rose again under Archer's reign, did they not?" Tierra One mused, a wicked smile plastered on her lips.
"And that Gold kid kicked their butts too!" the man retorted.
"Because they were not structurally sound. Three years is not a long time to wait. It is not enough time. We learned this and tripled it, making ourselves an impenetrable fortress. We have returned for good this time."
"Red'll come back, I bet!" the man said.
The smile that was already on her face twitched and widened to the point of where Beth thought her lips would break. "My friend, that isn't happening."
The man backed down slightly. "And why not?!"
Tierra Two threw in his own section of drama, but his was much more efficient: it was enough to crush the spirits of everyone in the room. "Ha! Because Red is lying on top of Mount Silver, a frozen corpse in the snow. My friend, Red is dead, and there's nothing you can do about it!"
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
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