Chapter One brings with it movie parodies, teen angst and bodybuilders!
/ Chapter One /
"Hoenn Sweet AAAAAAAAAAHHH!1!" - Part I
Hazel Ruby was, quite simply, bored out of her sixteen-year-old mind.
She'd already listened to as many crappy romantic male-female duets as she could stand on her iPhone, and she'd texted her cousin in Johto until the airhostess came and asked her as politely as possible to switch the phone off, dear, because it could cause very bad accidents. Which, of course, led to Hazel interrogating her as to what nature of accidents could occur on a two-hour flight across countries. Once she'd tired of that, she tried using the in-flight entertainment system, but was horrified to see that the only movie playing was one of the few she hated with her very soul. Even mentioning the name would go against her principles, so its name will not be reproduced here. But it's safe to say that, as Jay once more turned into a six-foot-tall Arcanine in order to fight with Fredward the Crobat PokeMorph, her eyes were bleeding.
"Oh, come on, Nellie," she groaned. "Choose Fredward already. We all know the only reason you let those two fight is so that the 'audience'," (that last word was in air quotes, to make it painfully obvious that said 'audience' was really a gaggle of giggling girls), "can swoon over shirtless Jay."
Her mother, Angie, let out a weak murmur of protest. "Keep it down, Hazel ... I'm trying to sleep here," and with that she brushed her chocolate-coloured hair away. Hazel reflected on how she was said to look more like her father than her mother, and if it was true. Sure, her hair and her mom's both were the colour of Hersheys bars, but she had Norman's sky-blue eyes, and her complexion was tanned like his. And she even had the same favourite colour as him: an intense hue of red, not quite crimson but nowhere near the pastel shades. Like Norman, she was a little touchy and melodramatic, but friendly and slightly-happy-go-lucky. But, despite Norman's best efforts, Hazel refused to go on a journey in Johto.
"Oh, come on, Dad," she'd groan at him whenever he brought up the subject of Pokemon training. "You know I really want to be a software developer. Like Bill Gates! He's soo-ooo-oo cool!" And then she'd rave on and on about how efficient his PokeBall digitisation process was, and how much more reliable it was than the old way of storing PokeBalls in lockers at Pokemon Centres, and then Norman would sigh and abandon the subject.
Come to think of it, Hazel mused, Dad never did say exactly why we're in Hoenn. I mean, I read his emails so I know it's something related to some guy called Maki ... And it sounds kinda shady too. So, what'd you get mixed up in this time, Dad?
This line of thought led to a dead end, so out of sheer boredom, Hazel decided to sleep.
A few hours later, she woke up in the back of a truck, and freaked right out.
"Mom, I am so gonna kill you!"
Yet another female scream from the back of the van. This one startled the driver, and he nearly drove himself into a tree. A little annoyed, he called out, "Quiet down back there!"
"You'd be screaming too, if your mom decided to take you out the airport while you were sleeping and dump you in the back of a truck," Hazel muttered.
"I heard that," came an unwanted reply. "And it's a van!"
"Whatever," she grumbled, leaning against a box. The box did not like this, and promptly decided that it would make the box above it fall on Hazel's head. And as the Great Box wished, so it became.
Hazel yelped as the box above the one she was leaning against fell on her head, and then into her lap. "Agh! Goddamn!" A thought struck her. "Oh, sh*t ... I hope that wasn't the vase! Better make sure it wasn't ..." Hazel dug into the box, ripping the tape open, and was relieved to find that it was merely her father's laptop. Breathing a sigh of relief, she pulled it out of the box and opened it. To Hazel's surprise (not), Norman had forgotten to unplug the free Internet connection drive from the laptop, so she figured she might as well make use of it. The teen opened up a web browser, only for a dialogue box to pop up.
"'Your chosen network is out of range'," she read, and then closed it, too annoyed to read the rest. "Hmm ... Wait a sec! Dad sends his email from an email client, not the Net, doesn't he?" A plan occurred to her, and, chuckling evilly, Hazel double-clicked at the email programme. "Hazel used Nasty Plot! Aaaand ..." She quickly searched for the name 'Maki' and came up with an email conversation hit. "It's super-effective!"
Smirking, Hazel began to read. By the end of it, she wasn't smiling anymore.
"Dad's in deep bullsh*t," she groaned. "Taxes? Really? And moving to Hoenn for political immunity? God ... I bet he didn't even consider just bribing the goddamn tax collectors ..." Sighing, she quickly shut down the computer and put it back in the box. Her attempt to fix the ripped tape resulted in it looking even worse, as though a particularly vicious Meowth had decided to trim its claws on that box. As Hazel put the box back, the van rumbled to a halt.
