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[Quick notice: This is a story written in custom playwright. Though it will read like a script sometimes, there will be a few times where it comes off as novel reading. I let you know now in case you have problems with this type of format. Thank you for reading.]
[Story notice (Possible spoiler): Prior to the upbeat tone and happy conversation starting this series off, it's gonna get a bit darker. I understand that this notice may ruin the surprise factor, but if you don't like that kind of stuff, I don't want you to get too attached to the series before I ruin it for you.]
"Where is she?"
"How should I know? I'm just a passing bystander."
"You think this is a joke?"
"I have to admit, it's pretty funny."
"Laugh it up, then. She can't go far and she's definitely not leaving this region any time soon. My control is all but absolute here. I own Fortuna. I own Zetsuna. I own her."
"You own this, you own that. That's all I've been hearing since I came to this region. I might not be able to play the hero that stops the organization this time around, but if I can keep one woman away from you . . . if it's just her, that's enough for me."
"Well, I hope you're ready to pay her debt. I'll be expecting interest as well."
"Good. I only give 110% in all my battles."
The rain played background music for the conversation. Both men's feet were deep in muddled water as they stood face to face, passing the time with arguments and anguish.
There was a man who stood dressed to impress. His dark suit drenched, he still stood upright. His eyes were squinted from bad vision, the rain and his anger all combined. He wanted it all. The man who stood before him didn't want him to have it. Why did he persist? The suited man couldn't understand it, nor would he tolerate it. This girl, her worth, it was rightfully his to claim. The power was rightfully his. He clinched hard to the red and white ball in his right hand. No one would stand in his way. That's what he worked for. He toiled for a future of such dominance and he wouldn't be denied.
The other man stood aloof. His soft smile warmed the watery atmosphere. The rain was blocked from his face by the shielding of a red hat. His hands were in his pockets. His demeanor was carefree. His stance, relaxed. The man didn't have a nervous moment. His confidence portrayed him as a wise old soul, but visibly, he was young. Barely a young adult, he stood strong before the suit. There was no resolve. There was no penultimate goal that was to come from this battle to him. All that he prepared for was for the battle. To him, it had always been the battle. Before, it was his only instinct. Before, he won only to win. His soft smile didn't fade, but it's emotion did. This time, he lost. Even if he were to win this battle, he lost. He lost everything. Now, standing in between great power and greater power, all he could do was rely on the instinct. All he could do was rely on the battle. Though, he knew well that this battle wouldn't make much of a difference.
"Come out, Blaziken!" the suit screamed ferociously. "Now, use Sunny Day!"
The fiery bird fighter launched a ball of light far into the clouds. For a moment, the weather was expected to break. After a while, it didn't. The suit couldn't believe it as he stared at the sky.
"It didn't work?" He was puzzled entirely.
"You should probably know," the red hat started. "This isn't normal rain. This isn't even a normal storm. It's probably nothing more than a coincidence that this is happening right now, but that doesn't stop it from being eerie."
"What are you talking about?" The suit gained no clarity from that response.
"You didn't notice? This isn't a victory for either of us, today. This isn't just a battle to protect that woman either. This is something entirely different. A dawn of a new day. No . . . "
The youth with the red hat stopped for a moment as a loud roar blanketed the land. The waters shook with the sound heard far and wide. After moments, the silence resumed and the rain stirred. The youth raised his red hat to the sky before taking his hand, and the ball it contained, and raising it to the sky.
"This is the dawn of darkness."
Chapter One - The Meeting
Chapter Two - The Goodbye
Chapter Three - The Encounter
Chapter Four - The Thoughts
Chapter Five - The Bond
Chapter Six - The First pt. 1
Chapter Seven - The First pt. 2
Chapter Eight - The First pt. 3
Chapter Nine - The Heat
Chapter Ten - The Grunts
Chapter Eleven - The Inspection
Chapter Twelve - The Scared
Chapter Thirteen - The Friendly
The sunrise looked good from Chrome's window. For years, he would think that as he rose from the bed. It was from the bed that he would immediately walk over to the computer and begin to surf the web. He checked his email frequently, hoping to see a message from Faust. Every time he checked, he would see the same thing: nothing. The depression from the lack of communication would push him back to his bed and he would sleep until mom cooked him breakfast.
He woke up to find his mom standing at his door with a ginger smile on her face. It was almost a teasing of the yelping excitement that soon followed.
CHROME:[thinking] . . . Isn't it too early to be this happy?
MOM: I know I'm supposed to be cooking breakfast and all, but I want you to get dressed and meet me outside.
CHROME: What for?
MOM: For a visit to Professor Nemo!
Chrome rarely ever talked to Professor Nemo. Though he loathed her duties to send kids on a journey of Pokémon training, she was a polite person. His mom and Professor Nemo were really close friends. There were times where it seemed like they did everything together. However, whenever they did any of that, they wouldn't normally pull Chrome into it. So, naturally, he was curious as to why she wanted him to come along at this particular moment.
Chrome put on his silver cap and his matching vest. It seemed like forever since he dressed properly enough to go outside. Melancholy would be so upset with him for not keeping up his appearance. As he walked out the house, he saw the scowl that he dreaded.
MELANCHOLY: Chrome! I told you about staying inside!
CHROME: It's not like there's a lot to do out here.
MELANCHOLY: What?! Are you saying that I'm no fun?
CHROME:[nervously] No, no, you're plenty of fun!
MELANCHOLY:[glaring] You don't look like you're having so much.
CHROME:[forces a smile] I am! I am! See?
MOM:[walks up] Aw, it's so sweet to see you interacting with someone again.
PROF.: I agree. I was afraid you fell ill, Chrome.
CHROME: Oh, hello Professor Nemo.
PROF.: Good morning, Chrome. I could use a bit of help from you.
CHROME: Really? With what?
PROF.: Well, it's better that I show you.
Chrome, Melancholy, Mom and Prof. Nemo all made the walk to the lab. Chrome had never been inside of it before. It was quite huge. Assistants were working around the clock, but they seemed to stray away from a particular section. Of this section, there were three pokeballs lying on a table. Chrome only saw a pokeball once before. It was when Faust received his first Pokémon. Before long, Chrome began to doubt tagging along.
Prof. Nemo picked up a pokeball and released the Pokémon from it. It was a Pichu. The Pichu immediately began to spark with anger as static coursed through and around its body.
CHROME: What is that?
Everyone seemed a bit dumbfounded by the question.
MELANCHOLY: You've been shacked in so long that you don't know about the most adorable Pokémon in existence?
PROF.: It's a Pichu, Chrome. Normally, I would have here Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott. However, I've found it harder to find a Snivy lately and thus opted to replace one this time with a Pikachu.
CHROME: But you said that's a Pichu.
PROF.: Yeah . . . I'm not the best trainer. I couldn't find a Pikachu, so I thought I would catch a Pichu and evolve it. And that's where the problem begins.
PROF.: He won't listen to me. He's also shocking just about anyone that goes near him. A trainer tried to pick him the other day and he electrocuted him. The kid has been in bed since. Your mom told me that you have a knack for soothing Pokémon.
Chrome did have a knack for soothing Pokémon . . . when he was younger. He and Faust would go out into the field next to Nomnom Town and play with the wild Pokémon. Though the adults in the town described them as insane and dangerous, they never seemed that way to him. Once, a group of wild Pokémon even followed him home. That was a long time ago though. Now, he barely interacted with them.
CHROME:[nervously] What if it shocks me like it did the other kid?
MOM:[smiling] Well, you're in the bed all day anyways.
CHROME:[thinking] Mom, you're not worried enough about this. [speaking] I guess that makes sense.
Chrome began to walk towards the Pichu. Though still releasing volts, it seemed to calm down from watching Chrome's gentle approach. As Chrome came within inches, he rubbed behind its ear warily. For a moment, everything seemed to go well. It appeared Pichu even smiled. Chrome smiled back.
Then, he felt volts of electricity flow through his body with a rush like no other. The stinging pain immediately caused him to pass out.
He awoke, lying on his bed, to see his mom, Prof. Nemo and Melancholy all looking at him with smiles on their faces. It was pretty weird for Chrome and he was generally confused. Finally, he looked towards his stomach. Pichu was resting atop of him. The Pokémon slept peacefully.
PROF.: It seems he's accustomed to your electrical current. Since you passed out, he refused to leave your side.
CHROME:[weakly] Mission accomplished, right?
PROF.: Yeah, it seems so.
Prof. Nemo suddenly laid the pokeball that held Pichu next to him. Chrome was generally lost, but soon shocked at what he heard next.
PROF.: Take good care of him, won't you?
It seems that he became a trainer. Though he was a little disgruntled with the sudden news, he was too weak to object at the moment. Lying there, he looked at Pichu again as it slept. Thinking back, Melancholy was right. It was pretty adorable.
CHROME: I don't think I would make that good of a trainer Professor Nemo.
PROF.: That's too bad, because Pichu thinks you'll make a great trainer.
Chrome attention turned to the Pichu that rested on his shoulder. He hadn't willingly received his first Pokémon and didn't really have any desire to be a trainer. He also doubted that he would be a good enough trainer compared to the ones on television that competed against the Elite Four. And then there was the Elite Four themselves. No one ever beat them on TV. If that was the goal of all trainers, would he end up wasting years of his life trying to accomplish that goal? He didn't think that would be too productive. As more time passed, Chrome's doubt increased.
Standing in Prof. Nemo's lab, he was set to put Pichu down and go back to his dormant life inside his room.
Suddenly, he felt a jolt of electricity go down his spine. He turned to Pichu to see an angered face.
PROF.: It seems Pichu can read your emotions by your body's electrical current as well. There's no letting him down.
CHROME: I was afraid you would say that.
Chrome gave Pichu a reaffirming smile. Pichu's scowl vanished and his happiness returned.
Just then, Prof. Nemo unplugged a device from the computer that she was using and walked over to Chrome.
PROF.: Don't worry. I'm sure you'll do fine. You have a natural affinity when it comes to caring for a Pokémon. [hands Chrome device] This is your Pokedex. It will give you information about any Pokémon you encounter. It also carries a number of features I implemented myself. It's really handy.
CHROME: Not that I don't appreciate it, but why are you giving this to me?
PROF.: It's my job as professor. Besides, from what I saw earlier, you don't know too much about Pokémon anyway. You need this. Also, you'll need these.
Prof. Nemo reached in a box and pulled out an armful of pokeballs.
CHROME: How am I supposed to carry all of those around?
PROF.: On your belt. Don't worry, they get smaller.
CHROME: Woah, that's pretty cool.
PROF.: Yeah. Even if you couldn't carry them on your belt, you could still carry them in your bag.
Chrome then remembered that he was without his bag. He got straight out of bed and into this situation. He normally carried it around whenever he went into the nearest city to shop. Seemed appropriate that he would carry it to the city for a different purpose. He thanked Prof. Nemo and promptly headed home to grab his bag.
Mom was in the kitchen, apparently washing dishes. He never understood why she did that when they had a dishwasher. As he opened up his closet, he noticed a new pair of shoes next to his backpack. His mom soon made their purpose apparent.
MOM: They're running shoes. They help you move a lot faster. Shelia and I saw them and thought they would match quite nicely with your silver vest and cap.
CHROME:[hesitantly] Thanks, mom.
MOM: I'm just glad you'll be getting out of the house, sweetie. I hated seeing you so down from Faust leaving.
Those words sealed the deal for Chrome. The last thing he would ever want to do is make his mother sad. As he looked at her, she was shining. She was so proud of this moment. How would she take it if he said he was reluctant? He would rather not find out as he put on a fake smile and left the house.
As he walked out into the open air, Melancholy blocked his path. Earlier in the day, she had been wearing a simple dress. Now, she wore a red jacket and a skull cap that only covered half her hair. She seemed to be filled with excitement as she walked to him.
