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Old February 23rd, 2013 (3:40 AM).
Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
Gone. May or may not return.
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 22
Nature: Impish
Posts: 1,030
> Realize that the cyndaquil is now stronger because he beat both other Pokemon, realize that he is probably still hungry (and you are the only food), and finally feel guilty for making That Thing throw up his last meal, before becoming a meal.

This had actually occurred to you before. The Cyndaquil is obviously smarter than the others, as evidenced by its ability to formulate complex plans and laugh evilly at the pain of its opponent, and it also seems to be a pit of ravening hunger, since it still had room for an eight-foot crocodile after eating most of a herbaceous dinosaur. In addition, the Chikorita must have given it enough experience to rise to Level 10, which means that That Thing will have given it even more experience, and it must now be close to (if not actually at) evolution point.

There is also nothing edible left in town except for you.

If you could feel more terrified, you would.

There's the guilt, too. You've never sent anything or anyone to their death before, and even though That Thing was an unmentionable horror from beyond the realms of normal reality, you do feel a little bad for turning him into psycho hedgehog food.

For about ten seconds, anyway. I mean, it was probably for the best. He was uncontrollable, bad-tempered and made no secret of his eventual plans to tear your face off and eat your innards. You honestly don't miss him a bit, except as a useful shield to place between yourself and oncoming monsters.

> Well, you've wasted enough time there already, so head to Cherrygrove City, but grab something to defend yourself...just in case.

You've spent several hours here and your life is rapidly going from bad to worse; there's a terrifying monster after you, everyone has disappeared, you have no Pokémon and your grip on reality seems to be loosening by the second.

It is most definitely time to leave town.

You creep cautiously past the Flaming Townhouse, and, feeling nervous, pull your Dangerous Makeshift Knife out of your Bag as you do so. You'll probably get killed before you manage to even scratch the Cyndaquil, but it makes you feel a little less defenceless.

You reach the path that leads out onto Route 29 and, with one last, lingering look at your hometown, leave.

After all, there isn't much time for sentimentality when home is full of monsters.

> run (or limp) to Cherrygrove, and try and recall your pokemon.

Route 29 looks as it always does: verdant pastures; broad, sloping hills; tiny, unexpected cliffs; and gently-waving fields of tall grass.

Ah. The tall grass.

You stare at it for a while. If New Bark Town was so dangerous, and the tall grass is where monsters are meant to live... what the hell might be lurking in there?

For a moment, all you can do is think of hordes of Eldritch Rattatta swarming over your still-screaming body – and then you glance back, and see the green flames leap to the next house with a gleeful crackle. Whatever is in the grass, it can't possibly be as bad as what's back there, waiting in the burning shell of New Bark.

And anyway, soon it will finish eating That Thing, and search for more food.

Which means that it will be leaving town for Route 29.

You don't want to be here when that happens, so you steel yourself, grip your Dangerous Makeshift Knife so hard you almost cut yourself, and plough on through the tall grass.

Whether it's because you still smell of blood, petrol and burning plastic or simply because you're wielding a knife, nothing immediately attacks you, and as you head south down the winding trail that will eventually take you to Cherrygrove and the amenities of a Pokémon Centre it becomes apparent that there is very little life around. The birds are as silent here as they were in New Bark Town, and there's no rustling to indicate the passage of Sentret or fieldmice. Perhaps the weaker Pokémon and the animals have disappeared like all the humans apparently have – or perhaps they've fled, afraid of whatever horrendous evil has fallen over the region.

You're not actually sure which explanation is less terrifying, so you elect to ignore both and hope for the best.

> Look for berries on route 29

You know there's a Berry Tree near the Cherrygrove exit of the Route. Or is it an Apricorn Tree? You can never quite remember. Either way, it's lootable, so you make a mental note to stop by and pick some fruit when you pass by.

You reach the end of the first grassy patch and turn right; now you breathe easier, knowing that on this plain of short grass, you'll be able to see anything coming at you. Just ahead of you is where Tuscany used to stand, by that tree over there. She gave out Pink Bows, you remember, until they stopped making them and she resorted to TwistedSpoons instead. What did she do on the other days of the week, anyway? Perhaps she had a job.

You feel melancholy, and somewhat philosophical. There is so much about the people here that you did not know, and never will now.

North again, up the hill, and now there's a choice between more long grass and a skinny tree. Since core gameplay mechanics appear to have become somewhat skewed of late, you attempt to squeeze past the tree and are surprised at your success.

Take that, HM01.

To the north is the gatehouse leading to Route 46.

To the south is the way back to New Bark Town.

To the west is the path to Cherrygrove City.

To the east is a fearsome and unearthly howl of hunger.

For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.