View Full Version : Retelling the Story

January 17th, 2006, 8:14 PM
Retelling the Story
Hopefully no higher than PG

Chapter One: By The Lake

Ookido Hakase- Professor Oak
Satoshi- Ash
Shigeru- Gary
Masara Town- Pallet Town
Moon-Viewing Mountain- Mt. Moon

I'm sure you've heard about the things that have been going on these past few months. The explosion at Moon-Viewing Mountain, the closing of the gyms, etc. etc. But I'm sure you haven't heard the true story either. The government had to cover up a lot of things. So I'm going to tell you everything, because I was there. I'm Ishida Satoshi.

A group of students sat in the room, with bored expressions on their faces, when the teacher, Motiyama-sensei, walked in. They couldn't help it, as Math was by far the most boring class. And probably the most difficult too. One kid, wearing a red cap along with the rest of the school uniform, seemed to be the most bored of the bunch.

Ishida Satoshi was the name of the kid with the cap, which covered his messy brown hair, and he wasn't paying the least bit of attention to the teacher or anyone else. He was muttering under his breath, “I wonder what kind of Pokemon I'll get tomorrow. A Male Nidoran, maybe. Although I guess a Poliwag or an Abra wouldn't be too bad.”


Satoshi's head jerked upwards. “Yes, Motiyama-sensei?”

“Would you mind answering the question I've asked you the past three times?”

Satoshi frowned. “Could you repeat the question sensei?”

The teacher frowned, but before he could say anything else, the bell rang, signaling the end of the day.

Satoshi was grateful that he had escaped the teacher's wrath, but that thought soon left his mind as he began to worry about receiving some pathetic Pokemon. His mood didn't improve as he passed some older students, one of whom was bragging about the fact that he was getting a male Nidoran. Satoshi hoped it wasn't the only one around.

He had to grin though, when he saw Izumi with Takeru and Junpei, who were arguing about something. The three were his best friends. Takeru and Junpei always seemed to be arguing about something. This time it was about the Pokemon match that had been seen on TV last night.

“He clearly cheated,” Takeru was saying. “He recalled his Pokemon in a four vs four match and then sent it out into battle again before using the other three again.” Takeru pushed his brown hair out of his eyes, and rubbed his large nose.

“They never said it was four vs four! He was a newcomer, and that guy was pretty experienced. They set up a three vs four in that guys favor. It's like when you give up a piece in chess!” Junpei retorted. His red hair was so short, his green eyes seemed awkwardly low on his head.

Izumi frowned. She was the only girl who hung out with them on a regular basis, because she had a crush on Takeru, though she never mentioned it. “Is that all you can talk about? I mean, honestly! When you aren't playing a Pokemon video game, you're watching Pokemon matches on TV. Your parents must pay a fortune on electricity!” She chewed a tress of her golden hair, and her brown eyes had a strange look in them.

Satoshi joined them. “Come on Izumi-san! Give them a break! Pokemon is cool. They've discovered some 139 Pokemon here in Kanto alone!”

“That's all well and good, but some of them really freak me out! I mean, whenever I see a Gastly, Haunter or Gengar on TV, I turn it off. They're always in some stupid horror movie. And-” Izumi was cut off when she saw a Pikachu. It immediately came up to her and began nuzzling her happily.

“I didn't know you had a Pokemon for a pet, Izumi-san,” Takeru muttered.

Izumi shrugged. “Yeah, well, it's useful. It scares all the mice out of the house. My mother is a little disapproving right now, but when she got sick a couple days ago, Pikachu comforted her. I think Mother will warm up to it in a couple of days.”

“You don't even know it's gender?” Junpei shouted!

“Get over it. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't exactly Impressed it. Unlike trainers, who can communicate with their Pokemon almost telepathically, I have to use verbal commands. I might Impress it in a couple of months though. My birthday is exactly 60 days away, but I'm not sure if I'll be a trainer.”

“Don't you want to be one?”

“Of course I do! If I do become a trainer, it will be so much fun. I doubt I'll be a trainer though.” Izumi sighed.

“Why can't you be a trainer, Izumi?” Junpei asked.

“Father wants me to run the store, as he doesn't 'have a son to carry it on.' It's a little sad.”

Takeru shook his head. “I'm a month younger than you. It's so unfair, I won't be a trainer until you, if you are going to be one.”

Junpei groaned. “In case you've forgotten Takeru-kun, I'm staying the year. It's the smartest thing to do. Classes are really useful. You should take

'And what about you, Satoshi-kun. You staying the year?”

“No way, I'm leaving the first chance I get. Masara Town is so boring. I have never seen anything exciting here. Entering the police force is like being
unemployed with full pay, because there aren't even robbers here. And-”

“And there isn't even an arcade or a video game store that sells games that can at least get my adrenaline running-” Takeru cut in.

“In short, I like whining about the fact that the grass over here is yellow, and the grass EVERYWHERE else, is the perfect shade of green-” Junpei

“And there isn't a single person on the face of the Earth who can appreciate what I'm going through.” Izumi finished. “We've heard the rant before.”

Satoshi glowered, but didn't say anything about their cutting in. “Well, Junpei-kun, why did you stay?”

Junpei shrugged. “I don't know, I guess I kind of liked the idea of the four of us setting out together. After all, I guess I never really got used to the
idea of me setting off on the adventure alone. I always thought we'd go together, battling gym leaders, roughing it, you know, all the stuff that trainers do.”

Izumi shook her head. “Sorry Junpei-kun.” She sighed, “If I become a trainer, I'd go solo, researching Pokemon and all that. Going with the only
strengths I have in school, science.”

Takeru offered a suggestion. “You should talk to the guy who lives here in town, that famous researcher... um... what's his name?”

“It's Ookido-hakase,” Izumi answered. “I'm not hanging out with the grandfather of Ookido whats-his-face.”

“Shigeru? That's Shigeru's grandfather?” Junpei said. “You're kidding!”

“I'm not. I hope that one of the other hakases shows up. Then I'll get a great job for a trainer. I mean, how many people do you know that actually
get to work with the distinguished researchers of Pokemon?”

“And we're the ones obsessed with Pokemon?” Satoshi muttered. He said a hasty good bye, and began heading up north.

He came to the outskirts of town, and wandered on. After going a little ways, he found himself at his favorite spot on the route. A small lake was there, and the occasional Pokemon could be seen, getting a quick drink before dashing back into the wilderness.

He sat down and pulled his fishing rod out from the base of his favorite tree. He cast his rod out without bait, as he wasn't interested in getting another stupid Magikarp from the lake. He wouldn't be able to catch one anyway. He didn't have any Pokeballs.

He was suddenly aware of a long-haired girl sitting next to him. “Hello,” she said.

Satoshi turned to look at her. “I've seen you before, I think. Are you a Trainer?”

“Not yet. But I will be one in two days. I'll explain everything to you tomorrow. Just know this, you'll need another Pokemon. I'll see you tomorrow, same time, right here. Be ready.” She suddenly smiled. “I hope you get a Pokemon on your birthday tomorrow.”

She got up, and started running off. Satoshi shouted, “How do you know so much about me?”

She turned around and shouted back. “I'm one of Izumi's friends!”

The girl turned around, ran off, and didn't look back. Her brown hair waved behind her.

Author's Notes:

Nothing much to talk about. I changed the Pokemon names to English because of a review and a lack of "Pokemon type" names. However, the human names, and the honorifics aren't going, as in most cases they don't have an English version. Also double-spaced it. Hope it will be easier to read.

January 21st, 2006, 9:10 PM
Chapter Two: Catching Pidgey

Satoshi groaned when he got up the next day. That girl by the lake had given him a lot to think about. Her identity was one thing to ponder. Just about all other the kids went to the same school, because Masara Town was so small. He couldn't remember ever seeing her, and he didn't remember Izumi mentioning her.

He remembered that she had said tomorrow was the day she would become a trainer, and he thought she had implied he would become one tomorrow as well. He didn't know anyone who gave out Pokemon except Ookido-hakase. Did that mean that Shigeru would become a trainer too?

He didn't know Shigeru too well, except for the fact that he was a little snobbish. Satoshi was in class 4-A, and Shigeru was in 5-A. They didn't run into each other at all except during lunch. And even then they ignored each other.

Satoshi got up and went through the usual morning activities. Get dressed, brush teeth, try not to murder the first life form that made a noise, go to school, etc. He didn't do much at all during school, his mind set on what was about to happen. He still couldn't believe he would finally be a trainer. His mother would give him his first Pokemon, and then he'd go to off to Ookido-hakase's lab (if that was were he would get his next Pokemon) the next day. It would be perfect.

When the Saturday lessons were over at noon, he dashed home, ignoring his friend's efforts to get his attention. He arrived, where his mother was waiting. She had a slightly nervous look on her face, but Satoshi thought she might be worried about the Pokemon she'd gotten him.

“Happy birthday!” she said.

“Thanks, Mom.” Satoshi saw a few presents in the corner. He wished he could just ask if he could open them now, but even though it was his birthday, he wanted to be polite.

His mom smiled, she must have read his thoughts. “You can open them now.”

In the few minutes, Satoshi had opened every last one of the gifts. There weren't that many, they didn't have a lot of money around his birthday for presents. He didn't mind all that much, he always got great gifts. He'd gotten a new video game, a small bar of chocolate, and some clothing. No Pokemon. Satoshi frowned, even as he tried to keep a happy expression on his face as he turned around. His Mom still looked worried, but this time he realized she was trying to figure out what he was thinking.

“Listen Satoshi,” she said, kneeling down beside him. “The prices on Pokemon are getting really expensive. I couldn't afford one this year. But the storekeeper told me that in a few months, prices would go down, and I've put some money aside for getting a gift for Christmas. You can wait a few months, can't you? Besides, none of your friends are leaving this year...”

Satoshi nodded sadly. He smiled, and looked at the clock. Two and a half hours until that girl was going to be at the lake. He decided that he'd go straight after lunch. That would at least get him more time. More time to catch a stupid Pokemon so he could go to Ookido-hakase's lab tomorrow. Maybe the girl would help him too. He didn't even know her name.

He ate lunch, and found himself detouring to play his video game. Before he knew it, he was going to be late. So much for getting a Pokemon. He dashed out of the house and ran to the lake. Should he just get a stupid Magikarp? That would at least bag him a Pokemon, and there were plenty of those in the lake.

But maybe the girl and Shigeru might laugh, and maybe that wasn't a good enough Pokemon to use for a trainer. What if Ookido-hakase didn't give him a Pokemon? What if he was stuck here in Masara Town for another year? And what would happen if Izumi and Takeru and Junpei all left without him? They'd have such a good time.

He realized that he was at the lake, and the girl hadn't quite arrived yet. He pulled his fishing rod back out of his hiding place and started fishing. Just like last time, the girl seemed to just pop out of nowhere, one minute she wasn't there, the next she was. She gave him a kind smile and pushed her brown hair out of her eyes.

“I see you didn't get a Pokemon,” she said.

Satoshi nodded. “I was hoping for one on my birthday.”

“I know. I got a Pokemon a long time ago. My grandmother's a little... senile. She got me a Clefairy when what I really wanted was a Pidgey. I'm not into the cute Pokemon division. I'm not a silly little ten year-old who still thinks that pink is the only color that anyone should use. But still, they're tough. I've taught it how to sing other Pokemon to sleep. It's the best possible move, if you ask me. After that, she just uses a basic move.

'I haven't told you my name, Satoshi-kun, have I? I'm Sakura. The rest of my name... it doesn't really matter. But, I've a little bit of good news.” She paused, and sighed. “Ookido-hakase is having difficulty with his shipment. He doesn't seem to have had much luck getting a Bulbasaur from... I'm afraid I don't
know his name. He's another researcher with Pokemon. He lives... I think somewhere north of Cerulean City.

'And if you don't have a Pokemon, it means that we'll just have to catch one today. Or tomorrow. You don't have any plans tomorrow, do you?”

Satoshi shook his head. “Nothing, as far as I'm aware. I've got another...” he looked at his watch. “Hour and forty-five minutes.”

Sakura smiled. “Let's get started!” She stood up and held up two Pokeballs. “One of these,” she pressed a button on one Pokeball. The image of a
Clefairy appeared above it. “holds my Clefairy. The other will hold your Pokemon.” She put in his hands. “You'll have to catch it though. Non-trainers can have a maximum of one Pokemon, so if I try to catch it, it will automatically fail, and I could be fined... I don't know, more than I can afford. It might be more than my parents can afford.”

Satoshi was a little surprised, holding a Pokeball for the first time. He just stood there, holding the ball in his hands. “Now what?”

Sakura giggled. “Now, Satoshi-kun, now we find a Pokemon.”

Satoshi got up and the two of them began wandering around the area. There didn't seem to be too many Pokemon out today. Sakura said that it probably had something to do with the weather, and that it might change soon.

“Pidgeys can detect shifts in the weather somewhat, and if there aren't many Pidgey around, the Rattatas get ready for the shift in the weather too. But that's okay. If we're lucky, we'll find some eggs. Those are really the best, because-”

“Sakura, I know,” Satoshi said. “That guy who is always on TV, the Breeder, he claims that he's never had a Pokemon that hasn't hatched from an egg. He claims that's why his Pokemon are so powerful.”

Sakura laughed. “Shame he's eighty-something. You have to be a kid to participate in the major league around here. We kids are the best when it comes to actually using Pokemon. I think there are maybe two adults here in Kanto that have a chance of having the rules amended to let them into the league.”

Satoshi was about to reply, when he heard a strange rustling in the bushes. Sakura heard it too, and the two of them dashed towards the bushes, only to find an ordinary bird. Sakura sighed. “Satoshi,” she said. “We'll be better off hunting tomorrow, I think. Maybe if we're lucky the weather will have changed, and we'll be able to catch a Pokemon.”

Satoshi frowned, but he agreed, and the two said their goodbyes.

The next day, Satoshi quickly ate his breakfast and dashed outside. His mother shouted something at him, but he didn't pay attention. He wanted that Pokemon! It had rained overnight, which Satoshi was grateful for, because there should be dozens of Pokemon about. But he didn't want some stupid Pokemon which was weaker than it had been when it had hatched. He was interested in one that came straight out of the egg.

There weren't many nests around. Unfortunately, most of them were guarded by dozens of Pokemon. The rest were guarded as well, but with less Pokemon. Satoshi wouldn't be able to resist the pecks of every Pidgey in the area, or the bites of every Rattata. So he looked very carefully, inspecting areas that were hidden in shadow from one perspective or another.

Sakura, still running sleep out of her eyes, showed up in a few minutes. Satoshi and Sakura looked throughout the entire area, but they couldn't find a single unguarded egg patch.