MELANCHOLY: Chroooooooooome! Are you leaving?
CHROME: That's what it seems like.
MELANCHOLY: Well, how about a quick Pokémon battle before you go?
CHROME: Pokémon battle?
MELANCHOLY: Don't tell me you don't know what that is either?
CHROME: No, I'm pretty aware, I just didn't know you had a Pokémon.
MELANCHOLY: Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you. I picked my Pokémon shortly after you passed out from shock. [releases her Pokémon] He's an Oshawott, but I named him Izzy. By the way, what did you name your Pokémon?
CHROME: Uh . . . his name is Pichu.
MELANCHOLY: . . . So you didn't name him?
CHROME: Don't see the point in it.
MELANCHOLY: Well, at least you're out the house.
CHROME:[thinks for a moment] Hey, if you have a Pokémon, does that mean you're travelling to?
MELANCHOLY: Yep. I'm becoming a Pokémon Master. I'm going to do it all. Contests, gyms and collecting. I'll be the best.
Chrome was reminded of Faust again. At least this time, he would be travelling too.
CHROME: Fine, let's have a battle then. [looks to his shoulder] Are you up for it, Pichu?
Pichu jumped from Chrome's shoulder gleefully. It hadn't battled since being captured and it was itching for a fight. Chrome was a bit intimidated by how scrappy his Pichu had become. Melancholy’s Oshawott was prepared to fight as well.
MELANCHOLY: Okay, Oshawott! Use-
CHROME: Pichu, Thundershock!
Pichu shocked Oshawott with the fierce power of pure lightning. It was only a moment long, but the battle already ended. Oshawott fainted. Melancholy stood in pure confusion at how fast the match ended.
MELANCHOLY: Wait, what?
CHROME: I think I won . . .
MELANCHOLY: How? So fast!
CHROME: Well, isn't it common sense that water conducts electricity? So, a water-type would lose immediately to electricity.
MELANCHOLY: Shut up! I know common sense!
CHROME: [thinking] It really doesn't seem that way . . .
MELANCHOLY: Well, it looks like I've got to stay behind a little longer and rest Izzy. [returns her Pokémon]
Melancholy’s excitement disappeared soon after. It was replaced with a type of sadness.
MELANCHOLY: We should trade items.
CHROME: What do you mean?
MELANCHOLY: You know, so we'll have something to remember each other by while we're apart. I'll start.
Melancholy took off her bag and reached in deep. She pulled out a set of red fingerless gloves.
MELANCHOLY: Here. They're my favorite pair. Though, I doubt I'll ever actually wear them, so you can.
It didn't quite match with his scheme, but he wasn't going to let Melancholy down. He put them on and smiled. It was a touching enough moment, until he realized it was his turn.
Chrome didn't have anything in his bag except a spare set of clothes and the pokeballs he just received. As he rummaged through it, trying to find something practical to give Melancholy, he spotted a silver wristband. For a moment, he started to think he had an obsession with the color. Then, he remembered that it was a gift from Faust before he left to start his journey. He used to wear it a lot, but now, he barely saw it. So, he decided it would do.
Chrome handed her the wristband with hopes that she wouldn't attack him for such a crummy gift.
MELANCHOLY: A wristband? That's an accessory I haven't tried out. I'll make it work.
Melancholy smiled back at Chrome, he blushed a little bit. Soon after, Melancholy would go back home to rest her Pokémon. Chrome found himself at the entrance of Route 601.
This is where the journey begins . . .
Mom always called it the safest route in the Zetsuna region. Chrome could clearly see why. Almost every Pokémon he encountered was as small as Pichu. That didn't stop the mouse from outright zapping the large majority of them. He was quite the fighter, even disobeying Chrome at times to attack wild Pokémon. Whenever he became too scrappy, Chrome would simply return him to his pokeball for a time-out.
Chrome didn't spot any Pokémon that he wanted to catch in particular. But then again, he rather not be catching Pokémon at all. Still, if he was going to continue his journey, he would need to have at least two more Pokémon before getting to Nova City. Chrome was not excited at all by the dull task of searching through the herd of Pokémon to find one he liked. Maybe it was best that he just catch one of the Starly or Rattata and call it a day.
Suddenly, he spotted a noticeable green Pokémon waddle pass. It was a Snivy. Chrome pulled out his pokedex to confirm. He suddenly remembered what Prof. Nemo said earlier. It was getting harder to find a Snivy. Even being disinterested in Pokémon, he wouldn't dare pass up on such a rare opportunity. Even if he didn't like it, he knew that Prof. Nemo would definitely appreciate it.
Chrome called out Pichu from his pokeball. Pichu had long calmed down from his initial hot-blooded will to fight and was a bit more collected. He even seemed to be a bit obedient, awaiting orders from Chrome.
CHROME: Pichu, use Thundershock!
Chrome quickly discovered his first lesson that day. Grass Pokémon are naturally resistant to electricity. This was made apparent by Snivy's cold reaction to the attack. After easily shaking it off, it unleashed a flurry of sharp leaves directed at Pichu. Pichu moved to all fours and began running at a sprightly speed in an effort to dodge them. It was then that Chrome concocted another idea. Capitalizing on Pichu's speedy dodge, Chrome called out the next attack.
CHROME: Pichu, use Quick Attack!
Quickly, Pichu charged at Snivy with full speed. The impact knocked Snivy to the ground, but the assault continued. Pichu began volleying Snivy around the grass until it was too dizzy to stand. Chrome took no time to throw his pokeball at the fainted Pokémon. Once it touched Snivy, a red light seemed to grab hold of the Pokémon and cradle it inside. The mood became a bit intense. The ball shook once. Pichu stood ready to attack again. The ball shook twice. Chrome became a bit more nervous. The ball shook for a third time.
Snivy was captured.
Pichu celebrated the first capture with an entertaining dance that Chrome had never seen from him before. He seemed to be changing with each passing second. Then again, so did Chrome. Here he was catching his first Pokémon. Just yesterday, he would be stuck in his room playing video games at this point in the day. He thought about doing an entertaining dance too, for a moment. Though, the occasion hadn't been as joyous to him as it was to Pichu. As he picked up the captured Pokémon, he noticed Nova City in the distance. He was almost there.
????: Hey, kid! Wait up!
Chrome turned around to a man with a stylistic sense of taste. Dressed down in a black button-up and pants, his outfit was only contrasted by his green lab coat and thick-rimmed glasses. It was pretty snazzy for a man walking around a grassed area. The thing that stood out about him, however, was the "G" imprinted on his lab coat. A pretty nice design.
????: I noticed that you caught that Snivy. Well, me and my team could use that Pokémon for our research.
????: Well, yes, we're the Green Team.
Even Chrome felt that the name lacked a sense of creativity.
CHROME: It's not that I don't want to help, but this is the first Pokémon I caught on my own.
????: In that case, I guess I'll have to take it from you.
Chrome was immediately shocked by the statement as the mystery man released his Shedinja from a pokeball. Pichu snapped back into seriousness.
????: Shedinja, use Shadow Ball!
Pichu barely dodged the ball void of light.
CHROME: Pichu, Thundershock!
At such a range, Chrome figured this attack should work well. However, it was here that Chrome would learn his second lesson of the day.
The attack seemed blocked by an invisible force. The mystery green man had a smirk on his face.
????: Shedinja has a nice little ability. It's called Wonder Guard.
What the man said, Chrome's pokedex confirmed. If he didn't have any move that was within weakness, all of his attacks were basically useless.
Shedinja followed up with another Shadow Ball. Pichu was helpless and unable to defend, taking the attack full on. He was knocked back next to Chrome as the trainer worried.
CHROME: Pichu, are you okay?!
Pichu got up and let off a weak smile, poised to battle again. Chrome didn't want to push the little guy too hard, but it would be difficult to escape those two. And with Wonder Guard, they wouldn't be able to do much of anything to them . . . unless . . .
CHROME: Hey Pichu, you wouldn't by any chance have a dark-type move up your sleeve, would you?
Suddenly, Pichu's demeanor changed. He looked at Chrome and gave a fiendish smirk. Immediately after, from his fur, Pichu pulled out a ball filled with electricity and threw it directly at Shedinja.
????: You should know by now that electric-type attacks don't wo-
The ball shattered across Shedinja's body, surprising the mystery man.
Chrome's pokedex beeped, indicating the move that Pichu had used. It wasn't an electric attack. The move he used was Fling. He threw whatever item he held on to at the time. And what he had was a "light ball".
Chrome and Pichu then took this time to run away towards Nova City.
????: Shedinja, quick, stop them!
Shedinja was unable to respond. The electricity the ball held managed to paralyze it and it couldn't make any moves. The mystery man attempted to chase after, but he couldn't compare to the speed of Chrome with his brand new running shoes. Chrome would really have to thank Mom when he got the chance.
Chrome was exhausted. The run to the Pokémon Center left him tired, laid out on the settee inside the healing station while waiting for his Pichu and Snivy to be revitalized. Such a day’s worth of events were worthy of documentation, he thought. It did discourage him, though. To think, he had only been on this journey for a few hours and he already found himself in more trouble and pain than he ever did lying in his bed. And this was just on the way to the first city. He hadn’t even gotten to his first gym yet, let alone the Elite Four. Was he really fit to be training . . . no, to be caring for a Pokémon?
He would perish the thought before Pichu arrived. He didn’t want the displeasure of feeling another shock down his spine. Beyond that, he didn’t want the displeasure of letting Pichu down.
Soon, Nurse Joy returned with his two Pokémon. Pichu exited his pokeball with a joyous leap and dance. He was naturally charismatic, even after the events that passed. Soon after, he scurried up to Chrome’s shoulder. Afterwards, Chrome let Snivy out. Unlike Pichu, Snivy appeared to be in a state of confusion, probably not completely aware of its capture yet. Chrome kneeled down to him and gave a smile as best he could.
CHROME: Welcome to my team! It’s short, but we’ve got heart.
Upon saying the word “heart,” he felt his own jolt. Pichu gave him a mild shock before jumping off his shoulder in order to welcome Snivy. Had Pichu known that Chrome didn’t speak with complete confidence? He simply blamed it on Pichu’s impulse to get to Snivy and shook it off.
After the introduction to Snivy, Chrome thought it best to contact Prof. Nemo and inform her of what happened. He quickly made his way to one of the videophones in the lobby.
PROF.: Sounds like quite the day.
Prof. Nemo spoke as if the events were child’s play. She had no type of worry in her voice and didn’t even ask if they had been alright. The entire response made Chrome very uneasy.
PROF.: I’m glad to see Pichu keeping you safe. However, I’m even happier to see you keeping Pichu safe. You’re really shaping up as a trainer, Chrome. Quite quickly too, if I say so myself.
Chrome didn’t expect those words at all. He thought it to be a terrible job. Yet, here was a renowned professor telling him that he was doing a good job. It was a little bit of a confidence boost.
PROF.: Anyway, it seems like you’ll be holding on to that Snivy, so I don’t really see the point in you contacting me. Are you going to be challenging Nova City’s gym leader, Lita?
CHROME: I suppose. That’s what trainers do, right?
PROF.: Indeed it is, Chrome.
Chrome was about ready to hang up, but he suddenly remembered the question he originally intended to ask.
CHROME: Hey, Professor Nemo, have you ever heard of the Green Team?
Prof. Nemo seemed shocked by the mention of the name. It seems she did know something.
PROF.: So they’ve made it to Nova now, huh?
CHROME: Who are they?
PROF.: They’re a crazy activist group that tries to promote more rural areas and less urban cities. They’ve been lying low lately, but they’ve never gone any farther than Fortuna City. That’s why I’m shocked to hear you mentioning them.
Fortuna City. It was Chrome’s birthplace. Now, it was crowded by activists. Still, why would an activist openly attack Chrome for his newly caught Pokémon?
