Day 9, Route 30
“A fire on Route 30, near the city of Cherrygrove, was started this morning due to an uncontrolled attack from a fire Pokémon. The authorities are trying to handle the fire, but it is recommended that trainers travel cautiously between the Dark Cave and Route 31.”
Please tell me that this isn’t happening. How, in the world (real or Pokémon one), am I supposed to get to Violet City, now? I only have a metallic durian with me and, from what I’ve been told, fire is the first thing I want to avoid my Pokémon being exposed to. Schoener is looking at the television, like a Chinese listening to a French news channel: he has no idea of what they are talking about, but he knows that is something important. At least that’s what it seems to be doing. Maybe he understands that the fire is dangerous, for both of us, and is thinking about a solution to pass safely through the fire; maybe he’s thinking that the best is to wait here, in Cherrygrove, until the fire is extinguished; maybe he’s planning to pass between the fire, carrying me, while he bravely ignores the flames that lick his metallic hull and try to damage him; or maybe he’s just thinking that the television, that colorful and weird rock that talks, seems a good thing to stick onto and gather some energy. BINGO! I told you already: you can’t expect much from a metallic fruit. Maybe I should get another Pokémon. Yes, that’s I’m going to do! I’m going to the woods and try to get a Pokémon that proves to be useful against the fire.
«Hello there, young fellow!» A trainer resembling a fisherman, wearing white and orange clothes and a matching cap, approaches me.
«I’m really not up to a battle, sorry. Maybe next time!” Wow, this game really changed me. In the real world I would probably say something like “Go away, stronzo! I’m trying to think what Pokémon can I get to pass through that wildfire.”
«Oh, I’m not here to battle you.» And I’m not here to talk with you, so… «I just wanted to ask you if that Ferroseed is yours?»
«Dio mio!» Unfortunately it is… Have I been staring at the TV, for that long, so I didn’t realize that Schoener was trying to stick onto the fisherman’s Pokémon? «I’m really, really sorry, signore! It wasn’t my intention to have Schoener attack your…» I hadn’t seen that Pokémon before. It’s a large bubble with a tiny nose and a dark coiled line drawn in its belly. A really odd creature, really happy to have Ferroseed trying to attach it…
«Poliwag.» With a really odd name. «I think I didn’t introduce myself; I’m Cherrygrove’s Fiherman!
«Nice to meet you, Fisherman from Cherrygrove.» An extremely original name; no doubt about it. «Now, I think it’s better to unstick my Pokémon from yours.»
«Oh, no, no! Don’t do that.» My Pokémon is sucking the energy from your Poliwag and you want me to do nothing? Ma sei matto?! «Poliwag has trouble walking on two feet, you know? Having no arms causes him to be unbalanced and as so this species prefers to swim instead of walking. But with your Ferroseed’s help it seems to be acquiring some stability.»
Schoener is helping a Poliwag to walk on two feet? You must be mistaken, signore. I know that all the Ferroseed look the same, but mine surely doesn’t help young and fragile Pokémon to walk. He’s always trying to attach himself onto them!
«Here, have this as a reward for helping Poliwag. It’s not a great reward but it might be useful if you’re trying to reach Violet City. You can try to catch a water-type Pokémon, by fishing in ponds or other water masses.»
Catch a water-type Pokémon? Hey, is this game reading my thoughts or is this pure coincidence? Who cares anyway? This rod is all I needed to reach Violet City.
«Thank you, Cherrygrove’s Fisherman!»
«You’re welcome, young fellow!» I’ve turned my backs already, but I can hear his voice shouting.
The streets are crowded with the majority of trainers that didn’t whited out. I’m asked to participate in a battle over here and over there, but the only battle that I want is with an aquatic Pokémon. I haven’t ever caught a Pokémon, but from I’ve been told by the Prof. Elm character, this process involves: 1) fighting with the wild Pokémon until he doesn’t offer resistance; 2) throwing the ball thing in order to catch the creature inside. It can’t be that hard, can it?