“Why are we looking for an unguarded nest?” Sakura asked. “I could throw a rock at the least guarded nest, distract the birds, and you could run in and pick up any egg you wanted.”

Satoshi agreed. It was the best idea they could think of. Sakura grabbed the biggest rock she could find. Satoshi, ready to run, went to the other side of the nest. They were ready for just about anything.

Sakura threw the rock as hard as she could, and it hit the smallest Pidgey guarding the nest, knocking it out. All the other Pidgeys turned their attentions to poor Sakura, who was now looking terrified. Most of the birds lifted into the air, and flew right at her. Sakura screamed, and dashed away as quickly as she could. But there were still half a dozen Pidgeys at the nest, and Satoshi couldn't figure out how to get rid of them.

He didn't need to. Another rock flew in from an area Satoshi couldn't see from his position, and the other Pidgeys flew in its direction. Satoshi ran forward, and nabbed the largest egg he could see. He ran away, straight home.

He had what he needed. He'd thank Sakura tomorrow. All he wanted to do was get away from an potential Pokemon that might inflict its wrath on him.

Author's Notes:

Sakura, in case you haven't realized, is this story's version of the female PC in FireRed & LeafGreen. I decided that she should start out with a "Cute" pokemon, and she'll probably keep it with her for the rest of the story, if only to define her personality.
Satoshi, obviously, will start with a Pidgey in his team.
It's also worth noting that Sakura's grandmother's switch makes more sense using Japanese names. Sakura wanted a Poppo, but got a Pippi.

January 21st, 2006, 9:16 PM
Chapter Three: Bulbasaur and Squirtle

The next day was one of Satoshi's worst. Naturally, it was a Monday. Sakura had been waiting outside of Satoshi's house, slightly bruised and battered. She gave him an angry look. “Thanks for the help with the Pidgeys yesterday,” she said dryly.

“Look, I'm sorry about that, but, why come here? Aren't we going to Ookido-hakase's lab today?”

“That's why I'm here, Satoshi. He didn't get a Bulbasaur, he received a Bulbasaur egg that won't hatch until tomorrow afternoon. So it looks like we've got two more days of school to suffer through,” she suddenly noticed that his backpack seemed a little stretched, looking about to burst. “You're bringing your egg to school?” she demanded. “Why?”

“I talked to a trainer who was passing by yesterday evening. He said that it was going to hatch sometime today, and I don't want to miss that.”

“Satoshi, get the egg out of your backpack. If you crush it in there, it's not the same thing as hatching.”

Satoshi gave her a scowl. “Come on,” he said. “We might as well get going, or we'll be late.”

School was even worse than usual, and Satoshi wondered what could possibly be worse than what he was going through. The Lit and Math teachers were rather unhappy that he'd brought a Pokemon egg to school. Some of the students seemed upset too, including, for a reason Satoshi couldn't possibly understand, Takeru, the only one of his friends in this class.

At lunch, he found out. He was the first one of his group to arrive. Sitting down, he put the egg on a cushion he'd brought with him. Then he took out his lunch. Instantly seven other kids crammed at the table, asking if they could see his Pokemon egg, if it was going to hatch soon, if they could touch it, what kind it was, and many other questions. Satoshi wasn't happy. Sakura, sitting down beside him, began answering questions. Whenever someone reached out to touch the slightly quivering egg, she would slap his hand away, saying, “It's Satoshi's egg, not yours.”

Satoshi saw Izumi approach, she, like Sakura had that morning, was looking at him angrily. “Thanks for letting us know that you weren't interested in coming to the movies, Satoshi,” she said spitefully. “Since their policy is 'No refunds,' it's nice to know that you were willing to prevent us from spending money on your ticket.”

“What are you talking about?” he demanded. “What movies?”

“Didn't your mother tell you?” Izumi asked. “She said did, and she thought that it was weird that you wouldn't-” Her eyed the egg for the first time. “Oh, I see you're busy. I take it that Sakura's completely beat up because of the Pokemon you had to go past to get that egg?”

Satoshi tried to protest that his mother hadn't mentioned the movies, that he'd been gone all day on the path to Tokiwa City. Izumi cut him off. “She told you while you were leaving. At least, that's what she said.”

A vague memory of his mother shouting something at him entered his mind, but he hadn't listened. “Listen, Izumi, I'm-”

Izumi cut him off. “I take it you'd rather hang out with her, a girl you couldn't have known for much more than three days, instead of your best friends. Enjoy your Pokemon,” she said coldly. “Because, it seems that our birthday present to you isn't necessary.” She just turned around and walked away, angrily ignoring Satoshi's sputtering protests.

Cold realization hit Satoshi as Izumi sat down beside Junpei and Takeru a few tables away. Junpei was happily playing with the Izumi's Pikachu!

His egg was now rocking violently, and Sakura sighed. “I think she's just a little angry that you don't really need the present she was going to give you. She'll cool off in a few hours, and it'll all be normal tomorrow. One last summer day with your friends.”

Sakura's words were soothing, and even the egg seemed to have been calmed by her words. Then, so suddenly Satoshi was sure he must have blinked and missed something, a small baby Pidgey was sitting in the middle of a piece of eggshell, calling desperately for food. Satoshi was ready, and he handed the bird some berries.

The baby Pidgey actually expanded with every mouthful. Satoshi was soon holding a happy, full Pidgey, asleep in the crook of his arm. Reaching awkwardly, Satoshi took the Pokeball two days ago out of his backpack. As he held the half-crimson sphere above the Pidgeys head and pressed a small button on one part of it, the sphere opened up, and the Pidgey disappeared into it.

The crowd of kids dispersed a little, the questions persisted. “Is this your first Pokemon?” “Are you an official trainer?” “Are you going to leave on an attempt to get into the League?” “Are you gonna try to be a gym leader?” The questions rolled off of both him and Sakura. Their quiet indifference sent most of the kids away, except for one.

One Ookido Shigeru, to be precise. “So, you've got a Pidgey, huh?” he said. “I've got a Spearow.” He drew out a Pokeball of his own and lightly tossed it out onto the table. The Spearow gave a caw of delight, and looked around for a Pokemon to fight. The table was once again buzzing with attention, questions being asked of Shigeru. He grinned and answered every last one of them, attempting to make Satoshi look like an idiot.

Sakura muttered something under her breath. For a moment or two, Satoshi thought he heard singing, but not from Sakura. It ceased just as suddenly as it had come. The Spearow passed out on the table.

“Pathetic!” taunted one kid. “It just fell asleep for no reason.”

“I can see it now,” sneered another. “You'll be fighting the last gym leader, and all of a sudden, your Pokemon will just pass out, in front of everyone in the gym. You'll be a laughing stock!”

Laughter spread around the room. Shigeru scowled at his Pokemon, and held out his Pokeball, which emitted a red beam of light which surrounded the Spearow. With his Pokemon in its Pokeball, he left the room, muttering under his breath.

Sakura held up her Pokeball, and the same red light appeared, flashing under the table. She grinned at him. “He forgot that I have a Pokemon too.”

“How did your Pokemon do that?”

“Don't you remember?” she asked. “I told you, it can sing other Pokemon to sleep. Not humans though. You might have noticed it, but everyone else was paying to much attention to Shigeru to hear it. So, the Spearow fell asleep, and no one is the wiser.”

The rest of the day went without incident, and Satoshi forgot that his friends had been angry with him. He went home, found everything he'd want for his trip, and slept happily for the first time in a few days.

However, Sakura's prediction about Izumi's mood had been wrong. Incredibly wrong. When Satoshi got to lunch on his last day of school, Shigeru was sitting at his regular spot, talking to Izumi and Junpei. Takeru was absent. Junpei was hanging out with Pikachu, and was constantly talking to it happily. Satoshi approached them to chat, but Shigeru pointed at him, at Izumi and Junpei gave him such angry stares that Satoshi found Sakura and her gang and sat with them instead.

One girl was looking at Shigeru angrily. “He's the worst kid in this school. He's such a brat. He's trying to ruin your friendship with them, but you'll both be gone tomorrow, and when you get back, the anger will be gone.”

Sakura nodded. “He'd seen us on Saturday, so he took your friends to the same place on Sunday. I think he threw that other rock, maybe he was even trying to hit you. It's okay though, Izumi is the only other person with a Pokemon in town, and she's too young to be a trainer. When you get back from your travels, you can be friends again. I mean, you'll have gotten all the badges by then. They'll probably even help you with the league.”

For the rest of the day, Satoshi focused on that one image in his head. Of Izumi, Junpei, and Takeru cheering him on in the League. A trainer could give out four tickets. He'd give them to his three friends and his mother.

When he set off for Ookido-hakase's lab, Sakura accompanied him, although she had to stop off at home to get her Clefairy to show Ookido-hakase. Pidgey was safely in her Pokeball. Satoshi was sure it was a girl. They'd trained after school yesterday, and she'd shown more capability in defending than
damaging. The two friends went happily to the Lab.

Their bubbles were burst. Junpei was standing there, holding a Pokeball that had an image of a Pikachu floating over it, and Shigeru was also present, Spearow on his shoulder. Sakura stopped. “Ookido-hakase,” she said. “Didn't you say that I could pick the third trainer?”

The man who was standing there looked from Sakura to Satoshi and frowned. “Unfortunately for your friend here,” he said. “The fact is, Junpei here is a year older than minimum age. Unless... how old is your friend?”

Sakura put her hand to her mouth. “His tenth birthday was just... just Saturday.” She gave Satoshi an embarrassed look. “Oh, Satoshi,” she
whispered. “I'm so, so sorry.” She took a step forward. “Ookido-hakase,” she said. “What if I forfeited-”

“I'm afraid that that is impossible. Your trainer card is already filled out, and everything from name to gender would have to be changed.”

Sakura looked to Satoshi with a pained expression on her face. “I'm really sorry. I've already been waiting a year.”

Ookido-hakase turned to Satoshi. “Listen,” he said, “Tell you what, I'll order the starter Pokemon of your choice, express delivery and you can set off tomorrow morning. Which one do you want?” He turned to the others without waiting for an answer. “First you choose Sakura, then Shigeru, then Junpei.”

Ookido-hakase sat down at his computer, but Satoshi wasn't paying attention to him. He only had eyes for the three Pokemon. He was watching Sakura, who finally settled on Bulbasaur. Shigeru then chose a Squirtle. Junpei gave Satoshi one last glance, and then reached out for the final Pokeball.

Author's Notes:

Sakura picked Bulbasaur because of how close to the egg it was, having just hatched the other day, Shigeru picked Squirtle because he knew what was ahead gymwise.

Next chapter up later today, hopefully.

January 21st, 2006, 9:16 PM
Chapter Four: Rivalry

Sakura finally settled on Bulbasaur, and its Pokeball opened up to reveal a blue-green quadruped with a bulb on its back. It happily nuzzled her, and Sakura smiled. Shigeru then chose Squirtle, a blue turtle, who also came out of its Pokeball, rubbing Shigeru's hand. Junpei gave Satoshi one last glance, and then reached out for the final Pokeball.

But although Junpei opened its Pokeball, the fire-red lizard with a flame on its tail ignored Junpei completely, walking past him and towards Ookido-hakase. At least, that was what Satoshi thought at first. But he soon realized that the Pokemon was actually walking towards him, the youngest kid in the bunch. Not surprising. Bulbasaur and Squirtle were facing away from Junpei and Satoshi, unaware of both of them.

When the lizard's Pokeball had opened up, the Charmander had been facing him. What had Sakura said? She had said was that kids worked best with Pokemon, bonded closer to them than adults, for a reason she wasn't sure of.

Could it be, that like Pokemon trainers, Pokemon preferred partners closer to the “egg”? The youngest Pokemon were the easiest to train, and maybe the Pokemon saw their trainers in a similar light. Perhaps that explained why only the youngest were in the Major League.

Satoshi realized that everyone in the lab, including Ookido-hakase's lab assistants who had been standing in the doorway, was looking at him. Satoshi gulped, because of the stares, and because the lizard was trying to claw its way up his leg. He scooped up the lizard, and walked over to Junpei, to give him his rightful Pokemon. But Charmander, as Satoshi was pretty sure that was what the lizard was called held onto Satoshi all the tighter, uninterested in the boy to whom it belonged. Shigeru had a scowl on his face, and Junpei was looking hurt, but Satoshi stopped paying attention to the three trainers, and turned to Ookido-hakase, who was looking rather nervous.

“Um... well...” Ookido-hakase looked more nervous every minute. “Satoshi, give Junpei his Charmander.”

Satoshi looked at the man incredulously. “I would, except, it isn't all that interested in him.”

Ookido-hakase's eyes widened a moment. “Are you quite sure?”

Satoshi turned around and approached Junpei, deposited the Charmander in his hands. The Charmander looked horrified and began growling at Junpei. Junpei looked horrified and dropped the Pokemon back on the table, trying not to be scratched to death. Satoshi smiled smartly, and turned back to Ookido-hakase. “Well?” he asked, forgetting his manners.

Ookido-hakase didn't seem to appreciate Satoshi's tone, but he shrugged. “I haven't filled out Junpei's card yet anyway.” He gave Junpei a sorrowful look. “Well,” he said sadly. “I”m sorry, but, in this case, we'll have to accept the fact that Satoshi gets the Charmander.”

Satoshi smiled happily, glad that he had gotten a Pokemon after all. He took the Pokeball from Junpei's hand and recalled the Charmander, putting it on his belt, next to Pidgey's Pokeball. He turned to give Junpei one last triumphant look, but Junpei was already leaving the lab.

Shigeru looked even angrier about Satoshi getting Charmander than Junpei was. Shigeru was more upset than he had a right to be, in Satoshi's opinion. He gave another glare to Satoshi, and then, the anger on his face evaporated. “Want to test out your Pokemon?” he asked.

Sakura suddenly stepped in. “He has to accept, of course,” she said. “Trainer's rules, but here are the terms: You can only use Squirtle, and he can only use Charmander.”

Shigeru grinned. “Of course, those are perfectly acceptable terms. And since Sakura is clearly representing you,” he added. “I'll assume you accept the terms.” He pointed for Squirtle to go forward. Satoshi exhaled slightly to steady himself, and threw out Charmander's Pokeball, which opened up, and the Pokemon popped out.

“Squirtle! Squirt water at it!”

Sakura laughed. “It's only out of its egg. It only knows how to tackle things, I think.”

Shigeru looked at Sakura angrily. “Fine! Squirtle, tackle it!”

