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February 23rd, 2008 (7:04 PM). Edited February 24th, 2008 by Umbreon Ruler.
Um... I don't know really know what to say here. It's been a while since I've been to the Fan Fic section here, but I'm glad I came back. After all, the reviewers here are generally more in-depth than other sites (I'm not trying to suck up, it's really true). Well, that's about it... I'm really bad at this type of intro thing...
All Dex entries are from Emerald.
Chapter I: The Seeds are Planted
“You understand, don’t you?”
Professor Elm a tall, thin figure of about twenty-five nodded his head cautiously, causing the small bushel of brown hair at the front of his head to shake. He was sitting in a small, dark room, where the only source of illumination came from a light bulb hanging on a few wires coming from the ceiling. It only revealed Elm’s face, a small space of dirty wooden floor, and the basic frame of a wide man, clenching his fist in a subtly gleeful way. Pulling the collar of his white lab coat nervously, the young professor looked around suspiciously.
“So…” he started, still grasping his neckline, “are we done here?”
“Yes,” the large man answered deeply, motioning fluidly to the faintly visible door behind him. “I hope you don't let us down, Gregory.”
“No, no, of course not,” he said quickly stumbling to the door. The floor was littered with several items of no importance, and some that could possibly serve a great purpose. But Elm paid them no mind. Right now, he just wanted out; out of the building, and out of his situation…
The cry rang loudly from the stubby tan house, located directly in the center of the tiny, yet famed New Bark Town. It traveled to the neighbors and through the roads. Something was happening today, which could promise unimaginable things…
“I love this song!!!” A black-haired, teenage girl turned the dial on her portable pink radio up, causing the volume of the heavy metal song to increase dramatically. She was in her white room, lined with posters of rock bands. Her black bed sheet even had a picture of Baron Hyp, the lead singer of the band that was playing on the radio that very instant. “Drowzee in Pink has to be the best band in the world!!!” she screamed to a boy leaning in the corner. He was scratching his thin blonde hair with a confused look on his face.
“They only have three songs,” he said.
“What!?” she shrieked, dancing to the rhythm.
“Nothing…” he muttered, rolling his eyes.
Suddenly, the girl switched the music player off with an annoyed look in her sky blue eyes. “Nicholas Ebon West,” She grabbed him by his shirt collar and lifted him into the air, “did you just roll your eyes at me?”
Nick smiled a little. He and Lucy always joked like this. She would play the tough one, and he’d be the victim. Of course, she’d never actually hurt him, but the boy knew that she easily could if she had the wish to.
Lucy was, in every way, a tomboy. Football had always prevailed over Volleyball in her mind, lifting weights was what she described as “relaxing,” and upon her freshman year- this year, to be exact- she had joined the school’s kickboxing team. Yet, despite all of this, she retained her beautiful and dainty body, not hesitating to flaunt it in front of attractive members of the opposite sex.
Nicholas, on the other hand, was… different. Sports had never been kind to him, and the year he tried out for the football team- along with Lucy- he broke his wrist, which had taken weeks to heal. “Pumping iron,” as Lucy always called it, wasn’t exactly his thing either. He had to struggle to bench the forty-five pound bar just one time, and if he tried two presses, it was a very likely possibility that his arms could snap from the pressure. And his body; well, he wasn’t overweight, which he always viewed as a plus, but he certainly wasn’t what one would call “chiseled.” He considered himself more academically talented.
“Yeah,” he answered, mocking toughness, “Whatcha gonna do about it?”
“I’ll show you,” she said slowly, lifting him higher. A grin was just beginning to creep onto her face when a voice interrupted.
“Lucy!? Nicholas!? You’d better get going or you’ll be late!” It was the soothing yet strained voice of the girl’s mother, warning them about the time constraint.
“’Kay mom!” she called, dropping Nick to the carpeted floor. “Don’t let it happen again,” she muttered jokingly, poking him the chest. “Now let’s head downstairs.”
“Gotcha,” he said, rubbing his soothingly as soon as she turned around.
As they reached the kitchen- a white, square room, bordered with a light blue counter, scattered with utensils and in desperate need of a cleaning- they found Lucy’s mother hurriedly stuffing sandwiches into two brown paper bags. Her wavy black hair was pulled messily into a ponytail, and her colorful, non-matching outfit looked as if it had been gathered in a rush.
“Okay, now you’ve got your Pokégears?” she asked, handing the sacks to the teenagers.
“Yeah,” Lucy answered, showing her mother her black multi-function tool. It had a circular area toward the top where the screen was and a rectangular box on the bottom half, apparently holding the batteries and such.
“And you?” The woman turned toward Nick, looking at him protectively as if he was her son.
“Yes ma’am,” he said timidly, pulling his own silver Pokégear out of his pocket.
“Good.” She moved herself to fixing the rolled-up sleeve on Lucy’s black shirt. “Now I expect a call at least once a week. The second seven days pass without you letting me know you’re still alive, I’m calling the police and ordering a search, understand?”
“Mom,” the girl whined, “It’s no fun if we’re always under your thumb.”
“I don’t care. You will call me every week or your little journey is over. Now do you understand?” She said the last sentence, slowly, emphasizing each word.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever.”
“And,” She turned toward Nick, “your mother will be expecting your calls as well.”
“Okay,” he said quietly, cracking a knuckle nervously. Lucy was the only person he’d ever felt comfortable around.
“Let’s go,” Lucy urged, tugging his plaid button-up shirt. “Professor Elm told us to be there at noon, and I’m not missing out on my chance to a Totodile.”
“Coming,” he said as she ran out the door. “Bye Missus Ellender.”
As soon as he exited the small house and entered the clean yard, he found his friend waiting for him, with one foot on a skateboard and the other resting on the sidewalk.
“Don’t worry, it’s only-” he checked his Pokégear for the time, “Uh… well, we’ve only got fifteen minutes…” Avoiding Lucy’s fiery, yet at the same time glacial stare, he hopped upon his old red bicycle and pedaled down the road.
“C’mon!” she yelled, speeding past him as she crouched on her board. “We’re gonna be late!”
“Wait up!” he shouted desperately, moving his feet faster. She was kicking like a madwoman. And it was no surprise. She had been waiting for this day for as long as he could remember, and after three long weeks of extensive studying, he, Lucy, and an unknown student had managed to score in the top three in New Bark Town after taking the Official Pokémon Assessment Test, or OPAT for short. Luckily, there were only fifteen people in their small class. Passing in the top three guaranteed their right to get one of Professor Elm’s starter Pokémon. Of course, if they were late, this reward would be gone.
“IF YOU DON’T HURRY UP,” she started as she stared directly at him, her eyes burning with anger, “I’M GONNA CUT OFF THOSE TWO SHRIMPY THINGS HANGING BETWEEN YOUR-”
She turned forward, just in time to see herself run directly into a pile of garbage bags sitting on the sidewalk in front of a blue house. They had previously been patiently awaiting the garbage man, but now they were scattered across the place, still tumbling.
Flipping her long hair out of her eyes, she climbed off the ground, wiping trash off of her clothes. “It’s okay!” She began looking for her skateboard. “As long as the- no!”
“What is it?” Nick asked, carefully stepping over a rotten banana peel.
“My Pokégear!!” She was crouching next to a few empty vegetable cans, looking sadly to the ground. There sat her black Pokégear, with a cracked screen. After pressing a few buttons as a test, she gloomily discovered it was no longer functional.
“It must’ve fallen off your neck,” Nick said, lifting the broken machine by the black string. “Well… we can probably get it repaired.”
“Yeah, I guess,” she muttered, taking it out of her friend’s hands. “Do y’think you can fix it?”
“Me?” He wasn’t all that surprised, really. He had repaired many electronic items of Lucy’s before. But they were all simple things. A clock radio, a jammed VCR, and once he had even fixed her Playstation when it wouldn’t turn on, but a Pokégear was very delicate when it came to messing around on the inside. He had found a broken one in an old dumpster at the edge of their street once, and after looking at what make it tick, his head was spinning. “Er… I don’t think I can fix one of those, Lu.”
“Oh…” She stood straight up. “It’s no big deal!” Her fist shot up. “All that matters right now is my Pokémon!”
Nick flashed a grin. Lucy was never bummed for long. “Great! Now hop on your board and let’s go!”
Stuffing the device into her shorts pocket, she dashed to the skateboard and looked back at her partner. Nodding with a smile, she kicked off down the street, followed by the boy.
