View Full Version : Now and Forever {PG} {AU/Adventure}

March 31st, 2006, 12:53 PM
Now and Forever is my only work. It is just starting, and I hope to write it for quite some time. So, my reader, enjoy...

-Chapter One: Curse of the Colt-

A fiery colt strode through the pastures. It glossy white coat shone back the rays of the sun. It had out-ran all the other Charolts and Ponytas. Both species were closely related. They looked nearly identical as colts. However, when Charolts evolve into Maflares or Philares, their coats become a honey-red auburn and their tail and mane turn from red to black. Charolts are only found on the island of Hokkou, which about one-hundred years ago split from the country of Japan into a more European state. Meanwhile, Ponytas can be found almost anywhere on Earth.

This colt was called Blaine. Some kid that had saw him on the day he was born, only four months ago, must have liked the Cinnabar Island gym leader from Kanto. What did Kyle O’Brien care, though? Connor, his son, could rename him anyway.

Sporting a black leather jacket, Kyle coaxed the colt towards him. He quickly, yet gently, grabbed a pokeball with two blue stripes on a field of red. “Return, Charolt,” he whispered. The colt was gently sucked into the aura of red light that the ball had emitted. Kyle was flooded with memories: of his journeys, of his pokemon, of his first love, and of his boy as a young son, now at the age of thirteen. He hoped his son would have the same memories he did.

Placid pools of water stood calm in the gardens that sat in front of the house. The lush greens hedges, bushes, and vines intermingled with the indigo, cobalt, crimson, and gold-colored flowers. A large tree sat in the middle of it all, its leaves colored a fiery crimson-pink. The garden seemed to swing out as it grew closer to the house, revealing a carefully laid brick foundation. On top of that were more and more layers of red and brown colored brick. The wall stood high, flowing to the two corners. On top of the brick wall was a brass tiled roof. The house could be seen as far back as the eye could go. Behind the front roof was another, another stood behind that, even higher. Far beyond these roofs a high tower poked out of the rest of the house. Kyle O’Brien’s shiny black Cadillac, with elegantly curving roof and classy front hood, was greeted by the lush green hedges and worshipped by the short, colorful flowers.

Walking into the house, Kyle exclaimed, “Honey, I’m home!” He handed his leather jacket to the butler and gently laid down the precious pokeball on an oaken table.

“Good afternoon, Master O’Brien,” the butler said cordially. “Did you enjoy your stay at Appleton Acres?”

“Yes,” Kyle O’Brien replied. “Where would he be?”

“Out in the back garden,” the butler answered, “reviewing the Pokemon Journey Academics Test.”

“Good,” Kyle said, making sure the pokeball was in hand. Running out of the entry way, he rushed through the house. He ran down a hall towards a large sliding door. He passed two doors, one on each side. These two doors were entry to Connor’s room. To the left was a large entertainment room. To the back was a large flat-screened television. Blue leather couches faced the television in a u-shape. To the right was a large basketball court. Connor was one of the best basketball players in his school, Rio Grande Heights Academy. He was also one of the smartest. Both rooms had stairs leading up to his bedroom and computer room, as well as an old toy room.

The next two rooms were Kyle, and his wife, Cindy’s, rooms. Once again, to the left was an entertainment room. To the right, however, was a large room with separate habitats for each of the couple’s pokemon. In the middle of this room was a large battle-court. Both Kyle and Cindy were gym-leaders. Kyle was the leader of Rio Grande Valley gym, while Cindy resided over Rio Grande Ridge gym. Currently, Cindy was the official gym leader, but that could change any year. All Kyle, or any of the other ten gym-leaders in Rio Grande City, had to do was beat Cindy and then qualify as one of the twenty-one official gym-leaders in the region of Hokkou. All twenty one official gym badges had to be obtained to qualify for the National Cup Tournament. All twenty states also hold tournaments, in which a trainer needs to obtain a predetermined number of badges from gyms within that state to qualify for that tournament. The Elite Trainers Organization, a group of gym-leaders and pokemon trainers that were elected and given power to govern the National Cup and State Cup tournaments, had also recently added a Region Cup format. In this format, trainers had to obtain all official gym badges in that region, as well as an additional badge from each state. Kyle wished his son to challenge both the regional format and national format.