The blue turtle curled up into its shell and shot forward. Charmander jumped over the shell and scratched the only bit of skin that was still out of the shell. Squirtle's tail. The Squirtle flew out of its position, screaming, and dove at Charmander once more, this time connecting dead on, although it also knocked over the table.

“Stop!” shouted Ookido-hakase, but neither trainer nor Pokemon were interested in him any longer. Charmander scratched Squirtle's forehead, but the Pokemon tackled him to the ground. Pinned, the Squirtle then began whipping the Charmander with its tail. This didn't seem to do any damage, but the Squirtle knew what it was doing. Suddenly, Charmander growled at the turtle so loudly that it fell back in surprise, and when one final scratch was administered on Squirtle, it fell to the floor, unconscious.

Shigeru was now really furious. “Dang it! I chose the wrong Pokemon.” He walked up to Satoshi, and put four coins in his hand. “You deserve it,” he muttered. “Trainer's right.” Shigeru scowled, turned around, and left.

Satoshi turned to Sakura. “Thanks,” he said. “I don't think I could have taken on Spearow too. It must be a lot tougher than my Pokemon.”

Sakura smiled. “I think you've had enough troubles these past few days. Well, I for one, don't intend to go on to Tokiwa City today. I think I'm just going to go by the lake, catch a few Pokemon, get ready for tomorrow. Are you going to come with me?”

Satoshi paused, then said, “I'll go to the lake with you, but I'm going to Tokiwa today, and rest up. I'm not sure when they hold their competitions there, but I'm interested in going there, maybe if I'm lucky the competition will be tomorrow.”

Sakura laughed. “A gym leader isn't that easy to beat, Satoshi. You'll have to train some in the forest north of the city. His weakest Pokemon will be twice the power of yours.”

Satoshi shrugged his shoulders. “Oh well,” he said. “If I have to stay there a week, I don't think I'd mind all that much. Besides, Tokiwa City is right on the path to the League building, so I'll be able to talk with people who are already headed that way. And there are bound to be all sorts of tough Pokemon to catch. That'll make my team stronger, and I'll be able to take care of the gym leader there.”

Sakura shook her head. “Let's go,” she said.

The two went northwards, and in a few minutes they'd come to the edge of town. After a few more minutes, Sakura turned to go to the lake, and
Satoshi went straight, wandering through the tall grasses that grew all over the place. He didn't even meet a Pokemon to fight with his Charmander.

He only met two other living beings on that lonely two hour walk. The first was an old man, practically doubled over, walking slowly, sadly.

“Hello,” he mumbled at Satoshi. “Are you heading for Tokiwa City?”

Satoshi nodded. “Yes,” he said. “Why?”

The old man looked up at him, as if he'd forgotten Satoshi had been there. “If you are, you should check out the Pokemon Mart that's right by the
Pokemon Center. When you're there, tell them I sent you, and you might get a discount on something. Oh! And before I forget, take this Salve as a free sample.

Satoshi put the Salve next to the other one in his backpack, and smiled. “Masara Town is only a twenty minutes walk away,” he said kindly. “You're almost there.”

The old man sighed. “Oh, that it were that simple. I advertise for the shop. I spend my time in a nearby cabin telling trainers about it. Someone should relieve me tomorrow, but I don't think he'll come through the rain.”

Satoshi looked up at the sky. There wasn't a cloud. “Rain?”

“It'll be raining before the day is up, believe me.”

Satoshi left, but not before thanking the man for the Salve.

The second man he met further down the road, and by that point, the clouds were gathering in the sky. The man was taking a breather, and he was muttering about the fact that his Pokemon was about to faint. Satoshi passed him by, not even bothering to say hello.

About fifteen minutes after he had passed the man, it began to rain. Satoshi was grateful that the outline of the city was becoming visible. In a few more minutes, he was in the city, and he found himself wandering the streets, looking for its only Pokemon Center.

He found it on the west side of the city, and walked in. A nurse looked up from the reception desk. “Oh dear,” she fussed. “You must be drenched. I hope that none of your Pokemon suffered from the rain. Fire Pokemon are getting far too popular.”

Satoshi shook his head. “My Charmander never had a chance to leave his Pokeball. There wasn't a Pokemon in sight on the way here.”

“And where did you come from?” The nurse asked, “And what is your name? You'll have to stay here until the rain stops, or until morning. I don't know what the weather report says,” she sighed.

“I'm from Masara Town. I got a head start on the other trainers of the town. Oh, and I'm Ishida Satoshi.”

The nurse nodded, writing that down, asked, “What Pokemon do you have?”

“A Charmander and a Pidgey.”

The nurse nodded once more. “We have a lovely place for your Pokemon to romp about with other Pokemon. There aren't any battles in here, but this Center has the best 'hotels' for Pokemon. We're the biggest Pokemon Center in Kanto, Jouto, and Houen, and quite possibly more.”

She got up, and began walking down one of the many corridors. The room that she led him to seemed to make up the mass of the building. It was a
little bit scary, looking at all the Pokemon that were in the room. An occasional Pokemon would jump out of the water, several Pokemon were hanging from branches, some were flying about, but most were huddled happily on the ground.

Satoshi threw his Pokeballs into the air, and Charmander and Pidgey burst out. He caught his Pokeballs and turned to the nurse. “Do I have to stay here too, or are the rooms for humans?”

The nurse laughed. “Come on,” she said. “You'll probably be staying here for awhile.” So she led Satoshi up to his room. “Everything's free. We're paid for by the government and charity. So, please, enjoy your stay.”

She left the room, and Satoshi was just a little glad that he didn't have to sleep in his sleeping bag tonight. The room was rather bare, just a bed, a dresser, a table, two paintings, and a window. Walking across the floor, he looked at the two paintings. They were those annoying paintings, one of a bunch of Houndoors in a basket, the other of a Ponyta dashing across a field. With a sigh, he laid down, and went to sleep. Dreams of Junpei and Izumi haunted him.

Author's Notes: How many of you didn't see that coming? It doesn't matter. Not much to mention, except I hate pictures of puppies in baskets and horses in fields.

January 21st, 2006, 9:17 PM
Chapter Five: Pokedex

Natsume- Sabrina
Takeshi- Brock
Guren- Cinnabar

Chapter Five: Zukan

When Satoshi awoke, he went into the bathroom, washed up, and went downstairs. He was evidently one of the last trainers to get up, and some of the trainers he found himself sitting next to joked about it.

“You'd better enjoy your sleep now, while you still can,” one said. “When you start wandering down some of the longer routes, you'll be waking up at the crack of dawn, and, depending on where you are, might be falling asleep at sunset. If you're lucky.”

Satoshi was grateful when another trainer changed the subject. “So, Tanaka-kun, did you catch that Ditto you wanted at Guren?”

Another trainer, presumably Tanaka, answered. “Unfortunately not. Found a Koffing, but it turned out to be totally useless. Hey kid, what's your name?”

Satoshi realized they were looking at him. “Ishida. Ishida Satoshi.”

“You totally new as a trainer? Where do you come from? Masara? Nibi?”

“I'm from Masara Town.”

The only girl at the table grinned. “It's a nice place. I found a Tangela on an island nearby it. It's a really handy grass Pokemon. I'd never seen one before. What Pokemon do you have?”

“I've got a Charmander and a Pidgey, nothing else. And the Pidgey is just a newborn.”

The girl giggled. “I wasn't going to challenge you. I've got a Tangela, a Kadabra, and a Wigglytuff, all of who are quite capable Pokemon. They'd be more likely to kill your Pokemon then just knock them out.”

The other trainers laughed. “Listen,” said Tanaka. “I've really got to get going. I'll just get my Pokemon and I'm going to fly to Saffron City. I'm going to appeal for a badge there from Natsume. Since there isn't one here, I'll just have to see about dipping into her emergency reserves.”

“What are you worried about Tanaka?” the girl asked. “The next competition isn't for quite some time. A month or two.”

“Yeah, well, I'm going to want some time. Besides, I hear that Natsume is planning on taking a vacation soon.”

Satoshi paused, and then said, “So you're saying... You're saying that there isn't a gym here? I thought there was.”

“It's... er... it's closed. No one goes there any more I'm afraid. The gym leader and his disciples haven't been seen for years. The League officials haven't found a way to get into the gym, let alone find a decent replacement. Most trainers scrounge off gym leaders from their home towns, putting themselves at the right level to earn their last badge.”

Satoshi nodded, and sighed. He'd have to go through the forest just to get his first badge. Oh well, because he didn't he'd have any water Pokemon, he would have had to go through the forest anyway. He got up after finishing breakfast, and got Charmander and Pidgey. He left the Pokemon Center, and saw Shigeru and Sakura heading right towards it.

“Oh, hello Satoshi!” cried Sakura. “We've been looking for you! Ookido-hakase told us that if we'd run an errand for him, he'd give us the most important job a trainer could have. He didn't say what it was though, but hey, it's going to be a surprise. We've already got the custom Pokeball he received from Silph Co, and now all we have to do is head back to Masara.”

“He woke us at the crack of dawn,” was all Shigeru said.

Satoshi grinned, and the three of them went back south, heading down the winding road. Somehow, the journey seemed to go much quicker, and although Satoshi asked both Sakura and Shigeru about the discrepancy in time, he was unable to get the answer.

Even Satoshi's watch showed that, by the time they'd arrived in Masara, only an hour and a half had passed, making the time exactly 9:30. They walked into the lab, and Satoshi noticed that besides the three lab assistants and Ookido-hakase, Junpei was also there.

“Where were you this morning while we were going to Tokiwa, Junpei?” Sakura practically demanded.

Ookido-hakase sighed. “I couldn't locate him so early. It's all right though, he can help you out. But first, had my shipment arrived?”

Shigeru nodded, and held out the strange Pokeball. The sphere's bottom half was white, like any Pokeball, but the top was purple with two pink circles on it. Between the two circles was the English “M.”

Ookido-hakase took the Pokeball, inspected it, and then turned to Junpei. “If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to give it a test run.”

Junpei nodded and released his Pikachu. Sakura scoffed. “You can't be serious. Ookido-hakase, you should know that any Pokemon that has a Pokeball can't be captured again. The original Pokeball destroys the second.”

Ookido-hakase threw the ball anyways. Junpei gave out a startled gasp as the M ball... captured his Pikachu! Junpei stared incredulously, along with everyone else. Ookido-hakase released the Pikachu, pressed a button the M ball, and motioned for Junpei to catch it again. Junpei held out the Pokeball, and the Pikachu happily jumped towards it, and instantly it was Junpei's again.

Ookido-hakase ignored the four trainers, who were now babbling questions at him, for a few minutes as he typed a email. Satoshi was only able to see the top of the screen: “To: [email protected] Message: On Master Ball.” When Ookido-hakase had clicked “Send,” he turned back to the children.

He smiled at them, and then said. “Now, you're probably wondering what I was talking about this morning. The task I have for you is one that will not distract you from your goals as trainers. For many years, trainers have attempted to make encyclopedias of Pokemon. However, as far as I am aware, no trainer has successfully created a complete encyclopedia that contains the one hundred and thirty-nine Pokemon that have been discovered as extant, let alone the encyclopedia of the one hundred and forty-four Pokemon that have been confirmed to live in Kanto at one point in history.

'So, I am entrusting the task to you. These devices,” he walked over to another table and held up four identical devices, resembling Game Boys. “can
hold data on up to one hundred and sixty Pokemon. They scan your Pokeballs every fifteen minutes and update themselves based on the Pokemon inside. They are constantly in communication with each other, and between the four of you, catching every Pokemon in Kanto shouldn't be that hard.” Ookido-hakase then distributed the devices. “Oh yes,” he added as an afterthought, “They're called Zukans.”

Satoshi, his gaming hands used to the shape of the device, flicked on the device. It clicked as it came on, and Satoshi saw a list of Pokemon that the Zukan had information on, organized by numbers.

Sakura was muttering, “One, Bulbasaur; four, Charmander; seven, Squirtle; sixteen, Pidgey; twenty-one, Spearow; twenty-five, Pikachu; and thirty-five, Clefairy.”

Satoshi opened the file on Charmander and saw a list of information, ranging from average height (two feet) and weight (18.7 pounds) to gender ratios (87.5% male, 12.5% female, although Satoshi wondered how it could get that kind of data from one Pokemon). There was similar information on all seven of the Pokemon that had been caught by the four.

“Good luck!” Ookido-hakase said, after he'd handed out five Pokeballs each. The four children left, and when they had gotten a fair distance from the lab, Shigeru started complaining.

“Just like my grandfather. He just would give us some stupid task like this. And come on. What are the odds of us finding all of the Pokemon?”

“It shouldn't be that hard,” Sakura argued. “A huge amount on that list are evolved Pokemon, so we won't even need to catch that many. We'll just have to evolve them all.”

The four were silent during the rest of the walk back to Tokiwa City, and they dropped by the Center to get a free lunch.

It wasn't very crowded, like it had been that morning. A few trainers who had broken bones were the only ones still around. The lunch was therefore nothing like breakfast, just a simple meal. Satoshi guessed that a charity organization like this one would focus on hot dinners and healthy breakfasts, and skim over lunch a little. It would be hard enough getting the money for two large meals.

After lunch, they debated their plans. Sakura proposed that they explore the path to the League buildings a little while, maybe catch a Pokemon or two, but Junpei and Shigeru didn't seem interested. Satoshi told them that they might as well get Pokemon from the region now, as the gym wasn't open and there wasn't anything else to do. Shigeru sneered and replied that maybe he'd just let Satoshi and Sakura catch them, and that he would get strong Pokemon from the forest.

So, Shigeru left, Junpei trailing behind him. Sakura laughed. “Junpei's a fool,” she said. “He only has a Pikachu, and Pikachu won't win the league for him. Pikachu won't even be able to damage the Gym Pokemon of Nibi City.” She stood up and looked at him. “Are you going to help me catch Pokemon?” she asked. “Or are you going to try to take on Takeshi's Onix with Charmander and Pidgey?”

Satoshi stood up and followed her. “I hope there's something useful there. I doubt that Charmander and Pidgey could take on a Pokemon that Pikachu can't battle.”

“Smart choice,” she said. “Now come on!” She ran off, heading westward, until she arrived at her destination, a large patch of tall grass that stretched as far as the eye could see. She began wading through the grassy ocean, occasionally tripping over a rock or root.

Satoshi followed uncomfortably, and saw a tree several feet ahead, on the edge of the grass patch. He dashed towards it, and began to climb. Suddenly something scratched behind his ear. “OW!” he shouted, and felt behind his ear. Blood. He kept climbing, but he pressed a button on Charmander's Pokeball and had the fire lizard be ready for another attack from behind.