“Welcome trainers! I believe we’ve met once before at your OPAT awards ceremony, so let’s make the introductions quick, shall we? I’m Professor Elm, and you are…? Ah, yes, I seem to recall those names. So, I’m sure you’re all eager to get your Pokémon, right? Excellent, let’s get started then.” Nervously, Elm sat a small note card down upon a glass coffee table. He was sitting alone in his small sky blue conference room, glancing impatiently every few moments at the wooden door which led to the outside. After a few seconds of staring, he would force himself to look away, knowing that he would go crazy if he worried so much. Not only that, but he had a very important paper on the computer concerning hatched Pokémon’s personalities that he was eager to finish. Once again, he checked the clock hanging on the wall: three till noon. ‘I wish they’d just hurry up…’
“We’re here!! And with… two minutes to spare!”
Almost jumping, he left the stiff red couch and strode to the door. “Welcome trainers!” He opened the door wide and slipped on a faux grin. “I believe we’ve met once b-”
“Where’s the Pokémon?” A black-haired girl pushed past him, peering around his back for any sign of Pokéballs.
“You’ll have to excuse her.” A boy walked in quietly, shocking Elm, who had been confusedly watching the blunter girl. His fair hair almost covered his sweet green eyes, which seemed fitting since he appeared to give off an atmosphere of shyness. “She’s been waiting a long time for this.”
“Oh it’s alright, I understand.” Expectantly, he looked out the door. “Where’s the third one?”
“Well,” he murmured, “we’re not really sure. See, we don’t know any more about her than you do. The only time all of us have even been together was at the awards ceremony back in August.”
“But,” he muttered, still watching the horizon of the small town, “I thought you were all from the same grade… and at the same school.”
“Nope,” Lucy cut in, stuffing her hands in her pockets, “That girl’s from New Bark Advance, an all-girls private school that sits right between New Bark Town and… uh… Cherrygrove, that’s it.”
“From what I’ve heard,” Nick whispered to Lucy, “she’s supposed to be really, really smart.”
“But I still don’t get why she got to take the test anyway. I thought it only for New Bark High kids.”
“It used to be,” Nick said, “but now they’re letting other kids from the area sign up to take it. But New Bark Advance is the only other New Bark-tied school, and all the girls there have never been very interested in Pokémon.”
“So she probably got the highest score, didn’t she?” Lucy scoffed, crossing her arms.
“Didn’t miss a question, if Mr. Caldwell is right.”
“Hmph, smart little b-… wait, Mr. Caldwell!? The mailman? That’s your secret source!? I bet he’s the one who told you that Michaela and Jake were going out.”
“Well, he seems to know a lot about this stuff…”
They both turned to Professor Elm, who was looking at them with a slightly impatient look in his eyes. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but perhaps we should go into the main room so you can get your Pokémon?”
“Oh yeah, let’s go.”
With Lucy’s blessing, the trio made their way into a large white room, cluttered with trash and empty Pokéballs. There were long wooden tables throughout the place, each with at least one computer on it, and on the left wall was a tiny desk, ironically filled with the more junk than anywhere else.
“Well, let’s hurry,” Elm said quickly, stepping over a small pile of crumpled papers. “Now where did I put those Pokéballs…?”
Everyone turned toward the entrance where the young voice had come from.
“Be right back,” Elm muttered, with a slight hint of annoyance in his tone. Grudgingly, he left the room and came back a few seconds later with a young girl at his side. She looked to be about twelve or thirteen judging by her small stature. She had brilliant blonde, almost white, hair that, even though it was tied into a ponytail, reached her waist. “Lucy, Nicholas,” the man said, “this is Alexis Granger. She’s the third person who passed the test.”
“You can call me Lexi,” she said cheerily, holding forth her hand to Lucy.
Looking distastefully at the manicured nails, she muttered a venomous “no thanks” and proceeded to search the room for the starter Pokéballs, followed by a nervous professor.
Not deterred in the least, the new girl turned toward Nick and bubbled an articulate greeting.
Accepting the hand tensely, the boy mumbled an almost incomprehensible “hi” and quickly followed Lucy.
Still grinning innocently, she followed the other two’s footsteps as they were led through a door to the right and into a nearly empty room, with a small glass tray sitting in the center. Beside it were three rectangular devices, one black, one blue, and one red.
“Children,” Elm started calmly, trying to ignore the fact that Lucy and Nicholas had already began investigation of the equipment, “these are the Pokéballs that contain Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. You may each choose one, but please remember-”
“Which one’s Totodile!?” Lucy shouted bluntly, crouching next to the orbs.
“Well,” Nick said, “It probably goes from left to right in the order of the Pokédex.” He pointed to the ball on the left side. “Chikorita.” He moved to the center. “Cyndaquil.” Presently, he snatched this Pokéball for himself and brought his attention to the right. “And Totodile.”
“Excellent.” She grabbed the red-and-white sphere and stood to her feet and tossed her prize into the air. Upon contact with the beige carpet, it opened with a brilliant flash of white light, and left a short blue creature when the glow faded. Its crocodilian face held a frightening array of sharp teeth and its mouth seemed eternally open. Stubby arms and legs sprouted from the torso, which was striped with a yellow “v”, and a proportionately short tail, lined with red fins, stuck out from its back. “My very first Pokémon is… uh… is it a boy or a girl?”
“Use the Pokédex,” the boy said, handing her the black object and keeping the blue one for himself.
Excitedly, she flipped it open, revealing a black screen and a few buttons. Without a clue, she pressed one of them, causing the monitor to light up with a picture of Totodile and a few stats listed to the right.
Totodile, an electronic voice droned, coming from a small speaker at the bottom of the device, The Big Jaw Pokémon. Despite its small body, Totodile’s jaws are very powerful. While it may think it is just playfully nipping, its bite has enough strength to cause serious injury.
“So… this says it’s a girl, right?” She motioned to a small symbol- a circle with a “t” coming from the top- and looked toward Nick.
“Yup. Now it’s my turn.” After a moment of mental preparation, he performed an obviously practiced Pokéball-throwing routine and released the orb from his hands. “Oof!” He fell to his back as the ball bounced off the faux wood wall and made contact with his forehead.
“Cyn?” a small voice growled kindly from the light that had consumed the place. When vision was quickly restored, everyone could see a small, barely bipedal creature, hunched over Nick’s face. If it hadn’t just issued a short cry, one could easily think it was asleep due to its closed eyes and minimal movement. Four black circles were on its smooth cobalt back which contrasted the tan underbelly and limbs.
Cyndaquil, the Fire Mouse Pokémon. Lucy had taken the opportunity to use her Pokédex again. It flares flames from its back to protect itself. The fire burns vigorously if the Pokémon is angry. When it is tired, it sputters with incomplete combustion.
“Hey Nick, it’s a boy!” she shouted, grinning ear to ear.
“Fantastic,” he murmured, rubbing his head and sitting up.
“My turn.” Lexi, who’d been watching the whole scene with enthusiasm, walked from Professor Elm’s side and to the final of the three Pokéballs and Pokédexes. “I assume this is Chikorita.” She gracefully lifted the ball from the glassware, leaving it empty. Next, she took the red Pokédex and opened it, carefully examining the buttons and screen.
“… come on!” Lucy screamed, watching her begin to polish the sphere with the bottom of her pink shirt. “Just throw it!!”
Surprised, yet still pleasant, she dropped the object straight to the ground, watching as the familiar light appeared and then faded. This time, instead of an Alligator or a Porcupine, an odd creature stood upon four tiny hooves, looking around the room curiously with large, shimmering eyes. Its body was very simple, like an extremely short and simplified horse, and the almost nonexistent neck was beaded with a line of seeds that, along with the large leaf on top of its head and its light green skin, made it all too clear that it was a grass type.
Once again, Lucy was the first to grab her ‘dex.
Chikorita, the Leaf Pokémon. It waves its leaf around to keep foes at bay. However, a sweet fragrance also wafts from the leaf, creating a friendly atmosphere that becalms the battlers.
“What gender is it?” Lexi asked, kneeling to stroke the young Pokémon’s back.
“Girl,” Lucy answered coldly, quickly snapping shut her Pokédex and lifting Totodile into her arms.
“Your name,” Alexis said, “will be Tikora.”
“Tikora!?” Lu scoffed loudly. “You call that a name!? Hahahah!! Nice one! Now me, on the other hand, have picked the perfect name for this gal.” She lifted her Pokémon even higher in the air. “Maylene! After the famous Sinnoh gym leader!”
“God.” Nick rolled his eyes and laid back down. “I was afraid you would pick something like that.”
For a few seconds, Lucy issued a brutal beating to her friend, finally settling down after he screamed his twelfth apology.
