Thread: [Pokémon] ROOTS // Professorfic
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Old October 11th, 2011 (04:45 AM). Edited January 3rd, 2012 by Haruka of Hoenn.
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Haruka of Hoenn Haruka of Hoenn is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yes.
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Posts: 287
Hello there. I'm sort of early this time, but after spending an extra two days with my final draft, I decided that there was nothing else to stuff in here and it was good to go ahead and post. (One of the scenes I've had a plan for months back, actually, so half of it pretty much wrote itself anyway. )


Before I get started with this chapter of mine, I will bother you with only a few brief things.

Firstly, I hope you don't mind me sticking a little visual aid in here. I wanted to draw Michael's chart for you guys, but since there's no table tool here, I settled with having it as an image.

Secondly, this chapter is nice and short, unlike the previous one which for some reason ended up being so long that I couldn't even include a comment before the text. It's almost refreshing to be back in the 12-13 page range again. And I never thought I'd say that.

One more thing.

Spoiler:
If you were wondering how to pronounce that wacky name of the Galactic commander, it's Tee-all-us Blue. It appeared in an earlier chapter, but I never really explained it, so I was wondering if it would confuse anybody. The 'h' is there, but it's silent.




1.8

As with most cities, days in Hearthome passed quickly. From sunup to sundown, Michael did little but work, going over battle plans with Henry. They made plans for training, plans for what to do when they got to the next Gym town, and plans for making plans. It was like a sick, twisted form of a school project, only now the stakes were higher and Michael didn’t have much room to procrastinate.

Bertha left them alone for the most part, departing at around ten each morning and coming back at six in the evening. She slipped little notes under their door from time to time, to let them know that she was still around, and to let them on to how her petition was coming along. Bertha never gave them the details, but she did tell them the kinds of people she was corresponding with and how many in-advance signatures she had been promised.

Henry followed her petition’s progress with full support, even suggesting places for Bertha to visit and asking about how she planned on getting so many signatures in a constrained amount of time. Much of their talk took place over dinner at the hotel’s cafeteria, meals during which Michael sat back in silence, focusing on his food. He was the same fan of Team Galactic he had been for the entire Space Race’s duration, and knew that it would always stay that way. The thought of Galactic suddenly losing funding from the federal government and turning into corporate backwash was sickening, and would be like him losing his whole childhood. It was out of respect for Bertha and pity for Henry that he didn’t comment on the petition when the subject came up.

In times like these, his thoughts drifted back to home, where Cory and Brendan were still stuck in the Jubilife suburbs, spending the rest of their summer vacation doing God-knew-what. With the sudden pause in space updates, they had probably moved on to other things, perhaps hunting more pokémon or having adventures out in the city.

The dawn of June 4th marked the one-week anniversary of the Deoxys discovery’s announcement, and as the days crept into the 5th and 6th, Michael began to scourge the newspapers on the lobby racks, hoping for any sort of update. But there were none. Each morning and evening when he turned to the news, all Michael would see was the same rerun of the Space Race, with the same guy in the same suit, reading off the same paper.

It confused him to no end, but as the battle drew nearer, Michael didn’t have time to get carried away with his thoughts. He and Henry had refined their strategies, coordinating their teams to their best potential, but the one thing they were still missing was Jerry’s type preference. Depending on what it was, they could either continue with the pokémon they had, or would have to start over and catch new ones.

And for the most part, Michael wasn’t in a pokémon-catching mood. On his frequent strolls around Hearthome, he didn’t see many places where wild pokémon could live, even if they wanted to. Other than the occasional Pachirisu scampering about near a tree, the selection wasn’t too great.

The city did have one advantage, however, in the park of Amity Square. Here was where Michael and Henry spent most of their time, observing what pokémon were brought in each day. Michael habitually brought his notebook and pencil along, and together with Henry, he would walk around and inquire passerby about their pokémon. They often met a trainer or two, but in such a public, leisurely place, a battle would have been unfeasible.

So Michael simply became content with asking questions, walking around like some sort of reporter and asking for people to comment on their pokémon’s type, movesets, and any other miscellaneous information about their natures. His questions raised many eyebrows, but on the whole, provided him with much useful information. Henry would gather information as well, and at the end of the day they would pool together their notes, and Michael would write them down on a separate sheet of paper. The information they collected about pokémon accumulated, and eventually the tiny, crammed chart he had drawn was no longer big enough to hold all his new data. So Michael flipped over to a clean page and drew his table anew.







