Back in Cherrygrove City, along with the egg that Lux had received from Mr.Pokemon, it was time to share her success with the mayor.
"Told ya I'd get it!" said Luxanna as she held up the glass-cased protected egg. "It's not scrambled or fried, or anything! It's riiight here, safe and sound!"
"Ah, excellent, thank you dear," thanked the mayor, as she gladly accepted the egg from Luxanna. "Yes, it's safe and sound as you said! I do apologize if this was such a bother for you."
"Nah, it was nothing at all!" explained Lux with a smile. "The only thing weird was this zubat-crazy girl who was all like, SCIENCE IS AWESOME and such. But she was nice! We got to hang out and talk and such. By the way Miss Mayor, what's with this whole egg fiasco anyway?"
"Don't worry about it," replied the mayor. "It's just something that this old bat had been wanting for a while now. And that Mr.Pokemon... what ever am I going to do with him. But, in any case, I believe I owe you an award!" She took out the technological hardware from her pocket that she promised Lux - it was an exclusive Pokegear. "Straight from Goldenrod City!"
"Wooooow, it's amazing!" complemented Lux as she happily accepted her award. She then fiddles with the buttons and the features. "Hey is this...! It's music! Awww yeah, this is great, my favourite track! We all liiiive... in a pokemon world, PO-KE-MON...!"
"I am glad you're enjoying it!" said the mayor with a smile. "You deserve it! I don't see much trainers nowadays who would do this old woman a favor... ahem. So young one, what do you intend to do now?"
"I wanna be! The GREATEST MASTA OF THEM ALLL~ Greatest mastaaa..." Lux continued to sang, not listening to the mayor's question.
"Ah, this girl sure is sure a special one..." the mayor thought with a chuckle.
Hawthorne Guardian Moderator of Video Games Paired to: Perdition Haze
Seconds turned to minutes, and minutes turned to hours. It truly seemed as if no one was going to come to join the two. It was a strangely comfortable experience for Fel. He was sitting rather close to the scantily clad girl he'd just met, but he didn't feel awkward at the seemingly intimate situation. Maybe it was the sea, he thought; the pushing and pulling of the waves, the swimmers and fishermen off in the distance, the vivid wonder of the horizon, he understood clearly how Mercedes was so at ease.
"E-excuse me!" someone exclaimed from the behind the two. "You two wouldn't happen to have seen a man in formal wear anywhere along the shores, would you?" The girl seemed to have been running around for a good while, because she seemed to be out of breath. She was a relatively tall woman with short, auburn brown hair. Her eyes were as red as a rabbit's, and her skin was somewhat pale. She wore a leather jacket, and under that she wore a blue tank top along with short short jeans.
It didn't take a genius to figure out that she was another recruit. The two told her that she was at the right place, and she let out a heavy sigh of relief, though she seemed to be a little embarrassed at the fact that she scaled the beach several times, passing by the two each time.
"My name's Marona, it's nice to meet you two. I didn't really notice you two during the whole 'kidnapping incident', I was a little two scared at the time." The woman said with red cheeks. Mercedes scanned over Marona's person, feeling as if there was something off about her, but Fel couldn't tell exactly what that "something" was. "Uh...I guess I seem a little strange," Marona started, scratching her head. "A 32 year old business woman like me in clothes like this, my personality doesn't really fit the clothes." Marona laughed half-heartedly after saying this. Mercedes chuckled a little as well, after she noticed...something. Mercedes backed off and put her hand out.
"Name's Mercedes, and that guy over there's Fel," She said, pointing Fel. Marona shook Mercedes' hand and told her that it was a pleasure. Fel waved, and then noticed something hit his foot. It was a soft impact, but what hit him was definitely a thick metal. When Fel looked to see what it was, he found a message in a bottle. It was an interesting find, bottle mails were things that had, for the most part, died out of media and the like, it was interesting to see one here. Fel signaled fir the others to come over and removed the cork with his teeth, reading the text aloud.
"Greetings, dear recruits," He started, clearing his throat so as to make the reading mostly uninterrupted. "If you are reading this, then you must have accepted our call. I will keep this message brief, as this first mission will be the one that truly decides if you are trustworthy enough to join our cause. I am to assume that each of you has a pokemon, but most likely do not have a Pokedex. Whether you do or not is irrelevant, really, a man named Mr.Pokemon will give you further instructions."
"So basically, it was another 'piss or get off the pot' situation, much like the initial message we received," Mercedes grumbled with her arms crossed. "Well, I suppose we better get going."
"Uh...hold on," Fel said as Mercedes changed back into her normal clothing. "What about the fourth recruit, shouldn't we wait for them?"
Mercedes shook her head and said, "As I said before, they'll come. Don't worry about them, you've got your own problems to worry about at the moment, so let's get going." Mercedes proceeded towards the next route, with Marona following in suit. Fel looked back to the way he came, wondering if the fourth recruit would be okay on her own. He then sighed, deciding that he, at least for now, he would trust this curiously intelligent girl, and went on to join the others.
How odd. She thought the confident people couldn't be surprised. Then again, no person could expect everything. She listened though, very intently. Something about Caterpie was bad for Falkner’s team. Well, that did make sense. Bugs were usually eaten by birds. Well that was no good. She would probably end up relying mostly on Sia... or any other Pokemon she happened to catch. Though... maybe she ought to evolve Kii. That would be a good idea too.
“Thanks,” she said cheerfully, smiling now and looking fondly at her two Pokemon. There were probably more Pokemon to find and all of them were probably stronger than Kii or Sia. She would be fine... probably.
Suddenly Krissu started running. There was a house? Up here? Wow... Strange though. Why was her new friend puzzled? Was there something important here? Maybe someone was home too. Ange went up to the door and knocked shyly without permission. The worst that could happen was nothing right? Just as the door creaked open, Kii burst from his Pokeball. The little Caterpie waddled away quickly and eagerly, making Ange frown. “Kii, where are you going?” Sia made a little squeak and tried to grab the bug, but the Caterpillar ignored it easily. “Eh? Wait!” Ange left the porch, chasing quickly after the worm, only for it to have eagerly climbed into one of the berry trees. “Kii, get down.”
It let out a squeak of negative, crawling towards a hanging berry.
“Thank you so much, my dear!’ The Mayor exclaimed excitedly, her preprogrammed tone just about bubbling over with vivaciousness. They really went all out on giving these characters believable emotions, maybe too well in fact. This particular character herself was a bit grating in Solomon’s eyes. A little too cheerful, a little too....he didn’t really know. Just something not quite right, too maternal? Like the character was trying too hard to be a role model. It was a silly thought, one not becoming him in the slightest. A character couldn’t be anything more than what it was. Like humans in most respects. They were all products of nurture, nature and environment. People simply are what they are, and that in itself is something that did cause Solomon the slightest disappointment. “Here, I insist you take this!”
[You have received a PokéGear!]
“Yeah, great...” Solomon answered her sarcastically. “This will truly prove invaluable with the numerous people I intend to keep in contact with,” he continued. Tossing it into his front coat pocket, he thumbed the device on with his hand. If his memory served him right, sarcastic comments aside, the device had proved useful in previous Pokemon games. Trainers calling about swarms and all other bits of info. Of course, it often served as a constant nuisance for the Youngster Joey(s) of the world to call and pester him about their love of shorts. Not a particular prospect he distinctly looked forward to. “Let me guess, I assume your number is preprogrammed into it?”
“Of course it is, dear!” The Mayor beamed back at him with a disturbingly radiant smile.
“Oh joy.” He sighed and looked to Umbra who seemingly was paying him little attention, her rapt focus being on the city around them. “I’ll be leaving now.” Solomon gave a dismissive wave and walked off without much circumstance, the next eager quest seeker quickly taking his place. “Glad that’s over with.” He looked down to his Sneasel who was still a few paces behind him, completely caught up in the other people around them. She liked people, Umbra did. Her eyes lit up brighter when there were more of them around. Solomon knew that she was happy to be around him, but he saw something different when he was with the two girls earlier. Krissu and Ange. Umbra had lingered when he had already departed, something she didn’t have a large predisposition to doing. The pink one especially. Maybe it was just the hair? Or was it the fact that they were female? ‘Allegedly’ female, he corrected himself. Who knew what forty year old virgins they really are? Then again, it wasn’t like he had some extensive, knowledgable love history. It bothered him not at all, unlike most people.
