Marty paced himself slowly as he walked the final stretch of route 29. He wanted time to think, seeing as he had previously been interrupted by wild pokemon and he was a bit nervous about what laid ahead for him in Cherrygrove. He had no idea where it was going to go and he’d never heard of the SS Libra before in his life. Well, to be honest, ships and the sea weren’t exactly his expertise, so his limited knowledge was to be expected. Archer had fell asleep shortly after the fight with the Roggenrola even though showed no signs of exhaustion. Perhaps it was just a Teddiursa thing? Well, with Archer fast asleep, resting lazily upon Marty’s beanie he hoped he would be able to avoid any wild pokemon. It would be rather rude of him to wake his new friend up even if faced with a dilemma. If Marty was to be even close to a decent trainer, he would have to be able to deal with the situation by himself. Always relying on his pokemon would only lead to disaster, his past was a perfect example of that.
His heart sank even at the slight thought of his past. It was a delicate subject, and not one Marty ever discussed with anyone. He never trusted anyone with his past, not even the famous Professor Elm, not to say Marty didn’t trust him, but the connection needed to be much stronger to get Marty to talk about it. But Marty knew that one day he would eventually tell, keeping it all bottled in just wouldn’t carve out well for him. Even so, the thought of having that close of a bond with someone sort of scared him. After losing the people he held dearest to his heart, he just didn’t want it to ever happen again. He knew it was absolutely stupid to fear such a thing, in fact he hated that about him. Unfortunately, it was just how he felt about it.
The surprising thing was, or maybe not surprising, that he was completely different around pokemon. He couldn’t explain it if he wanted to, he just felt more comfortable getting attached to pokemon rather than fellow human beings. Perhaps it was due to the fact that at the time of the world-wide disaster, Marty had no real pokemon companions except for the ones that belonged to his “family.” Yeah, that was probably it. Marty felt one of Archer’s arms unconsciously rub against his face, it brought a wide smile to his face and broke his train of thought.
That little rub in most cases would serve useless, but today, it saved Marty from a boo-boos. He was so lost in his thoughts that he hadn’t noticed he strayed off his current path through route 29. Marty looked up and was literally inches away from walking into a large tree trunk. Coming to a sudden stop, Marty made his best efforts to keep from disturbing Archer’s sleep. “Concentrate, Marty.” Looking up from the avoided catastrophe, Marty noticed the beginning of a paved out road, Cherrygrove was definitely close. So close he could smell it, wait, what the heck was he smelling? Archer woke up with a sudden yawn, stealthily climbing his way down Marty’s back and began to walk drowsily towards the path to Cherrygrove.
“Hey, Archer! Wait up!” Marty chuckled and ran after his sleep induced Teddiursa. On the way, Marty noticed a beat up sign laying on the grass.
Welc.... Ch.r.. ve ..it. Is what the sign read, well, what remained of it anyways. Seeing the damage to the sign made him wonder what the actual city looked like post-disaster. Well, he guessed it was time to find out. Jogging over to where Archer came to a sudden stop, a new, replaced welcome sign, well, welcomed them. “Well, okay..” Apparently, not much happened to Cherrygrove, either that or they had already finished rebuilding the city. Apart from a few missing buildings, it looked the same as the first time he passed through it. Marty was shocked, but in a good way. He had expected Cherrygrove to be rather, well, bad. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all, well aside from a few destroyed cities and a pangea-like mega region. But things seemed nice in Cherrygrove, they seemed normal. Suddenly, Archer cried out and ran towards a house, disappearing as he turned the corner.
“That must’ve been some power nap.” Marty sighed and once again followed his this time, wide awake, Teddiursa. Turning the corner, Marty frowned deeply, “Hey, come on Archer! You just can’t be taking food just like that! It could be somebody’s!” Archer had its head buried in a jar of honey about half the size of the pokemon. Marty contorted his face in a sort of smiling disapproval style, Archer completely ignored him, stuffing its face with loads and loads of honey. What made it worse, an old lady sat right behind the bear, her back facing the both of them.
“It’s quite okay, darling.” An old, gentle voice spoke. “So this Teddiursa here, it’s yours? Well, well, a trainer, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen one of you. You know they use to come through by the dozens, well not literally, that’d be rather insane!” The old lady laughed, Marty assumed it was a laugh anyways. She had not even turned her back once, it sort of creeped Marty out. Burping rather loudly, Archer patted its stomach before falling backwards, finishing his meal. “Hehe, quite the appetite. Here have another jar, I’m sure you and your pokemon will be hungry again later.” She gestured over at a closed jar of what Marty presumed to be honey. It’s design was quite unique compared to the others that laid spread around the ground. It possessed three jagged lines that circled around it, enclosing three individual portions of the jar. The three parts were each filled in with a brown coloring. The middle jagged line stood out from the rest, in what Marty presumed to be the center of the roundish jar, was image of a tree with what appeared to be trainers and their pokemon, it interrupted the flow of the line and stopped before hitting both the bottom and top lines.