So far, he had catalogued eight types, based on everything he had observed up until then in his battles. He made sure to leave several slots open at the bottom, for where he would fill in any new types he encountered. As some of his notes on specific pokémon were too lengthy to copy, he left those pages alone. Michael flipped back to them from time to time, and wondered when they would ever come in handy. He had calculated every scenario he could think of, but the rest, he knew, would be a matter of luck.



//////



On the morning of Thursday, June 9th, Jerry prepared an unexpected treat. Normally, Michael, Henry, and Bertha would have their meals at the hotel, but that day Jerry had a two-hour break, and wanted to use the time to talk to Bertha about her petition. So he took them all out to Kiera’s Breakfast Place, where the tables were nice and clean and large windows let in a generous amount of light. And after eating the same breakfast for several days straight, Michael was grateful to go someplace else for a change.

There was a small crowd populating the café despite the early hour. The four settled down at a decent-sized table, beside a window overlooking a small garden. The café had a built-in buffet, which Michael took advantage of to get the best food as possible. He returned to the table with a colorful tray of milk, cereal, a muffin, and pancakes. Henry’s plate was similar.

The four of them ate together for a while, picking from a center bowl of fruit, while Jerry and Bertha discussed the goings-on.

“So I managed to talk to the leaders of Solaceon and Pastoria,” Jerry said. “You’ll be happy to hear that they're willing to consider your idea."

Bertha smiled. “Wonderful. Now all that’s left is to visit them. I sent a letter to Byron, and he just got back to me with his signature, so that’s one Gym down already. What about the others?”

Jerry stirred his coffee, blending it with cream. “Snowpoint’s been difficult to contact, but they promised me that they’d get back to me within the week. Sunyshore is interested, and I haven’t had the chance to contact Canalave yet. On the whole, though I’d say our operation is going pretty smoothly so far.”

“That’s great to hear,” Bertha said.

Michael was only half-paying attention to their conversation, being preoccupied with trying to squeeze the last drop of maple syrup from the annoying plastic bottle onto his pancakes. When he finally got it, the bottle made a loud sucking noise that brought a brief silence to the table. Henry let out a giggle.

As if on cue, Jerry turned to Michael. “So how goes the training, boys?”

Michael shrugged. “Good.” He didn’t bother getting into the details, nor did he feel the need to add that he was in the process of assembling a chart that would counter any type imaginable. He simply settled into a satisfied silence, and Henry did the same.

“I hope you’re really working your butts off,” Bertha said. “The Gyms get harder with every town, and Jerry’s no exception.”

Jerry chuckled. “Bertha tells it how it is, fellas.”

Henry smiled, and looked down at his plate. He had been strangely silent for the duration of their breakfast, and now more than ever he seemed to be weighing something in his mind. Finally, he looked up again. “Jerry, how long have you been a Gym leader?”

Jerry tapped his fingers together. “Ten years, just about. I joined the League when I was eighteen as an Apprentice trainer, and then I got offered the post of the Hearthome Gym when I was twenty.”

“Is there an age limit on when you can join?” Henry said.

“Yes, but it’s really only a formality. If you’re good enough, then they’ll take you. The youngest Gym leader was fifteen years old, in fact.”

Henry munched on his cereal for a moment, and swallowed. “So… what’s your favorite type of pokémon to use?”

Michael looked up. So that had been Henry’s plan. He had to admit, it was pretty good thinking, catching Jerry off-guard at such a casual moment. For a minute, Henry’s flickered over to Michael, and Michael quietly cleared his throat.

Don’t mess this up… he thought, fiddling with the corner of his napkin.

Jerry thought for a moment, biting his lip. “I have to say I like the Psychic type the most. They’re pretty sneaky, and it takes a really clever battler to learn how to manipulate them. Normally, I don’t like to confine my battle team to a single type, but as per the League rules, I have to state my official Gym type. And I chose Psychic.”

“That’s really cool!” Henry said. “I like Psychic pokémon too.” He flashed an innocent smile, and quickly went back to eating his food.

Suddenly, a faint flicker crossed Bertha’s face, and she seemed to tense ever so slightly. Or maybe Michael had imagined it. She made no comment as she sipped her coffee, and then as if nothing had happened, she turned back to Jerry.

“I talked to a friend of mine the other day,” Bertha continued. “She’s a lower-division employee of Team Galactic, but she asked me to keep her name anonymous, at least for now.”

Jerry nodded. “And?”

“She gave us her support.”