His mind actually lingered on the subject more than he had intended it to. Before he knew it, he found himself back on Route 30 and on the precipice of Route 31. Something caught his eye as he stopped and looked off into the distance. It was one of the few times another trainer had caught his eye. No, it wasn’t the trainer, but its Pokemon. A young avatar was bumbling along, a small Teddiursa nipping at his heels. Now that was an interesting Pokemon to see around here. He had heard about them being in the dark cave to the north, but supposedly, you were better off not even trying to find them due to the impenetrable darkness. Something compelled him to investigate the trainer further.
“You there, boy.” He called out in a flat, almost monotone way. “Where did you get that Teddiursa?” Solomon asked rhetorically, trying to create some false rapport.
“Oh?” The boy paused and turned to face his inquisitor. “The dark cave, I guess you could say I’m pretty lucky. This little fellow was just sitting there right by the entrance. I tripped over him and well, here he is!” The proud trainer boasted to him.
“There is no such thing as luck,” Solomon answered him. Teddiursa was a fairly competent Pokemon in its own right, but even more so upon evolution. Few Pokemon could match it in sheer muscle. With the right strategy, it could be a fearsome combatant. “If there was,” he continued. “I’m afraid that yours has dried up.” Solomon didn’t even really now what was happening, but he just had to have the Teddiursa, right now. How? Weren’t there mechanics in place to prevent theft? Or did this game play by a different set of rules? Only one way to find out. “I must ask that you give me the bear. Do so, and nobody gets hurt.”
“Ha, very funny.” The boy laughed at him as if it really was a joke. Solomon hated being laughed at.
“This is not a time for levity.” Solomon looked him up and down appraisingly. Three pokeballs on the hip holster. That means he had two more Pokemon that weren’t in the field. Solomon could take down one, show that he meant business and take the Teddiursa. That would still leave the trainer with one Pokemon and prevent him from whiting out. “Now, hand over the pokeball for that Teddiursa, if you’d be so kind.”
“Dude, you’re crazy!”
“Oh yes, truly you posses the wit of a certified genius. As if I haven't been called that before. Umbra, ready?” The Sneasel just nodded, but she didn’t seem quite so sure about what her master was ready to be doing. “Just like the wild battles, stay tight and listen.”
“You know what, fine!” The anonymous trainer recalled the prized bear and pulled off another ball from his hip. “Pidgey, go! Seems like we have to fight off this loon. Standard rules right, we agree to leave at least one Pokemon for the loser?”
“I agree to no such terms,” he bluffed.
Last edited by Claire*; January 17th, 2013 at 08:56 PM.
The door creaked open after Ange had knocked, but just as it did, her Caterpie suddenly took off like wild. Ange rushed after it, the Solosis following in the air. Krissu's initial reaction was that of worry; what if the Caterpie ran into a strong pokémon that could defeat it and harm Ange? But then again... she did have her Solosis as well and there weren't many strong pokémon here anyways. So instead, Krissu turned back to the door and came face to face with a rather short, square shaped man. It wasn't that he was particularly fat, he was just... square shaped. He wore a pair of glasses and had a fedora on his head. Strange, wearing a hat inside a house. But this was a game, so maybe some characters just liked to keep their appearance up wherever they went.
"Yes?" the man asked. Then, it clicked for Krissu. She knew who he was.
"That is me! Oh, were you sent here?"
"No, I wasn't. We just ran from some Weedle and ended up here. But..." What had his role been in the old games? Krissu scratched her head and threw a glance to where Ange had run off to. "Do you, uh, need help with anything?" In MAO, quest dialogue could often by unlocked by just asking a NPC about it. It turned out that it was the case here as well.
"Actually, I could use some help! Come on inside!" the man said, cracking up into a wide smile with strangely good looking teeth.
"Hang on, I have to get my friend. Ange! Hey, Ange?" Krissu called out, half stepping inside the house. The girl didn't respond immediately, which made a shallow wave of worry wash over Krissu again. "I'll be back," she told Mr Pokémon and ran down from the porch.
Caterpie had climbed up into one of Mr Pokémon's berry trees. Just as Krissu approached, she saw a glimpse of another colored creature closing in on the green bug though... one of those Weedle!
"Watch out!" she called out and instinctively reached for one of the pokéballs from her shoulder bag. Out came Rattata and landed in between Ange and the tree. The Weedle hissed in its strangely buggy way at Caterpie, warning it to take another bite from its berries. The Weedle was there first!
"Oh my, are those bugs here again?" Mr Pokémon's voice came from behind them. "Let me go get a REPEL..." he disappeared into the house from the porch. Krissu had no intention of waiting around for him though.
"Weedle are poisonous..." she began, then got an idea. Weedle evolved into Beedrill. Those were pretty handy to have early on in a pokémon game. Now that there wasn't a whole flock of them, she could capture the yellow worm. "Can I battle it and catch it?" she asked Ange, standing beside her.
Jercio was now set in training his pokemon to use more then just the knowledge he had from the games, but to involve every new aspect MAO added. Stats, move sets, and abilities would mean nothing with out a solid strategy which included all the mechanics of a full on battle. Feeling he could keep his pokemon training anywhere Jercio picked back up and headed to Violet City. He was already at the top end of route thirty, and the short route thirty one was no issue. It was exactly what Jason planned for. Jercio was in perfect shape for long hikes and things like this. Jason knew it was all him. Jercio was pretty much his twin. Though he hadn’t really thought of it the biggest difference between him and his avatar was an inch or two of height and the clothes they wore. For the entirety of route thirty one this thought was his only one as he debated using his avatar name.
Jason’s absentmindedness almost got him into a bit of trouble about halfway through route thirty one. While he was off in his own mind he bumped into a random young trainer, muttered sorry, and went on his way. Luckily the trainer was another player otherwise he could have gotten into a battle he didn’t want to start. Jason wanted to perfect his plans before getting into the serious battles. He did allow Witor to pick off the one or two Bellsprout who popped up on the route, and Hurek to take out a Sunkern, but besides that didn’t go looking for battles.
Violet was your generic pokemon city, in Jason’s opinion. A flare of Japanese design was added into almost everything. He was curious how the designers picked to add all these things to the game. In the old versions cities had only a couple buildings, but this was a full on city. Jason chuckled to himself as he considered going into random housing and seeing if he could take everything. He decided against it, and instead went looking to try and find some lunch. Perhaps he didn’t really need food, but his mind seemed to want some.
Fara produced one of her heart-warming smiles and took off down Route 30. She wondered if she could actually befriend Birdie he seemed like a decent guy and they had made a connection. How could she trust him? How could she trust any of the other players? If any of them were as mischievous as her, well, Fara knew she just wanted the company even if that meant letting someone else get close. With Bandino in her arms she trudged toward to Route 31 where she would catch herself a Geodude to defeat Faulkner. Purposely she ignored Birdie as if he wasn’t there and instead whispered things to the partner in her arms. The landscape reminded Amell of all the hours he sat and played SoulSilver on his living room couch. Never in a billion years did he have the thought that one day he would enter a virtual world and play the game that way.
As they reached the stairs that lead up to Route 31 Fara hesitated to make another step forward. She slowly turned her head to look at Birdie before she carried on. Within a few seconds several Bellsprout attacked but Bandino was a bit too eager to finish them off. After each defeat Fara greatly praised Bandino either she patted on him the head or clapped on the sidelines. Eventually they reached the entrance to the cave, which had an eerie appeal to it. Fara could only imagine how it felt on the inside.
“Wait here,” Fara was certain there wasn’t going to be enough light inside and she didn’t want Birdie to block any of it. “Be a lookout?”
Confidence swelled inside of her and she was ready to capture her a Pokémon. A few steps later Fara was inside of the dark cave where Pokémon growls bounced off the walls. There was a drip of water somewhere out there in the beyond but Fara stood frozen in place. Bandino’s large purple ears instantly became alert while his head swung every which way. In the video games Geodudes came into battle every three step so she knew it wouldn’t be long before she ran into one. It took less than three steps for Fara to be engaged in battle as Bandino had charged forward and ran straight into a rock that was different than the others around it.
“Bandino, let’s go with Double Kick!” Fara commanded.