Kyle reached the door and threw it open. Rows and rows of gardens spanned towards the horizon. Green could be seem almost everywhere, except for where an occasional Japanese rock garden or pond or statue gently sat. The gardens were every design and came from every place on the world, at least all that could survive in the coastal climate of Rio Grande. Some came from South America, others European. Most were of plants, trees, and flowers, but some where rock gardens or statue patios.

Beyond the rows and rows of gardens, which were clearly divided with hedges, lay a large lawn. Daily trimmed, the lawn was always beautiful, even when the rare snowfall came to the region. Looking around, Kyle walked through a vine garden, around a Kantanese rock garden, past an Arizonan desert garden, and through an area with monolithic sculptures of colorful candy.

He walked into a small, cozy garden, hemmed in by bright red brick fences. A patio was in the center, while rows of lilacs, roses, and tulips adorned the sides.

“Good afternoon, father,” Connor said coldly. He stood up to greet him, stiff as a board of wood; he was always like this, so cold and masked. Perhaps it had been of his sheltered, almost prison-like upbringing, or maybe it was just a habit he had fallen into. The only time he unmasked himself was with his friends. His jeans were the color of the sky, while his sweatshirt was colored a dark orange with bleach streaks here and there.

“Good afternoon, Connor,” Kyle replied cordially to his son. All his life, Kyle had been of the high class. He had been taught to speak, stand, sit, dance, train, catch, run, jump, hide, play, kiss, sleep, and treat others of both higher and lesser value, maturity, ability, intelligence, and class as a noble would. Just like its northerly neighbor Japan, Hokkou didn’t have nobles. The only place those could be found was in England. However, if Hokkou did have those of nobility, Kyle would have been one of the best. “Now, about that test…”

“You have done very well, my son,” Kyle said approvingly. “Your journey begins tomorrow. You are well prepared, I presume?”

“Yes, father,” Connor replied.

“Grand. Your mother and I had planned to give it to you at morning brunch. Since you have excelled, however, I shall give it to you now.”

“Great,” Connor said less coldly, “what is it.”

“Well, following the O’Brien family tradition…”

“No,” Connor whispered sadly, with a hope still lingering in his mind that it would not be what he though it to be.

“Connor, please do not interrupt your father,” Cindy said.

“Thank you, Cindy,” Kyle said, glaring at his son. “Returning to what I was saying, following O’Brien family tradition, I have obtained for you a well-bred Charolt from Appleton Acres.

“No,” Connor whispered, “No, No, NO!” Connor slammed back his chair and stomped away into the house.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone in Rio Grande Valley was angrier that Connor O’Brien, it would have been Ash Ketchum. He glared at Max, who was relaxing on the other side of the restaurant they were in, called Slammer’s Steakhouse. Max. Ash loathed him. Their battle had been terrible. Ash’s Crawdaunt had been the only one left. His first three pokemon, Swellow, Sceptile and Heracross, went one and done, falling to Max’s Gardevoir. His mighty Charizard, who had already defeated Max’s Gardevoir and Ninetales, had been felled by one of Max’s first pokemon, Vigoroth. Ash’s energetic Pikachu had faired the same. Crawdaunt easily defeated the tired sloth. Max had sent out his fourth pokemon, his other first pokemon, Sceptile. The lobster and squirrel-like lizard had sparred for hours. Though Crawdaunt had a type disadvantage against Sceptile, Ash had been training him longer. Finally, Sceptile’s Solar Beam had edged out Crawdaunt’s Iron Defense, which Ash had painstakingly taught him. It was all over. Max hadn’t even needed to use to of his six pokemon.

Ash walked outside, his head down.