Satoshi got to a branch about midway up without another incident, and as the branch was large enough to hold him, he got onto it and began tending to his ear, which, even without holding onto a tree trunk, was rather difficult. Finally he stopped the bleeding, got a piece of cotton on the cut, and continued his ascent, now using branches to get up.

His climb was not without success. Three-fourths of the way up, a monkey-like Pokemon, almost white, jumped at him. Charmander jumped in the way and aimed a quick scratch. The monkey scratched Charmander back, and Satoshi lowered himself down a branch, where he had a better vantage point. He would look down every now and again, and on his fifth look, he saw Sakura throw a Pokeball at a Rattata.

The Charmander and the monkey kept scratching each other, and when the monkey looked sufficiently weakened, Satoshi tossed out a Pokeball. It engulfed the monkey, and after a few attempts from the Pokemon to get out, the Pokeball clicked, and lifted up off the tree branch into Satoshi's hands. Charmander jumped back onto his shoulder, and Satoshi climbed back down.

Sakura was looking horrified. Satoshi followed her glance, and saw a large bird attacking a girl on the path. The two trainers ran towards her, but she saw them and shook her head almost imperceptibly. The two froze, and then they saw. Another man was standing there, grinning happily. Sakura froze, and reached for a Pokeball.

Satoshi held her hand down and looked at the Zukan. Under the “Have seen” list were a few new Pokemon. One was entitled “Mankey,” so Satoshi assumed that had been the monkey. Other entries were Pokemon Satoshi realized Shigeru and Junpei had seen. But there was one that met the description perfectly. Pidgeot.

It's description showed just how powerful that Pokemon was. But Satoshi had let go of Sakura's arm, and she was throwing forth a Pokeball. It revealed Clefairy, who, looking up anxiously at the Pidgeot, began singing. The lullaby echoed through the valley, and the Pidgeot, who had been slowing down fell asleep. The girl got up and began running towards them. Satoshi and Sakura turned around and ran as well. When they were well away, they heard a gunshot. They dived into the grass, panting for breath. But no bullet came. It hadn't been aimed at them.

Sakura's eyes widened. “That monster,” she whispered, referring to the man. “Did he, did he, just shoot that Pokemon for falling asleep?”

Satoshi didn't answer. Neither did the other girl.

Author's Notes:

I wanted to make the plot of this story similar to but far from identical from the game's plots.
Tanaka is a last name, not a first.
Appealing for a badge is as follows: When a gym is closed and a trainer has seven badges, he can return to a gym leader, battle him again, and get the necessary badge. Why Tanaka is going to Natsume is beyond me, but it seemed to fit.
And Sakura did catch that Rattata.

January 21st, 2006, 9:18 PM
Chapter Six: The Battle

Satoshi, Charmander, Sakura, Clefairy and the girl slowly crawled back to the city, stopping every minute or so, listening. When they finally did get up
out of the grass, and began walking again, they turned around and watched. Nothing. No one had followed them.

The girl led them to the Pokemon Center, where she gave six Pokeballs to the nurse. The nurse looked up at the others and asked them if they had any Pokemon they wanted healed. Satoshi dropped Charmander and Mankey's Pokeball on the tray, and Sakura handed over Clefairy and another Pokeball, the Rattata's.

In a few minutes, the nurse returned. “Here are your Pokemon!” she chirped.

“Thank you,” said the girl. She turned to Satoshi and Sakura. “Thank you as well. I am afraid I can't give you much in the way of thanks, nor can I tell you my name, or explain to you about the man who was there. But, I can assure you, if we ever meet again, I will find a way to return the favor.” She gave them a slight bow, her dark hair falling in front of her eyes, and then left.

Sakura and Satoshi exchanged glances. “Do you know who she is?” Sakura asked. “Have you ever seen her on the news, or in a Pokemon match? I don't really watch that stuff.”

Satoshi shrugged. “I've been watching five matches a week since I've been six, and every trainer was different. That's at least two thousand trainers.”

The door opened, and Sakura and Satoshi turned around to watch Shigeru and Junpei enter, Junpei's Pikachu on his shoulder. Charmander growled angrily, and Pikachu responded in turn. Satoshi noticed that Clefairy didn't seem very happy about the Pikachu either.

“Oh,” said Shigeru. “Hello, Satoshi! Once my Pokemon are fully healed, want to battle?” Satoshi stared at his friend's belt, where three Pokeballs were placed.

“Three on three?” asked Satoshi.

Shigeru nodded.

Junpei had turned over to Sakura. “Well, you and me after them, same deal?”

Sakura frowned, then nodded. “My Clefairy will be able to take on all of your Pokemon,” she said, with an air of confidence.

The nurse reappeared and took Shigeru and Junpei's Pokemon. In a few minutes she was back, and she frowned as Shigeru reached for a Pokeball. “There will be no battling in the reception area!” she said quickly. “If you're that interested in having a battle, I can take you to the Battle Room.”

She led the four to an empty room. In the middle of the room was a large, painted circle. At certain points along the circle were strange structures, coming out of the floor and curving slightly. Shigeru stood at a point on the circle between two structures, and Satoshi took a position opposite him.

Shigeru threw a Pokeball into the arena, revealing his Spearow. Satoshi decided to use Charmander, who was already outside of his Pokeball. When Charmander entered the circle, a force field appeared around the circle, seemingly generated by the structures. It must have been some sort of defense device, protecting trainers and bystanders from stray blasts.

Charmander lept forward, aiming a scratch, but the Spearow flew upwards, a feather falling from its left wing. It swept down, it's eyes widening in fury. The Charmander took a step backwards and nearly fell over! But he got his balance back, and as the Spearow's beak approached, the Charmander extended it's arm, scratching the bird.

The bird flew back up again, cawing in fury. It took another dive, but seemed to lose its control of its flight. It fell, and Charmander approached, ready to strike, but suddenly, the Spearow got up and struck Charmander, knocking it backwards. However, Charmander had lost its patience with the battle, and was now striking constantly, missing half the time, but still not giving Spearow a chance to retaliate.

Soon, the Spearow was unconscious, and Shigeru recalled it. He turned to Satoshi. “Going to change Pokemon?” he asked. Satoshi shook his head, and Shigeru threw out the new Pokemon.

It was a bee-like Pokemon, with stingers on its arms. It swept down, attempting to jab Charmander with its stingers. But Charmander did something most unexpected. It inhaled for a moment, and then released a burst of flames at the bee. It drew back, but it was still hit. It collapsed instantly, and Satoshi grinned.

His smile faded when Squirtle came out. Charmander charged for a Scratch attack, but the Squirtle retreated into its shell once more. Charmander growled, and peered into the hole where Squirtle's head had fled into. It drew away, hissing angrily. Its face was wet, and it was rubbing its eyes.

Sakura gasped angrily. “That's dirty!”

Bubbles began spreading through the arena, only bursting when they brushed against the force field. Charmander was looking weaker and weaker with every hit.

Sakura turned to Satoshi. “Have it attack Squirtle with the fire attack!”

“That's crazy!” Satoshi retorted. “Squirtle's a water type!”

“Do it! Now!”

“Charmander, Ember!” Satoshi cried. The fire lizard turned to the shell that contained the water Pokemon, inhaled deeply, and then released a huge burst of flame, much larger than the first time Charmander had used the move. The fire spread to the shell, and fried it. But Squirtle still came out, grinning.
The turtle was heavily injured, limping towards the Pokemon who was taking a breather. It walked up calmly to Charmander, and tackled it.

Charmander fainted.

“Well,” said Shigeru. “What's next?”

Satoshi reached for another Pokeball. It was the one holding Mankey. That would work. He didn't want the baby Pidgey fighting the experienced Squirtle. He tossed the ball into the arena, and the monkey Pokemon sprang out.

Shigeru shrugged, and ordered a bubble attack from Squirtle, who complied. Mankey fell backwards, and didn't get up. Shigeru's eyebrow's raised slightly as Satoshi was forced to recall the fainted Mankey and use Pidgey.

The bird Pokemon flew through the air, dodging every bubble the Squirtle blew. Squirtle jumped at the bird, but it simply flew out of reach. Suddenly, Pidgey dived down, attacking with a passion. The Squirtle didn't seem to know how to react, and finally all it could do was crouch into its shell.

Pidgey flew into the air again, but Squirtle was blowing bubbles with a vengeance. One finally hit the Pidgey, but it didn't seem to have taken much damage. It swept back down to the ground, much to the Squirtle's shock. It then did something Satoshi had never expected. It slashed one wing through the air, then the other. Pidgey must have done something with the motion that Satoshi hadn't noticed, because the Squirtle fell back, finally unconscious.

Satoshi sighed in relief, and recalled Pidgey. Shigeru glowered as he gave Satoshi the customary winnings.

Sakura's battle went by much quicker. Although Junpei used Pikachu, a cocoon-like Pokemon and a butterfly-like Pokemon, all Sakura had to do was have Clefairy lull them to sleep, and then use Bulbasaur or Rattata to attack. The battle was over in a few minutes, and Satoshi was just a little grateful that Sakura didn't seem interested in battling him.

Sakura was clearly the most skilled in the group.

The nurse returned a little while later, and escorted all twelve Pokemon back to the care facility. In a few minutes, all the Pokemon were back with their trainers, and Satoshi felt a little more comfortable with the three spheres attached to his belt. It was a little strange to feel that way, so dependent on three little monsters he'd obtained over the past three days.

Had it already been three days since Pidgey had hatched? Three days, and he still hadn't earned a single badge. But maybe that didn't matter so much now.

Sakura turned to Satoshi. “So, are you going to sit around and dream, or are you going to come with us?”

Satoshi realized that his three companions were staring at him, and he blushed slightly. He nodded. “We better hurry. I hear that there's a competition in a few days.”

Sakura nodded. “That's true. You guys will be after your badges, won't you?”

Shigeru walked out the door, ending conversation for a little while. But as they passed the empty gym, they began talking again, first about why the gym had closed, then about other things. Pokemon mainly.

When they left the city, Sakura released her three Pokemon, which proved to be a little troublesome. Rattata and Bulbasaur had no interest in riding on her shoulder or walking beside her, and instead they ran tight circles around Sakura, who had to be very careful not to trip over them. Clefairy, however, was willing to sit on Sakura's shoulder, and would croon happily whenever one of the boys would rub the fairy's head.

As the trees of Tokiwa no Mori neared, the boys let their Pokemon out of the confines of their Pokeballs. Spearow and Pidgey, plus the bee and the butterfly, would race each other through air. Pikachu followed behind Junpei, and Squirtle would occasionally pull Pikachu's tail, which seemed rather foolish. The Pikachu seemed disinclined to shock the turtle. Shigeru laughed when it did happen, the Squirtle falling backwards.

Mankey had settled under Satoshi's hat, taking a nap. Charmander was resting on Satoshi's right shoulder, and would occasionally growl when the four flying Pokemon got too close. Junpei's cocoon Pokemon hadn't been let out of its Pokeball.

Soon the forest was in sight, and the sun, high in the sky, disappeared behind the tall trees. Shigeru continued to lead the way, occasionally making apparently absurd detours, but Satoshi realized he was avoiding some hassled-looking bug catchers.

The journey seemed to be going well, but they didn't know what awaited them.

Author's Notes:

In the beginning this chapter was entitled "The Forest," and didn't feature the battle. Then it became "The Forest and the Battle." Finally, I've shortened down to this.

January 21st, 2006, 9:19 PM
Sadly, less human-Pokemon interaction. More emphasis on forest.

Chapter Seven: The Forest

Satoshi shivered. He tried to stay in the areas where the sunlight still shone through, but the forest was so dense the sunlight barely filtered through the leaves. Mankey was still on his head, and even though it couldn't fit under his hat, the monkey still tried. The other Pokemon were now somewhat more orderly, no longer tripping the kids up, for which Sakura was grateful.

The kids were being more quiet now, because whenever they tried to talk, Shigeru hushed them. The winding road that weaved through the forest was less distinct now, occasionally they would lose the trail entirely. Yet no matter how lost they felt, the trail would reappear, maybe a few feet to one direction, so they managed to stay on the right path.

Shigeru seemed almost... almost haunted to Satoshi. He would seem ready to follow the path one minute, the next he would leave the path for a few minutes, and get back on it again. There didn't seem to be a lot of logic to his choices.

So on and on they went, the forest seeming to stretch for miles. There weren't a lot of Pokemon, and the few they saw were duplicates in the Pokemon collection they'd amassed in the past few days. There wasn't a lot they could do on this path.

Finally, Shigeru turned around. “Well,” he said. “Satoshi, how did your Charmander fry Squirtle like that?”

Satoshi looked at him in mild shock. A half-hour of silence, and now an interrogation? “Um...”

“I gave him the advice,” Sakura answered. “That the attack would be a bit more powerful.”

Shigeru looked about ready to demand the money back from Satoshi. Sakura saw the look too, and added. “It's perfectly fair, Shigeru. Any trainer in a battle that isn't a gym match or a league competition is entitled to advice from members of the audience.”

Shigeru frowned, acknowledging the rule, and asked a second question. “And how did your Pidgey learn Air Cutter? It's not a natural move for a Pidgey.”

Sakura looked ready to say something, but Satoshi blurted out, “Huh?”

Sakura sighed and rolled her eyes. “The move that your Pidgey used to make Squirtle faint.”

“Oh, that. I don't know, Pidgey just sort of did it herself.”

Shigeru didn't seem convinced, but didn't bring it up anymore. He started walking again, but this time, permitted talking. There wasn't much to talk about, however. There wasn't even anything to do.

Once or twice they would trip over something obscured by the grass, usually a useless stick or stone, but on four occasions they found items. A couple of Salves, which went to Shigeru and Junpei, who didn't have any. There was a Pokeball which Sakura took, and finally an Antidote, which Satoshi scooped up happily.

Still, nothing but themselves seemed to be moving in the forest. The few Pokemon they had encountered at the edges of the forest seemed to have disappeared. They had once followed the singing of what they had believed was a bird Pokemon. It had turned out to be an ordinary bird.

About an hour after finding the antidote, they encountered a Pokemon, which was a Pikachu, who jumped at Satoshi's Charmander. Charmander fell backwards when the Pikachu growled fiercely. Charmander tried to get up, but the Pikachu shot a small lightning bolt out of its cheeks, shocking Charmander.

Charmander then lept to his feet and aimed a scratch. It scratched across the Pikachu's cheeks. Clearly a bad move. Charmander let out a cry of pain, and then simply froze. It was trying to move, but Pikachu aimed another shock. This missed, and Charmander managed to move enough to scratch the Pikachu's tail.