She threw out her arm to point at the rock that moved. Her purple partner launched into an attack where it jumped in front of the rock type Pokémon then turned around and landed the attack. Fighting type moves were super effective against Geodude so she would have to use a Pokeball now and not let Bandino attack again. Before Fara had the chance to the other Pokémon picked up a rock and hurled it at Bandino, which struck him right on the horn. An urge to run and protect Bandino from harm overwhelmed her but she still kept focused on the task. She slipped her fingers into her bag and clutched a sphere and launched it at the Pokémon opposite of her own. The half red, half white ball opened up and sucked Geodude inside. Three slow wiggles later and the Pokéball stopped, which signaled she had caught it.
After a bit of loud celebration Fara picked up the Pokéball, it was her first official Pokémon catch. An option menu popped up that asked her if she wanted to name her male Geodude. Fara tapped on the “Yes” option before she typed in the name Yast. Satisfied with her catch she spun on her heels and headed toward the exit with Bandino who walked beside her. A creature ran out from some place in the cave in and blocked the exit. When Fara got closer she saw that it was a small orange-brown bear with a crescent moon on its forehead. The Pokémon was clearly very upset as it was pointing and speaking quite a bit. Was there a Pokémon-to-English translator in this game? Amell couldn’t remember if he had read that there was one or not so he just assumed there wasn’t. They weren’t going to get out of this cave without a fight.
“You know what to do!”
Luckily Double Kick was super effective against normal types as well. The enraged Teddiursa launched its attack first before Fara had even finished her sentence. It’s sharpened claws scratched at Bandino, which caused him to shriek in pain. Fara gritted her teeth as Bandino returned the pain with two kicks straight to the bear’s face, which knocked it off its feet. Unlike Geodude this Teddiursa had a lot more fight in it than it looked like and charged at Bandino once again.
“Poison Sting,” she hoped that Bandino would be able to survive this battle. She couldn’t risk sending out Geodude until she got him healed.
The large horn on Bandino’s head glowed a light purple color right before it crashed into Teddiursa. The blow to the stomach was enough to topple the opponent to the ground. Before Teddiursa had the chance to get up Fara tossed another Pokeball that repeated the same actions it did just a few minutes ago. Well, almost, this time the capturing sphere popped open again, which released the Pokémon that had been inside. Curses escaped the mouth of Fara as Bandino became the victim of yet another attack. If she could capture it with this Pokéball then Bandino wouldn’t faint. Fara bit her lip before she made a decision; she arched back her arm and tossed it at Teddiursa. One… Fara sucked in air. Two… Fara carefully watched not to let her breath out. Three…. Done. Fara gave a great big sigh as she collected her treasure and nicknamed it Survia. This Pokémon most certainly was tough and would help with Faulkner.
“I’m done,” Fara announced as she exited the cave.
It had been a full day since anybody had challenged the gym leader. Nobody entered the gym, but clusters of trainers always stood outside, planning or talking but eventually giving up and going away.
Falkner, the very first gym leader of Johto. So simple to beat in the old gameboy games. What made him so terrifying now? There was the fact that if you lost, you died. But it was also his exotic pokémon; his team no longer consisted of mere Pidgey with two weak attacks each. They were well trained and smart opponents. More so than any other NPC in this town. And thus, no one had yet, after over a week of being trapped inside MAO's Johto world, defeated the first gym leader.
But this day, it would change. That was what one particular trainer thought. He was a player, and a darn good one. Instead of rushing blindly to the gym as soon as he reached Violet, he had taken his time and trained in the Sprout tower diligently. He had captured good pokémon and fought many battles at the trainer's academy. He was ready.
Many trainers watched in awe or horror as the one called Cain walked up to the doors of the gym. They slid open just as a breeze messed up his dark brown, shoulder long hair. He looked back at the faces staring at him and gave them a tiny smile of confidence. A quiet smile, saying "I've got this."
The first battle, against the gym trainer who was working for Falkner and was the last barrier before the real deal, he was simple enough to beat. Not a very clever guy, mostly annoying. The second battle was long. He used all of his six pokémon in attempts to outmaneuver and weaken Falkner's agile birds. Players had dared to step inside to watch the dire battle and sat like on nails on the seats surrounding the roofless arena.
At last, Falkner's Murkrow and Rufflet both fell. But so did all but two of Cain's pokémon. He brought out the first of his secret weapons. Gastly. Normal type moves would go right through this one. Falkner sent out his Pidgeotto. It knew Mud Slap.
Gastly was eventually overwhelmed by the reduced accuracy of its moves and of the constant weakening that the repeated Mud Slaps did. It fainted and Cain felt his plans crush. How could this not work? There must be something wrong with the game. The first gym leader COULD not be meant to be this difficult to beat. Not with the good pokémon that could be found in Violet and the routes before that, and with the simple types of the gym's pokémon. Flying. But in a realistic game, flying targets were much more difficult to hit than in the static console games. Much.
Cain's last weapon, a Geodude, was sent out. This pokémon had high enough defenses to withstand many Mud Slap attacks despite the type disadvantage for that particular move. It also knew Rock Throw which was pretty much SURE to be able to take a Pidgeotto down. The crowd had fallen silent. Everyone was worried to their bones. Cain was actually the first one who had thought of using a rock type against the birds. Why had no one of the at least four trainers who had fought Falkner and lost tried that? Maybe they were too scared and rushed to think strategically. But Cain had been doing his thinking. He would succeed.
Minutes later, players rushed out from the gym, some looking grim and others feeling hollow like never before. One trainer never walked the streets of Violet again though, and his last words rang in the ears of the ones who had been watching.
"This game is broken..."
Falkner's Pidgeotto had known the move Icy Wind.
((OOC: this does not mean that you have to make Pidgeotto know Mud Slap or Icy Wind when you battle it. You're free to pretend that the moveset resets whenever a gym leader faces a new challenger if you have other ideas. The point I want to make is just that the players in Violet are now beginning to suspect that the inability to log out and the no-respawn if whiting out are not the only bugs in MAO...))
“Y-you, you’re a monster!” Those were the last words that Solomon heard of the boy before he handed over the Teddiursa’s Pokeball. The boy had hardly been able to speak, his voice weak and ragged with tears. He had eventually learned that the boy went by Jarin, but the name meant nothing to him. Solomon still referred to him as but a boy. In the end, he had gotten what he desired. The little bear Pokemon was now bumbling about by his legs, wholly confused by the events that had transpired. One minute he was in the possession of a weak boy by the name of Jarin, the next he was in Solomon’s competent hands. Doing his best to assure the bear that he was entirely better off, it didn’t seem like it believed him as of yet. It hardly mattered. In time, the bear would see that Jarin was going nowhere and Solomon was bound to be better for his future, that he assured him.
Of the Pokemon he encountered on route 31, none of them piqued his interest. They quickly became fodder for his new Teddiursa. Even under the confusion that the situation allowed for the bear, things went swimmingly when in battle. Before they had encountered any enemies, the little bear seemed a bit dimwitted, slow even. In battle, he was sharp and focused, completely unlike what Solomon had expected. This mix of two personalities reminded him of the moon and it’s rise and fall through the night sky. That and the little emblem on the bear’s head, was what earned him the name, Luna. Although it was not a masculine name, it fit the Teddiursa’s personality and it seemed happy enough with it.
After the group of his Pokemon had succesfully trained a few levels, they quickly made haste for Violet city and whatever await them there. Solomon always loved Violet city in the older games. The japanese style, the music, the ease with which the first gym leader went down. Yet, he wasn’t quite ready to be taken aback by what he saw when fully realized in a 3D world. In his opinion, it was beautiful. The first thing that graced his vision was the Pokemon center. Nothing spectacular in its own right, but when he turned the corner, the sprout tower loomed over the landscape. The traditional styling, the way it swayed gently in the air. It was all very mesmerizing and enticing.
As much as he longed to explore it, however, he knew that his Pokemon had to be tired and needed to be healed. Instead of plunging headlong into more battles and whatever surprises awaited him therein, he slowly reversed course and traversed his way back to the center. It struck him as the automatic doors parted, that he hadn’t been in one for a while. Without realizing it, he had been healing his Pokemon primarily with potions. He walked up to the desk and quickly retrieved his three balls while placing them in the basket to be healed. After one of the nurses came and fetched them, it took only a few seconds for them to be healed and returned.
Where did he want to go first? Sprout tower did have a certain allure, but his primary motivator was the gym. Perhaps Falkner should be the first on his agenda. It was only right after all. Something stopped him from doing so, however. Was it fear? It didn’t necessarily feel like fear, but something similar. Cautiousness? Yes, that was what he convinced himself it was. Perhaps he should do some investigation on the gym before rushing headlong to his victory. It was the smart thing to do after all...