“Sorry,” he said, back in his original position, “I was just saying that ya shoulda let me pick out your name.”
“Hmph! Oh really!? I suppose you have a wonderful name picked out, don’t you!?”
“Well…” He smiled slightly and lowered his gaze. “I don’t mean to brag… but the name I’ve chosen is perfect and original.”
“What is it?” Lexi asked, her eyes full of wonder and curiosity.
“It’s a name that no one has ever used before, and yet it’s completely obvious…”
“Just say it!” the older girl yelled.
“His name… is Caution.”
A strange silence filled the room as awkward glances were cast between Lexi and Elm, and Lucy tried to contain her laughter. Finally, her seal broke and a shrieking cackle sliced the air, ringing in everyone’s ears even after it was over.
“CAUTION!? Are you serious!?”
He gave her an angry look and busied himself with grooming his Pokémon, who was enjoying it thoroughly. “What’s wrong with it? Y’know, like how thermoses say ‘caution: hot.’ And he’s a fire type so-”
“That the stupidest name I’ve ever heard!!” She was clutching her stomach now, shaking with elation.
“Let’s just go,” he said cruelly, standing and lifting Caution from the floor.
After a few more minutes of chuckling, the girl agreed to go and, along with the somewhat unwelcome Lexi, they went to Lucy’s house to prepare for their journey…
February 23rd, 2008 (8:57 PM).
Pretty Sweet story. I can't wait for the next chapter
February 24th, 2008 (7:28 AM).
Ouh! I just can't help pointing out a little tiny funny mistake ;
February 24th, 2008 (8:07 AM).
Well, thank you reviewers! The next chapter will (hopefully) be up soon.
February 27th, 2008 (12:36 AM).
this story is pretty awesome! *bookmarks*
I think I'll keep an eye on this!
March 2nd, 2008 (9:50 AM).
Anyway, yay, the chapter's here! I won't say much, so I'll just let you read:
Chapter II: Gravel in the Gears
Lucy was eagerly packing clothes and other necessities into a solid black bag. She was in her room, along with Nick and Lexi, who were eating sandwiches made by Lucy’s mother. All the Pokémon- Tikora, Caution, and Maylene- were lying on the bed, watching curiously.
“I’ll need my iPod.” She stuffed the small black object into the small front compartment. “… and cash, we can’t forget that…” She snatched a woman’s wallet off of her dresser and zipped it into one of the side pockets. A few more minutes went by and she was finally satisfied. Stepping back she examined her plump bag and sighed with relief.
“Let’s… begin our journey!” she shouted, throwing a fist into the air.
She looked toward Nick.
“Me and Lexi still have to get our stuff.”
She paused and then dropped her fist. “Alright… Nick, you live across the street, so we’ll go to your house first… then her's.”
“Dile!” Maylene jumped from the bed and clung to Lucy’s leg.
“Let go.” She waved her hand at her, but she didn’t budge. “Ugh.”
“C’mon.” Nick picked up his reluctant Cyndaquil, despite its struggling.
“Chiko.” Tikora gracefully hopped onto the ground and, with a slightly elevated nose, trotted to Lexi’s side.
“Let’s head to your house,” Lucy muttered, limping with her Pokémon handicap.
Slowly, the trio, along with their new partners, left the house, with Lucy’s a tearful goodbye from Lucy’s mother, and entered Nicholas’s handsome brick house.
The outside was beautiful in every way. There was a garden near the window and a perfectly-kept lawn surrounding it and the frosted glass door acted as the lovely bow in the center of an attractive present. But the inside was… not quite as pretty; in fact, it was downright ugly.
No one could say it wasn’t clean… that wasn’t the problem. The problem was the fact that dozens of eerily jolly dolls lined the living room, staring perpetually forward. They came in all shapes, sizes, genders, and races. Dresses covered most of them, even a few of the boys, and shiny shoes glared in the light of the ceiling fan, which was spinning slowly in the center of the room.
“Tototo…” Maylene was still attached to her trainer’s leg. She was looking nervously from face to face.
“Now I remember why I never come here,” Lucy remarked, waving her hand in front of one of the toy’s eyes.
“Because I never invite you?” Nick replied coldly, yet still smiling a little. “Mom!? I’m gonna get my clothes and stuff!”
“’Kay, honey!” his mother’s eccentric voice answered from a room somewhere to the left.
With the odd woman’s blessing, the boy and his friends moved around the tacky floral print furniture and through a door with various signs taped to it, most of them quotes from various academic leaders. Inside, however, was even more studious in appearance. Books upon books were piled throughout the floor and a computer with several CDs surrounding it rested in the corner. A small cup of pens was on a rickety desk, ready to write on the pile of mismatched papers next to it.
“Let’s make this quick,” the older girl said, sidestepping a dismantled Playstation. “This place gives me the creeps.”
“Don’t worry, I packed everything before I left. All I need to do is grab my laptop.” He snatched a black leather bag leaning against the wall, presumably containing the computer, and also grabbed a full lime green backpack from under his white bed. After stuffing the machine forcefully into the bag, the three and their Pokemon were ready to go to Lexi’s house with her constantly assuring them that her gear was already completely ready and waiting.
“Holy crap!” Lucy stared at the enormous white mansion, located in the gated area of New Bark Town. It had huge beams supporting the magnificent roof above the porch, which was arranged with extravagant furniture and served as the first step to the tall double doors that led inside. As if the house wasn’t enough, the lawn was, in a word, flawless and had statuettes of Pokémon fountains and scenery. “You live here!?”
“Uh-huh,” she said with a hint of pride in her voice. “Be right back.” She dashed along the sidewalk, over the porch, and through the doors.
“Y’know, we should really tell the poor girl that you’ll rape ‘er if she travels with us,” Lucy murmured evilly, looking at Nick.
“I think you’re the one she needs to worry about,” he replied dryly, shoving her.
“But seriously,” she said, “why are we traveling with her? I don’t think that other trainers run around with random strangers.”
“Well, she’s got the third starter Pokémon, and she’s just a little kid. We can’t let her go off by herself.”
She put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow. “That’s really the best you could come up with, isn’t it?”
“I’m afraid so…”
“Hey guys!” They looked round and saw Lexi running to them and carrying a lavish pink bag, stuffed to the brim with expensive-looking items. “I’m back!”
“Greeaat…” Lucy murmured, rolling her eyes.
“Now let’s hit the road!”
Nick and Lucy both stared at her strangely.
“Let’s ‘hit the road’?” she mirrored, folding her arms. “Is that supposed to be clever or something?”
Completely oblivious to the sarcasm, she pulled a folded map out of her pocket and shoed it to them. “I was thinking that, instead of taking the traditional route, we could go through Dark Cave, that way we-”
“Um… but,” Nick interrupted, “that’ll take us straight to Blackthorn City. And me and Lucy… uh, wanted to collect the badges.”
“Well, we can get them after training in the Blackthorn Mountains. Then we’ll have no problem collecting all of those silly badge things.”
“Listen sweetheart.” Lucy hooked her hand around the small girl’s shoulder. “Now I’m sure you took a long time planning this cuuute little path, and would be very happy if we followed it… but…”
“What?” she asked, widening her adorable eyes.
“Well, dear… we’re not morons.” She smiled innocently and broadened her eyes as well. “Understand?”
A little frazzled, she nodded her head. “Sure… I understand completely…”
“Excellent! Now, let’s head to Route 29.”
“This is it!” Lexi yelled, absolutely bubbling with excitement. She was standing next to a wooden sign shaped like an arrow that read “Route 29” and pointed toward the forest-y area just outside of New Bark Town. “As soon as we pass this, our journey has officially begun!” Beside her, Tikora nodded agreeably, smiling proudly. “Now everyone get in front of the sign!” Herding the pair towards the post, she retrieved a camera from her pack and glued her eyes to the lens. “Smile!” A small click sounded and Lexi excitedly examined the digital screen. The result was… less than desirable. Lucy was flipping off the camera with a scowl on her face and Maylene was still sticking to her leg. Nick was looking straight down and all that was visible was his blonde hair, while a vein in Caution’s forehead popped out angrily. Tikora appeared to be the only one with any poise, and was smiling kindly and lifting her front leg elegantly. “Eh… can we take it again?”
“No,” Lu said bluntly, walking off.
“Wait up,” the boy called, following.
Alone, Lexi zipped to the sign, smiled, made a peace sign, and snapped a photo of herself. “Now let’s catch up, Tikora.”
She rejoined them in the middle of a conversation.