CHROME: Thanks, Professor.
PROF.: No problem. Hey Chrome, when you’re finished battling the Nova Gym, give me a ring. It’s something I want you to do for me.
CHROME: Uh, sure. No problem.
PROF.: Alright, see you later.
The Professor hung up. The talk with her gave him the boost he needed to get through this city and actually make some strides in this journey of his. Though, even he was unsure of how long this would last.
Walking out the door, Chrome took a deep breath with Pichu of his shoulder, appearing to mimic him. He took a good look at the clear sky and decided to make his way towards the gym.
Just then, a woman ran into him at full force, knocking him down and falling on top of him. The awkward positioning caused both parties to become silent for a brief moment until the mystery woman finally struggled to get off of him.
????: Sorry! I am so sorry!
She was quite embarrassed, made obvious by her red face as she helped him up.
CHROME: Uh, it’s alright. We all have our moments.
????: I was in such a rush that I didn’t even pay attention to the door opening. I’m Marie, by the way.
CHROME: Hi there, I’m Chrome. What were you in a rush for, Marie?
MARIE: I was going to go out into Route 603 to catch an Azurill near the lake before the sun sets. They don’t show during the nighttime and I’m always forgetting to grab one during the day.
CHROME: Um, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what do you need an Azurill for anyways?
MARIE: Well, I think he’ll be a cutie for Pokémon contests. But I really want to catch one in order to have a better chance against the Gym Leader, Lita. She’s a Rock-type master.
Chrome and Pichu both tensed up a bit. Even the young Pichu knew that rocks didn’t conduct very well. He would be at a huge disadvantage if he fought against one of Lita’s Pokémon. To add, Chrome only had two Pokémon. He was busy only catching special ones that he forgot about how he might actually need some of the more prominent ones. In that moment, Chrome made his first strategic decision as a trainer.
CHROME: In that case, you don’t mind if I come with you, do you, Marie?
Marie’s blush got brighter.
Added Chrome's bio and a sprite to help imagine him!
CHROME: Hey Marie, have you ever caught a Pokémon before?
MARIE: Uh, of course I have! Yeah . . . well, maybe not really.
CHROME: Huh? But you have three Pokémon already!
Chrome had the pleasure of watching Marie attempt to catch an Azurill over and over again. From the beginning, her method had been flawed. Upon seeing one, see immediately threw a pokeball. It had little effect and the wild Azurill busted out quickly. Afterwards, she attempted to battle it . . . with a rock-type. Her Sudowoodo didn’t last long as the scruffy young water mouse did away with it with a few short attacks. Chrome could see the panic that she tried so desperately to hide. He finally asked her his question and was shocked by her answer.
MARIE: Well, actually, I just started my journey not too long ago . . . and I’ve never needed anyone but these three until I tried to battle Nova Leader Lita. She beat my Pokémon easily. So, I’ve been stuck in this town trying to catch an Azurill, but I always forget to come here on time.
CHROME: Then, how did you catch those Pokémon?
MARIE: They were my brother’s. Since he has so many, he gave me these three to start my own journey. So far, I’m off to a bad start, aren’t I?
Chrome could relate. His primary reason for even going along with this journey was to make Mom proud. As he looked at her saddened expression, slightly covered by her golden strands of hair, he knew that she was only trying to amount to being a trainer that would impress her brother.
CHROME: How about I help you?
MARIE: What, you’d do that?
CHROME: Sure. I only just started my journey a few hours ago, but I already dealt with enough that I can be of some help. Plus, I caught a Pokémon not too long ago myself.
Marie was legitimately impressed by Chrome. Even though he was a newer trainer than herself, he made more strides simply by catching a Pokémon. His sympathetic smile should’ve been a little insulting, pitying her for being unable to accomplish a simple task. She couldn’t see the insult; she was too distracted by the smile in itself. It caused her to blush uncontrollably yet again.
CHROME: First, let me check the Pokedex.
This was Chrome’s first time using the Pokedex more thoroughly. Before, he had only used it to tell him about a Pokémon he spotted. Now, he accessed the feature that would allow him to pick up on weaknesses and resistances for her.
CHROME: Okay, tell me the names of your two remaining Pokémon.
MARIE: Uh, Shiftry and Ponyta.
CHROME: Alright, call out your Shiftry.
Marie did as Chrome asked without question. The Azurill attempted to use the same attacks on Shiftry off the bat. Shiftry merely shook them off.
CHROME: Grass-types are naturally resistant to Water-types. It’s similar to watering a plant.
Chrome hadn’t actually known that before reading the Pokedex. It proved to be a little more useful than he originally thought. He watched Marie’s face light up as she called her out her attack.
MARIE: Shifter, use Pound!
It seems like she also liked to nickname her Pokémon.
After a while, Azurill could take no more, which let Marie know it was okay to throw a pokeball. Marie tensed up at the pressure, similar to the same intensity Chrome when attempting to catch Snivy. After rumbling around the ball stood still. Marie caught her first Pokémon.
Chrome watched with joy as Marie jumped up and down gleefully. This is the happiest he has seen her since she ran into him. A part of him felt good. He was starting to see the upside to being a trainer through another person. He wasn’t quite able to soak in the feeling of his first capture because of the mysterious man who attacked him. Looking at Marie, he saw what he missed. It was a feeling of accomplishment, becoming better and stronger through experience. Maybe that was the feeling that Mom wanted him to feel so badly when she forced him out of the bed that morning. But he was just as fine with this feeling too. Suddenly, Marie surprised him by disrupting his thoughts with a hug.
MARIE: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Chrome!
Chrome began to blush a bit.
CHROME: Don’t mention it. I enjoyed seeing the look on your face.
MARIE: We’re going to be good friends, I can tell.
CHROME: What do you mean by that?
MARIE: You’re my good luck charm! I’m going to stick close to you!
Those words caused Chrome’s heart to pound a bit. The day hadn’t ended and here he was with a travelling partner. It had been nothing but a roller coaster of adventure for him in these last few hours. This all before he even got the chance to meet the Nova Leader Lita. He wasn’t against travelling with someone. He just didn’t think he would be doing it with someone he just met. Then again, he didn’t think he would be leaving his room in the morning either.
MARIE: Now we have to help you catch one!
CHROME: No need to do that really.
MARIE: Huh? Why is that?
Chrome pulled a pokeball from his waist.
CHROME: I kinda caught one a while ago.
Marie’s blush got a little bit brighter.
More bios added!
Return of the series!
Chrome felt the atmosphere change as he stood before the Gym Leader of Nova City, Lita. She sat on her Leader's Throne looking down at him.
Marie opted to rest after finally catching the water Pokemon necessary to challenge Lita. Chrome, not exerting too much of his energy, decided that now was a better time than any to challenge Lita.
Lita's gym wasn't as simple of a challenge as Marie made it seem. Upon entering, Chrome immediately noticed that the gym was a lot bigger on the inside that it seemed on the outside. The floor of the building was lowered past ground level in order to accommodate the terrain and rocky hills that were added. Chrome assumed that it was there for the ambiance, but he soon learned that it had it's meaning.
The first hour or so in the gym was spent battling lesser trainers. It was a bunch of understudies of the leader, all with one or two Pokemon of their own. Low-level Pokemon which were easy to handle with his Azurill, like Geodude and Diglett. Though it was a bit of a hassle to battle them, he gained experience that he needed with Azurill. They started to build a better understanding with each other. That was always a plus. Though Chrome wasn't particularly excited to be here when he could be at home browsing the internet or watching TV.
Standing before Lita brought about a different feeling for him. He didn't notice it at first, but as she stared him down, his body twitched. A rush of nervousness took hold of his body. After a brief moment, he was back to normal. Finally, she spoke.
LITA: Yo! Finally! Someone made it to me!
Gym Leader Lita jumped from the Rock-based seat. A full view of her body exposed various tattoos, only cut off by the tank-top she wore. Her red hair was draped by a tight-fitting black skull cap. Her clothing decisions complimented her lazy, laid-back demeanor.
LITA: I've been, like, waiting forever for someone to reach me! I don't even remember how many days ago the last person I battled got here. What's your name?
CHROME: Oh, my name is Chrome.
LITA: Well, hello Chrome. If you were just a little older, I might consider skipping this battle and making a man out of you.
Chrome felt his nervousness elevate once again. This time, he was red with embarrassment.
LITA: Don't be so stiff, kid, I was only kidding! Besides, how old are you?
CHROME: Um, I'm fifteen.
LITA: Ohhh, 3 more years.
Lita licked her lips. Chrome's heartbeat was erratic.
LITA: It's so cute to see you break. Makes me want to do it more. Alas, we've got a battle to conduct, don't you think?
Chrome snapped to attention happily. He would've done anything to get away from that awkward conversation.
LITA: Is this your first gym battle?
CHROME: Yes, ma'am.
LITA: Ohhh, such a gentleman too. Well, allow me to explain the rules of a Gym Battle to you. With my subordinates, they aren't allowed to carry more than two Pokemon when going against you. When you've beat enough of them, you go up against me. As per my gym's rules, I will use three of my Pokemon against three of your Pokemon.
Conveniently enough, that was all that Chrome had.
LITA: The Pokemon are interchangeable at any point during the battle. However, to prevent any long-term injuries or death, when your Pokemon has fainted, they can't be drawn out again. The battle is over once all three Pokemon has fainted. If you win, you will receive the Terra Badge, one of the eight badges needed to challenge the Elite Four and receive a chance to become champion of the Pokemon League. Do you understand all of this?
CHROME: All clear.
Chrome felt like he was reading the Terms & Conditions of Pokemon. Though he listened to the key issues, he most certainly dazed on most of the stuff. He definitely didn't want to hear it again though.
LITA: Well, let's do this. It's time to Rock 'n Roll!
Chrome couldn't help but feel like that was a pun. Probably a double pun considering her Punk rock appearance.
LITA: Come on out, Cranidos!
LITA: Ohhh, how disappointing! I expected something a little more manly from my handsome man!
Chrome really couldn't handle all of this not-so-subtle flirting from Gym Leader Lita.
CHROME: Azurill, use Bubble!
Azurill was quick to execute. Unfortunately, Cranidos proved to be much too fast and dodged the attack with relative ease.
LITA: Cranidos, use Rock Tomb!
Suddenly, the short-handed Pokemon picked up rocks and threw them towards the young Azurill. Azurill dodged the rocks one by one as they came. It wasn't long, however, before Chrome realized what Lita was doing. Cranidos was literally creating a rock tomb for Azurill. She had Azurill purposely dodge as to fall into the tomb.
Chrome wasn't about to let that happen.
CHROME: Azurill, get out of that circle of rocks! It's a trap!
Azurill heeded to the advice well.
LITA: Just where I want you! Cranidos, use Headbutt!
As Azurill jumped, Cranidos had his target suspended in midair. It made Azurill unable to dodge. The move was a direct hit. Azurill fell back towards Chrome.
CHROME: Hey, Azurill, are you alright?
Chrome's tone was rather mellow. Though the battle was tough, he couldn't say that he felt the intensity in the moment as much as he thought he would. Even so, Azurill responded vigorously. He wasn't trying to lose to a rock-type. Chrome noticed his dedication. Though, he was pretty sure that Lita would try that tactic again. Maybe he could use it to his advantage.
CHROME: Azurill, Tackle!
LITA: Cranidos, Headbutt!
This time, the Headbutt only knocked Azurill back a little. It was still enough to execute another Rock Tomb.
LITA: Rock Tomb!
CHROME: Get out of that circle!
Azurill complied with the request again. Though it was a little confused, it followed Chrome's order without a second thought.
LITA: Here we go again! Cranidos, Headbutt!
Chrome had the perfect set-up.
CHROME: Azurill, use Water Gun!