Pokémon. A strange word, but yet so full of mystery.
Is it pronounced Paw-keh-mon or is it more like Poo-key-mon? I really don’t know. I’ve been in this game for about one week and I’ve already discovered so many things about these creatures and the mechanics that rule this world, that if I were at the real world I would be named Vincenzo Castafiore, the Second Linaeus. Only the people, who are stuck here, with me, can enjoy the magnitude and the singularity of these little monsters. Yes, that’s the best way to describe them: virtual little monsters that live side by side with the human beings, either in the wild form or the tamed one. But why do I call them monsters, if they are so much like harmless living forms. The answer is: they are not harmless living forms, because each species of creatures can learn a set of moves – the technical word for each one of the abilities that a creature can perform – that are used to fight against other creatures. The players here are called trainers because of that; we train Pokémon in order to win the highest amount of battles we can, under one specific condition: we must never let our last Pokémon faint in a battle, or else we white out from this game and the virtual reality kills our counterpart in the real world… In other words, we are just simply stuck in this freakin’ world of Pokémon and every day I see more than one player white out. So far, I’ve counted forty two, but I guess that tomorrow they’ll be forty four, because the small group I am following, which consisted of ten trainers, is now reduced to only two (a young boy and a teenage girl) and they seem to have great difficulty in catching Pokémon and battling with the ones of their own. I could have joined the pack, back in New Bark, but I didn’t want to because of this obvious reason: they whited out because the group was too large to go unnoticed and, of course, I’m not the only opportunistic soul tracking them.
I’m not travelling alone, by the way. I have a Pokémon of my own (Viva!), a species of creature that resembles a metallic egg, with two eyes, covered by green spikes all over his hull. The character that gave him to me, told me it was a male from the Ferroseed species, a kind of metallic plants that are best known for their irritability. I call him Schoener, after the botanist. He’s not very emotional, but from the look in his eyes I guess he liked the name. You can’t expect much from a metallic egg, half-mineral, half-plant, that tends to stick to every rock or other mineral thing in our way. Once in a while, Schoener throws away one of his spikes, to grow a new one back, and in the beginning I was used as a common target for him to practice with. I think he’s trying to learn how to use those things in battle and, even knowing that he’s just a virtual creature and has (apparently) no feelings about me, I tolerated those painful throws in order to help my Pokémon improve his accuracy. Like Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier”, I am “fighting on arrival, fighting for survival”.
Today is the 8th day I’m inside this game, trapped in my own mind, just like thousands of other humans that bought a copy of Monster Art Online. They say that we have to beat the game in order to get out of here, but the truth is that… I don’t want to. I don’t want to come back to the real world and face the loneliness of being roaming through Europe again, running from something I don’t know and heading for somewhere I don’t expect to exist: a home. I feel something that I’m re-learning to fell, after a long time: comfort. I am truly comfortable here in the land of Johto and more comfortable with Schoener by my side. I think he would protect me if anyone threatened us, and as so I trust him my life. Who else would I trust my life to, if it depends only on the performance of my Pokémon? I have no choice and Schoener knows it.
We’re almost arriving at the crowded city of Cherrygrove, where most of trainers are, because it can provide security and has everything we need at hand: Pokémon medicines, Pokémon techs, shelter and Pokémon hospitals (a.k.a PokéCenters). The two trainers I’m following mumble to each other that it’s best to spend here the night before proceeding to Violet City, where Falkner is. I’ve been taught by a guy on the road that this Falkner is a character we have to beat in order to progress on the game and unlock the roads that lead to the next city, where another Flakner-like character is and so on. Schoener is somewhat tired and I think it’s best for us to stop for a while and recharge our stamina. But we’ll do that here, on the woods near Cherrygrove, not in the city. I’ve seen some fruit-trees growing on side of the road, that we both could feed on, but I can’t tell if their eatable or poisonous. First, I need to check out what food the other trainers have and what kind of fruits are poisonous or not. Maybe some unwary trainers pass by us and I finally can get my first food supplies.
BiRDiE // Route 30 / Route 31
As Birdie and Fara headed further into Route 30, he felt himself untintentionally lag behind his companion, walking as Sophie would in the outdoors; staring at her feet. They both seemed to do a lot of it. When he heard a voice, at first Birdie thought that Fara had started a conversation with him but his eyes were only met with her back. It seemed she was talking to her Nidoran. His head sunk back to the ground, Todo flying from shoulder to shoulder to try and get his attention.
He finally lifted his head again as they entered Route 31, almost walking into a battle between Bandino the Nidoran and some Bellsprout. He blinked at the battle as it was quickly over and Bandino was met with showers of praise. The one-sided conversations between Bandino and Fara seemed more full than any between her and Birdie. Should he feel a little jealous or maybe understanding, since the whole concept of actually owning Pokémon was unreal?
"Wait here," Fara stopped Birdie from following her inside. “Be a lookout?”
"Sure," he said automatically, nodding. Fara stepped inside the cave and left Birdie alone with Todo (and Kimi). Wait, a lookout for what? Other Pokémon? He could do that... maybe.
He didn't argue with her decision, instead took this spare time as an oppourtunity to maybe get a little bit of training in. If they were going to take on a gym leader (which was presumbly what they were going to, since beating the gym leaders and the Elite Four seemed to be MAO's trick to getting out), Todo and Kimi really needed to train. If Birdie's memory was right (which it was), neither Zubat nor Hoothoot were weak to Flying, but they didn't have anything that was super effective against it. So, they either needed to get more Pokémon or get stronger.
"Oh!" Birdie remembered about his PokéDex and pulled it out, flicking it open and playing with the different menus. It seems you could check trivia on Pokémon, habitats, keep track of all information on any Pokémon seen or captured and show if there were any other PokéDex users in the area. As the PokéDex user feature wasn't exceptionally useful at the moment (there were a few dots pulsing on the screen but he needed to worry about himself at the moment), he checked the habitat feature to see what was in the area.
>> Location: Route 31. Pokémon in area: Bellsprout, Sunkern.
Well, that explained the Bellsprout from before. So, Birdie swallowed, and stepped into the grass. It wasn't long until he was met with a Sunkern, which fell quickly to a few of Kimi's Tackles, and a Bellsprout, which had the life sucked out of it with a Leech Life by Todo. Team attacks took down the next few Sunkerns and the last Bellsprout faced the wrath of a Hypnosis followed by the crap bitten out of it. When Birdie was content with the training (and getting a little too scared to do anymore), he stepped back over to the entrance of Dark Cave. He leant against the wall for a total of 20 seconds before Fara re-emerged. She looked a little dusty, but overall pleased.
Travelling back to Route 30 and towards the foot of Route 31 seemed like as though Lux was travelling back home as she walked backwards. She did it once, and tripped over pedestrians about 9 times before she arrived at her home street. Fortunately for Lux, she didn't come to this Route empty handed - along with her new PokeGear, she received an Old Rod from quite some time ago from a Fisherman in Cherrygrove City. However, it wasn't cheap - she had to do him a favor. Lux can almost remember the favor like it was yesterday, except the fact that it happened only 15 minutes ago.
15 minutes ago in Cherrygrove...
"So, you want an Old Rod from me, eh?" the fisherman asked with a low, stern voice, as he eyed Luxanna very carefully.
"Yeah, of course!" Lux cheerfully replied. "I looooove fishing! My parents never took me, but I see it all the time on T.V! How the fishing guys throw their bait on the water, and then the fish bites the water, until their friends are all like, OH NO ITS THE HOOKS! THE HOOKS! Until they realize it's too late as the foolish fish gets reeeeeeeelled up by the fishing guys, and then WHAM! They get caught and sliced up!"
"Something like that," said the fisherman, with a prideful grin. "Alright girlie, you'll get your fisherman. Under one condition."
"What's that?" Luxanna asked. "I gotta catch you a fish or somethin'?"
"Ohoho, you're not getting away that easy!" said the fisherman with a sly chuckle. "You see, only the most worthy of mindful intelligent persons can wield a fishing rod. For it is not the man who controls the fishing rod - it is the fishing rod that controls the man. Understand?"
"I guess...?" grasped Lux. "Although... the fishing rod technology isn't so... neuron based, is it?"
"You'll understand in time," explained the lone fisherman. "But for now, about that condition. I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind when I say a following word. Ready? Poochyena."