“Ash,” May said from across the street, she stood near the café. Her orange tank-top and short black skirt stood out from the masses of people that rushed through the streets on the evening commute back home. They walked into the park and found an alcove hidden by lush jade hedges and sat down on a secluded bench. May took out her Pokemon Navigator. She began to press numbers on the little key pad.

“Who you calling?” Ash asked.

“My parents,” May replied. The PokeNav rang a dull tone.

“You better not,” Ash replied. He snatched PokeNav and turned it off.

“Ash, come on.” She looked down at her golden ring that was on her middle finger and delicately slid it off. “We got to tell them sooner or later. It’s been since Kanto that you asked me.”

“Ya, I’ll take later,” Ash replied.

“Come on,” May prodded, laying her hand next to Ash’s. “They got to know.”

“Not right now,” replied Ash angrily. “I’m really upset about the battle I had with your bratty brother. Oh ya, I still haven’t forgotten what you and Drew did at the Grand Festival in Charleston.”

“Ash, he’s not a brat. Anyway, I though we understood this. I was trying to get to back from Misty.”

”And I was trying to get you back from, who was it again? Oh ya, that bratty friend of Max, Harley.” The word rolled off Ash’s mouth as if he were cussing.

“Which,” May added, “was a sick trick by my brother.”

“Yes,” Ash confirmed, “your bratty brother.”

“Ash,” May said angrily, “for the last time, he is not a brat. He’s just a little annoying sometimes.”

“Whatever,” Ash added. He put his arm around her body.

“Fine,” May added. Suddenly, they were kissing.

“Hey guys,” said Brock as he walked into the alcove. “I’ve been looking for you for forever. Oh, May, there’s a former World Festival champion coming to the center at eight tonight. And Ash, they’re gonna’ have a Pikachu feast next week.” He looked at them. “Oh, I see you’re busy.”

“Yes,” Ash replied, “center at ten tonight, right? See you there.” They were kissing again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hours later, Connor walked into the kitchen. He grabbed a donut and a can of Mountain Dew and walked down the hall and into his room. He plopped down on the couch, eagerly flipping channels to the Hakkou versus Japan Basketball World Cup qualifying match.

The next day was just like any other, at least for everyone except Connor O’Brien. He paced nervously in his room. He had been so stupid yesterday afternoon. He wished he could take it back, but he couldn’t. Finally, he heard footsteps.

He jumped out of his room. “Listen,” he said, “I’m really sorry about the way I was yesterday. I mean, I hear most of the kids in Africa don’t have pokemon at all. And that one guy, Ash Ketchum, he was stuck with a pathetic Pikachu. And I was reading about this one guy too, he…”

“Good morning, young Master O’Brien.” It was only Charles, the butler. “Err – perhaps it’s not such a good morning for you. Your parents wish to see you in the dining hall immediately. They have to discuss certain matters of your – err – what you will do on your journey.”

“Thank you, Charles,” Connor replied. “And by the way, Pikachus are not all that bad.”

“Yes, well um – have a wonderful journey, young Connor.”

Connor ran off to the dining hall.

“Poor kid,” Charles muttered.

Here's the title of next chapter
Chapter Two: Gone

April 1st, 2006, 5:56 AM
And here I was, ready to read on. *mumble* Make sure you get the next chapter up soon ^.^! I don't know what about this story has me hooked so well, but whatever it is, I am attatched to this story. The only suggestion I can give you for the moment, is to use more 'colorful' words. Apply to the senses more, if you get the chance.

Good job, and I hope to read more! ^.~

April 1st, 2006, 9:42 AM
Interesting story. Your characterization was introduced bluntly, briefly, and just ..quickly. I actually liked that style, contrary to other long ones. One thing you might want to improve is the quality of your paragraphs. Try to reduce the amount of choppy sentences, as they make the work look less appealing. Beginning could also be phased out a bit more slowly, as that seemed rushed.

I'm not sure how you intend to convey the plot, either by alternating views from Ash and Connor, or make them meet each other, but I suppose that's for the readers to know.