The Pikachu cried out and shocked Charmander once more. This time Charmander couldn't move, and the Pikachu got a free hit in. Charmander regained his mobility and charged forward. The Pikachu attempted to dodge, but Charmander wasn't aiming a scratch this time. Fire spurted from Charmander's
mouth, burning the Pikachu.

Satoshi grinned and reached for a Pokeball. The Pikachu looked ready to faint. One more attack from Charmander and it would be weak enough to faint.

“Satoshi, tell Charmander to growl, not to attack.”

Satoshi turned to Junpei. “What?”

Junpei sighed. “That Pikachu's been burned. The burn damage should do the trick for you.”

Satoshi nodded, and relayed the instructions. The Pikachu got ready to aim another thunder shock, but missed again. Suddenly it gave out a cry, and Satoshi threw the Pokeball forward.

It engulfed the Pikachu. The sphere clicked, and flew back into Satoshi's hands.

“It's a shame Junpei already has that Pokemon,” Shigeru said sarcastically. “Otherwise, you'd have just made an important contribution to the Zukan.”

Satoshi scowled, and Sakura rushed to his defense. “I have yet to see you catch a Pokemon that an infant doesn't know about, Shigeru. Anyone could compile a Zukan of your collection alone. Squirtle, Spearow, Beedrill. They're nothing new.”

Shigeru was scowling now, but they paid no attention to him. Charmander was panting, unable to stand. Sakura knelt down beside the lizard, and took out a green item resembling a Salve. However, it was more like a rectangular prism than the more curved Salve.

She sprayed it at major joints along Charmander's body, and with each spray, Charmander was able to move more and more. Sakura sighed. “All he really needs now is a Salve, and if you give him a couple hours rest, he'll be fine.”

Satoshi nodded, and gave Charmander the Salve he'd received from the old man the previous day. The Charmander stood up, gave a happy purr, and was promptly returned to his Pokeball. The other Pokemon were recalled as well. Satoshi didn't want to waste all of his items on the first real day. He figured Shigeru and the others could fight the other Pokemon in the forest.

The next hour, a bug catcher appeared, grinning. “I saw your fight back there,” he said. “Been following you. How about a battle?”

Shigeru had a grin on his face. “Afraid to face me again?”

The trainer gave him a strange look, and then turned his attention back to Satoshi. “So,” he said. “How about a battle?”

Satoshi nodded. “Deal!” He threw out Mankey, and the bug catcher released a Caterpie. Mankey charged forward, attacking desperately with scratches. The Caterpie had some interesting attacks as well. It would draw back and release a webbing to surround Mankey's feet. When that happened, Mankey had to slow down, or it would trip over the silver strings.

Caterpie didn't seem to be capable otherwise, only being able to slightly tap Mankey with its tackle. In a few short minutes, Mankey had scratched the Pokemon to the point of passing out, and the bug catcher recalled his Pokemon and threw out another. This time it was a Weedle, but Satoshi doubted it would be any more effective than Caterpie.

It wasn't. Instead of using any attacks, Weedle focused on shooting webs. That wasn't very effective, and Mankey defeated the trainer's Pokemon with little difficulty. The trainer didn't seem very upset. Instead, he seemed almost used to it. He sighed, handed some money over to Satoshi, and left, dejectedly.

Sakura's eyebrows were raised. “That's a little...”

“Pathetic?” Junpei supplied.

Sakura nodded. “I mean, the only things bugs are good against are psychics and darks. And that's a little pathetic. Who would use a bug Pokemon?”

Shigeru shrugged. “The evolutions are sometimes capable Pokemon. Beedrill, for example, has a poison type, and it can... well, I guess it can't really do anything.”

Junpei offered another suggestion. “Butterfree is part flying type. It has an advantage against ground types.”

Satoshi pointed a little ways off. “There's a big tree over there,” he said. “We could climb it and see how close we are to Nibi City.”

Sakura agreed, and the four of them went to the tree. Satoshi began climbing first, slowly ascending. He climbed up as far as he could, but he still didn't see anything. Shigeru climbed up past him, going all the way to the top. “Hurry up, Satoshi!” he called. “Sakura's coming straight to the top, but she doesn't want to be higher than anyone else!”

Satoshi sighed, and tried to keep climbing. He didn't make it all the way to the top, but he got above most of the other trees. The forest was huge, and Satoshi was surprised they'd gotten so far. A few building were visible towards the north, Nibi City at last. The southern end of a mountain range was apparent, including the beautiful Moon-Viewing Mountain. There was even a cliff that divided the forest into two parts. The were on the lower end, and Satoshi wondered what marvels were on top of the cliff. Maybe rare Pokemon?

Probably something else. Satoshi didn't know. No one from Masara Town had talked about the forest. He turned around, and saw, just barely, something that might have been a house of Tokiwa City.

“Wow!” exclaimed Junpei, who had come up by this point. “How many hours left until we arrive?”

“We probably won't get to Nibi until nightfall.” Sakura remarked. “Oh well. At least we won't have to sleep-”

She was cut off when an ominous buzzing broke through the woods. Shigeru's eyes widened. The ominous buzz was streaking right towards them in a black and yellow cloud. They scampered down, nearly falling in their haste to get away.

A large irritable swarm of Beedrills was moving right at them. Sakura was first down, and she broke into a run towards a river they heard. Junpei and Satoshi ran right after her, followed by Shigeru. The swarm was soon descending through the trees, and Satoshi had to duck when one flew right at him.

“Hurry!” an unknown voice called, and the four ducked behind trees. Instantly, several dozen Caterpies and Weedles began using the web move, creating a boundary between trainers and Pokemon.

Shigeru sighed. “Thank goodness I recalled my Pokemon,” he said. “Otherwise I don't know what would have happened to them.”

Sakura nodded. “Thank you!” she called into the woods. A man stepped out from behind another tree and grinned.

“You're welcome.” The man motioned for the kids to sit down on some of the tree stumps nearby, and they complied. “The Beedrills go swarming only once a day, but when they do, beware. Luckily, it'll be over soon, and you'll be free to go about your ways. You're also lucky that I was nearby. Many a trainer has died in this forest.”

Sakura smiled. “Why are you in this forest?” she asked.

“Because,” he said. “I got lost about a week ago. I don't know where the path is, or which direction the two cities are. I know where the cliff is, but if I find it, the Beedrills come swarming, and I have to come back here.” The man seemed rather distressed. “But I like it here. I think I'm going to stay. Now, I have a favor to ask you.”

Shigeru nodded. “What is it?”

“I had only one Pokemon when I set off, a Caterpie. Unfortunately, he was nearly killed during a Beedrill swarm.” He held out a Pokeball. “These things can at least hold a Pokemon in stasis. They'll never age in here. So, my question to you is this. Will you take it to a Pokemon Center and have it healed? If you do that, you can keep it. I have far too many Pokemon to look after, without Pokeballs.” He held his hands out, and the dozens of Caterpies and Weedles descending from the trees.

He paused, and then added, “I'll also battle one of you.”

Sakura held out her hand for the Pokeball. “I don't need to take it to a Pokemon Center to heal it. I'm pretty good at this stuff.” She tossed the Pokemon out, and gasped. The Caterpie she had expected had not come out, instead, a green cocoon came out. She began applying Salves and Antidotes to it, clearing up the major wounds. She also took some leaves out of her bag and applied them on the larger wounds. She smiled, and recalled it, leaves and all.

“It'll be better in a few days.”

The man smiled at her happily.

Satoshi then stepped forward. “I challenge you to a battle. Just one on one.”

The man's eyes twinkled. “Of course,” he said. “I'll use a Weedle. You?” As he said it, the largest Weedle in the bunch crawled forward.

Satoshi used Mankey again. Mankey charged forward, and delivered a quick scratch onto Weedle, who aimed, and fired the spike on its head. It grazed Mankey, and returned to the Weedle. Mankey scratched again, the Weedle fired again. On and on it went, neither doing much damage to the other.

Then, Mankey aimed one more time. Weedle collapsed. The man gave a quick Salve to it, but the match had already been over. The man grinned. “Here,” he said. “The rest of my money. I won't be needing it anymore.”

When they finally left the forest, the sun was already below the horizon. The Pokemon Center was the closest building, and the entered, looking forward for a hot dinner.

In two days time, the gym would open up for its weekly match.

Author's Notes:

Um... yeah. Not much to say. This was the most boring chapter to write. Hopefully, next one will be easier to write.

January 21st, 2006, 11:31 PM
Chapter Eight: Nibi City

Nibi City was huge. There was a huge zoo (which, regretfully, didn't have Pokemon they could have gotten data on), a huge mall that was five stories high, a huge museum, and much more. They could have spent an entire week in the museum alone.

But the kids had to cram all of their sight seeing into one day. Tomorrow, the boys would be taking on Takeshi, and Sakura would be stacking up on supplies. Sakura wasn't particularly interested in Gym Battles. She said that she wanted to go to a Battle Tower in the Sevii Islands. Apparently it had something that the gyms didn't.

Perhaps she was interested in fighting trainers who used more balanced teams than Gym Leaders. Satoshi thought that the Gym Leaders would be a bigger challenge, as they were supposed to be the strongest trainers in Kanto. Strongest except for the Elite Four, but anyone interested in fighting the Gym Leaders would find themselves against the Four sooner or later.

When they went to the museum, they discovered it was primarily built around fossils that had been excavated at Moon-Viewing Mountain, although it did have much, much more, including an exhibit of a space shuttle that had been used fifty years ago. There were other trainers in the museum, looking at the massive exhibit of Aerodactyl, which had a five foot wingspan, but despite the kid's attempts, they were either uninterested in battling, or there was a rule against battling in the museum. Most of the exhibits were the originals, and irreplaceable.

Satoshi was particularly interested in the Kabutops exhibit, although he had very little time to look at it. It was the last exhibit they had arrived at, and the museum closed early to the public, only admitting scientists and special trainers to a much larger exhibition. It was rumored that some trainers had been given Pokemon fossils, but the museum denied everything.

After lunch at the Pokemon Center, they split up. Shigeru and Junpei were interested in sneaking into the museum to see what really went on, Sakura wanted to go to the mall, which was five times as large as the one in Masara Town, and Satoshi wanted to go to the gym registration early, as they only accepted forty trainers a day, and some trainers had no doubt been here since Friday, nearly a week ago.

He managed to register himself, Shigeru and Junpei as the last three contestants, under the “Level 0” category. He felt that it was a little insulting to be called a Level 0 contestant when he was really much better than that. Still, it probably just meant that he didn't have any badges.

Afterwards, he went to the zoo, where he spent a few happy hours looking at the animals. Sadly, dinner came far, far too quickly. Shigeru and Junpei were bragging happily about the idiocy of the scientists at the museum. Shigeru had gotten a Dome Fossil, which he explained had similar DNA to the Kabutops back in the museum. Junpei, on the other hand, had gotten a Helix Fossil, which was the remains of a Pokemon called “Omanyte.”

Sakura was very disapproving of the whole thing. “You could have been arrested!” she had hissed at them, once the nurse had left the dining room. “What would you have done then? You'd have lost your Pokemon licenses. It would have set a record for shortest time as a trainer. Who'd take care of all of your Pokemon?”

Shigeru just grinned. “Who cares?” he'd said. “This is just another couple of Pokemon for our collection. Grandfather will be so proud of us.”

Sakura's eyebrow raised. “He wants us to collect living Pokemon, genius. That thing you're holding in your hand is nothing more than a rock with the barest traces that it was ever alive.”

Shigeru rolled his eyes. “They told us about a Pokemon regeneration device down at Guren Island. Might not be awhile until we get there, but we'll have those Pokemon in the long run, I can just guarantee it.”

Sakura sighed. “Whatever,” she finally muttered. There wasn't much conversation after that.

The next day was the big one. It was the day that Satoshi hoped he'd get his first badge. They had to wake up at six, and they hurriedly scarfed down breakfast. Sakura, although she wasn't competing, was still coming along to watch the battles.

When they arrived, they separated, Sakura heading to the stands, the three boys headed to three different arenas.

The gym was largely circular, with forty small arenas organized in a circle, and the stands surrounding them. Opposite the entrance was a large door, where those who had finished the battles went through.

Satoshi looked at the first arena, labeled “One.” He'd put his name on the list last, so he'd be forty. The one on the right was “Two,” and the
left, “Forty.” Satoshi stepped across the chalk marking the arena, and stood on one end. At the other end of the small arena, which couldn't possibly be big enough to host two large Pokemon, stood his opponent.

The trainer stood there, wearing a green sweatshirt and jeans, looking down at the floor. After a few moments, he looked up, and grinned. “You're doomed. My rock hard Pokemon can take on anything.”

He tossed a Pokeball into the arena, which opened, revealing a brown Pokemon, only its head visible, the rest was underground. It was a Diglett!

Satoshi paused. He only had four Pokemon, and he wasn't sure that any of them could do much damage to a Pokemon that was rock type. Finally, unsure of Mankey's capabilities, he threw the little monkey's Pokeball into the arena.

The cool look on his opponent's face faded for just an instant, and the Diglett gave a little, “Uda!” of fright. It was Satoshi's turn to grin. Mankey called out, “Kii!” and jumped towards the Diglett, aiming a kick. The kick hit the Diglett in face. Mankey grinned, and Diglett charged forth, ready to aim its own attack. However, Mankey dodged, and managed to kick Diglett once more.

Diglett's head nearly fell underground before the trainer had a chance to recall it. The trainer threw out a new Pokemon, this one a Sandshrew. It jumped straight towards Mankey, claws extended. The Pokemon got several scratches in, but Mankey aimed another kick. It didn't seem to do as much damage as it had to the Diglett.

The Sandshrew now rolled up into a ball and charged forward, ready to hit. But Mankey had something else in mind. Once the mouse got close enough, Mankey gave it a quick kick. The Sandshrew nearly flew into the stands on the other side of the room. It tried to stand up, but when Sandshrew got onto one leg and a knee, it fell over.

Satoshi grinned. “Any other Pokemon?” he asked. The trainer sighed, shook his head, and pointed to the large door.

“That's where I go?” Satoshi asked, just to make sure. His opponent nodded. After he had recalled Mankey, Satoshi walked into the center of the arena. Looking around, the only empty arenas were Junpei's and Shigeru's. They must have won. Strange, a third person had approached the door and walked through it. Who else could go through the door? Everyone else still battled. The lights on the side of the door flashed red for a few moments, indicating a battle was taking place. Then the lights turned green. Apparently winners walked through a door on the other side of the other room.