Cranidos, charging at Azurill at full speed, was unable to dodge the move. At its launch, the two pokemon were mere inches away from each other. The move connected without a single problem. It was a critical hit.
The combination of the blunt force of the Water Gun and the hard fall to the rocky ground immediately rendered the Cranidos unconscious. Lita returned him to his pokeball.
LITA: Pretty good. Split-second thinking and recklessness has never made me feel so good!
Chrome felt like that was innuendo.
LITA: Come on out, Lunatone!
Now, this felt a bit weird. Chrome didn't take any time to check his PokeDex on this one. He was right to. Lunatone wasn't just a rock-type. He was a Rock/Psychic-type. To add, fatigue clearly set in with Azurill. He battled through the entire gym up until now and he was visibly tired after launching that Water Gun.
LITA: Lunatone, launch a Psychic attack!
Azurill would find that dodging was pointless. He could feel Lunatone's grasp on him before being violently flung across the field. Once Lunatone loosened his grip, it was obvious that Azurill fainted.
LITA: You can't imagine how many trainers used to come in here with some random water Pokemon that they caught. Every time they did it, I would just let them breeze past my first Pokemon. Give 'em a sense of confidence, y'know? But I'll let you know now. It's going to take more than weaknesses to beat a Gym Leader.
For the first time in this battle, Chrome started to feel the intensity.
CHROME: Pichu, come out!
Chrome's strategy had its flaws. He wasn't above admitting that, especially at this point. He knew about the type disadvantage that Pichu had. Snivy hadn't seen a single battle, he lacked the experience. In a Gym battle, he wouldn't take that chance just yet.
LITA: Using an electric? [moans] That reeks of desperation, sweetie.
He didn't disagree with what she said, but he really didn't feel comfortable with the way she said it.
LITA: Lunatone, use Rock Slide!
The Rock Slide was relentless on Pichu as the little mouse struggled to dodge as much of the move as he could. Hit by multiple rocks, Pichu was off to a bad start.
CHROME: Pichu, use Tackle!
Buying time wasn't going to cut it. To make matters worse, he couldn't take the time out to check the Pokedex. All he could do is prolong the battle until he could think of his next move.
That wasn't going to be an option for long either, as Lita's Lunatone effortlessly dodged the stalling move.
LITA: Kinda close. Lunatone, use Stone Edge!
Direct Hit. Not a good thing at all. Pichu was knocked back beside Chrome. Chrome's body froze.
CHROME: Are you alright, Pichu?
Pichu began digging through Chrome's bag. Chrome was a bit confused until he saw what Pichu pulled out.
To stock up on things for his journey, Chrome stopped by the Nova Mall. While there, he took priority on replacing the Light Ball that Pichu smashed across Shedinja. He also thought to buy many more in case they would come across it again.
Pichu thought this better a time to use that strategy. Chrome was hardly in a place to disagree. Pichu marched back on the battlefield, tucking the Light Ball under his skin. He then charged towards Lunatone at full speed.
LITA: Lunatone, one more Rock Slide!
Once again, Pichu struggled to dodge the attack. This time, a little more determined, he pushed to move faster until he was close enough to Lunatone.
CHROME: Pichu, Fling!
With a dirty look, Pichu flung the ball directly at Lunatone. Lunatone's lateral movement wasn't enough to dodge the ball of lightning. It flailed a bit as it hit the ground, paralyzed from the shock. For a moment, Pichu was high in celebration, another sign of his arrogance.
LITA: Lunatone, use Psychic.
Pichu was halted in the middle of his celebration as he flew across the room. He fell to the floor . . . fainted.
LITA: You better start thinking of another way to earn this badge, babe.
Reluctantly, Chrome called out his last Pokemon.
CHROME: Come on out, Snivy.
Chrome's words were unenthusiastic. His voice became monochromatic. Slowly, he lost a bit of hope in this battle.
LITA: I see you've been hiding your ace. I love a man who can spring some surprise on me.
She must have been referring to the recent rarity of Snivy, he thought.
CHROME: Snivy, use Pound.
Snivy gave Chrome a look of pure confusion, then a look of condescending disobedience. Instead of using the move requested, Snivy attacked with a barrage of leaves.
Lunatone and Lita were both surprised by the move. Neither had nearly enough time to react to its speed and the hobbled Lunatone couldn't mount a strong enough psychic defense. That quick, Lunatone was rendered unconscious.
LITA: Misdirection? You're full of things I like, kid.
Misdirection. Right. That's totally what he was going for. Snivy directly disobeyed Chrome for his lack of knowledge towards her moveset. Chrome didn't know Snivy's move, but more so, he didn't know that a grass-type had a strength against rock-types. It seemed that the problem that he and Snivy had with experience and understanding would help him get to an even fight.
LITA: Well, you made it this far, you better not disappoint me. Come on out, Golem!
The feeling that Chrome got was weird. It wasn't a feeling he experienced coming into the battle. It was a sense of urgency. It would be a waste to lose now. Winning was the only option.
Alright, I figured this would be a good place to review. Please note that I have only read the first two chapters at the current time of posting.
Anyways, first off, I'd like to point out how unique I think this story is. Blending the elements of novel writing and a playwright, it's something that I have never seen before, and it is definitively something I want to see more of.
You spend a good amount of time on characterization. I feel like I can firmly see who Chrome, Melancholy, and even Chrome's mother are in my mind's eye, even without looking at the pictures at the top.
I also enjoy the backstory you have behind this. I'm intrigued ever so slightly at the debts Chrome's mother accumulated in Fortune City, hopefully more on this is revealed, as it is a neat bit of the plot. The same with Faust, since his character's absence had such a profound effect on Chrome, I would love to see more of that plot in the future.
Moving on, while I do enjoy the script format, I do feel some of the potential for making really good scenes and describing the world around the characters is lost somewhat. Also, at least in the first two chapters, you have a few mistakes in grammar. Mostly commas, but I saw at least one spelling mistake.
When Chrome is first thinking:
CHROME:[thinking] . . . Isn't it too earlier to be this happy?
The word "earlier" should be "early", as the sentence is in present tense, not past tense.
Other than that, I do like the interactions between Chrome and the Pichu are very well done. Though, the script format does make things seem a bit rushed. If it weren't for the novel description at times, I would have a hard time keeping track of everything that's going on.
So, there's my take on this so far. It's got lots of promise and I look forward to reading more of this.
Knightfall signing off...
Thanks for the heads up on the spelling and grammatical errors. Since I haven't been looking back on these chapters, I would've likely missed it.
Conclusion of the First Gym Battle is likely tomorrow.
The air in the gym was different than before. This was no longer a match between a flirty punk rock girl and a uninterested kid forced to pursue action by a violent Pichu. At this moment, even Chrome felt it. This was a battle between a prestigious Gym Leader and a aspiring Trainer. It reminded Chrome of the spark that Pichu gave him before they started their journey. He surely wouldn't ease up on the voltage if Chrome lost here, after everything that he did. The air was most certainly different. Singed even. Smoking with the burning desire to win from both sides.
Lita looked at her pokeball and gave it a solemn kiss.
LITA: Golem, let's turn it up!
This was the beginning of the end. Both were heavily invested now. Much different than the start of this match-up.
LITA: Golem, use Rollout!
As quick as it exited its pokeball, Golem formed into a ball of his own. Rolling with great acceleration, he made his way towards Snivy.
CHROME: Dodge it, Snivy!
As Snivy attempted to dodge the move, her tail was caught under the Golem as he rolled past her. Chrome honestly had no real idea of what he could do. He didn't know nearly enough to mount any offensive strategy with Snivy. At best, all he was to Snivy was a cheerleader. Chrome figured this to be a better time than any to check his Pokedex for some information on Snivy.
Meanwhile, on the battlefield, Snivy dodged Golem's second Rollout rush towards her. As Golem missed the Rollout, he circled around back to the point the he started and charged at Snivy again, constantly picking up speed and making the attack stronger. Snivy was long fed up with waiting on Chrome to call out a command and prepared to act on her own. However, any wrong move at this point would spell out a loss for her. she knew that all too well. Snivy wasn't a dodgy Pokemon, though. She was "attack first", for the most part. And eventually, she wouldn't be able to dodge.
CHROME: Snivy, restrain Golem with Vine Whip!
Chrome's tactic took no more than a few moments to get through to Snivy. Snivy dodged the third Rollout to a tee with it only missing by an inch. Vines popped from the sides of her neck and then attached themselves to a rolling Golem. The friction and force would prove to hurt Snivy a bit, but she held her ground. Standing firm, Snivy jerked her vines back, slowing down Golem's momentum. The struggle Golem put up to keep his speed going began to grind the ground and soon created a huge dust fog.
Snivy retracted her vines after being unable to see Golem. Chrome was ready to call out the Razor Leaf attack once the dust cleared. Once it settled, Golem was nowhere to be found. He disappeared from the battlefield. Chrome felt his stomach curl as he scanned the area. The last thing he needed was an unexpected Rollout. Suddenly, Chrome noticed a hole in the ground.
Chrome didn't know much about Pokemon prior to his journey. He often stayed away from Pokemon-related content on both the internet and television. Because of this, he wasn't savvy to most of the moves there were in the world. For his Pokemon, he had the Pokedex tell him what they could do. However, he could never be sure of what to expect from the moves of his opponent. Up until this point, he never needed to pay much attention to the moves his opponents had in store. If nothing else, this match would teach him about strategy and tact.
LITA: Love how distressed you're looking. When you're rock hard there's only one place you can go.
Innuendo? Now of all times? Or maybe a hint . . . hidden behind innuendo. It was no doubt that Golem must have dug the hole then.
Dug the hole . . . Dig. It was such an obvious move. Chrome knew that it meant he'd be popping up to attack soon, so he would have to be razor sharp on his reflexes. When Golem popped up, he and Snivy would react on it quick enough. But if that didn't work . . .
Suddenly, the ground below Snivy caved in. Instead of popping out, Golem pulled Snivy in.
LITA: I like to take things to new extremes. [moans] Maybe we should do like our Pokemon and play under the sheets.
Chrome thought that one was actually pretty elaborate. Sheets of rock and all, she's really good at coming up with these things on the fly.
Soon, Snivy was tossed out of the hole originally created by Golem. She was bruised and battered. Yet, Snivy was still able to stand.
Lita licked her lips. This battle was reaching its climax. She didn't decide on whether she wanted to use that line to flirt or not. To be honest, she was more interested in the battle than she let on to be. It wasn't too often that trainers beat her. Most just came in with the hopes that water Pokemon was enough to get through the entire gym. She could tell that they weren't at all connected to their Pokemon, and often, that's why they always lost to her. Some didn't even make it past her second Pokemon.
So, why is it that this newcomer, this brand new trainer, was putting up such a good fight? He showed up with a freshly caught Azurill, a type-disadvantage Pichu and a Snivy who was prompted to make moves on her own. It was as if he trusted his Pokemon to make their own decisions. Either he was a really smart trainer or a really reckless one. Whichever it was, he was really making this a moment to remember.
But, it was time for this moment to come to an end.
LITA: Alright, Golem, transform and Rollout!
A reference that wasn't entirely made of flirt? Chrome was impressed.
Again, Golem formed into a ball and picked up speed as he approached Snivy. She tried to dodge the first attack, but she was hit without much resistance. Still able to stand, Snivy waited for Chrome's next command. He knew what he had to say, he just waited until the right time to say it. Hopefully, his trust in Snivy wasn't misplaced.
Golem rolled around the field, picking up more speed. Again, he charged at Snivy. More velocity, more force.
CHROME: SNIVY! USE POUND!
Fully invested, Chrome shouted his command from the top of his lungs.
Lita was confused as to why that move would seem strategically sound to him in this moment.
