K R I S S U
→ Route 31
The fire had spread. A lot. It had went away from Mr Pokémon's house and the trees there seemed to have... Respawned. Krissu shrugged as she walked through the newly grown forest there and guessed that this was something that could happen inside of MAO. She felt a bit uncomfortable thinking about that she could never be sure of just how realistic this world was.
Route 31 was blazing. At least in the north. Even though the sun was high up on the morning sky, Krissu could see smoke and an ominous orangel light over the trees on the horizon. She trekked onwards and got closer. She wished she had bought a map or something in Cherrygrove because she couldn't remember just how long this route was supposed to be.
To not overwhelm herself with gloomy thoughts again, she took out her pokémon from their pokéballs. Lined up in front of her, they were quite the peculiar bunch. Litwick, the charming little fire ghost. Rattata the brave normal rat. Tentacool, the slightly aloof but obedient water tentacle thingy. And Weedle, who was still not quite happy with his new trainer.
"Listen," she told them. "I wish I could be on a fun adventure with you guys. It's all I ever wanted! But things have happened... And I don't know if I can ever be really happy again." Thoughts stung her, but she stood fast this time. "I'm on a mission now. A quest. I have to become a strong trainer. Will you help me with that?"
Three of the pokémon more or less cheered, just as obediently and loyally as captured pokémon in old games were. The fourth still stared at her. It wasn't too happy. Maybe this was one of the strange things that made MAO malfunction now. Unless they really were trapped on purpose... Krissu had many ideas and theories but didn't want to dive too far into any of them.
"Weedle, let's train for a bit," she begged the pokémon and returned the others to their pokéballs once again. Weedle still looked malcontent, but he couldn't refuse.
They went closer to the fire and saw other trainers. They were either running away from the fire or towards it to try and help. Only one hill with trees between them and the inferno now. That's when a NPC caught her. Krissu avoided NPC trainers these days. She felt scared and angry at the same time whenever she talked to them. Non-hostile NPCs were ok, but trainers... It only reminded her of the tragedy.
"Yo, lady!" she shouted when Krissu walked in the middle of the road with for once a rather open grass field around it, heading for the light behind the trees up front. The pink haired trainer spun around. It was a little girl with lots of freckles and a backwards turned baseball cap. Also, shorts and a t-shirt. She really looked like a little tomboy and grinned towards the older girl. "A battle!"
"Not right now," Krissu tried, though she knew it wasn't any use. "I have some place to be."
"No can do. We locked eyes!"
"You called for me! Of course I turn around and look at you!"
"Yeah, that's a perfectly valid acceptation of my challenge! I choose you, Pansear!" The little girl unexpectedly sent out a red monkey that Krissu easily recognized from her older games.
"How did that come to Johto?" she asked before she really thought about it. Right... She had a Litwick, herself. It wasn't that strange. MAO simply provided the routes with different wild pokémon than the old games did. Or... At least other starters and NPC pokémon, apparently.
"Hnng... Alright, then, Tentacool!" she called out and sent out her water/poison type. Weedle sat on her shoulder, watching. Even before the other trainer could utter her first move, Krissu shouted: "Supersonic!" Tentacool immediately sent out strange sonic waves that gave Pansear headache.
"Stop that!" the tomboy said. "Pansear, get a hold of yourself and use Incinerate!" The monkey tried, but its ball of fire attacked the grass next to Krissu instead of Tentacool's body.
"Great, let's run!" Krissu told her pokémon and tried to make a run for it. But she hadn't gone more than a few meters before some invincible force stopped her feet. She just couldn't run further from the NPC trainer. It was the game mechanics locking her in place. Terror filled her mind, but she calmed down rather quickly and turned back.
"Come back!" the tomboy shouted and ran after her. "Pansear, Pound!"
"So," Krissu said darkly. "You really do want a battle."
Ten minutes later, two of the tomboy's pokémon were defeated while Tentacool and Weedle were both still standing. It had been a close call for Weedle, but thanks to a switch-in from the water type, the battle had been won. The tomboy pouted and just stood rooted in place, staring after Krissu as the pink haired player left the scene. She couldn't help being a bit angry with the little girl, even though she knew she wasn't real. If her pokémon fainted, she would not die. But Krissu would.
They had not gone more than 10 meters into the woods towards the faint fire in the distance, before Weedle began acting strange on Krissu's shoulder. She took it down into her hands and watched it worriedly. It's body turned stiff and all of a sudden, it turned its face upwards and started spraying something. As if using String Shot but weaker. The substance fell on its own body and Krissu, afraid of getting it on her hands, sat the pokémon down on the ground. Over the course of half a minute, Weedle covered itself in whitish substance, and then it started glowing.
"Are you... already?" Krissu breathed. Tentacool looked on like something of a dope.
When the glow faded away seconds later, a Kakuna stood in Weedle's spot. He had evolved. Krissu's face broke into a smile and she picked up her pokédex to register him. "This is amazing. My pokémon evolved... Soon you will be a Beedrill. You'll be a fierce fighter, you'll just see! I'll have to gather more fighters. Brave like Rattata and obedient like Tentacool but clever like Litwick. Beedrill is just the start..."
She realized that she had been talking to herself... Or had she? Her pokémon had listened. This was strange. Did she still not see them as people? They were only game abstractions. Yet... So alive. She should maybe start treating them as friends instead. What made friends friends? Christina had never been good with friends. She easily became too self-absorbed. For starters, she at least knew one thing. Friends had names.
After minutes of thinking, she no longer had just a litwick, a rattata, a tentacool and a kakuna. She had Wick, Tat, Col and Drill. The last name was sort of in hope that the pokémon would evolve soon again. According to the pokédex, bug types often evolved early.
Krissu, with Kakuna in her arms and the other pokémon inside their pokéballs, finally reached the fire. It was unlike anything she had ever seen. The fire was ablaze. It didn't seem to spread back towards Route 30; the forest had, as earlier stated, regrown already. But this looked very real. She was looking at it from 40 meters distance, perhaps. To the east, a low mountain was seen. She wondered where she was supposed to go next. Again, she didn't quite remember the Johto games accurately and did not have a map. As they got even closer to try and spot some path leading west, since she was pretty sure that the next town would be there somewhere, she spotted a sign that was only slightly touched by the fire as it has passed by earlier. 'Dark Cave north' it said.
Turning her gaze due north, Krissu saw a dark opening in the lowest cliffs of the mountain. She remembered this... Not much more than a vague memory of a place to capture pokémon in. Dark Cave... Something had made her mostly just skip this place in the games. She would find out why, now. MAO was different, after all. She walked up towards the entrance to the cave, the light of the sun almost dimmed by the nearby forest fire's orangeness.
((OOC: so, now Lux and Krissu can literally bump into each other, unless you think Lux would be a person who could initiate conversation by just seeing another trainer ^^))