Descriptions were beautiful. :D Good luck on the next installment.

April 2nd, 2006, 7:51 AM
Very nice. It was a little hard to read at time. *laughs a little* I dunno, I'd suggest putting a few "~~~~~"s between sections where you switch characters.

Yay for horse fics!

Or at least, partially...

Anyways, you're doing well, and you should definatly keep it up! Your descriptions are beautiful.

April 2nd, 2006, 12:55 PM
Very nice. It was a little hard to read at time. *laughs a little* I dunno, I'd suggest putting a few "~~~~~"s between sections where you switch characters.

Yay for horse fics!

Or at least, partially...

Anyways, you're doing well, and you should definatly keep it up! Your descriptions are beautiful.

I tried to do three spaces for every character switch and two spaces for every scene switch. I'll had some ~~~ right now.

Hey guys! Thank you for all your reviews. Chapter Two is completely done and Chapter Three is about halfway. Unfortunately, I still have to type them.

Chapter Two: Gone, will be posted Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
Chapter Three: A Second Chance, will have the first true pokemon battle and will be posted a week or so after Chapter Two.
Since it is spring break for me, I will be able to get a few chapters done. As for now, here's a little snippit of Chapter Two:

"Good morning, Connor," his father said warmly.
"Good morning, Father," Connor replied.
"Yes, my son," Cindy said, "on the matter of your journey."
"When can I go?" Connor asked.
His father frowned. "Unfortunately ...

April 4th, 2006, 9:15 AM
Can't wait for chapter two ^_^. Btw, fantastic description, it actually got me hooked ! xP

April 4th, 2006, 10:20 AM
Thanks for reading and reviewing. I'm posting chapter two right now. This chapter consists primarily of two flashbacks. The first is humorous while the second is sad. Enjoy...

Chapter Two: Gone

"Good morning, Connor," his father said warmly.
"Good morning, Father," Connor replied.
"Yes, my son," Cindy said, "on the matter of your journey."
"When can I go?" Connor asked.
His father frowned. "Unfortunately, we have decided that you will not go.”

Connor gasped. How could they? How could they take away his most precious chance he would ever have? His journey, his pokemon, his pokedex, his chance to escape the prison that was his home was gone. His chance to – Heather, the word rang through his mind like a ball of lead. She would never know how much he liked her. Liked, not as a friend, but as something more…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was an ordinary day in second grade. Connor, as usual, sat next to his three friends on the neatly trimmed, lush green grass. Kody Silvin, Ryan Taylor, and David Maxwell sat next to him. They were, as usual, dreaming their dreams: of being pokemon masters.

Everyday since pre-school they had met on the green grass, their field of dreams. Kody lifted his hand, which was cupped around an imaginary pokeball. “Go, Charasard!” he shouted. David jumped out in front of him.

“Its Charizard,” David corrected, “not Charasard!”

“Fine, Charizard,” Kody replied. “But you’re supposed to be saying Charizard, not speaking human.”

“Chari, ri, zar, ard,” David said in annoyance while he flapped his arms up and down and raised his neck.

“Okay,” Connor said, “go, Blastoise.”

Ryan jumped out in front of him. “Blast, oiz!”

The mock battle began:

”Charasard,” Kody declared, “Flamethrower!”

David roared. He charged forward. He raised his head high into the air. He opened wide his mouth and shouted, “Char, Chariza, zard!”

“Blastoise, Hydro Pump!” Connor ordered. Ryan stomped forward, “Blast, oiz!” Ryan released a small squirt of spit. It hit David right in the stomach.

“Chari – zard,” David said, falling to the ground.

“Yeah, I win,” Connor exclaimed.

Ryan and Kody stood facing each other, on opposite sides of the lush green field. This was school, but for now, for these four friends, it was a dream come true. Nothing could change the feeling it gave them, of a cherry-topped sundae on a hot summer’s day, of a new pokemon training game for the Gameboy Advanced. It didn’t matter if it was a revisit to Kanto, it was a journey, and they loved it. Thus so they began every battle, dreaming how it would actually be to have a pokeball cupped in their hands.