“Typhlosion, Pidgeot, Sunflora, Porygon, Politoed, and Dragonite,” Nick said, absently stroking Caution. “What’s your team gonna be?”
“Well,” Lucy answered, “I think I’d want Feraligatr, Magmortar, Lucario, Victreebell, Tyranitar, and… hm… Skarmory.” She flashed a satisfied grin. “Perfect.”
“Meganium, Togetic, Espeon, Butterfree, Wigglytuff, and Azumarill,” Lexi piped in, smiling gently. “Oh,” she added, “and maybe a Pichu to ride on my shoulder.”
“That’s really cool,” the older girl said, rolling her eyes.
“What’s that?” Nick said, pointing forward to a round, stone object lying about twenty feet away in a thicket of tall weeds. Amongst it, in the few trees and shorter grass, were several broken pieces of the same material.
“A rock,” she answered cynically.
“It looks to smooth to be a rock,” Lexi said, joining Nick as he ran to it.
“Maybe it’s an ancient tombstone or something,” the boy remarked excitedly, picking up his stride. “I’ve always wanted to find something like that!”
When they got their, they were utterly disappointed. It was nothing more than a spherical rock with a smooth crack running across the circumference.
“Weh-ell,” Lucy started, “what do we have here? Looks like a rock. Isn’t that interesting?”
“Shut up.” Nick backed away from the stone.
“It’s okay,” Lexi uttered consolingly, “I’m sure it’s really, really old.”
“Let’s get moving, I don’t have all day!”
So, the six of them left, one depressed, one oddly cheery, and another impatient. About an hour later, at the very same spot, creatures were stirring.
“Sen?” A star-shaped raccoon rose from the grass and looked sheepishly around the area. She was resting upon her thick ringed tail and her entire brown body blended with the trees. After thoroughly satisfied with her search, she rose higher and let out a shrill call that rang through the land. A few moments later, hundreds of her kind, old and young, surrounded the stone.
Meanwhile, a small tan bird watched anxiously from a branch. His eyes were fixed on the stone and soon the anxiety was too much and the fowl flew to the surrounding grasses. “Pidge?”
“Rara?” No sooner had the Pidgey landed than a plethora of purple mice piled out of a few surrounding hollowed-out trees and fallen trunks to examine the ball.
The Pokémon were all here for a reason. No one who saw them could possibly tell what the reason was, but it was quite clear that something important was happening…
“Y’know,” Lucy muttered with a grudge, “for a Pokémon journey, I’ve noticed a severe lack of POKÉMON!”
“Calm down,” Nick said, still holding Caution, who was now asleep. “I’m sure we’ll see some in the morning. Today must just be unlucky.”
“Still,” Lexi interjected, looking at the sunset, “it’s really weird how we haven’t seen even one Pokémon. Not even a Pidgey flying through the air, or something.”
“Maybe it’s gonna rain or something,” she suggested. “Aren’t Pokémon supposed to be in tune with nature, or something?”
“Yeah, ‘cause it’s just so cloudy,” Nick said sarcastically, looking at the crystal clear sky. “Like I said, it’s probably just bad luck.”
“I hope so,” she sighed, kneeling to pet Maylene, unsurprisingly clinging to her ankle. “Whadya say we stop for the night?”
Agreeing, they pulled sleeping bags out of their bags and gathered a few sticks to make a fire. Within about half an hour, a small camp was set up, centered around a large stump. By this time, the sun was gone and the moon was making its nightly round.
“Well, today was a bust,” Lu stated, sitting cross-legged on her mat. “Not one battle, not one capture… nothin’.”
“It wasn’t a complete waste,” Lexi said, grinning sincerely. “I got a few good pictures of us and some of the scenery.”
“And I found an Antidote,” Nick added, pulled a green spray bottle out of his bag. “This could come in handy.”
“I don’t care about any of that crap!” Lucy boomed. “I want action! Adventure! Something that’ll have me staying up at night because I’m fearing for my life! So far, I haven’t seen anything like that…”
“It’s our first day,” the boy said comfortingly, adjusting his pajama collar. “We can’t expect every minute of our journey to be filled with amazing exploration and daring escapades. That’s only in those books we used to read when we were kids.”
The girl gave him a scornful look. “I didn’t read any books.”
“Then it’s like those cartoons you watched when you were supposed to be reading books.”
“-feel about trainers starting out with impromptu Pokémon for their journey? For instance, I started out with a Meowth.” It was a soft voice, with a bit of static.
Both kids looked over to Lexi, who was holding a red Pokégear, apparently playing the radio.
“It’s Oak’s Pokémon Talk Show,” she grinned, “with Mary. I thought it might be nice to have something to listen to.”
“That’s a very good question,” an older voice said. “I believe that a trainer has the right to start their own journey any time they want, and whether or not they have access to a Pokémon Professor shouldn’t stop them.”
“That’s very interesting,” she said. “Speaking of Pokémon availability, I’ve heard that very strange congregations have been happening near New Bark Town. Have you heard anything about this?”
“Actually,” he answered, “I’ve been there personally to study this phenomenon. To be honest, I couldn’t find a trace of any Pokémon, anywhere.”
Lucy, by now, had perked up a little and was now leaning toward the radio.
“And what do you think is the cause of this?” the woman asked.
“I think…” He paused. “That- shhhhhhh…”
“NO!” she screamed, snatching the Pokégear away. “This can’t be happening!”
“It’s okay!” Lexi yelled, taking back her watch. “It’s not a live show. It’ll play again at three in the morning.”
“I say we go to bed!” Nick yelled, hoping to prevent Lucy’s explosion.
Lexi and him both burrowed into their respective sleeping bags, followed by their Pokémon.
“I want to see a Pokemon!!”
Nicholas awoke to a rustling noise. His vision was still cloudy from sleep- the fact that it was still night didn’t help much either- but he could just make out a large from digging through his backpack, which was sitting upon the stump. Thousands of thoughts raced through his head as he watched the animal have its way with his belongings. Luckily, he remembered, Caution, who was sleeping inside his mat right next to his feet.
“Caution,” he whispered. “Caution?” He poked the animal with his toe. “Wake up…”
“Cyn…” an irritated growl answered.
Suddenly, the mystery monster’s head jerked toward Nick, and his entire body went rigid.
“I have a gun!” he lied, hoping it would scare the thing off. “I’ll shoot!”
“You don’t have a gun, you weenie.” The familiar voice had come from the thing.
He let his muscles relax and laid back down. “I was afraid you were some kinda psycho Pokémon.”
“I wish there was a psycho Pokémon out here. At least that’d be something interesting. But no, I’m just getting you Pokégear so I can listen to the Talk Show.” She pulled the machine out of the backpack and pressed a button, causing the screen to glow. “Fifteen till three. Perfect. Do you know what channel it’s on?”
“Nuh-uh,” he groaned, realizing how tired he was. “Just forget about it. We can ask someone in the morning.”
“I need to know now.” She fiddled with the buttons. Several voices faded in and out as the stations were changed.
“Just ask Lexi,” Nick muttered, curling into a comfortable position.
“I don’t need her help,” she snarled, still crouched on the stump. “I can do anything I want!”
So, for nearly twenty minutes, Lucy waited on the show, and then waited for the moment she wanted, and it finally came.
“That’s very interesting,” she said. “Speaking of Pokémon availability, I’ve heard that very strange congregations have been happening near New Bark Town. Have you heard anything about this?”
“Actually,” he answered, “I’ve been there personally to study this phenomenon. To be honest, I couldn’t find a trace of any Pokémon, anywhere.”
“And what do you think is the cause of this?”
“I think…” She was on the edge of the stump, peeling her ears. “That we’ll know the reason very soon, especially with the technology we have today.”
The girl was speechless… this is what she had been waiting on?
“Oh my, it looks like we’re out of time,” the woman said. “Please tune in next time to Oak’s Pokémon Talk Show!”
“What a jip!” she screamed, awaking her partners.
“What is it?” Lexi asked, rubbing her eyes.
“I’m going to bed…” she mumbled, crawling to her sleeping bag where Maylene, finally free of Lucy’s leg, was resting. “Wake me up whenever…”
At this time, with everyone annoyed at something, the trio finally went to sleep, having seen no Pokémon and no trainers, which ironically happened to be the most exciting thing that had happened that day…
April 26th, 2008 (9:25 PM).