"Bite!" replied Luxanna.
"Ah, yes, very good," complemented the fisherman. How about this. Bite."
"Hm, not bad at all. Poochyena."
"Ohoho! Splendid!" complimented the fisherman again with a frisk chuckle and a wide smile. "Ah yes, you are the worthy opponent indeed! Very well, you deserve the Old Rod! Enjoy, and live the life of a fisherman!"
15 minutes later...
Then again, as Lux can remember, she forgot that she even had the fishing rod until she just thought of it this very second. Oh boy.
Hawthorne Guardian Moderator of Video Games Paired to: Perdition Haze
Rattata and Krissu ran around the tree and tried to catch the Weedle's attention. Rattata was no climber, so the most he could do was squeak up at the bug. Eventually, Weedle left Caterpie alone and crept over to a branch on another tree. But then, before Rattata could react, it became apparent that this bug was a swift one. All of a sudden, Rattata's body was glued to the ground by some sticky, white thread.
"Ah, String Shot..." Krissu groaned as she crouched down and tried to get it off her pokémon. She threw glances up at the tree to not lose the worm out of her sight. But the string shot was too sticky for her to be able to free Rattata. She got an idea though, and took forth his pokéball. Calling him back turned him into energy but left the String Shot in a pile on the ground. Cool!
"Better take another one to fight you with up there," she muttered though, noticing that Weedle in the berry tree was still watching her under the leaves. It didn't go away; that might either be a sign of it being a brave or dumb pokémon. Or maybe it was just its programming that wouldn't let it run away just like that. Krissu wasn't sure of how much she should think of MAO as a game anymore. Even Mr Pokémon had looked like a real person to her.
"Here it is!" his voice suddenly came from behind Ange, startling the girls. The man jumped off the porch with a surprisingly agile move, waving a bottle of REPEL in his hand.
"No, wait!" Krissu exclaimed. "I'll capture it, don't make it run away!"
"Hm, why would you want a pokémon like that? There are much more interesting species in the world than a bug..." the man muttered but lowered the bottle and stayed by Ange's side.
Krissu turned back to the tree, only to see that the Weedle was gone at last. Damn! She would have wanted a Beedrill on her team. Mostly because it felt like a pokémon that could become serious and a good fighter; qualities she would need if she was going to keep being brave and avenge Malcolm...
Shaking away those thoughts, the pink haired girl put down her bag and reached into a pocket on her white coat, taking forth her very first pokéball. It still felt strangely heavy in her hand. "Litwick!" she called out, and the ghostly fire type appeared with a naive smile.
"Can you help me locate Weedle in that tree?" she asked him and pointed. Litwick nodded without question, soared up in its spooky ghost way and peeked in through the leaves... and within a few seconds, another String Shot barely missed the light on its head. It would probably just have burned up anyways. Weedle crept out onto a branch above Krissu's head.
"There! Use Ember, Litwick!" she called out, not letting go of the bug with her eyes this time.
Litwick obeyed as usual and blew out embers that peppered the branch that Weedle was sitting on. They were also peppering the pokémon itself and made it fall down into the grass two meters below.
"Fire Spin!" Krissu shouted, having memorized Litwick's attacks easily over their first week together. She knew which attack to use when; for her other pokémon she had to think a bit longer.
"Not in my yard!" Mr Pokémon called out when he heard that command, but it was too late. A whirlwind of fire enveloped Weedle and made it impossible for the bug to move from the spot. The top of the tornado scorched the leaves on the tree they were under, earning many sweatdrops from their owner.
When the fire began dissipating a little without Weedle being able to counterattack, it didn't look very eager to stare back at its attackers anymore. Litwick moved closer, mostly to get a better look at the little burnt creature. Weedle showed its quickness once again by suddenly lashing out and stinging the candle pokémon! Litwick was able to make many physical attacks pass through it, but the poisonous tone of this Poison Sting did not. It let out a yelp and hopped back behind Krissu's legs.
"Since when are you so scared when being hurt?" Krissu asked in surprise. Litwick looked up at her and seemed to be a bit ashamed of itself. Weedle got up and waved its poisonous tail around, showing that it indeed wasn't dead yet. But Litwick had decided to defeat this bug now. In the best of ways. Without an order from his trainer, he blew out another set of embers that set the grass around Weedle ablaze. Now it couldn't move at all without being burned again!
It took a few seconds for Krissu to realize that Litwick had been exceptionally smart. Instead of blowing the bug to smithereens with a direct Ember, he had locked it in.
"If Weedle fainted... it would disappear and I wouldn't be able to catch it," Krissu said and looked at Litwick slowly. The ghost floated up to level with her head, a jolly smile on its half obscured face. "Haha... you know me." A sudden feeling came over her. Litwick was her friend, wasn't he? A game construct... mere numbers in a computer. But here he showed that he understood her intentions and could plan ahead for her sake. It was... this was... not just a game?
Weedle let out some kind of yelp, trying to rush through the flames instead of waiting around to be caught. That awoke Krissu from her trail of thought and made her reach for her bag some meters away. She threw an empty pokéball at the Weedle, effectively capturing it without giving it much chance at all to resist. Fire just wasn't a bug's friend.
"I'm done now!" she happily told Ange and Mr Pokémon as she trotted back to them with Litwick on top of her head and the new pokémon in the ball in her hand.
What they wouldn't immediately realize was that the fire spin and embers had done their job too well...
In only a couple of hours, the electronic news displays in pokémon centers would warn of something highly irregular: there was a forest fire on Route 31 near the Dark Cave and trainers were cautioned if they were to travel that path.
((OOC: This means that anyone who goes on Route 31 near the Dark Cave from now on can choose to encounter a forest fire in any way they like. Perhaps try to put it out yourself or with others, perhaps meet up with another player and have something happen involving the fire. You can't put it out completely though.))
“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.»
The trio made their way to Mr.Pokemon's house at an average pace. They often stopped to fight pokemon, since they wouldn't be able to go on if they hit a level spike. Fel constantly looked behind him to see if there was anyone following them (specifically, the other recruit). Each time, he was disappointed. He couldn't blame the other recruit for not coming, this was a rather shady ordeal with rather shady people, but Mercedes had no doubt that they would join them sooner or later.
They finally reached the house, and each of them looked at the door. They were somewhat dubious, as to what awaited them inside- well, Fel and Mercedes were, but Marona looked at the two of them with a question mark on her face. When they noticed Marona's confusion, they looked at her with the same expression.
"Is there something wrong, Marona?" Fel asked. "You seem to be looking at us weird."
"Well...uh..." Marona looked down for a moment. "I was wondering why you two were looking at the door. Are you expecting him to come out here?"
"We don't know what awaits us inside," Mercedes said, arms crossed. "After all, this 'Mr.Pokemon' could be an agent of the organization, and probably is. We don't know what he'll do when we go inside."
This took Marona aback, for some reason. Was she so dense that she would blindly walk into such a situation? Well, it didn't take long for a small smile to sprout on her face, and then that smile grew larger, and until finally she burst out laughing. She laughed so hard she actually fell to the ground and started rolling around.
"W-what's so funny?" Fel asked, baffled by the woman's outburst.
"A-are you guys serious?" Marona asked, trying to hold her laughter back. She got back to her feet and wiped the tears from her eyes, still chuckling a little. "You guys have played Pokemon Gold and Silver, haven't you?" The two looked at each other, which seemingly meant "No." "What about HeartGold or SoulSilver?" The two looked at her and shook their heads. Marona turned around and said to herself, "Man...I thought I was the old business woman here..." The two turned their heads in confusion. Marona turned around and sighed. Without missing a beat, she walked into the house, completely ignoring any protests by her other party members. There seemed to be no trouble ahead, if Marona was any indication, so the two walked into the house.
The house looked rather quaint, and other than the two Super Computers, it seemed normal enough. The three entered to see a light green-haired short girl talking to a man in a hat.
"Ah, good, you are all here; now we can begin." Mr.Pokemon said with a tip of the hat. "I am Mr.Pokemon, it's a pleasure."
Before anyone could do anything else, the green-haired girl bolted towards Mercedes, yelling, "Kiki!" She jumped and grabbed onto Mercedes in such a way that it seemed only the Jaws of Life could remove her. Mercedes seemed disturbed, and a little annoyed, at this girl who glomped her incisively. "I missed you so much, sis! I didn't think I'd ever see you again!" Mercedes didn't seem quite as affectionate towards her sister, and to prove this, she sent her fist down on her sister's cranium like a hammer.