Satoshi entered the room. The other trainer was sitting at the other end of the room. Oddly, there weren't any other doors. Where had the gym leader, Takeshi, gone?

“Where's Takeshi?”

“I am Takeshi. I merely left for a moment.”

Satoshi nodded. “In that case, I challenge you to a gym match!” he cried, and sent Mankey out. Takeshi shrugged. Then he did an unthinkable act.

Reaching into his pocket, he took out a purple and pink Pokeball, identical to the one that Ookido-hakase had used the day before. And he tossed it out, stealing Mankey.

Satoshi's jaw dropped. The kidnapper grinned. “Of course, you shouldn't trust anyone until you see ID. Do tell the idiots in the stadium that Takeshi has been kidnapped. I'm sure the effect will be most interesting. But they won't be organized in time. Takeshi will be gone tomorrow, and if they ever find him, they'll only see the body!” The false Takeshi reached once more into his pocket and pulled something else out. It was a large rope, with a metallic object on one end. The criminal held it up, laughing. The rope shot upwards, the metal tearing through the ceiling. Suddenly, it was carrying the criminal upwards, and he disappeared.

Satoshi stood there for a moment. He finally turned around, and dashed into the stadium. “Takeshi's been kidnapped!” he shouted.

Everyone froze. Even a Pidgeot that had been ready to descend upon an Onix stopped in midair. Then, several hundred heads turned right at him. Satoshi felt uncomfortable, and just stood there, the great door still open behind him. He sighed. He'd just have to see what would happen.

Eventually, a policeman got up and examined the back room. He confirmed what Satoshi had said.

Sakura came beside him, sadly holding the little Metapod she'd gotten in the forest in her hands. “Oh, Satoshi, it's horrible! Takeshi's been kidnapped! And you have to be the one to find out!”

“It's even worse. Mankey's been kidnapped with the same kind of Pokeball Ookido-hakase has.”

Sakura froze. “Satoshi, we have to tell the police that. Kidnapping of a gym leader isn't that big a deal, it happens all the time, but if they have those Pokeballs that can catch any Pokemon, then the police need to know. If they don't find out about those Pokeballs, then who knows what could happen.”

Satoshi nodded. “Hey, Sakura, could I borrow one of your Pokemon? I'm going to Moon-Viewing Mountain and I'm going to want as many Pokemon as I can get.”

Sakura nodded. She sorted through her Pokeballs. She finally gave him the Metapod. “I can't really spare anything else.”

Satoshi got ready to leave the building, but Sakura held him back. “And Satoshi,” she added. “I can't spare anything else because I'm going to come with you.”

He grinned. “Thanks.”

“Why are we going to Moon-Viewing Mountain anyways?” Sakura asked. “We could just go from Route 3 to Route 4 and enter Cerulean that way. Why go to the mountains?”

Satoshi sighed. “Because that would be the one spot anyone who wanted to keep away from the police would go.”

“Oh,” said Sakura. “You're going to find Takeshi aren't you?”

“I'm going to try. The impostor was right. It'll be too long before they find him, if they do. And if they don't find him, I'm going to have to come back
and fight another Gym Leader. And, I want Mankey back.”

Sakura nodded. “Okay,” she said. “Let's go.”

Half an hour later they were at the Pokemon Center on the slopes of Moon-Viewing Mountain, getting their Pokemon healed. The few trainers who were also here were grumbling of the overabundance of some of the Pokemon in the mountains. Apparently this was the only place in the world to get a Clefairy, and they hadn't found any.

They were all very jealous of Sakura, who'd gotten one five years ago, on her seventh birthday. There was only one man who wasn't interested in the Clefairy. He was the husker, standing next to a large machine which was composed of a base, several buttons, and a large glass case with dozens of Pokeballs in it.

“What is that?” asked Satoshi.

“It's a machine that will randomly select one of the Pokemon in here, and you'll get it. The Pokechoice machine,” he explained. “There are dozens of Pokemon in here, all in their youngest forms available in Kanto.” The husker grinned. “If you give me four hundred yen, I'll press this button here and it will randomly select one of the Pokemon. You can, for an extra hundred, eliminate some selections.”

Satoshi paused. “So, you're saying that if I didn't want another Charmander, I could remove it from the list.”

“Yes. You can remove twelve Pokemon from the list.”

Satoshi looked at the Zukan, and removed the Pokemon they'd already collected. The husker pressed the button and the machine began humming. After a few moments, a Pokeball popped out of the case, and the husker gave it to Satoshi.

Satoshi clicked the button to see an image of a Magikarp! He let out a moan, and the husker shrugged. “Sorry, kid,” he said. “Once per customer.”

Satoshi was ready to protest, but the husker cut him off. “You still had room to remove a Pokemon or two. It's not my fault you didn't think of Magikarp.”

Satoshi looked at the pathetic red fish Pokemon that was quite incapable of doing anything. He and Sakura left the Pokemon Center soon after, and Sakura asked him what was wrong.

“I spent 500 yen for the only Pokemon no one in his right mind would want.”

Sakura gave him all the sympathy he deserved. “That's what you get for gambling.”

Satoshi gave her an angry look. “Thanks,” he muttered. He stared up at the gray mountain and then at the dark cave leading into its depths.

Sakura nodded, and they stepped into the cave that might very well hold Takeshi inside.

Author's Notes:

This originally held most of the details of exploring Mt. Moon in this chapter. However, will be in next chapter. Not much else. Next chapter soon.

January 29th, 2006, 11:38 AM
Chapter Nine: Gray Badge

Kasumi- Misty
Machisu- Lt. Surge
Kyou- Koga
Katsura- Blaine
Sakaki- Giovanni
Kanna- Lorelei
Shiba- Bruno
Kikuko- Agatha
Wataru- Lance

Satoshi and Sakura stared at the beauty in front of them. The tunnel through the mountain was dotted with shining stones of half a dozen colors, all of them glowing, illuminating the way into the cave. For a few moments, the glowing stones dimmed, but soon returned to their normal glow.

The path split in three directions only a few feet in. The two paths to the left and right curved slightly, and led into out of sight regions. Unfortunately, they were not dotted with the glorious stones providing light, so Satoshi and Sakura picked the path leading straight ahead, which was.

Every few minutes, the stones would dim again, but they never went out completely. There didn't seem to be a single person in this mountain, it was so quiet. After a while, they came into a perfectly round room, with much more light than the passages behind them. In the chamber a huge, perfectly spherical, silver stone floating above the middle of the room illuminated it.

Sakura gasped. “It's beautiful!” she proclaimed. But the beauty of the room wasn't noticed by Satoshi, who was staring at three paths, each leading in different directions. He frowned, and turned to Sakura.

“Do you have anything to make a mark with?” he asked.

“Why?” she asked, not taking her eyes off of the floating stone.

“The thing is, this mountain must be a regular maze, and we don't have a map. We should leave a mark so that we'll know if we come back to a room. This way, we can't get lost.”

Sakura frowned, then opened up her backpack. “I have some lipstick I took from my older sister.” She noticed Satoshi's look and added, “I took it from her so she wouldn't look horrible. It's the worst color you can imagine.”

She took it out and drew along the wall, leaving a mark that resembled a bruise. “There,” she said. She looked at the corridors. “Those two passages both curve, and they're connected to each other. If we follow one of them, and end up back here, we'll know everything about the outer perimeter of this cave.”

Satoshi nodded. “Let's take the right one.”

For a long time, they followed the dark corridor (it, too, was lacking glowing stones), and soon arrived in a room nearly identical to the one before. The major difference was the color of this floating stone, yellow topaz.

They found four more rooms following the curved passage, each one identical except for the color of the stone floating in it. The colors, in order, were ruby, gold, emerald, and sapphire. After that, they found themselves in the silver room. They knew they'd gone full circle because of the lipstick mark.

“Well,” said Sakura. “Shall we take the only other passage?” She pointed vaguely to the passage to their left.


This passage was a little shorter, and led into a room with another silver, floating stone but it had only two passages. When they took the one on the right, they found themselves in a room with a stone, yellow topaz again. This was the first in of another ring of rooms which was smaller, but all six colors were present.

However, the last room in this ring had a hole in the middle, and a ladder descending into the depths. Sakura turned to Satoshi. “Think this is where we should go?” she asked.

Satoshi frowned. “Yes,” he said finally.

They climbed down the ladder and into a much larger, much darker cavern. It lacked any glowing stones but one, pulsating in the center of the room. Sakura moaned, but followed Satoshi as he began searching for a way out.

They soon realized that this huge cavern alone could hide one from the police, even if the maze above failed to. It was so dark, and there were dozens of huge boulders to hide behind. Occasionally a Pokemon swarm would fly or crawl by, but they were paying attention to the other sounds in the room. It was as if something was groaning. After searching for some time, they found the cause of the sound.

A teenage boy was laying on the floor, tied up and gagged. He would occasionally attempt to speak or scream, or something, and whenever he did, the muffled sound echoed throughout the cavern. Satoshi and Sakura decided to be much more silent, if that sound could echo so easily.

They were soon at his side though, using a couple of knifes to free him. He turned to them, held a finger to his mouth, and was soon crawling away from them. The two followed on hands and knees. They came to the middle of the cavern, where two men were having a discussion. Somehow, their voices weren't echoed by the cavern. Satoshi realized that the boy was at just the right place for echoes.

“So, you've kidnapped Takeshi successfully, and your colleague says that Kasumi is useless to us. That leaves who?”

“Well, boss, there's Mach-”

“I do not care about Machisu! He is on my side!”


“Erika is dead weight to me. She still hates her sister, who is helping me. She also hates me.”

“Natsume, Ky-”

“If you haven't figured out that they're your employers, you're an idiot!”


“An old man who, in the greatest moment of his career, resorted to kidnapping his nephews and nieces. Unfortunately, his genes show that his brain
will deteriorate in a few weeks.”


“Natusme and Kyou are his employees!”

The man listing the gym leaders took a deep breath and continued. “There's also the Elite Four, Kanna, Shiba, Kikuko, and Wataru.”

“Natsume is going to recruit them, they aren't an issue.”

“Then there is no one to worry about?”

“I suppose not. Unless the pathetic leaders of Jouto are of interest to us, but they were chosen by different standards than ours. They might be inferior. In fact, they probably are. The choices are narrow, and as three of the four to continue the League are not on our side, I do not think we'll live past this generation.”

The teenager, presumably Takeshi, crawled over to a sack nearby, and opened it up, taking out three Pokeballs. One was the 'M' ball, which he looked at with confusion. Satoshi got his attention and mimed taking the 'M' ball. Takeshi tossed the 'M' Ball to Satoshi, who caught it and did a quick transfer, putting Mankey back in his original Pokeball. Takeshi stood up, and tossed the other two Pokeballs towards the men. One hit the man called “Boss” on the head, and the other flew by him.

An Onix emerged from one Pokeball, and a large boulder from the other. The man who had not been hit ducked, and reached for a Pokeball at his belt. The other man stood up and laughed. “I'll take care of them.”

He threw three Pokeballs out, revealing an orange mouse that resembled Pikachu, a humanoid Pokemon striped yellow and black, and a metallic Pokemon comprised of three spheres and six magnets.

Takeshi laughed for a moment, but stopped when the orange Pikachu punched the boulder-Pokemon, and the magnet Pokemon began emitting a high pitched noise. Everyone held their hands over their ears, and in a moment, the two rock Pokemon were fighting each other, with the orange Pikachu and the yellow humanoid Pokemon adding some punches here and there.

Satoshi frowned, and tossed all of his Pokemon out. Including Magikarp and Metapod, both of whom were normally useless. Sakura did the same, and
Clefairy, struggling against the overpowering noises, managed to sing a few notes, downing most of the Pokemon. The magnets kept emitting the high-pitched noises though, and Sakura frowned.

“How can it not fall asleep?” Sakura shouted.

“Maybe it can't hear the noises!” Satoshi responded, with similar volume.

Satoshi gave Metapod back to Sakura. “At the count of three, throw it at that thing! One!”

Sakura nodded. “Metapod, when you get close to that thing-”


“-use Harden!”

“Three!” The two children threw their Pokemon at the magnet, and Metapod turned golden for an instant, right before hitting the magnets. The magnets were knocked down, and they stopped emitting the noise.

Mankey led the charge of the other Pokemon, not even waiting for instructions. It was a rash move, for the orange Pikachu woke up, and turned to Mankey, getting ready to aim a shock.

But Clefairy jumped at the orange mouse and began pounding it with all his might. Sakura grinned, and turned her attention to her other Pokemon. She didn't say anything, but the Rattata was waggling its tail cutely at the magnets, Bulbasaur had picked up Metapod with a vine and was swinging it wildly around, mainly missing everything in its energy, but occasionally hitting something, just rarely the magnets. He'd done the same with Magikarp, resulting in some chaos. But no one got too badly hurt.

Mankey, Pikachu and Charmander were attacking the magnet Pokemon as well. However, Pikachu wasn't very effective. Even amongst all the Pokemon, only Mankey and Charmander were doing much damage. Mankey kept using his kicks, while Charmander was using his tail flame.

But then all five of the much more powerful Pokemon were up. The boulder and the Onix were on their side, but not doing enough. They were also hurting everyone else with their most powerful attacks, as the boulders descending from the ceiling were just as likely to hit friend as foe.

Satoshi frowned. Their Pokemon were useless. The rock Pokemon weren't capable of doing the right kind of damage. But there weren't any other Pokemon effective against the electric types, although Bulbasaur had some sort of resistance to the electric shocks flying through the air.

Unfortunately, Bulbasaur and most of the other Pokemon were knocked out. Only Metapod hadn't fainted, and its torn and battered shell cracked open. In a flash of light, all that was left was the sad sight of a tiny Butterfree, one wing torn open. Sakura recalled it quickly.

Suddenly, three Digletts popped out of the ground. Except they weren't Digletts. It wasn't even a they! It was a Dugtrio! Sakura smiled, but the Pokemon dipped back under the ground.

The orange Pikachu was unexpectedly sent flying, and there was the Dugtrio. “Guto!” It shouted happily.

“Good job, Diggy!” shouted a new voice. Satoshi swung around and saw a man behind him, holding a pickax in one hand and a Pokeball in the other. “Hey, Takeshi-senpai!” he shouted. “You're lucky it was my shift for excavating fossils!”

Takeshi turned around. “Sato-san!” he said. “Glad to see your Digda evolved!”

Satoshi frowned. “Digda?” he muttered. “What's that?”

Sakura stopped paying attention to her Pokemon for a second and said, “There are two names for a Pokemon, the American version, which has become more popular of late, and the original version, which names a Pokemon based on how it can speak.”