Kody raised his hand in the air. “Go, Torchic!” he declared. Connor jumped out. He hopped on one foot; his hands were at his side, which made his elbows wings. These wings flapped up and down.

“Tor, tor, chic, chi,” Connor cheerfully chirped.

“Okay,” said Ryan, “Mudkip!” David jumped out. He wore a grey shirt that was sleek, smooth, and tight. He looked just like a Machop, except that he lacked extremely toned abs.

“Ma, chopp!” exclaimed Machop.

“Torchic, Ember,” Kody exclaimed. Connor raised his head. He opened his mouth, pretending to spew forth balls of white fire.

“Machop,” Ryan commanded, “Megafist!” David charged at Connor. His hand was raised. It gone without saying in this circle of dreamers and friends that attacks were always faked. This Megafist would be just like any other.

“Torchic, dodge it!” Kody said.
“Tor, chic, chic,” Connor chirped. He waited. Connor jumped out of the way, pretending to fake out David. But, instead of pretending to be faked out, David actually was faked out. He threw his fist to the left of where Connor had been. Unfortunately, Connor had just jumped to the left. David’s fist slammed right into Connor’s nose. Connor fell to the ground.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Oh look, they’re doing those pretend battles again,” the girl sitting next to Heather Gordon said with distaste. Everyday the five prettiest, richest, most spoiled girls in grade two at Rio Grande Heights Elementary Academy sat upon a nearly normal, almost average, slightly superior bench and distastefully complained, commented, and gossiped about the other first, second, and third graders at the school. Even though hardly any one in grade two considered popularity, these five did. They were the critiques of the grade, if there ever were any.

Unlike her four friends, Heather hated gossip and ridicule. She preferred compassion, friendliness, and gentleness, especially when it came to the four cute, adorable, imaginative boys that pretended to be pokemon trainers. And in particular, she really liked the one boy that was just a little taller than the rest. His name was Connor. Still, her secret musings were exactly that, a secret no one knew. Almost all of the time she was able to mask her tone. She had become a master at this, and not only because of her four gossip-loving friends. She had secrets.

She had more secrets than could ever be imagined. She had never told how she had purposely broken a window, or covered her older brother’s room in finger-paint just to spite him. She had never mentioned her five accounts on fan-fiction forums about an anime series called Phantasiana. Nor had she ever admitted to stealing a magnet from Jimmy Smith’s locker. Of course, no one had ever expected her in any of these capers either. Yep, she knew how to play her parents, she was good at it, and she did it all the time.

“Aw, they look so cute when they do that,” Heather replied. She gazed at the four boys in fascination…

“You like him?” asked Ashley. She was the most energetic of the group. Her bright red hair seemed to power her constant energy. It never lost its shine or became dull, and neither did Ashley.

“Maybe…” Heather replied, half hearing, half ignoring.

“Eww,” another girl said in disbelief, “you must be joking. I saw my brother kissing last nice. It’s gross.” Two of the other girls nodded in agreement, for all of them were the youngest. “You want to do that too?”

“Maybe,” Heather answered, distracted. She looked out at the four boys. Suddenly, Connor fell over.

“Look’s like your little kissing boy fell over,” commented Ashley smugly.

“Oh no,” Heather exclaimed caringly. “I have to help him.” She ran over to Connor. The three boys looked on in fear and ignorance. Okay, though Heather, perhaps they aren’t as intelligent as I though.

“What happened to him?” asked Heather.

“Oh,” Kody said, just seeing her, “David punched him.” Great, he though, the one girl Connor hates is the one that choose to help him.

“David, I do hope it was accident. Would you go get Miss Carston, please,” Heather stated authoritatively.

“Oh, it was,” replied David.

“Good, now get going,” Heather added.