Snivy leaped high into the air, constantly rotating her body. As Golem rolled beneath her, Snivy extended her tail and came down with great force on top on Golem. The impact shattered the earth beneath them. Snivy's tail, which was hurt from earlier, now throbbed in pain completely as she fell to the ground. She hadn't fainted, but the pain would prevent her from being able to get up.
Strangely enough, Golem stopped in that spotted. He didn't move, he didn't continue to spin. He stopped on that very spot from that very move.
Golem came out of his ball form and passed out right before Lita's eyes. Lita was verily confused from what happened until she looked at Chrome's Snivy. Snivy rose to her feet with little difficulty.
Chrome did put his trust into his Pokemon. It was the basis for him using Pound in the first place. Seeing as Snivy knew what would affect her opponent, the Dig that Golem used gave her a perfect opening to use Absorb, being right next to Golem. Because of that, Rollout would become slower in battle later, thus making it weaker. Snivy was able to time and catch the second Rollout because it was noticeably slower than last time. It also made Snivy's pound attack stronger. Both an unsuspecting Lita and Golem had no idea about the Absorb and thus took the move for granted.
LITA: [softly] Congratulations on beating me. [walking towards Chrome] On behalf of the Nova City gym, I present you with the Terra badge.
Chrome was very proud to receive the badge, but his expression was more towards how soft-spoken this rambunctious Gym Leader became. She would soon confirm.
LITA: Don't worry, I'm not upset. I'm just worn out. I reached my limit.
CHROME: [thinking] Don't ask. Just let it slide.
Chrome then accepted the badge.
LITA: Chrome, was it?
CHROME: Uh . . . yeah.
LITA: You're quite something, y'know? I mean, I've battled hundreds of trainers over the last month alone. Not once have I noticed any trainer putting any part of the battle in their Pokemon's hands. They all just call out attacks and follow their own strategy in hopes that their Pokemon will follow it too. You're different though. You put enough trust in your Snivy that it was able to change the complexion of the battle without me or Golem even noticing. It's like you have a natural gift of connection with Pokemon.
CHROME: [blushes] Uh, thanks. I just figured Snivy would know better what to do in that situation than I would.
LITA: Chrome . . .
LITA: . . . I'm turned on by you.
CHROME: [surprised] What?!?!
LITA: Everything about you has gotten me bothered. Normally, I flirt with my opponents to disrupt their moves.
CHROME: [thinking] So that's what it was.
LITA: But with you, I was only disrupting myself with the flirting. I was so into it that I started to take moves at face value. And when I lost that battle, I felt my body shiver. It was just amazing. I've never felt like that before.
CHROME: Um . . .
LITA: I guess what I'm trying to say is, you may be a newcomer, but you lay it down like a pro.
Chrome couldn't get any more red. Lita laughed, seeing Chrome's flushed expression. After the exchange, Chrome figured it best to get out of there before she forgot about the age of consent.
He headed back to the Pokemon Center to find Marie there. He showed her the Terra badge.
MARIE: [delightfully] I'm so happy for you! Was it hard?
Chrome resisted making a pun along the lines of "Rock hard." Lita rubbed off on him. Even as he thought that, it only came out dirty.
CHROME: Pretty tough. By the way, were you planning on taking your Shiftry to the Gym?
MARIE: Who, Shifter? Not really. Should I?
Chrome and Marie talked some more about his experience before Marie would call it a night and head to sleep.
After Chrome's pokemon were healed, as he took them back, he looked at Snivy's pokeball. It reminded him, Professor Nemo asked him to call back when he beat Lita. Chrome decided that it would be best to call her in the morning after he and his Pokemon had some rest.
Besides, after winning one badge, it was evident that they had a long journey ahead of them.
Sometimes, Chrome wondered why he even bothered leaving the house. Walking down Route 602, he tried to recall all of the events that actually led him on his way to a journey. Though some things would move him towards the idea, he just couldn't be entirely sure what exactly sparked the idea of him journeying cities away from home. One thing was for sure, it wasn't Professor Nemo's or her crazy requests. So why did he find himself carrying out yet another one?
MARIE: Wow, Chrome, I didn't know you worked for Professor Nemo!
CHROME: I don't so much as work for her as much as she's just owing me a lot of favors.
MARIE: Well, that's a good thing too, isn't it? I mean, a woman of her standing could be very helpful.
CHROME: [thinking] So why am I still the one helping her?
Chrome didn't necessarily hate the jobs she tasked him with. He just figured he could be doing a lot more favorable stuff with his time.
MARIE: How do you know her anyways?
CHROME: She's friends with my mom. They shop together and whatnot.
MARIE: Oh! I wonder if I can shop with them one day! I mean, I am your friend now. So I should be acquainted by association! I wonder if she wear-
Marie's excitement at the prospect of being best friends with Prof. Nemo almost entirely caused Chrome to forget a very important question.
CHROME: Hey Marie, how do you know Professor Nemo?
MARIE: What do you mean? She's a critically acclaimed professor.
CHROME: Huh? She is?
MARIE: Yeah! She's one of the leading professors in Pokemon research. I'm normally not interested in the science and politics, but she's pretty widespread in her popularity.
CHROME: That's pretty amazing. But I wonder why she decides to live in NomNom Town.
MARIE: Most Professors live in small towns to escape major media attention. She's probably the same. [looks up] Hey, is this place?
Chrome wondered how Marie could ask that question. Besides being the only house for some miles, the house had a fair share of generators. To add, some of the trees around it were singed. It this house was anything short of a laboratory, he wouldn't think about walking in anytime soon.
CHROME: It looks like it.
The two teens approached the house very cautiously. Chrome touched the doorknob to find it rather hot. The burn knocked him back to Marie, who prevented him from falling.
MARIE: Maybe we should knock.
CHROME: I wish I would've thought of that.
Marie gave a soft knock while Chrome held his hand in agony.
????: Just a moment!
The door opened to a skinny man that could be described as middle-aged. He wore a labcoat akin to the one that Prof. Nemo. His gray hairs were sparse, but fairly noticeable. His glasses were thin-framed. His voice was just deep enough to be a man's, but still fairly high pitched as to question his age. Though, his appearance left no question to his age.
????: You must be the two young teens that Shelia said were coming.
CHROME: Uh, yeah, that's us, I guess.
????: Nice to meet you. My name is Professor Elm.
As Prof. Elm extended his hand, Chrome noticed that he wore an oven mitt.
The man could have at least put a warning sign up.
CHROME: I'm Chrome and this is Marie.
MARIE: Pleasure to meet you.
ELM: The pleasure is all mine. Now about the reason you're here.
CHROME: It wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the burned trees, would it?
ELM: Well, actually, it does.
Chrome was afraid he would say that.
ELM: Like Professor Nemo, I specialize in Pokemon and Pokemon training. In trying to find out all the different variables, we seek to pair different Pokemon with different natures to different trainers. This way, we can find out more about Pokemon evolution and what triggers it.
ELM: Surely, you know about Pokemon evolution?
CHROME: I haven't really been observing Pokemon culture until a few days ago.
ELM: Wow. I guess I'm so used to being around trainers and professors that I forget that there are actually some people in the world that don't know much about Pokemon.
CHROME: Yeah, that's me.
ELM: Well, it's better to see it for yourself than to explain it.
CHROME: I suppose so. But what does that have to do with the burned trees?
ELM: Well, simply this.
Prof. Elm pulled from his pocket a single Pokeball and released from it a small creature with squinted eyes. Its backside gave off heat.
ELM: Like Professor Nemo, I start trainers on their journeys into the Pokemon world. In my native region, this is but one of the Pokemon that I would normally hand to a trainer. Although, it's pretty rare here. He's a Cyndaquil.
Before Prof. Elm even finished his explanation, Chrome checked the information on his Pokedex. A fire mouse of sorts. Interesting.
MARIE: Wow, it's so cute!
As Marie approached it, Cyndaquil's back lit with flames. The flames became wild and uncontrolable very quickly. Marie fell back in shock.
ELM: See, that's the problem. He's a bit timid and gets extremely nervous whenever someone draws to close to him. Since he's never accustomed to any trainer, it makes it impossible to give him away. Likewise, he's been causing a problem for me too. The last time I tried to give him up, he burned down my entire lab in New Bark Town. In fact, it's still in the rebuilding phase.
CHROME: That sucks.
MARIE: Sucks to the max.
ELM: [leans over his desk] Tell me about it. Even here, I figured I would just give him a little time outside of his Pokeball and he nearly started a forest fire.
CHROME: He's pretty powerful.
Chrome paused for a moment after the statement in order to put two and two together. Letting out a deep sigh, he braced himself for the obvious.
CHROME: Professor Nemo wouldn't have happened to tell you about me having some sort of ability to fix this, would she?
ELM: As a matter of fact, she did.
Chrome held his head down in disappointment. He was afraid that was the case. The last thing he would want is a widespread reputation about being a natural Pokemon flute.
ELM: She said that you had a gift when it came to calming down Pokemon. I figured that maybe you could help with Cyndaquil.
MARIE: Wow, you can do that?
CHROME: I suppose so. It's how Pichu and I met.
Pichu sounded off loudly. Chrome didn't notice that he released himself from his Pokeball. That was going to grow to be a very bad habit. He could tell.
ELM: So, can you help me?
CHROME: Well, it shouldn't be a problem, I guess.
Chrome cautiously approached the flaming Cyndaquil. The last time he attempted to do something like this, it resulted in a mild shock throughout his body. Chrome didn't want to think about the damage comparison when it came to flames. As Cyndaquil saw him approaching, his flames grew brighter.
CHROME: Hey there, buddy. I'm not one to hurt you.
Chrome tried to approach as gently as possible. Thinking back on it, he could have at least asked Prof. Elm for some oven mitts. He was too close to Cyndaquil to consider asking for them now. As he came within inches of the nervous Pokemon, Chrome noticed that Cyndaquil began to lower his flames. Chrome thought to himself, with no pun intended, that Cyndaquil was warming up to him. As Chrome's fingertips came to Cyndaquil's head, the flames died down entirely. Soon, Chrome found himself petting a gentle Cyndaquil.
Chrome wasn't exactly comfortable in this situation, however. Recalling the previous experience, the storm always came after the calm. After moments of holding his hand awkwardly on Cyndaquil, Chrome established that it probably wasn't going to happen this time. He let out a sigh of relief.
MARIE: Wow, Chrome! That was pretty cool!
ELM: I must say, I am impressed. You almost make it too easy.
????: I'd be inclined to agree.
Chrome, Elm and Marie turned around to see three muscular men crowding the door they walked in through. They carried a very thuggish appearance, even wearing matching bandannas. That indicated that they were likely in some gang.
ELM: Who are you people?
GRUNT #1: I guess you can call us treasure hunters. We're often looking for rare things. And it looks like we found us a jewel.
Chrome analyzed their appearance. They didn't have an ounce of green on them, so they were likely not apart of the Green Team. After noting that, he decided that the best course of action was to try to avoid a fight that would damage the house. Unfortunately, as he thoguht that, he could feel heat emit from Cyndaquil. His nervousness turned into full-on fear. The flames on his back nearly engulfed his body along with Chrome's hand.
Chrome jumped back from Cyndaquil and turned around to see Prof. Elm attempting to wrestle the intruders. He was tossed aside handily as the lead grunt released his Pokemon.
GRUNT #1: Staryu, use Water Gun.
Briefly after coming out of the Pokeball, the Staryu would act on the command given to him. It sprayed a powerful stream of water at the Cyndaquil, extinguishing its flame and knocking it back to the wall. These men took no care in how they treated the Pokemon, letting the Staryu continue in dousing the young Cyndaquil.
On impulse, Chrome jumped in front of the Cyndaquil and shielded him from water. He held out for as long as he could until Marie released Shifter to take the brunt of the attack. As a grass-type Pokemon, he was unaffected by the copious amount of water.