Littleroot Town, Hoenn ~ 3:05 PM; present day
Angeline Ruby was unsurprised when her daughter jumped out of the back of van as soon as possible, and began to berate her for forcing her into the moving truck without even asking her (at this point, the driver called back, "It's a van!"). Ignoring Hazel's teen angst, Angie paid the driver. He then dropped out of the car and pulled four small golf-ball-sized spheres off his belt. The top half was coloured red and the bottom half white, while they were separated by an indented black line that had a hinge on the back and a small switch on the front. When the driver clicked the button on each PokeBall in turn, they expanded to the size of an orange and the ball opened on its hinge, releasing a white, amorphous glowing object.
The glow faded to reveal a five-foot-tall purple-skinned humanoid, with three long, red marks running parallel to each other on their arms and forearms. Each flexed its rippling muscles as they stared with small, red eyes at each other, as though they were all competing in a bodybuilding competition and were trying to tell the others to shove the hell off because you have no chance here! with their body language.
"Come on, you lot," the driver called to them. "Get movin', would you?", and Hazel moaned at his bad pun.
"Mom," said Hazel, looking interestedly at the humanoids, which were now jostling each other in an attempt to make their companions drop the boxes they were holding, "what exactly are those?"
"They're Machoke," answered Angie. "You remember the Machop in Johto, don't you? These are their evolved forms right here."
"Oh! Now I recognise them." At this point, one of the Machoke stuck a foot out to try and trip another over, causing the driver to sigh and recall the prankster to its PokeBall.
"Y'know," Hazel suggested, "I think this is going to take a while. Why don't we look around town a bit?"
Angie frowned, trying to remember something, and then her eyes lit up. "Oh! You know, Norman's going to be staying in Petalburg, the next city over, so he'll be visiting twice a week or so. He'll be visiting tonight, and he said he'll have a gift for us, but for now, I think we should probably stick in the house."
Hazel groaned at that, and sighed. "Alright then, Mom. I'll be in my room, sleeping slash texting slash reading slash all of the above ..." The teenager then flounced off into the small two-storey house behind them, as Angie and the driver tried to supervise the unruly Machoke.
The new house was nothing as grand as their villa in Mahogany. Of course, Norman, being a highly-ranked Gym trainer and all that, had been able to afford much more back in Johto. Here, he was an immigrant, a foreigner. Hazel guessed that he was trying to lie low, not spending too much cash on housing and whatnot, staying in a sleepy little town like Littleroot. Back to the subject of the house, it was a small, Spartan accomodation. The first floor held a small kitchen and a living room combined with a dining room, a TV set, and a few couches. Hazel headed upstairs, and found that the second floor had access to her own room and her parents' room, connected by a small bathroom.
Hazel noticed a gift-wrapped box on her bed. On looking closer, she found a note that said:
Here's a gift, to apologise for kinda shoving you in the van. Mom said you refused to wake up, and we were in a hurry, so I told her to get you into the back. I figured you'd find some stuff to keep you interested.
"You got that right," Hazel murmured, continuing to read.
So, sorry, and here's something to make up for it.
Hazel grinned as she ripped the wrapping open to reveal ... "A clock? Seriously?" the brunette said, her tone disappointed. She examined the black, circular timepiece, and then set it aside on the bedside table. At that moment, there was a knock on the door.
"Hazel? It's Mom. Did you find Norman's gift yet?" Angie asked, walking in.
"Yeah, and it was crap," Hazel muttered.
"What was that?" Angie said sternly.
"I said," Hazel raised her voice reluctantly, "it was pretty cool. And it was very considerate of my father to give me a gift to apologise for putting me in the back of a van while I was sleeping."
"That's better. Now come downstairs," Angie said. "They were just playing an interview with Norman on the TV."
Hazel followed Angie downstairs, where the older woman switched on the TV. It flickered to life, displaying Norman saying, "... very thankful to be appointed, and I hope to do you all proud," followed by a commercial break.
"Damn, we missed it." A moment later, the Machoke finally swaggered in through the door, laying down the boxes. Angie sighed. "Oh dear. Hazel, do you mind going and ... getting yourself out of the way? I'm going to get some of our things ready, and then you can come back and we'll watch TV or something until Norman comes home for dinner."
"Yeah, yeah, all right." Hazel ran upstairs, calling back, "I'm going to go change, and then I'll go look around town or something."