I'm very, very sorry it took so long. Right now though, it's midnight, so if any of you are still out there, I'm sorry. I'm just... extremely irresponsible. Once again, very sorry and here you go:
Chapter III: A Cherry for You
The three trainers had settled last night into a small clearing on Route 29, surrounded by picturesque pine trees. The only sign of a tree in the vicinity of their camp was a large stump, upon which everyone’s gear sat upon. It was morning now, and an ear-piercing cry was thundering throughout the forest.
“I’m not gonna write you a love song, ‘cause you asked for it, ‘cause you need one!” Lucy was brushing her teeth behind a tree, singing loudly and distortedly as she did so. Nick and Lexi were also doing so, although more quietly. “If all ya have is leavin’, I’ma need a better reason to write you, a love song, TODAY!!”
“Ugh,” the boy sighed, taking a sip from his water bottle and washing the foam out of his mouth. Next, he picked up a brush he had brought and took himself to grooming Caution’s fur.
“Chiko?” Tikora was walking toward Lexi’s side, carrying a bundle of lush herbs and wild vegetables in her mouth. It looked very pleased with itself.
“Oh, good!” Lexi said, quickly rinsing her mouth and spitting. “Guys!? I’m gonna make breakfast!” With a grunt from Lucy and a mumbled blessing from Nick, she dashed to her backpack and pulled out a small pan with a wooden handle. “Let’s see, I’ll need water…” She glanced toward the tree that Lucy was standing behind, where she knew Maylene would inevitably be. “… and a fire…” She looked in Nick’s direction. She could see him smoothing the Cyndaquil’s fur. “… and spices…” Now she looked at her own bag and retrieved a few vials of assorted ingredients. “Hey, Lucy, Nick, can I use your Pokémon!?”
“It’s so I can make breakfast!”
Grudgingly, the “no” changed from to a “fine,” and the cooking began.
First, after gathering kindling, Caution was pushed into a lighting a fire with his small Ember attack, - a miniature ball of fire- also singeing a few of his trainer’s hairs in the reluctant process. Next, after freeing herself from Maylene’s grasp, Lucy ordered a Water Gun, but instead got a Bubble, which eventually filled the pan to the appropriate level. Finally, Lexi added the plants and the cooking began.
After watching for a few minutes, Lucy spoke up. “Is it just me, or is this stuff missing something?”
“Hm…” Lexi hummed thoughtfully. “What?”
“Well, I was just thinking that normal people eat meat!”
“Oh no, silly,” she giggled. “This is a vegetarian meal!”
“… vegetarian?” she asked, giving possibly the iciest stare in the history of Route 29. “You… you’re a vegetarian?”
“Yes,” the girl answered, still smiling. “Do you not like vegetables?”
“Uh, Lu?” Nick quickly intervened. “It couldn’t hurt to eat this today, could it? Then, when we get to Cherrygrove, we can stock up on all kinds of good food.” While he was talking, he had been leading her by the arm to a spot about ten feet away from young Lexi.
“I hate her,” she managed through gritted teeth. “WHY are we traveling with her?”
“C’mon Lucy, I’m sure you’ll eventually become friends. I mean, we weren’t exactly pals when we first met.”
“Yeah but that was different,” she growled. “You were actually kinda okay, a little. She’s just a freakin’ wh-”
They turned to see Lexi, adding a few spices to the dish. “Are you gonna eat?”
After glancing back and forth between Nick and Lexi, Lucy finally groaned and muttered a forced “fine.”
Within about ten minutes, the group was staring at a few cooked and peppered leaves sitting on their paper plates. Although they each had a piece of bread, the meal could still use some bulking up. Lexi was eating with a satisfied look on her face, while the other two picked at it with their forks.
“So…” the boy said, trying to be sociable. “Uh… this is good…” He stuffed a piece of herb into his mouth and grinned nervously. “Veh-y veh-y gooh,” he mumbled, his mouth struggling not to taste the bitter meal.
“Yeah,” Lucy said dryly, turning her plate over and letting the food fall into the ground. “It’s fantastic. Can somebody hand me my bag? I think I’ve got a few candy bars in it.”
Completely oblivious to the reactions of the others, Lexi scraped the last bit of plant from her plate and munched it down. “See, you were wrong about the food, Lucy,” she teased kindly. “I can give you the recipe. It’s very simple. All you need is a few wild plants- you can probably find them almost anywhere in Johto- and a couple of spices- you don’t even need those, they’re just to add a little kick to it- and then you boil them in water and- well actually, I didn’t even boil these, since I think it tastes better without it- and then-”
“I DON’T WANT THE RECIPE!” Lucy snarled, ripping off a piece of her Snickers.
“Okay,” she said, unfazed and turning her attention to the paper plates and plastic forks. Thoroughly satisfied with a decision, she proceeded to remove a white trash bag from her backpack and began to neatly place the ware into it.
Keeping a suspicious eye on her, Lucy finished off the last of her candy and tossed the wrapper onto the grass. “Let’s get movin-”
“Wait!” Without warning, the young girl scooped the candy wrapper off the ground and stuffed it in the bag. “What are you doing? You can’t leave trash on the ground, especially out here in the wild.”
“Ugh, you’re one of those people too!”
“I just happen to care about the environment,” she said, pulling the twist-ties. “It wouldn’t hurt for you to show a little compassion towards Mother Nature.”
“Screw her,” Lucy answered, picking up her backpack. “Now I’m goin’ to Cherrygrove whether you guys come or not.” With the warning, she stomped off, followed by a silent Maylene.
“Lucy!?” Nick called. Then, he turned toward Lexi. “Don’t worry, it’s not you. She’s always like this in the morning.” He didn’t look her straight in the eye, partly because he was lying. Finally, knowing she’d be waiting, he ran after her.
“Oh my,” Lexi murmured, exhausted. “Wait for me.” She adopted a quick stride to catch up with Tikora jogging behind her.
“It looks like… we’re about a mile from Cherrygrove.” Nick was studying his Pokégear casually, gaining envious glances from Lucy, who still had her living blue anklet holding onto her. “I don’t think there’s much to do there, though. It’s more of a pit stop for beginning trainers.”
“Well, maybe we can get my Pokégear repaired,” the girl muttered, looking toward the pocket that held the dismantled machine.
“I don’t think so,” Lexi said, smiling gently. “Cherrygrove is known for its ocean view, Pokémon contests, and information about the region of Johto. Not its technology. I suppose it’s possible that we’ll find a small shop that can repair it, but you’d be hard-pressed to locate a national company.”
After a few moments of poisonous glaring, Lucy hissed “thanks” and pried Maylene off of her legs. “How’s it goin’ girl?”
“To… Toto…” She looked down and kicked her chubby legs anxiously.
“… fantastic!” she said with sarcastic enthusiasm. “Keep it up!” With these parting words, she held the Pokémon against her ankle, which it quickly wrapped its body around again.
“Y’know,” Lexi thought aloud, smiling and lifting Tikora into her arms. “I was thinking we could have a battle. Since there’s no Pokémon out here, it would be a good way to get some training in.”
“For once,” Lucy said, still in an acidic tone, “you might actually have a decent idea. What d’you think, Nick?”
“I think it’ll be fun,” he said, holding Caution in front of his face and studying the small Pokémon. “But how would we do it? One-on-one-on-one?”
“That’s sounds perfect!” the excited child yelled, flipping her ponytailed hair back. “I say we get started now!”
“Finally something I can get excited about.” Lucy pulled a black pair of fingerless gloves out her bag. “My first real battle.”
After deciding the rules, they found the battleground: a small field from which you could see the city in the distance. It was right on the edge of an enormous hill with a few flowers and lush grass that was as thick as the trees’ furry leaves. They had all taken positions at three different areas in the place, and were checking their Pokédexes for the attacks of their Pokémon.
“Bubble and Leer,” Lucy murmured, reading from the screen.
“Ember… and Smokescreen.” Nick was also thinking of a strategy.
‘Vine Whip and Tail Whip,’ Lexi thought, snapping shut her ‘dex with an eager smile. “Everyone ready?”
“I… think so,” the boy said unsurely, closing his own encyclopedia.
“Yep,” she said, holding Maylene’s Pokéball at knee level. “But we’re going to do this right. Return.” Suddenly, a red laser shot from the white button on the front of the ball and hit the Totodile, transforming her into the same energy and sucking her into the object. “Now you two return your Pokémon too.”
Eager to get started, the trainers both sucked in their Pokémon.
“Now, on three, release them into the battleground. Ready…? One… two… three!”
With force, they simultaneously hurled their Pokéballs forward, watching excitedly as the creatures emerged. They were, however, less enthusiastic than their trainers.
“To?” Maylene looked back and forth between the other starters, then looked back toward Lucy questioningly. “Totodi?”