Soon enough, Pichu jumped to Chrome's shoulder, ready for a fight.
GRUNT #1: What's this? Are you kids resisting?
Marie looked to Chrome for confirmation of their next move. Like him, she was reacting purely on instinct. Chrome didn't know much about the guys that attacked them or Pokemon in general, but he didn't like the way they handled things. They were willing to injury Cyndaquil in order to apprehend it, rather than earn its trust. That alone was enough to establish that they had no business taking it.
CHROME: Pichu, get ready!
Pichu, to say the least, was ecstatic.
CHROME: Pichu, use Thundershock!
In a matter of moments, the battle shifted from being Pichu and Shifter against Staryu to Pichu and Shifter against Staryu, Haunter and Cubone.
Outnumbered, Chrome and Marie wanted to call out another one of their Pokemon. However, Chrome felt like he wouldn't be able to keep up with two Pokemon at once and Marie was likely in the same boat.
Haunter deflected the Thundershock from his team with Protect. Cubone would follow up with a Bonemerang to Pichu until it was blocked by Shifter. The battle was fast-paced. For Pichu, keeping up wouldn't be a problem. He slipped pass Shifter and charged at his opponent, setting up for his next move.
CHROME: Pichu, Tackle!
Pichu targeted Haunter and charged at full speed.
GRUNT #2: Using Tackle against a Haunter, huh? You know nothing about Ghost Pokemon, it seems.
Actually, Ghost Pokemon was something that Chrome was fairly knowledgeable on. Even if he didn't keep up with Ghost Pokemon, he never read a ghost story where they weren't intangible.
Pichu dashed through the Haunter and ran into the Staryu that he previously protected. The impact and force would knock Staryu back, cracking his core.
GRUNT #2: What?!?!
GRUNT #1: Hmph, not bad kid.
GRUNT #2: Haunter, what are you waiting for, Lick this Pichu!
Chrome had no idea that he meant that literally. Rebounding from the slight recoil of tackling Staryu, Pichu found himself being licked by a Ghost. To say the least, it left the scrappy little mouse paralyzed with fear.
GRUNT #3: Cubone, use Rock Throw now!
Cubone grabbed the nearest of lab equipment and chucked it at the distracted Pichu. Just before it hit, Marie had Shifter jump in front of the move, blocking for Pichu yet again.
It didn't take long for Chrome to assess things after that. The strategy for the thugs was to make Haunter the center. He was their main attacking force and their defense in these last few moves. Chrome and Marie meanwhile came off as one-trick ponies. Whereas Chrome instituted an attack-first strategy, Marie found herself purely on the defensive. Since the beginning, Shifter did nothing more than protect Chrome and Pichu.
At this rate, Chrome and Marie would end up losing. It seemed like Grunt #1 knew that. He remained calm and collected during the battle because their strategy was airtight. Even if Haunter was beaten, Cubone and Staryu would likely have no problem holding their own against Shifter and Pichu with this strategy.
GRUNT #1: Staryu, use Recover!
Oh, and Staryu could also actively heal himself while in battle.
Chrome quickly consulted the Pokedex for help in this situation. Cubone, the Rock/Ground type, Staryu, the Water/Psychic type and Haunter the Ghost type. From what Chrome remembered, Rock-types were weak to Grass-types. Likewise, it was common knowledge that water conducts electricity. So, Chrome and Marie had the tools to actually defeat those two Pokemon. Unfortunately, Haunter stood in the way of making that possible with a move like Protect.
In the matter of a minute, Chrome had his strategy reworked. It seems that the priority was Haunter. Now, he just had to find a way to communicate that to Marie. Her and Shifter had an advantage, they weren't weak to any of the Pokemon. They were actually resistant.
CHROME: Marie, stop guarding.
MARIE: What? Why?
CHROME: Pichu and I can handle ourselves.
MARIE: It sure didn't seem like it!
CHROME: Don't worry about it! We need you to attack!
Marie remained silent. After staring at Chrome, she gave a silent nod. Hopefully, that meant she knew what the strategy was.
CHROME: Pichu, Thundershock!
GRUNT #2: Haunter, Protect.
The result repeated.
MARIE: Shifter, Razor Leaf, let's go!
The attack followed too closely behind Pichu's Thundershock. Haunter couldn't use Protect in rapid succession, neither could the Grunt call it out fast enough. Instead, Haunter opted to move out of the way.
It wasn't the best decision to make when you're dead smack in front of your teammates. Cubone caught the full brunt of the move, knocking him to the
wall, similar to the way Staryu did Cyndaquil.
GRUNT #3: What the hell, Johnny?
GRUNT #2: We need Haunter! He had to do it!
GRUNT #1: Staryu, Water Gun!
The Water Gun once again had minimal effect against Shifter. Grunt #1 almost seemed . . . surprised.
It looked like Chrome was the only one in the room with enough knowledge about type advantages and disadvantages. Maybe the Pokedex served a better benefit than he gave it credit for.
To add, he was right about the Haunter. It was the most effective tool and the most prized possession. Because of that, Haunter became a tractor beam for Marie and Chrome's attention. And now, they knew that he couldn't use Protect fast enough to stop both attacks.
GRUNT #1: Staryu, Rapid Spin!
Chrome saw the starfish Pokemon twirling at an alarming rate. His launch was almost too fast for the eye to see as he rammed himself into Shifter at full force. Shifter stood ground, but from his facial expression, it was more than evident that the attack did its damage. Shifter stumbled backwards before standing upright again.
GRUNT #3: Cubone, Bonemerang!
Again, it was another shot at Shifter. The scare that he gave them earlier became a clear signal that he should be the first to be eliminated. The Bonemerang knocked Shifter back a little more. He couldn't take more of this and be left standing. And as things stood, all of Marie's other Pokemon would be no more of a help than he was. If they were going to win the battle, Chrome would have to think of something fast.
Suddenly, he felt a jolt go down his spine. Pichu stood at his Chrome's foot, looking at him with an electric passion. Pichu was ready to eliminate Haunter from the equation. Chrome hadn't the slightest clue what he was planning, but he learned that it was easier to trust Pichu than object.
Pichu jumped back into the battle, zapping away another Bonemerang before it could reach Shifter.
MARIE: Alright Shifter, another Razor Leaf!
GRUNT #2: Haunter, Protect!
Another protected move. This time, Shifter made the first move, so they figured to expect the least with a partial paralyzed Pichu making a move.
Pichu gathered energy in his tail and flung from it a ball of electricity. The move was much faster than Haunter anticipated and his attempt to dodge failed.
Chrome's Pokedex beeped loudly. checking it, he saw the name of the move was Shock Wave. Pichu learned something new. Good timing.
Haunter fell to the ground, completely passed out. It left Cubone and Staryu wide open.
MARIE: Shifter, Bullet Seed!
Marie was quick to act on the advantage. The flurry of seeds proved to be too much for the already hurt Cubone. He quickly joined Haunter on the floor.
Staryu started it and it seems he would end it. Grunt #1 wasn't particularly happy with the standoff, to say the least. The other two grunts stood in shock over their losses.
GRUNT #1: Staryu . . . uh . . . do something!
It was a bit embarrassing to watch. The Staryu stood confused without being given a proper command. He was a fish out of water. It made him a sitting target for Pichu's Thundershock.
And like that, the battle was over. All three of the Grunts' pokemon were soundly defeated. Marie let out a sigh of relief knowing she saved Shifter.
She then smiled at Chrome. He smiled back.
Suddenly, Grunt #1 let out a meticulous laugh.
GRUNT #1: Heh . . . heh heh . . . HAHAHAHAHA! What do you think this means, huh?!?! You think you've beaten us? There's not much stopping us from simply taking that Pokemon by force!
The grunt picked up Prof. Elm and held him in a choke-hold.
GRUNT #1: I'd like to see your Pokemon hit me with a Thundershock! Do it! I dare you!
Chrome was stuck. He couldn't risk harming Prof. Elm.
GRUNT# 1: Just what I thought. You're not gonna stop us.
????: No, I think that's our job.
The grunts had no time to react before seeing their de facto leader tossed out of the door.
????: Inspector Jen, Zetsuna Police! You three are under arrest.
GRUNT #2: How did you know we were here?
ELM: [rising from the ground; holding his cell phone] I told them. I had plenty of time to make a call while you three were preoccupied with the trainers.
JEN: We've got it from here kids!
Inspector Jen let off a smile and a wink.
Chrome figured that it was safe to say they won.
JEN: And that's all happened?
CHROME: [nods] That's everything.
JEN: I have to say, you're quite the trainer.
CHROME: Who? Me?
JEN: [nods] I mean, you were both exceptional in that battle and your teamwork was quite impressive, but Chrome, your ability to think in crucial moments really turned the battle around. From what I've seen in the security video, you were able to decipher and counter their strategy in a matter of moments. The calculative ability was actually able to turn a two-on-three battle in your favor.
MARIE: Yeah, that was pretty cool, Chrome! I knew you were my good luck charm!
CHROME: [embarrassed] It really wasn't much . . .
After Inspector Jen and his team arrived, things were cleared up rather handily. The three thugs sat in the back of a Zetsuna police car, more disgruntled than before. That left the police to clean up the scene and wrap up evidence. Since the two boys in blue that Inspector Jen brought with him were going over the scene with Professor Elm, it left him to interview the young trainers who were at the center of all the trouble.
For the next few moments, the conversation as nothing more than a critical analysis of the battle they were involved in. Suddenly, Marie asked a question that should have been on Chrome's mind.
MARIE: Inspector Jen, who were those guys?
JEN: They're mobsters from the Mob Squad.
MARIE: The Mob Squad?
JEN: Their a crime syndicate who makes their money from illegal operations like trading off ill-gotten rare Pokemon, child slave labor, child prostitution and assassinations.
Did Chrome hear that correctly? Child prostitution? Assassinations? The mere mention of it all made the room spin for a brief moment. What were to happen to him and Marie if they lost that battle? Would they have the will to fight if they knew their own lives were on the line? Chrome thought it best to try to shake the thought off as soon as he could.
CHROME: If they've done all of this, why haven't they been arrested yet?
JEN: The head of the organization, along with their headquarters, is rather elusive. We haven't been able to pinpoint where the main operations are taking place. We've caught quite a few of their thugs, but we never get anything solid. Even these guys will likely keep quiet. For now, this is all we can do.
Chrome noticed the unusual silence of Marie. He looked over to notice the sullen expression on her face. It seems that, like him, she hadn't processed the crimes that she heard correctly. It seemed like the moment didn't pass for her either. The usually hyperactive Marie was completely silent and fidgety.
The rest of the interview was fairly procedural.
JEN: Well, we're about done here. My men and I will take these guys to the precinct and see if we can get something out of them. Professor Elm, we'll be sending someone around to watch over you and the lab for the rest of the time you'll be here.
ELM: I understand.
JEN: If you two see anything related to the Mob Squad, then just contact any of my cousins, Officier Jenny. They'll report straight to me with anything related to the organization.
MARIE: Ye . . . yeah.
And with that, Inspector Jen was gone. However, he neglected to take the atmosphere with him. Marie was completely frozen in fear, pathetically paralyzed. Chrome, completely unable to ease her ailment, remained silent. For a moment, Professor Elm checked over his things in the lab to insure that nothing was damaged beyond use. After successfully inspecting his equipment, he turned his attention back to the two teens.
ELM: I really must thank you two for all of your help.
CHROME: Ah . . . don't mention it.
ELM: Actually, I do have something that can be of help to you two.
Professor Elm unpacked a box from the things he inspected in rummaged through it for a while.
ELM: These are PokeGear. They're like your Pokedex, Chrome. However, instead of recording Pokemon, they keep record of the people you meet and the accolades you collect.
CHROME: They look a lot like cell phones.