The Dugtrio ripped through the other electric Pokemon, and the two men frowned.

“Now can I do something Boss?” the man who had listed the names asked.

'Boss' just laughed and recalled his Pokemon.

“Well,” he said with a grin. “I see there are a few I was not informed of. I presume the Mankey was yours, kid?”

“My name is-”

“Yes!” Sakura said firmly. “The Mankey was his.”

'Boss' turned to the other man. “You can see why you should not steal Pokemon, now, can't you. Well, at least, steal Pokemon without killing the owner.”

'Boss' and his associate held up two ropes, identical to the one the kidnapper had used back at the gym, and with a flash, they were gone.

Takeshi turned to Satoshi and Sakura. “Out of curiosity, are you two of the trainers who were competing for a badge today?”

“He is, I'm not,” Sakura said.

Takeshi nodded. “The contest will be rescheduled for tomorrow. Judges always keep track of how many trainers an individual has fought in case of an accident, so you won't have to fight anyone again. Let's go.”

Finally back at the Nibi City Pokemon Center, Satoshi and Sakura were feeding their Pokemon. Mankey had demanded to be brushed, and Pidgey was preening herself. Charmander was watching over the limp Butterfree, who was weak and had a torn wing. Sakura was always giving it treats, usually berries she'd found on Route 3, but it wasn't working.

Even the Pokemon Center couldn't take care of this sad sight. The nurse regretfully pointed out that this Pokemon had clearly been mistreated since it had been a Caterpie, and that after two evolutions, the damage had clearly set in.

It didn't even seem to attack the way most Butterfree could. It only tackled other Pokemon weakly, or shoot a bit of string out of its mouth. Occasionally it would turn gold for a moment, trying to harden itself.

Neither Sakura nor Satoshi liked the sight of this Pokemon. It's wings, still wet from some fluid, were hanging limply, and one eye seemed smaller than the other. It looked as if it would die overnight. The Pokemon Center nurse didn't offer any reassurances.

Finally, Satoshi decided to sleep for the day ahead. What else was there to do?

Dreams... Satoshi watched in horror. First the battle under Moon-Viewing Mountain. But when it ended, and they had all left, a giant boulder stood up. It was identical to Takeshi's boulder Pokemon.

This was all well and good, but when it turned into a man who seemed similar to Takeshi, Satoshi found himself screaming.

A dark tower. A battle between an Alakazam and a Gengar. A dark-haired man, with a hard face, a red-haired woman, wearing glasses. Battling. But the Pokemon seemed to be controlling them.

Then, the Gengar fell backwards, and turned into an old woman, landing painfully by the feet of the woman, who was crying, and trying to comfort her.

The Alakazam transformed too. But into someone Satoshi had seen before. The dark-haired girl who had been attacked by the Pidgeot.

“You'll do as I say?” she asked.

Both women, sobbing, nodded.

A strange cavern. The dark-haired girl was present, as was the man who looked like Takeshi. “You understand why I did it of course, it had to be done.”

He nodded. “Of course it had to be done. And of Machamp?”

“He will not help us. But he is not necessary. I have already presented my case to the League overseers, and they canceled his gym.”

“They would.”

The two turned around, transformed back into Pokemon, and vanished...

A voice, ringing! How dare you? Get out of my head!

Satoshi sat up. What had happened? He sighed. Already the four dreams were blurring. He groaned, and got ready for the day.

At the gym, Takeshi was waiting. In the second room, he was sitting on the pedestal, between two statues of Onixes. “Welcome,” he said. “Are you ready?”

“I am! Go, Mankey!”

“Go, Ishitsubute!” This Pokemon was comprised of a rocky head and two arms. A Geodude.

Mankey used his kicks constantly, beating the Pokemon around the gym. He won easily, and Satoshi grinned. This was easy!

Takeshi recalled Geodude and shouted, “Iwaku!” Onix.

The snake Pokemon wrapped itself around Mankey and began squeezing. Mankey couldn't do anything, and soon fell.

“Choose your second!” Takeshi shouted. “It is your only other choice!”

Satoshi frowned. Magikarp was useless, Pikachu couldn't do anything against rock Pokemon, Pidgey and Charmander would be largely ineffective, and Butterfree didn't count, as Sakura had kept it with her..

In desperation, Satoshi chose Charmander. Maybe he'd have a miracle.

It was a lucky choice, for Charmander had learned something in the battle of Moon-Viewing Mountain. Charging forward with a growl, Charmander lept onto the Onix, and began running up it. At the head, at the base of the spike that protruded from it, Charmander did something very similar to a scratch.

But it couldn't have been a scratch, for the Onix fell instantly. It had to have been something else!

Takeshi's eyes widened. “I am impressed! So, your Hitokage knows Metal Claw. You've lucked out. And so, here are your rewards.” Aside from about
a thousand yen, Satoshi was also given an strange disk, and an octagonal stone. “The disk is a Technical Machine. It can teach your Pokemon the technique Rock Tomb. However, you can only use it once, and it doesn't affect every Pokemon. And that,” he said, pointing to the stone, “is the Gray Badge.”

Takeshi bowed, and smiled. “I wish you luck.

That was the end of my beginning as a Pokemon Trainer. You see, there was much more to come. I just didn't know it yet.

Author's Notes:

Well, I'm always trying to have a new chapter once a week, so I'm glad I've got this up. Volume 2/5 starting soon. Oh, and yes, the gym battle was TOO easy. There is a reason. It will be explained.

See ya!

February 22nd, 2006, 6:29 PM
Chapter Ten: Memories

I've always trusted my Pokemon, especially my main four, who I've named Killer, Sleeper, Dragon, and Bloom. The other two of my team I didn't have the honor to name. Spark and Fifi. I didn't always have explicit faith in my Pokemon, but I've grown. The second part of my journey was when that happened.

She stood at the front door of the mansion. She had not been there for ages, twenty-seven long, dark years. Painful years. She didn't like coming back. It was more dangerous than anything that she had done.

She reached out for the dulled brass doorknob, but as she touched it, the door fell in. She looked up at the graying building. Once the most beautiful shade of blue, the paint had ago long peeled away. It had not been taken care of properly, even when she herself had been there.

She stepped over the mahogany door, pausing only to make sure no termites were crawling out of the door. The small room in front of her had a few lamps, but most light bulbs had been stolen ages ago, and the rest shattered or broken. Spider webs decorated the once pearl-like walls, and a golden-framed painting of her mother had been reduced to a few scraps of gaudy eyes and lips.

She walked down the corridor, always watching warily. She did not trust the Pokemon that lived here. But she could deal with them without a Pokemon of her own.

She lost her way quickly, and soon stumbled into a room she had been in only once, long ago. It, too, had lost its former glory. She didn't mind. The malevolence had left with the white, dustless walls. In the center of the room was a sick machine. Five syringes protruded from it. She remembered one. It had taken a piece of her DNA. It had given her new DNA to replace it.

And that DNA cursed her forever. Her uncle would pay the price for
her scars one day. He would know the hideous pain of not being fully human. And with it would come a pain he could never imagine. The pain of not being fully a Pokemon.

He would pay while she, her brothers, her mother, and the two entities watched. He deserved it. It was his fault. Now and forever.

She stepped beyond the machine and into the next room. The room's only features were several framed pictures, showing pictures. Apparently her uncle kept them updated, for recent pictures were in place. The only picture missing was the one of his own son. The son would pay too. The son thought he could trust her. Wrong.

When he was standing, basking in his own glory, she would place the knife in his back. He had not helped his father, but he had made her confused life a living hell. He deserved death for his crimes.

There were only two, no, three others who had to die. She turned to the pictures. First, her brother-in-law. Her uncle might have left her mental scars, her cousin emotional scars, but her own brother-in-law had been the one to scar her physically.

Then her slightly elder daughter, and her niece. She sighed. She didn't want to kill either of them, but she had been told to do so before the month was up. She wanted those two to go on, along with her other daughter and her nephew. To escape a dynasty of terror started by her uncle, a South American scientist, and a professor. The latter two were not truly at fault for her own scars, and she would let them live.

Besides, she didn't even have their names, or where to find them.

A noise ran through the mansion, and she swung around. A Pokemon was coming! She shivered slightly. She could feel the spoons forming in her hands. She shook her head. Not today. She dashed away, following a different path. She could outrun anything!

She left the once grand mansion, and wept. Why had she agreed to come back? She turned northeast, where the end of her torture had been set in motion. Two towers would end it all. The death of her family approached rapidly. She had to act quickly.

Then came a piercing shock, rolling through her head, dashing against memories indirectly connected to the mansion. The darker of the two towers, and the path the champions walked. She struggled, and then focused on eight words, repeating them over and over again.

How dare you? Get out of my head!

Satoshi sighed. There wasn't a lot he could do now, he'd seen all of town he'd wanted. Takeshi had insisted that he wasn't going to leave until Saturday morning, with that Sato man. And until then, he would have to stay within city limits.

Sakura was sitting by the largest window in the Pokemon Center, humming to herself absent-mindedly. She was clutching the Butterfree in her hands, occasionally looking at it sadly. It was barely alive. The little thing wasn't even the right size, according to the Zukan.

Sakura was very upset about the little thing. It was her Pokemon, but it wasn't healthy or happy, something she strived for above all else.

The Pokemon Center was very quiet, most people out at the moment. The silence was disturbed when the door burst open, and three trainers dashed in, carrying another. Satoshi stared. He recognized them as trainers from the Tokiwa City Center.

Specifically, they were Tanaka, the girl with the Wigglytuff, and the trainer who'd said he'd be lucky to wake at sunrise and sleep at sunset. They were holding a fourth person, and Satoshi noticed the occasional drop of blood falling from him. He stared.

“Nurse!” cried the girl. “He's nearly fatally wounded!”

The nurse nodded, and placed him onto a stretcher. She turned to a Chansey nearby. “Take him down the hall to the emergency trainer facility.” She frowned, and then added, “Highest setting. If the human hospital can't take care of him, that's the only chance he's got.”

“Lucky!” Chansey shouted, dashing off with the stretcher.

Tanaka and the other two trainers sat down, wiping tears from their eyes. The other male trainer squeezed the girl's hand.

“What happened?” Satoshi asked.

Tanaka turned around and sighed. “We were exploring the Moon-Viewing Mountain for elemental stones, the silver ones, but we were attacked by some thugs. Shun got bitten by a Raticate several times.” Tanaka shook his head sadly. “Not poisonous,” he admitted. “But it still isn't good. Their fangs could tear an Arbok in half.”

Satoshi and Sakura exchanged horrified glances. “Oh dear,” Sakura
muttered. Nobody talked after that.

The next morning, Sato arrived, grinning. He was dressed in proper mining attire, from a jacket carrying everything he'd need, to a helmet covering his bald head.

“I hope you're ready!” he said happily. “We've got to get going quickly!”

The two kids sighed. The sight of that poor trainer was still stuck in their heads.

“What's wrong?” he asked, his broad smile fading.

Sakura explained as well as she could, but Satoshi had to fill in some details.

Sato was now frowning. “That can't be good,” he said. “We're going to pass through Moon-Viewing Mountain. I hope those thugs have cleared out by now.” His grin returned. “But we have capable Pokemon. We'll be fine!”

Without a further though, he led them out of the Pokemon Center
and towards the east.

She stood on the northern beach, watching intently, magnifying her vision with what power she had. She watched as hundreds of Pokemon began flying towards the east. It was not good. They had acted much quicker than they should have. Sakaki must have sped things up while she was gone.

He would regret that. She had to protect the world while she still could. She had tried to convince Sakaki that attacking the world would do no good. He had ignored her. He was only interested in power.

She swung northeast again, and saw something quite terrifying. She found herself unable to stop screaming. Three lasers stretching up into the sky. Touching something too small to be seen. But it was getting bigger. Much bigger.

Satoshi looked around him. The mountain comforted no more this time than it had been last time. In fact, now it was much, much worse. They had turned left at the entrance to the cave, and had entered the great, enveloping darkness.

They must have been walking for an hour. But it was the only way through the mountain, as the outer ring was the only path that led to the other end.

They were well aware of other movements. Satoshi had already caught a Zubat and a Geodude, and Sakura had caught a Paras. They also
heard other noises. Voices, whispering indistinguishable words. It only sped them up across their darkened path.

Of course, it was not until the very end that they ran into trouble, but it was trouble of the very worst sort.

Sakura was the first to see the three men dressed in black. They had a Raticate with them, and Satoshi could just bet that it was the same one who had attacked the trainers. He quickly called out all of his Pokemon but Magikarp. The five clustered round him, ready to attack.

Sakura's Ivysaur, recently evolved, was leading her Pokemon. Paras and Rattata were both quite ready for action, and Clefairy had learned a strange new attack with great results. They felt quite confident that they would win this battle

They did.

The Raticate was quickly crushed by the multitude of Pokemon, and it became clear that its strength was in mauling humans, not Pokemon. But it wasn't the end. The apparent leader simply grinned, and held up a radio.

“That's right, boss. We've found her.”

A hole appeared in the ground beneath Sakura, and she screamed in horror as she tumbled into its depths. Satoshi reached down to grab her, but the hole was already gone. And Sakura and her Pokemon were gone with it.

It was not the only incident. Another happened in Masara Town. It too, was connected to Satoshi. It too, involved a girl who knew him. It too, consisted of a hole swallowing someone up. Only this someone was Izumi.

Author's Notes:

Finally finished! Nothing much to say, except the bits with the mysterious person are the few "dark" parts of the story.

February 25th, 2006, 3:46 PM
Chapter Eleven: Water Queen

Sekichiku- Fuschia

Shigeru was having a better time, having already reached Hanada City by going around the mountain. He was currently relaxing in the Pokemon Center, preparing a strategy for his next battle. He didn't have a grass type or electric type, which promised to make the water battles ahead much more difficult.

Finally, he had a plan. Wartortle, with its dark type move, would attack any psychic Pokemon, while having a resistance to the water moves Kasumi was sure to use. Any other Pokemon would be dealt with by Beedrill and Fearow, as the mood struck him.

Deciding to share his plans with his Pokemon, he tossed his three Pokeballs onto the floor, releasing the happy Pokemon. Except one wasn't his.

An Ivysaur was staring up at him, looking torn between shock and happiness. Fearow and Beedrill looked at the intruder angrily, and both edged in slightly. Shigeru waved them away, and took out his Zukan, pointing it towards the Ivysaur.

“Who was the original trainer?” he asked.

The red device paused for a few minutes, and then announced the name. “Yagami Sakura, female, age eleven, Zuka-”

It was interrupted as it banged against the wooden floor. Shigeru stared in shock. How had he ended up with Sakura's starter?