“Bertha, that’s wonderful! Having the support of someone on the inside will really make this thing hit home.”

“That’s what I’m thinking too. If the President sees the signature of a Team Galactic worker on a petition about Team Galactic, then he’ll really have to consider that something’s wrong.”

Jerry smiled slyly. “You never told me that you had a friend from Team Galactic. How long have you known her?”

“A while now,” Bertha said. “Long before I knew she worked for the company, actually. We met while I was still going through my examinations for becoming a Gym leader. I didn’t have a clue until I saw the stitch on one of her coats, and then she just flat-out told me. I was shocked, and even more so at the fact that she could keep it hidden so well.”

“That’s interesting… but predictable, to say the least.” A strange expression of pity crossed Jerry’s face. “I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for her. Does she travel a lot?”

“Naturally. Sometimes I feel like she has to avoid the world when she’s on duty, and I feel sorry for her, because she loves Sinnoh.” Bertha shook her head slowly, half-smiling. “Honestly, how long does Blue think he can keep this shit up anyway?”

“As long as he wants to,” said Jerry. “A better question would be when will he have no choice but to face the world.”

Michael, who had settled into detached listening, blinked in confusion. “Blue? Who’s Blue?”

“Blue,” Bertha repeated, looking at him. “Thealus Blue?”

Michael shook his head, and Bertha chuckled. “For someone who loves the Space Race, kid, you sure don’t know your stuff. Thealus Blue is the founder and owner of Team Galactic.”

Michael gaped. “You serious?”

“Completely.”

“But what kind of name is that?” Henry piped in. “It seems so weird.”

“Weird guy, weird company. What’s there to get?” Bertha crumpled her napkin. “At any rate, I wouldn’t care if his name was Sunshine Smith. He’ll have a lot to answer to at the rate he’s going.”

Henry frowned. “What do you mean? Are you talking about what Team Galactic’s doing in the Space Race?”

“More than that. I’m talking about the whole company. Blue’s practically turned it into the eighth wonder of the world. There’s so much speculation and rumors going on, but no one knows the truth about anything. Not even about him.”

Henry put his elbows on the table. “But why wouldn’t they know about Blue? If he’s the head of Team Galactic, then wouldn’t he be doing press conferences and stuff?”

“That’s the thing,” Jerry said with a smile. “He doesn’t. No one’s heard anything from or about him in almost twenty years. He could be dead for all we know. If he stepped down and put someone else in charge of Team Galactic, no one would be able to tell.”

Henry’s eyes widened. “Wow. It must be hard to stay out of the public eye like that.”

“It is,” Bertha said. “Especially in these days. I don’t know if he does it all by himself, or if he just forces his associates to keep quiet for him, but whatever he’s doing, he’s doing a hell of a good job. No one ever knows what Galactic is up to. Ever. Even the people who live in Veilstone City don’t know exactly where the headquarters are located. They say it’s up in the mountains.”

“Then how do you guys know about him?” Michael asked.

“Oh, his name comes up every so often,” she replied. “But it’s always in the context of his position, like ‘Mr. Blue’s corporation’ this and that. The guy’s never actually given his voice for an interview before. Almost no one in Galactic has.”

“Actually, that’s not entirely correct,” said Jerry. “You probably don’t remember this Bertha, and you two wouldn’t know this at all,” he pointed to the boys, “but fifteen years ago, Blue actually made a public statement. It was brief, and there weren’t any pictures, but he commented on an operation Team Galactic was undertaking. It was controversial... I think it had something to do with investigating certain rare pokémon species, but whatever it was, it threw the whole nation into an uproar. Protests, boycotts, the whole works. Some of the Galactic heads even got death threats. At that point, I guess Mr. Blue decided he had had enough, and withdrew his company from the public. He took it off of national records, ended all correspondences, and closed down the original headquarters.”

Michael balked. “What could be so bad that they actually got death threats?

Jerry shrugged. “Beats me. But the minute he went silent, all the press reports died down. No one knows if Galactic even finished their operation. I think, especially now with the whole Space Race thing going on, Blue’s hoping that staying anonymous will hide Galactic’s true motive for going into space.”

“But isn’t it already obvious what their motive is?” Michael said. “They want to explore and bring back discoveries. What else could they possibly want?”

Jerry smiled. “No one knows. And that’s what’s keeping everyone on their toes. Galactic’s looking for something, and they want to make sure the Rockets don’t get there first. All those little pictures of the moon they put up on TV are just stalling tactics to make everyone think that there’s progress being made.”