"I told you the last recruit would be here," Mercedes said with her eyes closed. It was rather astonishing to the other two that the last member was Mercedes' sister, largely because of the population of players in the game. They didn't question it though, and they instead just chuckled and returned to the attention of Mr.Pokemon.
"I have given you all your Pokedexs, you should find them in your inventory." The four of them checked their inventories to see the devices were there, and indeed they were.
"Wait," Said Marona. "I thought we were supposed to give an egg to the mayor. I heard some other players talking about it back in Cherrygrove."
"Oh, oh!" The little girl said, raising her hand and jumping up and down. "That was me, I did that!"
"Indeed she did, and the mayor even gave her a reward for it." Mr.Pokemon said. "Now anyway, I'm to give you the briefing on your next mission. The four of you are to split up and do an act of good will." A question mark returned to all of their faces.
"What are we," Marona said with her hands on her hips. "Some group of vigilantes?"
"These acts have a purpose, but they will not be random; we will be assigning you each an 'act of goodwill'. Fel, your first. Take this and be on your way." The man held out a pokeball...or an item ball...Fel couldn't really tell. He knew better than to ask questions because he knew that there would be no chance of getting any answers. He took the ball and walked outside, waving to the others before doing so.
As he walked away, he started to notice that he didn't have a set mission. It turned out that what he was given wasn't an item ball containing a note or anything, but rather it was a pokemon. Specifically, it was a Poliwag. He didn't know what exactly he was supposed to do with it, but then, as if they were reading his mind, a duo walked by Fel, talking about a huge fire that broke out near Cherrygrove. That was Fel's only direction in terms of his mission, so he decided to head towards the fire and see what he could do about it.
[SIZE="3"]I think I’ve mastered it already. I mean the Pokémon training question. It’s not that hard if you think about it like if you were a coach and the creatures were your boxers or whatsoever. The point is simple: they have to fight against each other and only one can win the battle, knocking the opponent out. I wanted to try it, now that I have two Pokémon and I don’t depend on other trainers to do it, because I can put Schoener and Bufon – derived from Bufo, a genus of toads, and Buffon, the Italian goalkeeper – battling against each other. I’ve already learn that Ferroseed likes the opponent to attack first and has an interesting attack involving his spikes, where he tackles the opponent and scratches it with his spikes. Bufon on the other hand, likes to be the first to attack, creating an advantage. He’s quite energetic and has an even more interesting attack that puts the foe to sleep and lets him attack until it wakes up. Also he can shoot a jet of bubbles from his mouth (the little pink thing, over his belly, is his mouth, not his nose!) and hurt the opponent with them. He tried that with Schoener but it almost didn’t do a scratch! I’m glad I choose a metallic type.
We are almost reaching the fire. I can feel the scent of scorched trees and land that floats in the air. Buffon is starting to cough, so it’s better if I return him to his Pokéball. I’m expecting to come across a large amount of trainers and it’s better if I don’t show them all of my team. Schoener can be quite intimidating when he tries to attach to other people, so I guess he can stay out of his Pokéball. Or not…
«Hey, Schoener, where are you going?»
Not a single “word”.
«Schoener, we shouldn’t go by the main path. We can risk stumbling on a…»
Trainer… A really tall and suntanned one. He’s about six feet, but that dark spiky hair adds him a few more inches, making him look like a really tall broom made of dark and polished cherry wood. Schoener is standing in front of him, blocking his way, staring like a cat who just wants to be hugged. Please, fellow trainer, do not do what your mind is tricking you to do. He’s not looking at you and waiting for a hug; he’s looking at your hair, stronzo! It’s so spiky that he thinks that you carry a female Ferroseed on top of your head. He’s just infatuated.
While Krissu had been fighting the Weedle, Ange had tried the daring little task of coaxing down her unconcerned Caterpie. Kii had ignored the poisonous little bug for the most part, focusing on the berries that were making her mouth(?) water. “Kii...”Ange murmured. “Come on down okay?” Next to her, Sia was using Psywave to no avail. Apparently, Psychic moves didn’t really work at all on Caterpies. Who knew?
Ange frowned. She really couldn’t climb the tree... Ange was relatively sure she couldn’t climb a thing actually... she never had. Ange looked between the tree and her Solosis and frowned. “Hey Sia... try that spinny thing...” Wait what was it called? “Rollout.” Sia blinked beady eyes and obeyed, spinning and rushing forward to make the tree wobble. Caterpie clung fiercely with its pads, glaring at Ange. The girl didn’t understand why Kii wasn’t really listening to her. Maybe it’s because I’m not good enough...
To her surprise, she found that thought was strangely... disheartening.
She was dragging Krissu down, wasn’t she? She glanced back at the other girl, who was walking back to her. Ange wasn’t quite sure what emotion was vivid on Krissu’s face but she could guess. It was pride. Krissu was proud of what she had done. Had Ange done anything worth being proud of? Probably not. Kii knew it. Maybe Sia would know it too.
Benjy had known already.
That was probably why he had gotten her this game; to tell her this. She was a weak, weak person... and shouldn’t she be stronger? Shouldn’t she be more than this? Why though? Why should she be more? What was important about that?
“I’m not friends with stupid people!”
“Like me?” she had wanted to ask. For some reason, she hadn’t asked. Ange pondered a moment again. Was Krissu with her out of pity? That would be horrible. Pity was horrible. No one pitied her, not even for being blind. If she was going to help Krissu, she was going to have to be stronger, much stronger than any of them, or at least stronger than Kii.
Ange took a deep breath... and shook her head. “Okay Kii,” she decided firmly. “If you want to stay, then you stay. I’m gonna go ahead with Sia. I wanted to see a lot of fun places with you, but if you want to stay with the Berries, then go ahead.” With that, she turned, smiled at Krissu, and bowed her head a little shyly. “I’m sorry about this. Can you watch Kii for me? I'll be back real, real soon.” She ran in the direction of the fire. Sia let out a squeak and blew a gap in the embers with Psywave, floating after his trainer with a reproachful cry towards the Caterpie he had worked so hard to capture. Kii just stared, wide eyes then widening with horror as he fell from the branch.
Meanwhile, Ange ran deeper into the darkness of Route 31. She kind of liked the darkness here. It was... familiar, natural. She didn’t need her eyes. She needed her ears, her hands.
At that moment, Ange decided she hated her eyes. So she closed them.
She walked forward now, no longer finding the urge to run. The wind blew gently, making an odd, echoey noise. Small noises, rather like screeching, were far away, but they existed, clear for us all. Ange smiled, feeling the softness of grass on her shoes beginning to change to a rougher, rockier road.
Krissu stood crestfallen when Ange left. She wanted to run after the girl and scream and force her to come back. She could never survive on her own out here! This world was dangerous, especially since flames were sprouting up in the forest all of a sudden. But Mr Pokémon stopped her.
"Let the girl go," he said. "She's got her own adventure to follow. And you've got your own path to grow into."
"But... the fire!"
"The wind blows it the other way. It'll likely be up on Route 31 in a matter of hours. It won't come down Route 30!"
"But isn't that awful? Can't we do anything to stop it? I was the one who started it..."
"Nevermind, lass. Even with a water pokémon, that's a pretty difficult case. Stuff happens. It wasn't your fault."
Krissu's eyes widened. "It very much was my fault! As was Ange's escape, I-"
"Now, now. Come with me into my house for a moment."
Krissu suddenly locked eyes with Kii, the Caterpie that Ange had left behind. It crept up to her on the ground and she crouched down. "Kii..." she said. "She'll be back. She has to come back."
Kii's eyes watered. Apparently he had really liked his trainer. "Oh... I'll take you with me. We'll find Ange some time." Kii didn't seem to hear her. He just stared off into the distant flames where Ange had disappeared.
Krissu's next hours flew by in a haze. Mr Pokémon said something to her and gave her a pokémon egg to bring back to Cherrygrove. Krissu didn't hesitate, but just accepted the quest without ado. In the night, she trekked back to Cherrygrove through the gloomy route, Litwick to light her way and Kii on her shoulder. She couldn't capture it in a pokéball since it was Ange's property according to MAO's rules. She hadn't released it properly and no trade had occurred.