ELM: Well, they essentially are. You're also able to receive and make calls through them. They also have a few other refined features, but I'm sure you'll have more fun discovering them yourselves.
CHROME: Wow, thanks, Professor Elm.
MARIE: Yeah, these are pretty cool.
It seems that Marie was finally pulling her mind away from what they heard earlier.
ELM: Also, Chrome, I want you to have this.
Prof. Elm palmed a pokeball in Chrome's open hand. Though it took him awhile to process it, Chrome finally realized what this was.
CHROME: You're giving me Cyndaquil?
ELM: Well, I can't do much with him. It seems that he'll need to warm up to someone in order to stay under control. I'm not willing to take that risk with trainers. Furthermore, it seems that he's already warmed up to you pretty well in the span of a few minutes. So, I'll still be giving him to a trainer who'll take good care of him.
CHROME: You sure are awfully trusting of me . . .
ELM: I saw how you jumped in front of Cyndaquil. An average Water Gun could actually drown you if you took it face-on. You didn't hesitate to protect him. I know that he'll be fine in your hands. Besides, you two are about to journey into Corona forest. You'll need his flame more than ever in there.
MARIE: Is Corona forest really that bad?
Chrome was interested in knowing too. He didn't even know where to go next. After he was done here, he actually planned to just go back to Nova and ask around. All in all, it was good to know that he was already en route to the next destination.
ELM: Corona forest is big on bug Pokemon. They're probably not as much of a threat as the team you just took on, but they can be pesky. They won't stand too close to open flames, though. And, I doubt you'll be able to get through that forest in one night, so Cyndaquil could probably fit a lot of needs during the night.
Chrome almost forgot the distance between some of these cities. Since he got to Nova City and defeated their Gym Leader all within the span of a few hours, for a moment, he legitimately believed he could get through multiple cities over the course of a week.
CHROME: Fine, I'll accept him and take good care of him.
ELM: That's good, Chrome. Be safe out there, both of you.
MARIE: We'll do our best!
With those words, Chrome and Marie were gone.
Shortly after the teenage couple left, Elm's videophone began to sound. Having nothing better to do, he didn't hesitate to answer it. To his surprise, it was Professor Nemo.
ELM: Ah, Shelia, I was just about to contact you.
NEMO: I take it that Chrome arrived.
ELM: [nods] Yes, he just left. I decided to leave Cyndaquil in his care.
NEMO: Oh! He's got 4 Pokemon after 3 days? His mom will be all too ecstatic to hear that.
ELM: I'm sure . . . but Shelia, I've got to ask.
ELM: Is it safe to have that kid travelling on this journey?
NEMO: What do you mean?
ELM: Today, I got to know about a little gang known as the Mob Squad. This is a gang designated on kidnapping kids and rare Pokemon. Now, I've only been here a few days and I've had an encounter with them. So, I've got to wonder how many times you must have heard of them. More importantly, I wonder how many times you've had a run-in with them.
NEMO: . . . Well, they haven't given me any trouble.
ELM: Believe it or not, that's not my biggest concern with this. It's actually his . . . gift.
NEMO: So, you noticed?
ELM: If slowly and calmly approaching Cyndaquil was all it took, I would have calmed him down a long time ago. The moment Chrome touched that Pokemon, it was as if he was no longer nervous. That's not normal behavior. In all my years of researching Pokemon, I've never seen anything like that.
NEMO: What do you think?
ELM: The kid isn't normal. Not in the slightest. On top of instantly calming Cyndaquil, he was able to come up with a counter strategy to some organization grunts almost immediately. He definitely didn't know much about Pokemon when he walked in here, so it begs the question, why is he so adept at handling him?
NEMO: I guess it's just in his blood.
ELM: You and I both know that's not how genetics work.
NEMO: Fair enough. I admit that I'm hiding some things from you. However, I promise to reveal my results to you when it's all said and done.
ELM: So, this kid is your experiment?
NEMO: You could say that. All in all, I'm sure that it'll bring some phenomenal results, but I'm more interested in the boy's development. From what his mom tells me, he has quite the processing speed. He's knowledgeable in most situations and he's quick on his feet. He's also caring and honest. Doesn't it all sound like the best qualities for a Pokemon Master?
ELM: Are you trying to push your dreams on him?
NEMO: No, no, no! I'm not at all trying to shape him that way. I just wonder how far he can go. With his ability, I think we'll end up discovering something innovative in the field of Pokemon science.
ELM: And you think that's worth his safety? His friend's safety?
NEMO: I'll agree, it is a gamble, but I wouldn't have taken it if this wasn't a pressing enough matter.
Elm began to calm down.
ELM: Fair enough. However, if anything happens to him, it's on you.
NEMO: I'll take that responsibility. With you, with his mom and with Faust.
ELM: Oh, so he's involved in this as well . . .
Walking through the Corona forest, a sharp realization cut into Chrome.
This is the longest amount of time he has ever spent around a girl at once.
Taking in the severity of multiple situations since his journey, he didn't once stop to focus on the things that he should have reacted to as a normal teen. Although, being thrust into a Pokemon journey, being attacked twice and winning a Gym battle seemed quite huge in comparison.
Only now, as Marie clung to his arm, did he realize that he was a 15 year-old boy. The fluctuating nervousness of his body's electrical current put Pichu to sleep. The little mouse never seemed more comfortable with Chrome's worry.
Like any young girl, it was only natural that Marie was afraid of Bug Pokemon. Even Melancholy used to say that they bothered her. Though, Melancholy never showed her fear as much as Marie did. Marie kept her eyes close, hoping only for Chrome to guide her as she hugged his arm tight.
Chrome found it fairly cute, if not embarrassingly cute.
However, Chrome didn't have the gull to tell her that they would likely be camping out in the forest for the time being. It seemed almost endless and it was already nighttime. They'd only get lost walking around in the night.
Eventually, Chrome spotted a nice open spot with lots of space and not too many trees. Here, he stopped walking. Soon after Marie opened her eyes, she figured out what this meant.
MARIE: No! No! No! Please don't!
CHROME: Sorry, we don't have much of a choice. It's either this or chance walking around in this forest for an extra long time. At least this way, we get some rest.
MARIE: We could use Ponyta and Cyndaquil to light the way!
CHROME: That's asking for a forest fire, though. Not to mention, they'd both get worn out after awhile.
MARIE: Oh yeah, you're right.
CHROME: You were prepared to camp out, weren't you?
MARIE: Well, yeah . . . I just didn't think I would do it in a forest.
CHROME: According to the map on the PokeGear, it's the only major forest in the region.
MARIE: Yeah, this PokeGear is really helpful. Too bad the compass doesn't work too well around Pichu.
Pichu became unnecessarily defiant since they entered the forest, even refusing to stay in his pokeball despite the fact that it messed with the compasses direction. It left Marie and Chrome walking in a straight line to avoid accidentally skewing off the path.
CHROME: Sorry about that.
MARIE: I guess it's not your fault. More importantly, how are we going to keep the bugs away?
Chrome grabbed a few branched and a couple of rocks and using Cyndaquil, he erected a fire. Though he never actually camped anywhere, he could still remember his mom teaching him how to get a strong fire going.
CHROME: There. The fire should keep any bug Pokemon away without burning us to a crisp. If you're still scared of them, you can keep clinging to me.
MARIE: [blushes] Stop making fun of me!
CHROME: Huh? I wasn't making fun of you.
MARIE: Wait, you were serious?
CHROME: Pretty much, yeah.
Marie's face showed a mixture of embarrassment and confusion.
MARIE: Chrome, you don't find anything unusual about that? Clinging to you while we lay down?
CHROME: No, not really. It's natural to be close to someone when you're scared.
Chrome actually meant that. Marie couldn't comprehend a teenage boy without ulterior motives inviting her to get closer to him. Especially considering where she came from. She tried to shrug it off, but she was especially embarrassed at thought of it. Even after Chrome actually laid in his sleeping bag, she would turn to him, actually considering getting closer to the boy.
MARIE: Chrome, are you awake?
CHROME: Yeah, can't sleep.
MARIE: Me either.
CHROME: Bugs still getting to you?
MARIE: It's not just the bugs, Chrome.
CHROME: . . . I know. I couldn't stop thinking about what Inspector Jen said either.
MARIE: Didn't you wonder what could have happened to us if we loss?
CHROME: Yeah. For now, I'm just glad we won. But . . .
MARIE: But what?
CHROME: I think about the trainers that didn't win. Imagine how many that must be. Being shacked up and then shipped out against their will.
MARIE: I never thought about that. Having their Pokemon stripped away from them and all . . .
CHROME: Yeah . . . but most importantly, they lose the freedom that they so badly wanted. Leaving their home to adventure around with little creatures who endanger them just as much as the ones they battle.
Marie didn't like the tone that Chrome's voice started to take. There was a strong reason for that. As he talked, Chrome realized that Faust and Melancholy were out there. Melancholy likely didn't venture past Nova yet, but Faust was out here for two years. Chrome didn't hear a single word from him in those two years. It's what kept him up. Secretly, he wanted to cling to his mom like he did whenever he had a bad enough nightmare as a young child.
Faust, a slave? Faust, a prostitute?
Marie got out of her sleeping bag and started approaching the hurt Chrome.
MARIE: Chrome are you-
Suddenly, a flash of light came from up the path, followed by an unusual cry of a Pokemon.
Chrome hurried over to the distress, not once thinking about it. Marie hesitated, but soon ended up tailing him.
The sight that they saw soon quelled the worried Marie. However, the same couldn't be said for Chrome. He noticed the green lab coats quite well. Though neither of them were the same person he met at the start of his journey, he knew all too well. It was the Green Team.
MARIE: I guess some scientists are doing research out here.
Marie began to approach the two Green Team members before Chrome grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back. Judging from her reaction, he could safely assume she didn't know about the Green Team either. Though Marie was confused, she didn't voice her confusion. Instead, she looked at Chrome's expression and kept quiet.
The Green partners, picked up a pokeball from the ground. From what Chrome could figure, they just caught a Pokemon.
The first guy released the Pokemon from the ball. Chrome deferred to his pokedex to find that it was a Spinarak. Soon after, he could feel Marie clinging to him again. He figured it was just her fear of Bug Pokemon.
He was wrong.
He looked up to see they made an incision into the thorax of the Pokemon and one begain examining the inside with his fingers. It was clear against the wishes of the young bug Pokemon, but the Green Team member continued. He then spread the cut open and began examining with his eyes. The cut leaked with blood at a steady pace, but the two seeming scientist continued with whatever investigation they had. The first guy signaled the second guy, who proceeded to pull a syringe from his coat.
They stuck the syringe deep inside the Pokemon, who began to cry out in pain. It was the same cry that drew them to check out the problem in the first place. After extracting whatever it was that they were digging for, the began to talk, all while leaving the Pokemon to bleed out. Soon after, they tucked the syringe in a case and walked away, leaving the Spinarak to die.
Chrome started out towards the Bug Pokemon, but he could feel Marie pulling him down. Her eyes watered and her grip on his arm was tighter than before. As he tried to pry himself from her, he felt her pulling him, urging him not to leave the safe hiding. Eventually, he broke free and ran towards the dying Pokemon. In a panic, Chrome returned it to it's pokeball.
MARIE: [still crying] What are you doing?
CHROME: Maybe if it's still in the pokeball, it won't bleed out.
MARIE: Those guys could come back!
CHROME: I know, but I can't just leave it!
MARIE: Why not?
CHROME: I just . . . I just can't.
Tears started to fall from Chrome's eyes. He didn't want to feel helpless. He didn't want to abandon this dying Pokemon just because he didn't like them. He didn't want to feel the way he did. At the least, he wouldn't abandon Spinarak like Faust abandoned him and Melancholy.
When Chrome released the Spinarak from the pokeball to check on it, he was relieved to see that it patched itself up using String Shot. He then returned it to the pokeball and he and Marie returned to the campfire.