“You can do it!” Lu yelled.
“Use Vine Whip on Maylene!” Lexi ordered.
“Ko!” Fluidly, Tikora reared to her hind legs as two vines grew suddenly out of the seeds planted in her neck. Without any warning, they both smacked Maylene’s face, sending her onto the ground.
No sooner had the attack been completed, when a ball of smoking fur rammed into Tikora, leaving a burn mark on her green skin.
“Cyn… cyn…” Caution panted, flames shooting from his back.
Both girls looked at Nick in complete shock. “I didn’t hear you give a command,” Lexi commented.
“I-I didn’t,” he stammered, scratching the back of his head.
“It doesn’t matter,” Lucy snarled, fisting her hands. “Maylene, use Leer on Tikora then Bubble on Caution!”
Nervously, the Totodile’s eyes began glowing a brilliant green and she threw her eerie glance toward Chikorita, who looked toward the ground, completely dodging the attack. Still trying, she opened her mouth as wide as possible- nearly at a ninety degree angle- and sent a barrage of bubbles in Caution’s direction.
Unfortunately for the duo, the pyro-porcupine rolled adeptly out of the way and then sprung to his front legs, causing everyone to freeze.
The small crackling sound of the flames on his back was the only noise as everyone stood stock-still, knowing the slightest movement could set him off. Even the Pokémon looked fearful, especially Maylene, despite her type advantage.
“Nick,” Lucy hissed, eyeing Caution vigilantly. “Control your Pokémon.”
Nodding, he took a step forward. “C-Caution?” His Pokémon twitched angrily, turning his head toward Nicholas. “I think you need to listen to me, and-”
“Ah!” Lucy dived to the left as an inferno erupted toward her from Cyndaquil’s back. Still, she tried to say as still as possible, as the Pokémon was still on his front legs and crackling even louder than before.
“C’mon,” Nick whispered, leaning closer and about to pick him up. “Just calm down. It’ll be fine.” His eye was caught by Lexi, waving at him frantically. She then held up a Pokéball and pointed at it. Nodding, Nick looked toward his belt where he had fastened Caution’s ball after it snapped back into his hand upon the Pokémon’s release. Plucking it gently from the latch, he enlarged it and looked up, only to have his breath stolen for a moment. To his great horror, Caution’s back was now directly facing him, with a small flame cooking.
He dared not move.
“Uh… hehe… Caution? Maybe you could just… return!” Just as a blast of fire exploded from him, a red light shot out of the ball. Nick threw his arms over his face, but the flames turned into red energy a split second before they reached his body. Caution was now inside the Pokéball.
All the trainers and Pokémon sighed with relief and fell onto the grass.
“You suck as a trainer,” Lu scoffed, looking at the singed blades of grass. “Can’t even control your own Pokémon. How sad.”
“Shut up,” he retorted. “He’s just a little cranky after spending all that time in the lab.”
“Funny,” Lucy said, patting Maylene, who was now at her side. “My Pokémon doesn’t seem cranky.”
“At least Caution isn’t afraid to battle,” he snorted, reattaching the Pokéball to his belt.
“What is that supposed to mean?” She narrowed her eyes. “Maylene is just g-”
“Hey everyone,” Lexi interjected, “how ‘bout we head to Cherrygrove!”
“… shut up,” Lu growled, standing returning Maylene to her Pokéball. Then, she walked off, fuming.
Welcome to Cherrygrove City!
The City of Cute, Fragrant Flowers.
Lucy was about a hundred feet ahead of the other two, and had just entered Cherrygrove. It was a picturesque oceanic town, with a humble population of shopkeepers and young trainers. From the looks of it, there weren’t many houses taller than two-stories. In many ways, it was similar to New Bark Town: small, handsome, and friendly. However, it was also much busier than New Bark Town, since more businesses made their homes here. The sidewalks were packed with food stands, pet Pokémon, and people. They seemed completely oblivious to the fact that three children were walking dangerously on the streets of the town. Of course, now that Lucy thought about it, it’d be more risky on the sidewalks than the barren streets.
‘I wonder where the Pokémon Center is,’ she thought, stepping slowly down the yellow stripes.
Meanwhile, Nick and Lexi were discussing Pokémon Contests. Nicholas surprisingly knew very little about these beauty shows, and had actually become a little more sociable at the chance to learn about them, while Lexi was a self-proclaimed expert.
“So let’s say you’re entering the Cute Contest,” she said. “Then your Pokémon has to know a few cute moves that’ll impress the judges. Like… like Caution. If he knew Defense Curl, which is a cute move, he might win.”
“Really…” he muttered, looking curiously at the Cyndaquil’s Pokéball. “Well… what types of moves does he have?”
“Well, Ember… I think that’s considered a beautiful move. And I’m also pretty sure that Smokescreen is ‘Smart.’”
“Cool,” he said, grinning slightly. “Maybe I’ll enter the contest…”
“CAN YOU HURRY UP!?” Both trainers looked up and saw a steaming Lucy standing in front of a busy Pokémon Center. “It’s getting dark, and I DON’T wanna get stuck at a hotel with a name like ‘The Salty Pickle!’” The comment garnered several odd looks from passersby but she didn’t notice.
It was now that Nick and Lexi noticed that they’d come to a complete standstill while they talked.
“Oops,” the little girl said, grinning. “Coming Lulu!” Oblivious to the finger that “Lulu” had just flipped, Alexis skipped to her side. Soon after, Nick joined them and the trio entered the Pokémon Center.
It was, to keep it simple, crowded. And it was no wonder why. The yellow walls were covered with poster that read messages that basically said that there was a contest the next day in big, colorful letters. And, against the back wall were three people upon whom the crowd seemed to be focused on.
In the center was a very pretty girl, about eighteen, with pink hair that rolled into cascading ponytails. She was wearing unusually heavy clothing for summer, consisting of what appeared to be a ski outfit, right down to the boots. On her shoulder was a dark, ratty creature. Its one ear- the other appeared to have been cut off- was red, matching the featherlike tail, and it had enormous, sharp claw on its hands. The woman was waving her gloved hand politely at the people, smiling plastically.
To her right was a small, bespectacled boy, with neatly kempt black hair that shone in the light. He stood straight up and looked as serious as could be. He was wearing a normal outfit for a boy his age- a blue T-shirt and khaki shorts- yet his pose, his face, his hair; it was all so uniformed. Even his Pokémon, a tan ball of feathers, with nothing but feet, an Indian feather, and two serious eyes right above its tiny beak, looked stern. There appeared to be less commotion over him.
Finally, on the girls left was a handsome man who’d mostly gathered a crowd of women. He appeared not to have a theme about his clothing: a leather jacket, white undershirt, and jeans. A mess of obviously-dyed hair lay atop his head as he smirked with his arms folded. Flying back and forth behind him was a large yellow-and-black wasp. It had two large drills in place of its hands and the buzzing noise it made was almost prevalent over the voices of the fans.
“Who’re they?” Nicholas asked, but his quiet voice was drowned out.
“Oh my gosh!” Lexi shouted. “I can’t believe they’re here in person!” She was showing an astounding lack of control as she jumped up and down and screamed as loudly as possible. It wasn’t like her at all.
“Quick,” Lucy whispered into Nick’s ear. “She’s distracted. Let’s get out of here before she gets back to her regular self.”
Casting her a look of disappointment, he walked forward and tapped the little girl on the shoulder. She turned around with a huge grin on her face.
“What!?” she asked, absently jumping.
“Who are they!?”
“Well, the girl’s Katrina!” She pointed at each as she said their names. “The little boy is Winston! And the guy is Marshall! They’re famous Coordinators!”
Turning back, he sighed and pulled Lucy to the sidewalk outside where it was quieter.
“Well,” he started, “I don’t think we’ll be getting a room while these people,” He looked at a poster stuck to the glass door of the Center that advertised the three’s appearance, “are here.”
“Onward to the Salty Pickle,” she moaned, rolling her eyes.
“I’ll go tell Lexi to call us when she gets done,” he said, going back inside and leaving Lucy alone; except for the pedestrians on the sidewalk, of course. The sun hadn’t set yet. It was probably about five in the afternoon and darkness was just beginning to creep in on them.
‘First,’ she thought, smiling, ‘I’ll get something to eat. I can still taste that apple-twig lasagna crap Lexi tried to make for lunch.’
“Okay, let’s hit it.” The boy emerged once again.
“Right.” They began walking toward the ocean, where they supposed there’d be a seaside hotel or something to that effect. If there wasn’t, they could always just sleep on a bench…
May 17th, 2008 (9:05 PM).