“Okay, your wish is my command,” said David, blushing. He ran off. “Miss Carston, Miss Carston, Miss Carston!” Heather could hear him shout.

Heather gently padded down the grass around him and the gently stroked his light brown hair. “It’s going to be all right,” she whispered, feeling something from deep down inside her heart. “You’ll be fine.” Blood dribbled across his cheek.

Miss Carston came running from across the playground. The day hadn’t been good at all. Jimmy Smith still hasn’t found his Ampharos Rock Band magnet. Nor had Juan Cortez been able to make it to the potty. Being the recess supervisor for kindergarten to third grade was the hardest part of her job. Not to mention how her first grade class had handled the fire drill. And now this. What was happening?

Miss Carston opened up a special red purse that held a first aid kit. She grabbed a tissue. “Let’s see what we can do about this…”

Leaving her friends behind, Heather stayed with Connor all day as he suffered in the nurse’s room. She begged to go with him to the hospital, but was denied her wish. After Connor returned to school bearing a cast on his arm and a face mask to hold his dislocated nose in place, Heather stayed with him everyday. For the rest of the year she played with him, made sure the pillows under his arm were just right. Heather had been a friend then, and she had become one for the rest of the years at school.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Connor ran, up a hall and down a flight of stairs. He passed through a doorway, over a blue leather couch, up a flight of curving stairs and through another doorway. Connor jumped onto his bed. He looked up to the picture of Heather that hung above his bed. He cried.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Like usual, they were sitting in the very top row of the gymnasium as below them five tenth graders took on five tenth graders from a rival school. This was basketball. This was normal. This would never change, or so Connor and the other fifth graders thought.

Connor, like it had been since kindergarten, was much taller than the rest of the grade. He stood up, looking beyond his friends Kody and David as they argued who would win the World Cup that year; he saw Heather and her four friends. They argue over who was prettier- the new Hakkou champion, Andy Ketchum, or the runner-up, Steven Stone. Beyond Heather’s friends was a geek basketball player by the name of Cory. After him sat a rather good rock band by the name of “Dude, Where’s Your Pikachu?” Beyond the four punk rock fans were the algebra enthusiasts, number four. Finally, there was Ryan, the one that had been caught kissing a popular girl. Instinctively, Heather, when they had been found out, used her gift of deceit and got out of trouble. Immediately, Connor and David made Ryan an outcast.

Connor and his two friends looked down at the basketball. Although they were popular, they actually watched the basketball game, unlike most fifth graders. A low pitched bell dully sang over the cheering crowds at the basketball. “Attention please! Will Mister Steele’s homeroom please report to the main office!”

Slowly, a group of twenty-five, one-fifth of the fifth grade, including Connor, Kody, David, Ryan, Heather, and Ashley – for Mister Steele was both a teacher of science and was the one teacher in grade five that taught his homeroom pokemon battling. The group walked down a flight of stairs and down a long hallway. Nobody talked. What could the problem be? Maybe Mister Steele had trouble getting Andy Ketchum to come to the school Saturday, a special treat for his class. The group filed into to a large room marked “Principal Hackett.”

The group found their principal sitting in her large, leather chair. Salty tears slowly slid down her cheeks.

“Thank you,” she murmured between sobs, “for coming… to this room today.” More tears, salty and glistening, slid down her cheek. “Your teacher,” she sobbed. “Has. He has. He has passed away.” Tears poured out of her eyes and dripped softly off of her chin. “He lived. Well.”

The room fell silent. Tears flowed from a boy in the back. Then a girl behind Connor did the same. They sadly gazed at their feet, or looked longingly up at the ceiling. Others gazed nowhere in particular and close their eyes, remembering how their beloved teacher had helped them classify subspecies of Pikachus, or examine the skeleton of a dead Eevee, or maybe draw the symbols of the ancient civilizations and the pokemon that dwelled with them. Others looked back at the first day of school, when he had brought in his Tyranitar, Arcanine, and Goldagle- a species of eagle native to Hakkou. Others, half laughing and half crying, remembered the odd odor of Ratatas and Raticates, Hamstas and Hamstos, a few Arboks and Sevipers, and even a rare species of Ariados, a specimen he had retrieved himself from the Santan Patch in the Amazonian Rainforest in Southern America.