Michael looked down at his emptied plate, his thoughts churning a storm in his mind. All those months he had been keeping score with Cory and Brendan, cheering every time Sinnoh seemed to be winning... had they really just been playing fool the whole time? Was the entire Space Race a sham?

He didn’t have time to get carried away, for at that moment, Bertha rose from her chair. “Well, we better get going. I want to get some paperwork done, and I know you have to leave soon, Jerry.”

Jerry nodded. “Thanks for joining me today, Bertha. You too, boys.” He looked at Michael and Henry and winked. “When the battle rolls around, though, I might not be so nice to you.”

Michael was steady under Jerry’s gaze. He returned the leader’s smile, but it quickly got lost as his thoughts overrode his words again. When they left, he was still deep in thought.



//////



“Good morning Sinnoh. This is Freddie Horner with the Sinnoh News Network, bringing you the top news from all over the country. We are now entering the ninth of June, and my, it is truly a lovely day today. Tales of my Triumph is enjoying its second week at the top of the box office, and not coincidentally either, with the start of the Contest season right around the corner. So folks, if you’re looking for a good movie to see with your friends this weekend, Tales would be it. And for all you music fans out there, the Gallade Renegade will be starting its tour at the end of the month, and I’m told they’re planning one big show…

“For some, however, this month has marked the beginning of disaster. Last week, on Friday, June 3rd, residents of Eterna Town woke up to find their home up in smoke, and were told to evacuate in advance of an explosion that would destroy their homes. This explosion has consumed the entire town, and the smoke from its aftermath has spread to neighboring routes, though it is likely that it will dissipate before it reaches any other major city.

“Rescue teams have been dispatched and are currently searching the remains of the town, hoping to find some clues as to what happened. It has been confirmed that the building from where the explosion originated was a factory owned by Team Galactic. The cause is unknown, but investigators are scrutinizing every possible detail, not ruling out the possibility of a criminal operation. Several Eterna residents claim to have seen a group of unidentified individuals walking towards the factory the night before the explosion took place. No other evidence can be provided, but as rescue workers probe the building’s remains, they hope to discover anything that they can to confirm or rule out a possible criminal maneuver.

“As of now, there have been no reported fatalities due to the incident, but our hearts go out to the families who have lost their homes in the tragedy. We will be bringing you more as the investigations continue. This has been Freddie Horner, live from Jubilife City. Thank you.”




//////



Outside, the sun beat down relentlessly on Hearthome City. Amity Square was a vivid patch of green amid a landscape of gray asphalt, and was populated with a generous crowd despite the heat.

Presently, Nancy Bryan was leaning against a lamppost while her Loudred was having a private moment behind the bushes. Her sunglasses were sticking to her face, and already she could feel the sweat rolling down her hairline and smearing her makeup. About a minute later, the pokémon hobbled back to her, its eyes perpetually wide and round.

“What?” Nancy slurred. “Wahddre you lookin’ at?”

Loudred’s ears perked, as they always did when Nancy talked like this to him, and his mouth parted in a half-clueless gape. This elicited a giggle from her.

Loudred was a funny-looking creature, with a square body, stubby limbs, and large mouth — and a hell of a good voice to go along with it. He was two heads shorter than Nancy was, and being with him made her feel almost like a mother. He was her only pokémon, since she moved too often from place to place to commit to any more, and his presence always calmed and reassured her.

Many of the other park-goers had stared when she sent him out — Sinnohans, apparently, didn’t see many Hoenn pokémon in their daily lives. Most of them walked around with Drifloons, Pachirisus, and Bidoofs, all familiar faces, and then here she was, breaking the status-quo.

Ned, Tom, and Bobby were strolling about with their pokémon as well. Ned was with Volbeat, Tom with Flygon, and Bobby with Seviper. After a good few days of being stuck in their pokéballs, apart from routine feedings and breaktimes, the pokémon were clearly relieved to be let out for a change.

Tom’s Flygon was currently doing somersaults in the air, the sun gleaming off her wings and muscles. Seviper was hunting for something in the grass, and Bobby was following, egging him on. Volbeat had drifted off to a flowering tree, sniffing at the blooms.

“Come on, buddy, let’s go say hi to our friends.” Nancy beckoned to Loudred, and led him over to Ned and Tom, who were sharing a bench. They looked up as she approached, and Nancy let out a sigh, stretching her arms out under the sun.

“Well, this definitely feels good. I think this is the first break we’ve had all month.”