The Mayor was happy to get the egg from Krissu; of course it wasn't real happiness though. Krissu knew that it was just her coding making her so. As for Krissu herself, Ange leaving and her causing the forest fire had made her fall back into the depressed state from which she had almost been about to emerge. When she finally reached Mr Pokémon again, it was dawn. She wasn't even tired. Inside MAO, you fell asleep when you wanted to log out. If you didn't log out, you never needed to rest. But you still could if you lay down and wanted to sleep. Krissu just didn't want to. A fleeting thought hoped that her brain wouldn't decay faster if she didn't get sleep inside the game. But she shook that away quickly.
Mr Pokémon's reward was a pokédex. Krissu hadn't even bothered to listen to what reward she would be getting, but this actually cheered her up a bit. A pokédex was useful. She sat on his porch and fiddled with it for quite a while before she continued her journey.
Kii, the Caterpie, was left in the care of Mr Pokémon. Should Ange really return, like she had said that she would do, Kii would be there waiting for her. But Krissu wouldn't.
((OOC: really crappy and non-detailed post but I wanted to get a move on. Route 31 next!))
Wrapped in a cave of black, just like the darkness of Luxanna's home shack, route 31's dark cave was where Lux went, with her time that was indeed well spent. Soon in the cave where Lux believe it was a curse to be rude, what do you know! She encountered a Geodude. Lux threw her pokeball as sharp of a rocky sharpedo cliff, and out came her loyal Growlithe.
Growlithe howled at his rocky offender, as soon Lux ordered, "Growlithe, use Ember!"
The flames from the friend let loose a in a swirl, which sparked the Geodude so much that it almost made it hurl. Soon the Geodude recovered and let loose a cry, then it used tackle, on which Lux questioned why. But her question was answered as Geodude tackled Growlithe towards the wall, and oh boy, that was a tremendous fall. But the loyal pup was not through yet - as Lux still had a trick up her vest.
Growlithe went up to his feet, from head to rear, then Lux commanded swiftly, "Growlithe, use Leer!"
The Growlithe leered down it's foe without rest, as the Geodude became enraged - 'oh how this Growlithe is a pest!' The Lux ordered Growlithe to use Bite, but Geodude still did not want to lose this fight. It curled up into a ball, and then made a twirl, Growlithe's attack was deflected, ah, it was it's good ol' Defense Curl.
Soon the wild Geodude used the Defense curl's energy and ready it's attack, however, strangely enough, Luxanna was not worried. "Ohhhh what's that?!" She saw a Vs. Seeker on the floor, but it was broken. What a waste of machinery! "It should of been more outspoken!"
Meanwhile the Geodude let loose it's Tackle and connected, Growlithe stumbled backwards, because the attack was quite effective. Luxanna finally paid more attention, but still loved the Vs. Seeker with quite affection. However, there was no time for delay, Lux cheered on, "GROWLITHE, HOORAY!" Lux commanded another Ember from Growlithe because now it was his turn, to damage the Geodude, and watch it buuuuuuuuurn.
The Ember attack proved more effective this time around, scorching the rocky Geodude, like those pants that Lux saw at her school's lost and found. The Geodude slumped over, it was time for Lux to go! As she reached for her item, "Pokeball! Go!" It hit the young Geodude, square on the nose, as it shook once, then twice, then thrice, then a Ping! Lux's ego soon rose.
"I just caaaaaught a Geodude!" She cried, although, maybe she should be less crude? She congratulated her Growlithe, by giving it a hug, as Growlithe playfully bit her sleeve with a tug. Lux soon wondered, on the briefest of timing, "Gee... I wonder why I was rhyming?" She soon got up, and returned Growlithe back inside her pokeball, and turned towards the exit of the cave, sunlight and all.
"No seriously... why was I rhyming? There was no reason for me too. I found it strange."
Hawthorne Guardian Moderator of Video Games Paired to: Perdition Haze
|Kinder| Cherrygrove City
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Pokémon MMORPG was all that Geoff had ever wanted since around the third generation of games. The series was beckoning for it: interaction between other trainers, trading, questing together, and a fully immersive world beyond the pixel art that the games presented. The second Geoff heard of it, he waited for it to release. When it finally did, Geoff decided he was going to skip class for the day to get a jump start on the rest of the player base. It was just Intro to Psychology and Calculus II, would missing a day really be that big of a deal? The thought of having his own avatar and being able to choose where he wanted to adventure outweighed the responsibilities of class.
Now that decision was the worst he had ever made. It’s been a week since Deoxys appeared in the sky to tell the players of their fate. It was a weird feeling being trapped in a game with the only escape to beat it. Geoff never felt any rush to these games; he liked to sit back and grind his levels to make sure that he could easily defeat the tasks ahead of him, and so what if he whited out? Now whiting out meant he died in the real world, where his body was moved from his dorm room to the local hospital.
During a crisis like this, Geoff should probably be more concerned about his current situation, but Geoff was more worried about everyone finding out that he still liked Pokémon. The thought creeped into his mind as he walked around Cherrygrove City, but then he had a realization: There was no one around to please. He had to family here that he could disappoint, no friends who would ask for favors, just himself. Everything he could and should do here needs to be based his best interests. But that was a life filled with more silence and time for reflection than he’s normally faced with, and he didn’t like it.
The name |Kinder| floated above his head as he wandered around the city, looking someone other than the NPCs that he’s seen a hundred times now. He kept looking for the old man right at the entrance to Route 30, but this wasn’t the original games, and he wasn’t going to take you around the town to familiarize you with the Pokémon Center, the mart, the ocean, and his place. Geoff yearned for the Pokégear that he would have received; he wanted the map and the phone, but most of all he wanted the radio card that he could get in Goldenrod City. Music might be the only thing that would break the silence that is always around him.
The one friend that Geoff had was his starter Pokémon, his Snorunt. A friend that couldn’t have a conversation back with him, but at least it was someone to listen. Geoff picked him way before MAO released, he knew that there weren’t any good Ice-typed Pokémon in Johto, and it was a great type for fighting the gyms, as the only two he would be weak to were Cianwood and Olivine’s gyms. He decided to take her out of her Pokéball and walk around with her on his shoulder for awhile; he needed the companionship right now.
He could never tell the difference between the NPC characters and other real life players. He didn’t want to turn on the HUD and have names floating above anyone else’s head; it gave him a sense of fantasy to his predicament, and right now he doesn’t a reason to take risks that he could easily regret. As he continued walking around, a conversation caught his eye, and he knew that one of the people there was real.
“…for the mayor, you can receive a set of Pokégear!
“Awesome, thank you! I’ll head there right away!”
Geoff heard only 2 words from what he caught: mayor and Pokégear. He didn’t need any other information, he knew where he needed to go. This was the first time the running shoes he designed his avatar with actually game in handy, as he sprinted as fast as he could to reach the mayor. When he reached her his suspicions were confirmed: He needed to go to see Mr. Pokémon and bring back an item for her. If it was anything like the actual games, Geoff assumed that it was going to end up being a Pokémon egg. It didn’t matter what it would be here, he accepted the simple fetch quest.
Geoff made his way back to the entrance of Route 31 and stood there and stared. He hadn’t touched a Route since the announcement of his fate in here. He was scared, but the thought of getting his Pokégear gave him some new motivation. It wasn’t even a large reward, but it was enough to make him get off his butt and make himself do what he really needs to do to escape. He took his first step onward, with Snorunt still sitting on his shoulder, with his newfound motivation to take on the challenges thrown at him.
Jercio hurried over to a little dinner like restaurant nottoo far from the entrance to route 31. It wasn’t too special for games to lookor sound ultra-realistic, but when they smell and taste as great you know yougot something. Jercio had only ordered a tuna fish sandwich and an orange sodanothing fancy, but yet the meal was astounding. It was just data right? Was itsomething in his head where he thought it was so great so it was? It evensatisfied his hunger. Maybe all of this was in his head, ok so he knew it was,but everything else too: hunger, pain, time. It was just something in his mind.Before getting too philosophical Jercio remembered he had work to do, and leftfor the trainer school.
He’d overheard two NPC students talking about the headmastergiving away an exp. Share. The item was always helpful for grinding level, soJercio had to have it. The school wasn’t anything too fancy, a bit big, but notfancy. Jercio had stopped by the PC on the way, and his pokemon were in primecondition for this. He burst through the doors a little too flamboyantlythrowing the double doors wide open and got a couple of odd stares for doingso. It was cooler in his head.