Yes! Another chapter!! Wooh!! Here ya go!!
Chapter IV: Mysterious Encounter
Nicholas breathed out a sigh as he watched the waves caress the beach. The ocean was twinkling with the reflection of stars and the moon, which were the only sources of light other than the occasional dull streetlight. Far off, in the direction of Violet City, he could hear a faint cry of a Hoothoot. That, and the tide, was the only noise audible in that crisp, cool night.
He was resting against a large rock- a boulder, even- in the sand as he waited for Lexi to call him. Lucy was leaning against his shoulder, sleeping peacefully. Upon checking his Pokégear, he groaned at the fact that it was already 10:50 in the evening. “C’mon, Lex,” he muttered, closing his eyes. His eyelids were getting heavier and heavier as the night went on, and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could last…
His eyes snapped open as a loud ringing burst from his phone. Even Lucy, who could sleep through a train wreck, jumped up dazedly.
“Finally,” he whispered, pressing the Answer button. “Hello…? Finally. What took you so long…? Oh… Alright, meet us… Lucy, where do you want to meet her?”
“I don’t care,” she yawned rudely, curling up.
“C’mon, Lu.” He pushed her gently. “There’re no vacant hotels, the Pokémon Center’s full, and we can’t just sleep on a public beach. Where do you wanna go?”
“I don’t care,” she repeated, a little louder. “You decide.”
Sighing, he returned the phone to his ear and said, “We’ll just meet you at the Center. Wait for us.” Snapping the cellular shut, he stood up and pulled Lucy with him. “We’re going to the Pokémon Center.” He slapped her on the back, resulting in a groggy, badly-aimed fist. “Let’s get goin’.”
“And then,” Lexi continued, not taking a breath, “Katrina gave me- and the rest of us- a bunch of tips for contests. I think this is my first big step to becoming a real coordinator!”
“That’s… just super, Lex,” mumbled Nick unenthusiastically. He was carrying Lucy on his back. She’d fallen asleep and collapsed on their way to the Pokémon Center. The extra weight was beginning to take a toll on both the boy’s attitude and energy. They had just left the Pokémon Center a few minutes ago, and were already deep in Lexi’s conversation. “So where do you think we should sl-”
“And I couldn’t believe how funny Marshall was!” she interrupted. “I swear, if contests didn’t work out for him, he could be a comedian!”
He could feel his ankles begin to wobble on the pavement with each step. “Cool. Now where should we-”
“And Winston! I mean, he’s a little bit boring, y’know, but he’s thought of some amazing tactics!”
“Really? Wow. Now wh-”
“Oh my God, and I got Marshall to kiss Tikora’s Pokéball! Do you think that might be good luck!?”
“Maybe,” he snapped, a little irritable. “ Now WHERE-”
Suddenly, a crackle of lightning flashed right in front of their faces, followed by several more, smaller jolts. Then, as quick as the lighting that preceded it, an enormous, yellow, tiger-like creature leapt onto the street, and then jumped away, disappearing.
“What,” Lucy said, sounding tired but still curious and rude, “the Hell,” she continued, “was that?”
“I don’t know,” he answered, almost whispering. His eyes grew wider as he perked his ears. He could hear… something. It was… it was… burning?
All three fell to the ground as a gigantic red lion with bulky paws and a trailing flame soared over them, landing with a loud thump, before sprinting down the road and turning a corner.
As if following them, a sphere shot from behind them, bouncing on the ground. It was a black Pokeball with two black bars circling it diagonally, as if holding it together. It was surrounded by a faint blue mist as it bobbed back and forth, the center button glowing red.
Just as the crimson dot faded, Nick felt something sharp pierce the back of his arm, and soon he crumbled into a motionless heap…
A horrible commotion surrounded the rustic Ecruteak City like a storm and several rushing officials were running about, examining every rock and home. The classic houses and shops were being raided and investigated for the slightest trace of the culprit.
“Check the west side!” one burly man shouted to a few similarly-clad troops.
Standing directly in the center of town was a young, blonde man in blue sweats. He had a headband and his eyes were shut intensely. His hands quivered as he held them wide open next to his face.
“I… I can see… nothing.” He sank to his knees. “There is too much noise… too much disorder…”
A few policemen that had gathered sighed in disappointment, and then ran off to continue tracking.
“It’s alright Lord Morty,” a short, bald man said, resting his hand on Morty’s back. “When the uproar calms, you’ll be able to-”
“Wait!” His head jerked up and his eyes were glowing brightly. “I see it! I see her!”
No one but him could see the vision that was now in his mind’s eye. It was a bit foggy, but clear enough to make out the person. It was a woman: black hair, a white, emotionless mask, and a flower-print, red kimono, that draped past her feet. She was looking at a downward angle, and the sinister eye slits in the mask made her look ghoulishly malevolent.
Suddenly, Morty gasped as he lost the vision abruptly. The woman disappeared and he was now back in the city, watching a few children run past.
“What was it, Master?” the man asked.
“I…” He coughed distressfully. “I… don’t know…”
Meanwhile, away from the chaos, atop the lofty Tin Tower, stood the geisha which Morty had seen. She was holding a large fan with a red dot in the center over the bottom half of her mask. The right side of her silky hair was allowed to hang freely, save for a few coils, but the left side was pinned tactfully, with the aid of chopsticks. If her face was visible, she would have been beautiful.
“Fools,” she purred, watching the tiny dots of the citizens run about excitedly. “Do they really think I am so dense as to get caught that easily?” It appeared that she was speaking to herself, until a small, brown fox appeared from behind a phoenix statue. Its fur was immaculately groomed, but there was something in its eyes… a hate. One embedded by years of evil.
Alexis Granger awoke with a pounding headache. At the moment, that concern surpassed all others, including the location of the small, square room she was in. Hoping for an aspirin, she searched for her purse for a moment, finally finding it on the coffee table in front of the couch she was sitting on.
After retrieving and swallowing the pill, she concentrated more on the room: it had wood-styled wallpaper and a larger pink couch and a black recliner, which Lucy and Nick slept upon respectively. She thought it should fell more cramped, since the place was very tiny for three people, but it felt cozy.
A groan erupted from her mouth before she knew it. ‘What time is it?’ She dug with weary hands through her purse until she found her Pokégear. 3:37 a.m. ‘Really?’ She stared disbelievingly at the timepiece. “That explains why I’m so tired,” she whispered, falling into the cushion on her side. “And I’m going to sleep…”
“Aaaah!! Stoppit! Please!”
Lucy had a pleasant, elderly woman pinned against the wallpaper, demanding answers to her questions. Her aged eyes were wide with fear as she struggled to breath.
“Please!” she gasped. “I didn’t kidnap you!”
“What’s going on!?” A stocky, bald man of about the same age as the woman ran in to find his wife pressed against the wall.
Releasing her grip, Lucy turned on the man. “So it was you!? You disgusting, sick, demented, PERVERT! Two teenage girls and… a guy!? It’s people like you that deserve a good kick to the cr-”
“What are you doing?”
Everyone turned to see Nick, with a worn-out look on his face, watching them from the recliner.
“Lucy,” he asked slowly. “Are you beating up senior citizens?”
“It’s not what it looks like!” she shouted. “They kidnapped us! And I woke up this morning and found her messing with Lexi’s blankets. And while I can’t think of anything funnier than Lexi being deflowered by an old woman, I felt it was my moral obligation to help out.”
“They had fallen off of her!” the woman yelled fearfully. “She looked cold so I put them back on!”
“Sure you did, lady,” the teen hissed. “Are you sure you weren’t taking something off instead!?”
“Why are you yelling?” Lexi had just sat up, rubbing her eyes. “You woke me up.”
“It’s okay,” the man said, not daring to move toward her. “We just took you here to keep you safe from those men.”
“… what men?” Lucy asked, getting a slight worrisome feeling that she may have made a mistake.
“Those men who were attacking you right outside our house,” the lady said, rubbing her neck. “My husband attacked them with his Graveler and saved you.”
“That’s right,” Nick recalled, looking at the back of his arm and seeing a red spot where the needle had plunged in. “Who were those guys?”
“We’re not entirely sure,” he continued, “but if I had to guess, I’d say they were…” He looked toward his wife, as if searching for permission. She gave him a cold look. “Thieves,” he said quickly. “Most likely after your Pokemon. Starters are very valuable these days.”
“I guess that makes sense…” Lucy said, a little unsure.