“Umm, thank you.” Marty walked over to the well crafted jar and carefully picked it up. He wasn’t quite sure where to put it, it definitely wouldn’t fit in any of his pockets. Instead he just simply tucked it delicately between his arm and body. In one of the most sluggish, ugliest, and ridiculously hilarious attempts ever, Archer shifted his body awkwardly until he was able to stand on his hind legs and staggered his way over to Marty before climbing on top of him to rest in his hood. “Ahh, well goodbye, thanks again mam!” Marty waved at the old lady even though she couldn’t see, well unless she had eyes in the back of her head.
As Marty was walking away, the old lady spoke. “Good look young one.” Why was she saying good look? Did she know something that he didn’t? The comment left Marty sort of nervous, what required good luck? Marty would have to find out later, he let the old lady’s comment slip from my his mind. As he turned the corner of the old lady’s house he noticed the city’s pokemart, in a way it sort of beckoned to him to come buy supplies. Maybe it was the nice rotating sign, or maybe it was just an employee waving at him to come.
“Hello! Would you like a free potion?” The man offered Marty the spray and he gladly took it, placing it in his hoodie pocket and thanking the man. To his surprise, the doors opened automatically as he approached. Marty was impressed and gained an even bigger impression when he stepped inside. The cool breeze hit him unexpectedly, it was obviously well air conditioned and combined with Marty’s out of season clothing, the temperature was just right for him. Along with the breeze of the conditioner, his bare feet felt the cold touch of the floor tiles causing him to slightly shiver. He wished he never had to leave, it was so comfortable in here. Apparently, Archer wasn’t too fond of the cold air, and found its way into Marty’s hoodie, causing it to fit snugly on both of them.
“Hello! May I help you with anything?” The female clerk behind the counter had a noticeably beautiful smile, her hair was a furious kind of red that she kept wrapped in a rather large bun. For some reason, she reminded Marty of an old friend, he managed a weak smile before speaking.
“Uhh, yeah. Can I see what you guys have in stock?” He glanced over the list of items, checking the prices and what not. Marty scratched his head, he didn’t have much, if anything he’d be able to buy a potion or two and a few status healers. “I’ll take two antidotes and err, two paralysis heals, and one potion.”
Marty walked out of the store with his pockets feeling heavier, and only because potions weighed more than money. He sat himself down on the side of the pokemart so he could organize his new items. He placed the sprays out on the floor, along with his pokeballs and pokedex. “Alright, I got it.” Marty grabbed his pokedex and Archer’s pokeball first, placing them in his hoodie pocket, seeing as he had enough space left, he also grabbed the medicines and stuffed them in randomly. Gathering the pokeballs, he dumped them into his right pocket. Marty realized he had another pocket and chuckled to himself. In took a couple of crammed status healers and put them in his pocket, “This feels so much less heavier..” All the while he still had that jar of honey tucked underneath his arm.
Suddenly, the roar of a fog horn sounded, the source of the noise was a ship sailing in, stopping as it closed in. The SS Libra. The door opened and a set of stairs were placed down, allowing people to board the ship. A crew employee walked down the staircase and positioned himself next to it. He was probably the man that checked tickets and their authenticity. What happened next left Marty perplexed, a swarm of people rushed out from the north of Cherrygrove, all pushing and shoving their way to get on the ship. It was like a panicked herd of Tauros, except it was a free for all with people pushing and kicking just to get on the dock!
Marty gripped the jar tighter, and jogged over to the clamor of people. He made maneuvered his way through the people and fights for positioning. It was loud and it was rough, Marty was probably the smallest one there, except for the occasional little kid or baby, he was moving around like a pinball. Archer peeped its head out of Marty’s hoodie and cried out nervously. Its arm reached once more for his neck and Archer pressed its face against his chest, scared that they might be separated. Marty did his best to reassure him, but being interrupted constantly in mid sentence by uncivilized people didn’t necessarily help much, did it? Finally, he made his way to the crewman who stood guard at the staircase. He eyed Marty suspiciously as if to say, -What the hell is a little kid doing here-.
“Ticket, please.” He spoke in a mocking tone as if to say Marty did not own one. Having the environment quieted down a little, Archer looked up from his current position. Feeling safe once again, Archer reached up and grabbed Marty’s ticket from the fold of his beanie, handing it over to the crewman. The man gave the duo an odd look before gesturing them to board.
Marty looked at his Teddiursa, perplexed once more. “How the heck did you know it was in there?” He raised an eyebrow before chuckling. Archer simply rubbed the back of its head and kanye-shrugged him, falling deeper into Marty's hoodie.