Jercio shrugged off the looks having dealt with similarenough ones back home. The headmaster was holding the battles in a nearly emptyclassroom with only a battlefield outline on the floor, a clock on the wall,and some bleachers off to the side. Maybe it was a gymnasium, but it felt a bitsmall. Jercio spotted the headmaster on the opposite side of the room with fouryoung students. He looked like a posh old man with a couple of very gentlemanlyqualities like a perfectly kept mustache, a wooden cane, and a pocket watch.Jercio went over to the master and demanded to take the challenge. Theheadmaster replied in an upper class british accent,
“In dubitably my young fellow. Go take up post on the lefthand side. Gregory will be your first opponent.”
Last edited by jasonwolf; February 7th, 2013 at 07:58 AM.
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 ^^))
Bask in the radiant victory of another captured pokemon, Lux hummed, and skipped and hopped her way out towards the cave. Her thoughts of rhyming had finally escaped her, although perhaps for the time being. Nah, it won't come back to her. In any case, she held her new pokemon, her geodude inside his pokeball, high in the air above her head, as she danced her way out. Of course, as one would dance... they would soon to pay attention. As soon as she reached the exit...
"I got a pokemon, a pokemon in for the -- OOF!" she bumped into somebody, causing her to drop her pokeball as she dropped on the ground, back first. She rubbed her head, but quickly got up. She then looked around vigorously. "Oh noooo! Where is my -- pokeball, pokeball, pokeball, pokebaaaaaalll.... AH! here it is!"
She held her pokeball high in the air again, and then rubbed it on her face. "Ahhhh my precious pokeball that has a pokemon, how I missed you sooooo! That was a whole FIVE seconds!! I will never lose you again!"
Finally, she paid attention to her bumped unintentional target. What do you know! A girl! She circled around her, but then stopped. "Heeeey there! Lovely day, isn't it?!"
Hawthorne Guardian Moderator of Video Games Paired to: Perdition Haze
Solomon shifted uncomfortably, the doors of the gym looming in front of him. It was a feeling that he had a most difficult time describing. That had happened a few times in the last couple of hours. He can’t remember having ever felt this way before, at least not for a long time now. It seemed like these feelings of childhood had come flooding back. Finally admitting it to himself, it was trepidation; the feeling he had been so hesitant to define. People had died going up against this gym leader, he swore to himself that he would not be the next. Yet, he held. Firmly in place he stood. Feet planted to the earth, unmoving. His pokemon were healed, well trained and ready, but he wasn’t. It was the first time he felt doubt since coming into this world, and he didn’t like it.
“Hey, did you hear about route 31,” a stranger walked by, speaking excitedly with his companion. “Supposedly, the whole thing is up in flames.”
“You’re joking, right?” The other answered him.
“Nah, dead serious. Nobody knows how, but the whole thing went and flared up. It’s crazy.”
These words pierced the shell of Solomon’s solitude. His focus being entirely on the gym, he failed to notice the ominous, orange glow to the east. Was this even possible? There had been no fires in the games, at least not to his knowledge and he considered his knowledge to be quite extensive. His feet finally moved, but not towards the gym, away from it. Like a moth, he found himself spirited away to the flames. His eyes refusing to believe the sight, yet he couldn’t stop himself. It grew even worse when he finally arrived to see it in all its scope.
Pokemon scattered from the fire's lifeless wrath, enveloping shrubs and trees like the tinder they were. A Bellsprout scurried for its life, dashing through the brush to try and make its escape. It proved to be to no avail. The slow weed was quickly corned and ravaged by the fast moving flames. Solomon watched helplessly as the Pokemon quickly turned red and erupted into data shards. “Just like after a battle,” he whispered to himself, deep in thought. So the fire was capable of not only doing damage, but destroying things entirely. It looked as if other trainers in the area were attempting to put out the fire. Desperately using their water Pokemon to try and stem the flame. Solomon thought it silly and pointless. They could never dream of being successful. With that thought, he turned from the scene. Something in the fire spoke to him. The way it continued without hesitation or letup. Its force, ravenous power and determination. It renewed in him his zeal and fixed his confidence.
Head in hands, Aertio waited for the nurse to return with his rapidly fainting Growlithe. Up until now, he had relied heavily on the lucky choices he had made, but now they had barely made it out of Route 29 alive and Growlithe was in intensive care. Sinking deeper into his palms, Aertio felt the onset of tears beginning to form at the recesses of his eyes. He wasn’t ready to die, not just yet anyway, but the thought of dying scared him; especially since it was this close. Gathering his strength, Aertio hear his username called over the PA system.
“That’s right,” he thought to himself, “as far as this game is concerned, the Oliver on the outside is dead. It’s Aertio now.”
Sidling up to the front counter, he was met with the gleeful glaze of Nurse Joy; a sleeping Growlithe in her arms. Aertio gently removed the peaceful hound from her arms, lifting his head up momentarily to thank whatever god was looking down upon him at this point in time. As soon as they left the centre, Growlithe bounded out of Aertio’s arms, looking as refreshed as the day Aertio had picked him as a starter. Smiling from ear to ear, Aertio made a beeline for the coast to the west of Cherrygrove where waves lapped at a sandy strip of beach.
Growlithe chased the waves back and forth and they proceeded upon the shoreline brining a hearty laugh from Aertio’s throat. In the week they had spent inside the game, Aertio had bonded greatly with Growlithe as if this game wasn’t so much pixels anymore but real life. Every day it became more apparent; the more time people spent in here, the quicker they were getting to settling down and treating the game as if it was real life.
Snapping back to reality, Aertio scanned the shoreline with no sign of Growlithe in site. He was about to panic when he heard Growlithe barking near the large cliff face that bordered the southern edge of the beach. As he drew closer, Aertio could see what Growlithe was barking at; a nest of two Spearow perched haphazardly on an outcropping halfway up the cliff. The two Spearow seemed to be fighting over an item that gleamed in the sun and Growlithe looked like he wanted to join in on the action.
“Sir, sir!” An old worn voice called out and Aertio turned to see a wizened old man with leathery skin limp across the beach to him. The NPC looked as if he spent the entire day on this beach; his skin parched and dried like parchment.
“Uh, how can I help?” Aertio replied, coming under the impression that this NPC happened to be a quest giver.
“Those Spearow took off with my Amulet Coin, if you could retrieve it for me, I can compensate you for your troubles.”
Reaching down to pick up a rock, Aertio replied to the man, “Uh, sure,” before tossing the rock up the cliff face. Despite being in a virtual game, Aertio still maintained a level of strength, accuracy and hand-eye co-ordination that he had back in the real world.
Striking true, the rock hit the beak of one of the Spearow, causing it to let the Amulet Coin tumble down into the rocky surf below. Simultaneously, the birds dove from their nest aiming for the coin now resting on level terrain. Growlithe surged forward to intercept the birds, Roaring loudly to scare the birds off, yet they simply responded by landing on nearby rocks; guarding the Amulet Coin zealously.
A gout of flames leapt from Growlithe’s mouth encasing one of the Spearows in a conflagration of burning air while the other quickly turned on Growlithe, furiously attacking him with its beak in a multitude of Fury Attacks.
Growlithe stopped dousing the Spearow in flames and turned to the one attacking him now, sinking his teeth into its soft, bodily flesh. The Spearow squawked in pain and oozing red data dripped from between Growlithe’s jaw. This alerted the burnt Spearow as it began diving at Growlithe, Pecking the soft flesh beneath his fur. In a yelp of pain, he opened his jaw, allowing the Spearow to escape.
Together, the Spearow dove at Growlithe in a flurry of Pecks and Fury Attacks as he Roared in protest and even managed to scorch a few feathers with various Ember attacks. After an intense minute, Growlithe came off the victor; the pair of Spearow falling to the ground fainted as their data slowly dissolved.
Aertio scoffed, all that effort for a measly coin, the reward would have to be something worthwhile.
“Thank you very much, here is my gift of thanks,” the man reached behind him, unlatching the Old Rod that had been tied to his back and handed it to Aertio.
“Whatever,” Aertio scoffed again, taking the rod with him as he left in a storm. Realising the Old Rod could be broken down and reassembled; he haphazardly shoved it in his back as he made his way back to Cherrygrove City. Before they would proceed up Route 30, Aertio would take a stop via the PokeCentre and PokeMart to stock up for their journey ahead. With Growlithe at only level 7 now, they had a lot of training to do.