The events that passed didn't help their sleeping troubles in the least bit. Marie found herself staring at the night sky trying to erase the troubles from her mind. As she turned and looked at Chrome, she could see the despair in his eyes as he stared at the pokeball containing the rescued Spinarak. Marie rolled up her sleeping bag and joined Chrome, hugging him tightly. She didn't know Chrome for very long, but being close to him helped her fall asleep. Chrome continued to stare at the pokeball while Marie slept and clung to him again.
It wasn't Mom. It wasn't the same at all.
Over the course of travelling alongside Marie, Chrome found that he was learning a bit more about her everyday. After spending a week with her, he saw a wide spectrum of emotions. Although, facing the unnatural situations that they faced, it was to be expected. In that same week, they discovered a kidnapping organization who peddled children and an active scientist cult with no regard to the well-being of Pokemon. To Chrome, Marie's reactions were the perfect summary of the things they have experienced.
So naturally, Chrome's shock would come as no surprise when he seen Marie's smile as they entered Corona City.
MARIE: We're finally here! I cannot wait to challenge the leader! Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait!
It was confusing, to say the least. They were only about hours away from one of the more traumatizing moments of their young lives. Once they arrived, it seemed as if Marie became more focused on her goal to beat the city's Gym Leader.
Was this the joy of being a trainer? Chrome couldn't be sure. Though he was a little curious about battling Gym Leaders and such, he couldn't take his focus away from the things he heard and saw over the week.
CHROME: First, we need to get Spinarak to the Pokemon Center.
MARIE: Right! Besides, I want my Pokemon to be in top shape when I battle the Gym Leader of this city!
CHROME: [thinking] A bit too joyful if you ask me.
The walk to the Pokemon Center was a rather silent one. However, what followed would cause a different type of silence for Chrome. Exiting from the sliding door of the Pokemon Center wasn't a face that Marie recognized, but one that Chrome knew all too well.
MELANCHOLY: Huh? Chrome? It's really you!
Melancholy didn't hesitate to hug her childhood friend. The hug, while tender, left Marie feeling a bit left out and caused Chrome to feel a bit . . . awkward.
CHROME: Ah, Mel, let me introduce you two. This is Marie.
MARIE: Hi there!
MELANCHOLY: Nice to meet you, Marie.
CHROME: We've been together for a week now.
The silence that followed that sentence was much different than the other two moments of silence that surrounded Chrome earlier. For Marie, it was the anticipation of Chrome correcting the obvious misunderstanding in his sentence. For Melancholy, it was the hold-up of trying to process the sentence itself. She found herself stuck somewhere in between the crossroads of amazement and jealousy. After seeing that Chrome was oblivious to the messed-up statement, Marie felt the needed to correct it herself.
MARIE: We've been travelling together. He's my good luck charm!
The closing statement was followed by a side hug.
Marie probably should have stopped at the first sentence. It was concise, it was clear. It was well understood. Following with a personal claim to the still oblivious Chrome did nothing to help the original misunderstanding, nor did getting close to him. The silence became awkward for the two young ladies. Chrome would soon segue out of it.
CHROME: We were just about to challenge the Gym Leader.
MELANCHOLY: Oh, Sammy?
MARIE: You know his name?
MELANCHOLY: Well, yeah, I just beat him not too long ago.
CHROME: Wow, Mel, you're fast.
MELANCHOLY: Well, I haven't really stopped for anything but rest since starting my journey. I breezed right through Corona Forest.
Chrome wished they could have breezed right through Corona Forest. Still, Chrome was touched by Melancholy's dedication to become League Champion all in order to find Faust. Chrome could tell that she was just as worried about Faust as he was. He wouldn't dare tell her about the child-whoring Mob Squad.
MARIE: Could you give me any tips?
MELANCHOLY: Well, he uses Fighting-type Pokemon, so Flying-type are best against him.
MARIE: But . . . I don't have any Flying-type Pokemon.
MELANCHOLY: Don't worry, there are some on the route ahead.
MARIE: Oh! Hey Chrome, I'm going to head there now!
And before Chrome could respond, Marie was on her way. Suddenly, she decided against giving the optional safety treatment to her Pokemon in favor of catching a new one.
MELANCHOLY: Hey, Chrome, I've got to ask. What exactly are you two to each other?
CHROME: Well, she's my travelling buddy. And I'm good luck to her. We've been through a lot together in this past week. That's all.
MELANCHOLY: [relieved] I thought it was stupid to think you would be like that with someone you met a week ago.
CHROME: Be like what?
MELANCHOLY: It's ironic, really. I moved this fast just so I could catch up and travel with you. Now, I've ended up moving ahead of you.
she totally ignored that last question.
CHROME: What are you going to do now?
MELANCHOLY: Well, I'm going to keep moving. The sooner I become League champion, the better.
CHROME: Well, I guess I'll see you there.
MELANCHOLY: I hope you will. Be safe, Chrome. Especially with that girl around.
CHROME: Geez, you're acting more motherly than my own Mom right now.
MELANCHOLY: Whatever! I'm out of here.
CHROME: Bye, Mel.
And with that, Chrome watched Melancholy disappear off towards a direction he had yet to travel. Immediately after, he took the time to heal his new Pokemon alongside his team at the Pokemon Center. While waiting on his Pokemon to heal, he thought about the eagerness of Marie and the determination of Melancholy. Both put their all into being trainers. Marie was entirely focused on it when the time called for it and Melancholy was moving with motivation to find Faust. Here was a reluctant Chrome being hesitant and slow-moving in his journey. He felt like he was behind both of them. For some reason, that made him upset. It just got to him.
With the finished healing of his Pokemon, Chrome made a sudden decision. It was time to battle the Gym Leader of Corona City.
It's been too long since I've gotten back to this story. Not anymore! Updated, rehauled and continuing on!
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From what Chrome understood, when they called these places "gym" it was in reference of it being more like a training ground for trainers of the same type. Similar to how karate fighters train under a different gym than wushu fighters.
So, why was it that Chrome felt like he was in an actual gym? It felt like an actual weights and machines gym. Probably becasue that's exactly what it was. Chrome hadn't yet grasped the concept of Fighting-type pokemon yet. As far as his own classification went, all Pokemon were fighting. By logic, they were all Fighting-Type. A quick step into this gym would clarify that the logic he followed was not the same logic followed in the Pokemon world.
The place was lined with various machines. Most seemed to increase muscle mass, some seemed to focus on endurance. There were barbells, dumbells, leg weights and arm weights. Compared to Chrome, most of these trainers were built with a much more solid core. Men and woomen alike only brought a fierce attack to Chrome's self-esteem as the glorious gods and goddesses would strut from machine to machine. Maybe a battle could wait until Chrome got a bit shreded.
Something more that caught Chrome's eye was the way the Pokemon of these people appeared. There was a little more tone to their bodies than any of the ones he saw in the wild. The majority of them carried appearances and tone a little more humanlike. They spotted, they lifted, they trained along with their trainer.
????: One body, one mind, one attack.
Chrome was taken aback by that voice.
SAMMY: Sorry if I frightened you. I'm the leader of this gym, Sammy.
CHROME: Nice to meet you. I'm Chrome from Nomnom Town.
SAMMY: I noticed that you were looking at some of my trainers. Were you here for a battle, Chrome?
CHROME: I was . . .
SAMMY: Judging from the look on your face, it seems like you've already taken some damage.
Sammy let out a hearty laugh. Chrome couldn't respond with a strong enough laugh to match. Mostly because Sammy was right.
SAMMY: My trainers are all united under that motto. "One body, one mind, one attack."
CHROME: What does that mean, exactly?
SAMMY: It's weird to stand there while your Pokemon do all the moving around. How can they even get properly motivated when you're just yelling commands at them?
In all fairness, Chrome wondered that himself. Though, Chrome generally questioned the idea of forcing a bunch of little animals that you caught by force to fight in tournament style conditions time after time. Still, at the least, shouldn't the trainer be involved in some actual action?
SAMMY: Here, the trainers and the Pokemon work on matching movements, matching thoughts and matching hearts. With all of that, you can establish a real attack.
Chrome took notice of the motto being put into practice. Trainers fought hand-to-hand while commanding their Pokemon to attack. It all came out to a 2-on-2 fight that looked so brilliant, Chrome would've thought it to have been choreographed.
SAMMY: What do you say? Maybe we should just take a moment to get some training in before you challenge us.
Honestly speaking, Chrome wasn't that interested in the idea of furthering his Pokemon experience. Even with the way he gawked over the organization of the gym, he would still prefer being at home, wasting precious hours on the internet. Still, Chrome was no stranger to fitness. He practiced more than his fair share of workout videos. However. seeing them fighting with their Pokemon made him realize that he won't luck out every time. Not every Mob Squad grunt will be a bunch of guys standing side by side at a reasonable distance. Not every scientist with a Green coat will wait until his opponent tires out. More importantly, not every Pokemon will keep their attacks out of his range. The experiences of the last few days made him more aware of the dangers lying in the region. If he was going to continue his journey, it would be blind to say that he wasn't going to need any proper training.
CHROME: I don't know . . .
All of that deep thought meant nothing.
SAMMY: Tell you what: If you train with me for a week and then successfully beat me and my experienced trainers, I'll give you a good friend of mine, Riolu.
CHROME: [thinking] I'll only assume that's a Pokemon. [speaking] Well, I've got nothing to lose, really. I'll take you up on it.
SAMMY: Yeah! Alright! Excellent!
That peppy attitude brought tears to Chrome's cynical demeanor. He could tell that he would come to regret this week many times over.
And regret he did. Instead of simply detailing each day, it would be better to montage it all. Chrome spent that next week lifting, enduring and fighting. For the first few days, not once did his Pokemon see any action. Pichu took pleasure in watching Chrome get punched and kick. Once it was time for him to join, Pichu had no issue dodging attacks. It was just the kind of Pokemon he was. Since the beginning, Pichu always itched for a fight, with Chrome's permission or not. And he'd always get one. Still, it was amazing, seeing this Pichu fight with so much as a spark of electricity. Chrome was pretty satisfied watching him.
The others took some time to warm up to it. Azuril couldn't keep up at all. Though, that was to be expected, since he was still so young. Cyndaquil and Snivy were agile, to say the least. Cyndaquil, however, was a bit uncoordinated, a recurring flaw. Spinarak . . . actually didn't do anything. Chrome was reluctant to involve him since the Pokemon Center healed him.
All in all, the week brought new experience. There was the attachment to trainers gained by training with the in the dojo and spending nights with them in the dorms. There was growth between him and his Pokemon, though Pichu probably didn't get the memo.
He was so busy that week, he hadn't noticed Marie right beside him, opting to follow his path after losing to the Sammy three times that week.
Despite that, neither forgot their goal. When that week came to an end, all the fellow trainers changed back into the guards they were originally meant to be. And like guards, they needed to fall in order to get to the king. Suddenly, Sammy interrupted the first battle.
SAMMY: How about something different, for a change?
GYM TRAINER: Sir, what do you mean?
SAMMY: Well, it's no secret that I've already beat this girl three times over.
CHROME: And how.
MARIE: [embarassed] Shut up!
SAMMY: And with Chrome, I feel like a regular battle isn't grand enough for me to offer Riolu.
CHROME: So, what kind of battle did you have in mind?
SAMMY: I was thinking . . . since you're both after a badge . . . how about . . .
CHROME: A double battle.
SAMMY: . . . A DOUBLE BATTLE! YES! Nothing is more invigorating than the courageous trainers teaming up to take on the powerful Gym Leader.
CHROME: I only figured.
MARIE: I say we go for it! Besides, we have the experience.
CHROME: You're only agreeing to it because you don't want to lose again.
MARIE: S-shut up!