Ned, who had been dozing, rubbed his eyes. “Says Mrs. Works-a-Lot? Who brought her notebook along?”

Nancy looked down at her purse, which was lying at the foot of the bench. She had brought her notebook, but she wasn’t really planning on using it. It was more of a habit than a hope.

In reply, Nancy brushed a strand of hair away from her face. “Aw, shut up.”

She sat down beside them, and Loudred lumbered over to join her. Leaning back, Nancy casually swept her gaze across the park. When she wasn’t on the hunt for stories, she loved to people-watch, just sitting back and observing life’s daily proceedings. Amity Square was generously populated with people, some of whom had arrived in full workout uniform, and were jogging with their pokémon along the paths. Others were just strolling about in the grass, among the hills and flowers.

She sat still for a moment, then glumly blew a strand of hair away from her face. “So, did you guys see the news this morning?”

“Yeah,” said Ned. For a minute, he too grew somber. “Well, there’s nothing much we can do now. We’re on the other side of the continent.”

“I know,” Nancy said. She had tuned in to the SNN station that morning, out of partial-curiosity-mostly-resentment, and was mildly surprised to see the coverage of the Eterna explosion. Of course, the news would have eventually spread anyhow, but there was something in Freddie Horner’s tone that she did not like. Nancy had shuddered slightly when he had mentioned the band of mysterious individuals, and though she had enough common sense to know that the incident could never be traced back to them, it still made her appreciate how close she had really come to ruin. None of her story-getting plans had exactly worked to her liking before, but none of them had gone so horribly, embarrassingly wrong either. The sooner all the hype about Eterna would end, she decided, the better.

Nancy bent her head back and let the rest of her thoughts escape in a long, greedy yawn. Wiping her eyes, she silently resumed her survey of the park.

This time, by random chance, her eyes alighted upon a boy who stood by the fountain, looking out at nothing in particular. His appearance was slightly rowdy, like the type of kid who would sit in the back of class and throw paper balls, but in the park setting, he looked calm and focused. She watched him for a while, but he didn’t seem to be doing anything interesting, so she turned her attention elsewhere.

About a minute later, however, the boy reappeared. This time, he was on the move. Unlike the other park-goers, this kid walked with purpose, as if on a mission. She caught sight of him from time to time, never in the same spot, and from certain angles she could see that he was carrying a notebook.

Nancy sat up, watching as the boy approached a lady, who was walking a Luxray on a leash. He talked with her briefly, jotted down some notes, then walked off in search of someone else. A smile tugged at her lips.

That must be what I’m like, she thought. The boy met four more individuals in a similar way, often even kneeling down to look at their pokémon. And then a second boy, slightly shorter, appeared from behind some trees and ran up to the first. He was carrying a notebook too, and when they met, they exchanged a brief conversation.

Nancy leaned forward, her curiosity now getting the better of her. “What are those kids doing?” she muttered.

Beside her, Ned looked up. “Hmm?”

Nancy bit her lip, and shook her head. “Nothing.” She settled back down.

Suddenly, a long, deep croon echoed through the park. Up in the air, Tom’s Flygon finished her last loop and came sweeping down, her large wings spread wide to adjust her altitude. Tom whistled, and Flygon glided over to him, stirring the grass and leaves in her wake.

All around them, people turned and watched in awe as the dragon settled into the grass, its stocky green body barely raising a whisper as it met the ground. Several people stopped in their tracks to watch the marvelous sight. The black-haired boy was among them. As he watched Flygon’s descent, a strange expression crossed his face, and for a moment his blue eyes seemed to light with a deep, hidden fire. As more people arrived, he was obscured from view.

Nancy looked around. “Heh. We’re practically famous around here.”

Tom laughed. “Yeah, someone should do a story about us.”

At that moment, Bobby appeared with Seviper sliding by at his feet. As Seviper passed by Flygon, his pink tongue flickered out, and Flygon hummed something in reply. Bobby surveyed the crowd with a mock-perplexed look, and plopped down beside Nancy.

They basked in the attention for a moment, and then the crowd began to trickle away. The boy, however, remained. When enough people were gone, he approached, notebook tucked under his arm.

Tom was lying on his belly, talking to Flygon and picking at the grass. The boy stopped beside him and opened his notebook. “Hey.”

Tom looked up. “Oh. Hey.”

“Can we help you?” said Nancy.

The boy shrugged, and once again, he resembled a slacker schoolboy. “Not really. Cool Flygon, though. Girl or boy?”