Then a new idea entered his head. Ivysaur was grass type, and could be useful against the water Pokemon of the gym. If Sakura had given it to him, and it was easy to suppose so, then clearly she wouldn't mind him using it in a gym battle. He'd keep it out of serious danger, but he had no compunction against using the Pokemon.

“Thank you, Sakura,” he said aloud. She was a lifesaver.

Satoshi and Sato stared at what used to be a hole.

“Sakura!” Satoshi shouted. He swung round, and glared at the three thugs. “Where is she? What did you do to her?”

The thugs exchanged glances. “Should we fight them?” One asked.

“Nah,” answered another. “We'd crush them. Come on Abra, teleport!”

He tossed a Pokeball out into the open, just beyond the mouth of the cave, and an orange Pokemon popped out. The three men gathered around the Pokemon, and in a white flash, they were gone.

Satoshi stared in horror. What was he going to do now? He had to help her somehow, but there wasn't any way that he could see. Sato's mouth was open in horror. “That's- that's- that's-” he stuttered.

Satoshi realized he was crying. He wiped the tears away, and looked at the spot where Sakura had been standing. “Come on,” he whispered. “We have to report this to the Hanada police.”

Sato nodded, and the two dashed across the fields.

Shigeru was having lunch when the door to the Pokemon Center opened up and Satoshi dashed in, followed by Sato. Satoshi noticed Shigeru and sat down with him, while Sato went off in search of a telephone.

Shigeru looked at Satoshi who was panting for breath. “What's up?” he asked. “Where's Sakura?”

He must have said the wrong thing, for Satoshi paled immediately. After a few more seconds of panting, Satoshi answered.

“Sakura's been kidnapped!”

Shigeru's eyes widened. “What? When?”

“An hour ago. Been running ever since.”

“No wonder you're exhausted,” Shigeru said. “But, what happened?”

“We were exploring the Moon-Viewing Mountain, looking for Pokemon. After we'd gone all the way to the end, we were attacked by three thugs. They attacked us with a Raticate, and we used all of our Pokemon, but it was Sakura's Ivysaur tha-”

“Ivysaur? That's impossible!”

“She trains her Pokemon really well.”

“No, that's not what I mean. I mean, about fifty-five minutes ago, I called out my Wartortle, and found an Ivysaur in its place. I used my Zukan to identify the original trainer, and it said that it was Sakura.”

“How is that possible?” Satoshi asked. “That happened five minutes after Sakura was kidnapped. They opened up a hole under her and her Pokemon, and she and her Pokemon vanished. Then the hole sealed back up again.”

“It's possible they used a Portable Pokemon Transporter System to send Ivysaur to me, but I guess they took Wartortle in its place. Figures, they took my strongest Pokemon, and I was hoping to use her in the gym battle tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow? I've got to find Sakura and fight in the gym match at the same time!”

“Wait, I have an idea.” Shigeru took his Zukan out of his pocket and flipped it open. He pressed a couple of buttons, and grinned. “Zukan locations,” he read off the screen. “Besides our own, there's... Oh! There they are! How did they get to the islands?”

“What?” Satoshi asked. He stood up, walked around the table, and stared. Their two Zukans were properly labeled in Hanada, but Junpei and Sakura's Zukans were to the south, on an island group to the east of Guren. He stared a few more moments, then sat back down.

“Call it a guess,” Shigeru said. “But I think Junpei has been kidnapped too. There is no way he could get that far south in two days. Plus, there aren't any boats between Guren and Sekichiku, and he doesn't have any water Pokemon. How else could he have gotten there?”

“He might have been kidnapped too,” Satoshi suggested.

Shigeru nodded. “Maybe, just maybe, considering that was what I just said. And maybe he was kidnapped in the same place as Sakura. I got my badge first, so I set off first, but I didn't want to explore the mountain, so I went around. But if he was more interested in completing the Zukan, he would have gone to the mountain.”

“So what do we do?” Satoshi asked.

Shigeru looked around the room, which was rather large, and consisted of many round wooden tables where trainers were sitting and laughing, having a pretty good time. Another table was at the far end of the room, holding what was left of the lunch the Center had prepared.

In a corner, an old man was sitting at a computer, humming to himself. After a minute, he stood up and walked away.

“A computer!” Shigeru exclaimed. “Excuse me, sir!” He jumped up and dashed over to the man. “Did you have to pay to use that computer, sir?”

The old man shook his head. “It's completely free. The receptionist told me.”

“Do you know if there's another one, sir?”

The man sighed. “This is the only one that they have here.”

“Thank you!” Shigeru turned to Satoshi, who had followed, and sighed. “Do you want to use it first, or should I?”

“What do you mean?”

“There's no point in both of us searching together. Just look up criminal organizations, and find something that fits. I'll go talk to the gym leader. Don't expect me back for awhile. They might want me to challenge her before I can actually talk to her.”

Satoshi nodded and sat down at the computer. He started to surf the web, looking up the data on criminal organizations. Hopefully he would find a group that fit all of the criteria that he was looking for.

It felt like hours and hours had passed, and Satoshi lamented the fact that he hadn't gotten enough done. The only website that had any data on criminal organizations was a Pokemon League website, which briefly touched on the Pokemon Rights Radicals. Not what he was looking for. The criminals he was looking for had used Pokemon, so they had to be someone else. But who?

Shigeru walked in then, sighing. “Any luck, Satoshi?” he asked kindly.

“Not a bit. I can't find anything that matches. How'd it go with the gym leader?”

“Not so well. I got to fight her, but another challenger showed up and I had to leave.”

“Figures. Here, you take the computer for awhile.”

“What are you going to do?” Shigeru asked.

Satoshi shrugged.

“Why don't you go to the gym leader? You might have more luck there than me. Besides, you're going to want the Blue Badge.”

“What about helping Sakura? Isn't that our priority?”

“Going to the gym leader will be useful. Not only will you improve as a trainer for when we have to save her, but the gym leader could have the information we need. Try it. I'll look on the web some more. After that, we should head for Masaki's house. He could be useful too. He's always giving away such useful things.” Shigeru grinned. “See you!”

Satoshi nodded, and dashed out of the Pokemon Center.

The streets of Hanada were bustling, people going this way and that. One trainer was having a difficult time making her Pokemon cooperate with her. The Slowbro would look up at her, yawn in her face, and then fall asleep, only to be woken and yelled at. Then the cycle would repeat.

Finally the gym came into view. Satoshi happily walked in, and looked around. Besides the platform he was standing on and the platforms other trainers were battling on, the gym was a giant swimming pool. Satoshi approached cautiously.

“Excuse me, but you haven't registered.” Satoshi swung to the right and saw a woman sitting at a desk. “Do you have a swimsuit?”

Satoshi shook his head slowly.

“No? Well, if that's the case, you can't compete, although there is a swimsuit shop down the road a way. Maybe you can get one there.”

Satoshi rolled his eyes. It sure was nice of Shigeru to warn him.

A few minutes later, Satoshi reentered, wearing his new swimsuit. “Now what?”

“Sign here,” said the woman. Satoshi groaned, as he signed. Would she want a blood test next? “There you go,” she said. “Have a nice time.”

Satoshi jumped into the water, and the temperature was polar enough to make him regret it. He started swimming for a platform that only had one trainer on it, but it sank back under the water, the trainer going with it. Satoshi kept swimming towards it anyway, and when he was directly above it, it started rising up out of the water.

The trainer was a bit shocked about the next challenger arriving so soon, but didn't comment on that. “This will be a two on two match,” the trainer announced. “If any electrical shocks touch the water itself, you automatically faint that Pokemon, even though you won't harm any swimmers. Go, Shellder!”

A shell Pokemon popped out of the Pokeball and landed on the platform, instead of going into the water. Probably fairer that way, or something. Gyms didn't seem to make much sense.

Satoshi tossed out Pikachu, hoping that its aim was exceptional. Pikachu looked at the Shellder with vague interest, waddled up to it, and stuck its head into Shellder's shell. Satoshi groaned inwardly, but the shell didn't snap shut.

Pikachu stuck his head out, and Satoshi found that it was looking disgusted. It reached back into the shell, grabbed onto something, and pulled the tongue of the Shellder out. The Pikachu started charging up, as the little Shellder flapped this way and that, trying to get free of Pikachu's grip. It didn't succeed. Pikachu gave the tongue some 10,000 volts, effectively ending the match.

Before the swimmer had a chance to send out a new Pokemon, the Zukan that had been resting in Satoshi's right hand since he'd changed into the swimsuit beeped. Satoshi flipped it open, and found two messages.

One was from Shigeru, explaining that he might have a lead, but
that it could wait until Satoshi had challenged Kasumi. The other was from Ookido-hakase, announcing that the Pokemon Zukan v1.1 had been completed, and that the Zukan could now show the health and relative strengths of Pokemon in battles. A useful feature.

The trainer then called out his next Pokemon, a Horsea. The blue sea horse landed happily in the water, and turned towards the Pikachu. It released a spew of bubbles, but Satoshi quickly recalled it. According to the Zukan, Pikachu was weaker than the Horsea. Satoshi decided to try Mankey.

The fighting Pokemon lept out of its Pokeball, and jumped straight towards Horsea, landing precariously on the edge of the platform.

“Use your Karate Chop, Mankey!” shouted Satoshi.

It was a wise move, as the Zukan announced a critical hit. Horsea still had some strength left in it, and it released another set of bubbles. This time, the bubbles struck, and Mankey fell into the water, howling. He leaped back out, and tried another Karate Chop. Satoshi couldn't believe his luck!

The Zukan registered another critical hit, this one fainting the Horsea. Satoshi smiled, and recalled Mankey. “That was fun,” he said. “See you!”

He jumped back into the water, swimming around. Then he noticed something odd. Someone was swimming along the edges of the pool, his hand against the wall. Suddenly, his hand slipped through the wall. The trainer grinned, and swam through the wall!

Satoshi dashed after him, determined to figure out what was going on. He, too, went right through the wall, and found himself in a new room.

There were four trainers standing on a platform, and when Satoshi joined them, the trainer who had just entered the room turned around and smiled. “They said that from here on out I'd have to fight alongside a trainer who'd come to challenge. So, partners?”


The two trainers stepped forward, and stared at two of the three girls who were present. They smiled. “No need to bother the gym leader,” one said. “We'll crush you. Go, Wartortle!”

“Go, Goldeen!” shouted the other.

The other trainer grinned, and sent out a strange Pokemon that consisted mainly of vines and a yellow bulb, with two black eyes on it.

Satoshi decided to use Pikachu again. That was the only Pokemon he had with any actual advantage.

The Wartortle jumped forward and bit the other trainer's Pokemon, but its vines managed to cling onto and constrict the turtle. Meanwhile, the Goldeen attempted to bounce towards Pikachu and jab at it with his horn, but was shocked half to death instead. The Goldeen immediately fainted, and its trainer looked upset. She didn't choose to send out another Pokemon.

Pikachu sat around for a minute, watching disinterestedly as the Wartortle was slowly crushed. Eventually the vine Pokemon, which the Zukan identified as Bellsprout, let go, and Wartortle fell to the ground, fainted.

Then Satoshi and his new partner exchanged bemused glances. This was far too easy! And these were supposed to be experienced trainers!

They stepped up to the third and final girl, who smiled kindly at them. “Well,” she said. “You must be quite powerful trainers. That's good. I love a challenge.” She ran a hand through her red hair and smiled. “I am Kasumi, gym leader of Hanada. We are each allowed to use two Pokemon.” She tossed out two Pokeballs, one containing a Staryu, the other a Starmie.

Bellsprout and Pikachu watched with interest, then Pikachu sent an electric shock towards Staryu, while a burst of green light was shot forth from Bellsprout. The green light bounced off of the Starmie and shot back towards Bellsprout.

Both Staryu and Starmie focused for a minute, and then huge bursts of water burst forth from the jewels at the center of both stars.
Bellsprout and Pikachu were hit badly, and started spinning around dizzily. Pikachu tried to charge up for another electric shock, but ended up zapping Bellsprout instead. Bellsprout tried to hit Starmie with a vine, but ended up wrapping its vines around Pikachu.

The two Pokemon finally managed to reorient themselves, and managed to do significant amounts of damage to the two starfish Pokemon, but it wasn't enough. Another set of water bursts from the jewels, and Pikachu fainted.

Satoshi reached for a new Pokeball, Mankey, but Charmander jumped out instead. He hastily reached to call it back in, but Kasumi shook her head. “That's your second Pokemon, I'm afraid. You're just going to have to use it. If it faints, you lose the match.”

Kasumi turned back to her Pokemon, and to her horror, Staryu had fainted, and a triumphant looking Weepinbell was next to it. The trainer grinned. “That was the best moment for evolution, Belle,” he said.

Meanwhile, Charmander lept forward and scratched at the central jewel of Starmie. The starfish Pokemon fainted quickly, and Satoshi grinned.

Charmander burst into light, and in an instant, became a Charmeleon. Kasumi's eyes widened. “Most impressive,” she said. “Well, since you have won, here are two Blue Badges, and a Technical Machine, Water Pulse. It's the move that my Pokemon used. I wish you luck on collecting however many more badges you need. Goodbye.”

The other trainer left, but Satoshi stayed. “Excuse me, but I'm Ishida Satoshi and I need to know about criminal organizations in the area.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Why do you want to know about such things?”

Satoshi sighed, and explained the incidents involving Takeshi and Sakura. Kasumi seemed quite shocked to know that Satoshi had saved Takeshi.

“You saved my cousin?” she asked.

“He's your cousin?”

“Yes. But that's not important. I've done my own research, and all I can say is that-”

She was cut off by the beep of the Zukan. Satoshi checked it, and was amused that v1.2 had been completed. This time there were phone and map options.

Kasumi continued. “All I know is that the Rocket Gang had
something to do with it. What is that thing anyway?”

“It's a Pokemon Zukan. Ookido-hakase gave these things out to four trainers so that we could collect data on Pokemon. He likes updating it though. I've had two updates today.”

Kasumi smiled. “Well, my cousin isn't very good at repaying people, so I bet he didn't give you much of a reward for rescuing him. So...” She took the Zukan from him and tapped a few buttons. “So, if you need any help, call me.”

Shigeru dashed out of the Pokemon Center when the earthquake began. As he soon found out, it was an artificial earthquake. As far as the eye could see, there were wild Pokemon marauding, destroying everything in sight. What had happened?

It was time to find Satoshi.

Author's Notes:

I felt obligated to write up a couple chapters this week after the previous delays. I might finish one more before Monday. See ya!