> Be content in your victory and swagger out of the house. SWAGGER.
Observe the outside.
You know what? Screw the Master Ball thing. Screw the fact that That Thing is probably only going to remain in your possession for a few short hours. Screw your mistakes – you just caught an Eldritch freaking Totodile, and without any Pokémon at that. You'd like to see Lance do that, the smug git... Oh yeah, give him his Dragonite and he'd wipe pretty much anything off the face of the earth, but take it away and he'd be all like “Oh no, don't eat my face!” and That Thing would be like “raaahhhr” and it would totally be about to eat his face when you swept in and saved the day by ramming a television through its head.
You may wish to investigate the cause of these sudden mood swings. They're coming along with alarming rapidity.
Still, secure in the knowledge that you're Officially Awesome, you recall That Thing and swagger out of the house, casting a quick glance around the town. New Bark seems pretty much deserted; the few people who persistently hang around outside have vanished, and there's none of the usual noise emanating from Elm's lab.
To the south are two houses.
To the east is Elm's Pokémon Lab.
To the west is the open sea.
There is a signpost here.
> Well, now we know what That Thing is, we should bring it to a seasoned professor for more research, and then, in the ancient practice of pokemon training, go kill other people's pets with it.
To the lab, then! If anyone knows what the hell happened to make a (relatively) cute little Totodile into That Thing, Elm will. He's the expert around these parts, although Oak has a bad habit of coming in and stealing his thunder at times. You shake your head as you set off for the lab. Poor guy. Oak came in and stole his introductory speech to you, and then he gave you a Pokédex when Elm was just about to do so himself. Elm never says anything about it, but something gives you a feeling that he hasn't forgiven him. The dartboard with Oak's photo over the bullseye probably has something to do with it.
Elm's lab looks much like the two houses to the south, only slightly broader and with two squat chimneys – chimneys that, you recall, don't actually seem to connect to anything inside the building. The door is ajar, and the lab, like the rest of the town, is absolutely silent.
You frown. Perhaps Elm isn't there after all. There might be some clue as to where he went, though – and you remember that there's a PC there, too, where you could heal That Thing (should you be so inclined) and access the Box network.
But still... that silence. It spooks you, man.
You wish you had Voltz with you. A hug from that guy always cheers you up.
Right now, though, you have only That Thing, and he's possibly the only thing you can think of less cuddly than an angry Gyarados. On that discomfiting thought, you gather your courage and creep into the lab.
The line of bookcases stretches across the space, just as before; the storage unit where he keeps the starter Pokémon is there, just as before; the desks, the computers – all of it is there, just as it was before. Everything is completely normal.
Except without any people.
To the north are Elm's desks, with assorted items scattered on them, and the PC with its attached healing machine.
To the east and west are bookcases.
To the south is the exit to New Bark Town's main street.
There may be fewer or no updates over the next four days. I ain't abandoning anything, but I'm going to have precious few chances to write. I'll do my best to keep up, but whether I manage to write anything or not, I'll be back on Friday at the latest. Thanks for playing!