Route 30 is the kind of Route I like: lots of trees, lots of hideouts and lots of good spots to stalk some other players and try to get something from them. These Oran berries are nicely flavored and fresh, just like the oranges. I have to thank that trainer, who was picking them from the tree, for lending me some with nothing in exchange. How gentle! Schoener seems to like this berries a lot, much more than I do, but that’s probably because he’s made of ones and zeros and my brain is made of grey and white matter. You’re probably thinking how he eats the berries, having no mouth. Guess what: he sucks them, using his spikes. And the best of having no mouth and dozens of spikes is that you can eat everything at the same time!
«Where are you going, Schoener?» I really don’t know why I ask this question anymore… He’s going to search for something that he can attach to, Vincenzo. Give him half an hour and he’ll be back to throw you some of his spikes. Why don’t you relax and enjoy a little fishing? That pond over there seems like the perfect spot! «Hey, Schoener! Do you wanna go fishing? I bet you’ve never fished before!”
You’re wasting your time, Vincenzo… He’s too busy, sucking minerals from those rocks. Leave him alone and throw your line.
«Ouch!» I feel something stinging my backs. Damn Pokémon mosquitoes!
«Yes, Schoener, I’m really glad you learnt how to throw your spikes accurately. But can you let me try to fish some Pokémon? We really need to have an aquatic one on our team, you know that.» Believe me: talking to a Pokémon make you feel really, really absurd. You know when a tourist from a never-heard-about-it country asks you directions in an even-never-heard-about-it language? Then you tell him something in English or French but he answers you in his language and you two spend some time together, trying to understand what the other is talking about. Yes, that’s the feeling of talking to a Pokémon. Except the tourist knows your language, but you don’t know his.
«What do you want? Are you hungry? Is that it? You’re hungry?”
«Okay, then. The berries are in the bag. Want me to reach them?»
«Ferroooo, Ferrooooo, Ferrooooseed!»
«Hey, hey! Don’t shout with me, young man! I’m your trainer. Show some respect! »
The line starts to shake, interrupting our discussion. I grab the rod and start to uncoil the line revealing a gold and energetic fish that starts to struggle, for some air, while I raise it from the water. Who said Vincenzo didn’t know how to fish? Well, he doesn’t. But Albero does know how to fish a golden Pokéfish! Yes it does.
«See, Schoener! I told you this couldn’t be that hard! Now, let’s battle this fish. Use your Tackle attack!»
It’s really wonderful to see Schoener obeying me and attacking instead of attaching to something. The fish faints instantly, falling into the deep water again.
«You tackled it too hard, stronzo! Now how am I supposed to capture it?»
«I will only accept you apologies when you bring me a stronger water Pokémon, we can fight. Like a Poliwag or something.”
Yes, run. Run from me and leave me here, alone, fishing for a more useful Pokémon than you. I bet that that fish was more useful than…
The tourist wasn’t asking you what the directions to the hotel were; he was just a billionaire who was saying that you’ve earned a million Euros. In this particular case, it was just Schoner trying to tell me that he spotted some Poliwag nearby and had one entangled in the tall grass.
Poliwag has trouble walking on two feet, you know? Having no arms causes him to be unbalanced and as so this species prefers to swim instead of walking. Thank you very much, Fisherman from Cherrygrove!
«Okay, Schoener! Tackle it!»
The Poliwag seems really angry because of Schoener’s attack and even more because it knows that there is no escape: in order to reach the pond it has to pass through the tall grass, risking being entangled again; or it can simply run towards me, tackling and hoping that this causes both of us to fall into the water.
The Poliwag’s giving signs that it can’t hold much more from Schoener. Maybe it’s time to throw the ball. One, two, three… Here it goes!
The Pokéball turns left, then right, then left again, then right, until a crack sound declares that the Pokémon surrendered and quit struggling for its wildness. Schoener makes a sound of joy (not really different from his other sounds).
«Now, mis amicci, I guess we have a fire to pass through.»