“Girl,” said Tom, raising an eyebrow. “You know about them?”

To Nancy’s surprise, the boy nodded. “Yeah. They’re called the Desert Spirit because they live in Hoenn’s deserts. They’re pretty fast too. They were pitted against each other in races in the seventeenth century. They’re… the second-fastest fliers of all the dragons, I think.”

“Third, actually,” Tom corrected, though he was clearly impressed at the boy’s factual knowledge. Then, he asked the question that Nancy had been keeping in her mind as well. “Are you from Hoenn?”

“No,” said the boy. “I just know from this book I read once.” He looked around at the pokémon surrounding Nancy and her team. “Do you battle?”

Tom rubbed his eyes. “Uh, not anymore. I used to when I was young, but then I decided to take my life in a different direction. And I met these guys over there.” He jerked his thumb towards the bench with a smirk. Bobby rolled his eyes in return.

“You can’t live without us and you know it, Tom,” he hollered.

Tom dismissed him with a wave, turning back to the boy. “So are you a trainer?”

The boy nodded. As he paced carefully around the group of pokémon in the grass, Loudred, in his curious nature, drew near, ears flicking. The boy stopped as Loudred approached, and somewhat tentatively reached out with his free hand. The pokémon flinched back for a moment, then allowed the boy to stroke the top of his head.

“He’s pretty cool,” said the boy.

Nancy smiled. “Thanks. He’s got pretty good endurance too. He helped me fend off a couple of pesterers once. Remember, Ned? Back in Floaroma?”

Ned began to laugh, and the rest of the team joined in. The boy, however, suddenly became serious. As Loudred nudged his elbow, he faced Nancy again. “Helped, how?”

Nancy stifled her giggles behind her palm. “Well, we were back in Floaroma looking for someone to interview, and we had to battle a group of trainers to get into this special club. The guy we wanted was inside, but they wouldn’t let us through because apparently the club was for battlers only. We had let our pokémon out for some fresh air, so they were with us too. We tried to negotiate with the trainers, but then out of nowhere they just whipped out their pokeballs and started to attack our pokémon. So we fought back.”

“And won,” said Ned with a smile. “Though the club turned out to be a real bore…”

The boy nodded. “So, what kinds of moves does Loudred use? Do you know any?”

Nancy rubbed her chin. “Well, he knows Uproar. That was definitely useful... I think he used Supersonic once too, but I can’t be sure.”

The boy wrote all this down. “What about Flygon?”

Tom tallied the moves on his fingers. “Flamethrower, Sandstorm, Dragon Claw, Earthquake, Hyper Beam, Sand Tomb… that’s all I can think of right now.”

The boy turned to Bobby, who tilted back his cap. “Hey, what’s with the 20 Questions?”

The boy shrugged. “I’m researching for my next Gym battle.”

“Researching for a Gym battle?” Bobby whistled. “Holy snap, look at this kid. You got a name?”

“Michael Rowan,” the boy replied.

“Nice to meet you, Michael,” Bobby said.

“Likewise.” The boy closed his notebook for a moment. “So… are you guys like a traveling TV show or something? Like Rising Trainers on SNN?”

Nancy fought back a cringe. “No. We’re uh, a TV station crew. Sinnoh Now.”

“Never heard of it,” the boy said.

“Yeah, but you will,” Bobby cut in. “Just wait. We’re on the hunt for the story of the year. One day you’ll be watching TV and bam—we’ll be there.”

The boy smiled. “But you need a story first, don’t you?”

Nancy did a mental double-take. “That’s… true.”

The boy rocked on his feet for a moment, his eyes drifting up towards the trees. For a minute, it seemed like he was about to say something, but then he simply shrugged. “Well, good luck.” He raised his arm in a lazy sort of wave, and backed away.

Nancy smirked. “Thanks. Good luck with your battle.”

The boy nodded, and walked off. It was just then that Nancy noticed a Turtwig scamper over to him from behind a small bush, its leaf twirling in the breeze. Its skin was a pale blue-green, and its shell was a light, almost gleaming brown.

Nancy leaned forward to get a better look, but the pair quickly retreated down the path, and she could only spot the minor details. Still, they were enough to puzzle her. It was a peculiar sight, and it gave Nancy a peculiar feeling, causing her to wonder if maybe she had seen something like it before.

She rummaged through her mind a bit, but after a moment, she snapped back to reality. It was her day off, for goodness’s sake. If it was anything worth remembering, it would come to her eventually.

For now, she was happy to put it aside.
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