“I think we should go,” Nick said, standing. “We have to get to a Pokémon Center to heal our Pokémon. Thank you for your hospitality.” As if rushing, he pulled Lexi off the couch, and the two followed Lucy out the door. “See you again, hopefully.”
“Take care,” the crone said, waving them out the door.
When they finally reached the front door and were back onto the street, they could see that it was a very misty morning, and one could barely see their next door neighbors in the fog.
“Why’d we have to leave so early?” Lucy asked. “I’m starving and they might’ve fed us if we asked.”
“I just got a weird feeling.” He looked around curiously. “Shouldn’t the Pokémon Center be around here somewhere? We hadn’t gotten very far from it when the guys attacked us.”
“Speaking of the attack,” Lexi piped, “what were those Pokémon that ran past us?”
“I was wondering that, too,” Nick said. “Do you think we should call Professor Elm?”
“Do it!” she yelled excitedly.
The keyboard clicked repeatedly as Elm typed a few codes into an enormous glass tube. It was filled with a bubbly, green liquid that surrounded a pale egg. Occasionally, a light would flash and the egg would wobble very, very slightly.
His eyes kept a constant watch over the egg. The entire room was dark, so that was the only thing anyone could see. He could feel the moment approaching. The tension was building with every second and he knew that any minute-
A white light flooded the room as a proper man in a white lab coat entered, holding a wireless phone.
“Quick!” he screamed. “SHUT THE DOOR!”
Gasping, the man pushed the door, sapping the light source away. “I’m very sorry, sir.” He pressed his hands against the glass. “I forgot about the experiment.”
“It’s okay,” he said, breathing hard from the excitement. “What did you come to tell me?”
“You have a phone call.” He handed him the receiver.
“Hello?” He put it to his ear. “Oh, Nicholas! How has it been…? Good, good. Uh, where are you now…? Cherrygrove? That’s a very nice city. So, what did you call about…? Really? That sounds strange… oh my… yes, I do believe I have an idea of what you’re talking about. If you want to come back to New Bark Town, I can explain it better, but if you’d like to do it over the phone…”
He planted himself onto a couch. “Alright then, where should I start? Hm… long ago, in Ecruteak City, there were two towers: the Tin and Brass Towers. The Brass Tower was the perch of a magnificent phoenix, while Tin Tower housed an equally powerful creature. However, the golden Brass Tower burned to the ground years ago, killing three legendary Pokémon and scaring the birds away. When the fire finally calmed, it was said that the phoenix returned for only a moment to give new life to the Pokémon that were killed. But, these Pokémon were incredibly powerful, and in the wrong hands, could be dangerous. So, to be sure they would cause no harm, he set them in stone, to wait for a person with a pure heart to awaken them.
“If you ask me, two of the three Pokémon are what you saw. You say they appeared to be electric and fire types…? Then I think that you saw Raikou and Entei. You’re very lucky… you’re quite welcome. Bye then.” He hung up slowly, and after much thought, picked up the phone again, and dialed a number.
“Hello…? Yes, I have something to tell you…”
“Where is the Pokémon Center!?” Lucy roared, kicking an empty soda can. They’d finished the conversation with Elm about an hour ago, and were still wandering the streets. “We were like two blocks from it when we got attacked by Raccoon and Enter!”
“It is a little weird,” Nick muttered. ‘I guess those old peoples’ house was pretty far away from the place where we got knocked out… but then how did they find us? It must’ve been at least midnight by then…’
“Go Tikora!” Lexi released her Pokémon, which was more than happy to be free again.
“Chiko! Chikorita!” She ran a few circles and then caught up to her trainer.
“What are you doing?” Lucy asked coldly.
“Well, I haven’t let her out since the Pokémon Center.”
“Wow, it has been a while…” Nick remarked, pulling a Pokéball off of his belt. “D’you think Caution’ll be safe as long as he’s not battling?”
“Try and see,” Lexi said, picking up her Chikorita just in case.
“Alright… here goes… Caution!” He threw the ball into the air, wincing as it hit the ground.
“Cyn…” he growled, looking around him. He still seemed slightly irritable, but had apparently calmed down since he was last out.
“C’mere,” Nick said slowly, walking forward and picking him up. “Heheh, good boy.”
“Good for you,” Lexi said, grinning. “Maybe he’s already starting to trust you.”
“I hope so… Lucy, aren’t you gonna let out Maylene?”
“I guess,” she moaned, unlatching the orb from its clip. “Alright, May, let’s go.” She was less than impressed from the previous battle, and was reluctant to have her Pokémon out in public.
“Totototo!” She, too, was excited to be out of her Pokéball once again. Then, as expected, she leapt toward her trainer and clung to her ankle.
“Ugh, let’s get goin’.” She walked forward and the other two followed.
They continued walking for about fifteen minutes, until they finally broke down and stopped at someone’s house to get directions.
“Who’s going to ask?” Nick whispered, standing with the other three on the pleasant wooden porch of the brick house. The fog was still heavy, giving them the feeling of being on an island.
“You do it,” Lucy said in a hushed tone.
“I can’t talk to strangers!” he hissed. “I think that Lexi should. She’s more social than me or you.”
“Why are you both making such a big deal about it?” Lexi asked, walking to the door. “They’re not going to eat us.”
She rang the doorbell, looking back at them triumphantly, and was soon greeted by a husky, unshaven man in a bathrobe. He had dark circles under his eyes and appeared to have not taken a shower in quite some time.
“What?” he grunted, glaring at the children.
“Um…” Her train of thought had been destroyed at the sight of the beastly man. “Uh… we… are looking for the Pokémon Center.”
“And we need directions.” She took a step back as the man groaned.
“Keep walking down that way.” He pointed down the street. “It’s like fifteen minutes away.”
“Thank you!” All three then ran off the porch, eager to get away.
“What a creepo,” Lucy murmured, looking back to find him still watching them from the door.
“Let’s just get to the Center.” Nick jogged forward, wanting to hide from the man in the fog.
So, mostly in silence, they walked slowly, followed by their Pokémon, until, about twenty minutes later, they arrived at the now-calm Pokémon Center. The streets and sidewalks however, were beginning to get busier and busier.
“Ah! That feels so good!” Lexi was referring to the blast of cool air that met them when the entered through the sliding glass doors. The humidity of the seaside town was beginning to take its toll on the travelers. “I’m gonna get a soda!” She walked to a brightly-colored vending machine in the corner.
“Man, that crowd really disappeared,” Nicholas commented, looking at the two people having breakfast at one of the tables. “I guess this place is dead without those coordinators.”
“Better for us,” Lucy sniffed, walking to the counter. “Heal her, please.” She pried Maylene off her leg and handed her to Nurse Joy.
“And him,” Nick said hurriedly, setting Caution down.
“Oh my God!” Both looked toward the girl and saw her staring at one of the contest posters. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…” She began pacing around, and then ran toward her friends, grabbing the both by the shoulders. “It’s today!!”
“What?” Lucy asked, hitting Lexi’s hand away.
“Oh yes,” Joy cut in. “It’s specifically for beginners. Were you thinking of signing up?”
“Yes!” She looked out the door worriedly. “Is it at the SilverDome!?”
“Well yes, but you have to sign up here.” She held up a clipboard with a list of a few names on it.
“Agh!” She turned on her heels and snatched the paper. “Do you have a pen!?” After receiving one from the nurse, she scribbled her name down. “Is that all!?”
“Mm-hm,” she nodded, accepting the board. “Now hurry. You have to be at the Dome by 10:30.”
Checking her Pokégear, she saw that it was already 10. “Is there time to heal my Pokémon!?”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” she answered, frowning. “I can try, though, if you w-” But it was too late. Lexi was already out the door, Tikora at her heels, sprinting toward a small lump above the buildings: the SilverDome.
“I guess we have to follow her…” Nick sighed.
“Ugh, do we have to?”
“C’mon, Lu, we’ll lose her if we don’t.”
She put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow. “… so?”
Ignoring her, he turned to Joy. “I guess we have time to heal our Pokémon, right?”
She grinned, and took the paper off of the clipboard. “Yep. I just have to fax these to the contest director.”
“’Kay…” They both sat down at a couch to wait.
At around ten in the morning, Lucy, Maylene, Nick, and Caution were in the Pokémon Center, and Lexi was running through the streets with Tikora. The contest would begin at precisely eleven, and Lexi would finally get a taste of competition.
May 18th, 2008 (9:40 PM).
Just read the first chapter.
REALLY GOOD! Seriously. Your detail is amazing and you don't seem to be in a rush to finish anything, which is great. I''ll let you know when I finish with the other Chapters. Keep them coming!