Connor remembered something different. He remembered in fourth grade when he had been “Coach.” He also remembered that in fourth grade Mister Steele had asked him to join the Pokemon Academics Squad, a trivia club regarding pokemon for fifth graders. He always had a different curriculum every year, or so his teachers and his friends’ older siblings had told him. And it was true. Each year Mister Steele taught something different. One year it was about animals, the next pokemon and the skeletons. The next year could be about battling or coordinating, no one ever knew what lesson plan that teacher would pull out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

While the rest of the class went into mental hibernation, Heather stayed alive. She tried to cheer everyone up, and most of the time succeeded. Even when they had to endure the grumpy computer turned science teacher as a replacement, Heather was as energetic as ever. She was a friend with all her classmates, even the outcast, Ryan. Connor felt something for her that year, something deep inside his heart. He felt a burning in his heart that never had before. He cast his childhood aside, for along with death comes a renewal of life. For with death comes a reminding that each day is special. Connor cherished each day. He loved Heather he knew it, but was too afraid to say it.

Chapter Three is entitled "A Chance" and I will post it next week Friday. It will have the first actual pokemon battle in the fic, and let me tell you, it won't be pretty. Here's a little snippet of it:

"Pikachu, Thunderbolt!" A little yellow mouse scurried across the field. He jumped over rocks and dove under bushes. He zipped between small trees. There was nothing this little mouse couldn't get through. A small smark lingered on the mouses forehead. The golden spark pulsed up and down as it grew larger...

By the way, do you like reading a little snippet of the next chapter or should I not do that?

May 10th, 2006, 12:41 PM
-Chapter Three: A Chance-

"Pikachu, Thunderbolt!" A little yellow mouse scurried across the field. He jumped over rocks and dove under bushes. He zipped between small trees. There was nothing this little mouse couldn't get through. A small spark lingered on the mouse’s forehead. The golden spark pulsed up and down as it grew larger.

The mouse shouted out in satisfaction as it released a long ray of electrical current. The golden lightning jumped towards a blue colored serpent that stood across from the yellow mouse.

Yelping in pain, the water-type adder jumped back. He hissed in annoyance.

“Pikachu,” Ash commanded, “Volt Tackle!” The little mouse jumped forward. The three brown stripes that ran across his back glowed bright yellow.

“Hydrus -” cried the boy that stood opposite the battlefield of Ash. “Revenge!” The cobalt cobra slithered into a coil. His sharp, jagged fangs which stuck out of his mouth glowed black.

“Pikachu,” Ash said confidently, “run past the snake and then attack.” Using his speed and agility, the yellow mouse bounded past the adder. Next, it jumped. The mouse threw his legs forward. Landing, he jumped upon the adder. The adder hissed in confusion while the mouse slammed into his back. The azure adder fell to the ground, hissing in pain and confusion.

“Hydrus,” the boy said, “return.”

Ash watched his Pikachu as it jumped up and pretended to spike a football and went into a hip-swinging hula.

“Great battle, Travis,” Ash said, with a hint of relief.


“I thought you had me there for a second with that Arcanine and Kingler of yours. Hey, how about I give you my PokeNav’s number and you give me yours. We’ll battle again sometime, eh?”

“Yeah,” Travis replied, “but next time, I’ll win.”


Later that day, Ash, Brock, and May sat swapping pokemon with their Gameboy Advances in the local pokemon center.

“Uh,” Ash said in boredom. “I hope Nurse Joy will bring out our wine soon.” He looked back down at his gameboy. A little later, while a Nurse Joy set a bottle of whine and three glasses, “Yes, I beat Lance!”

“Isn’t it ironic,” commented Brock matter-of-factly, “that we’re playing gameboy games about pokemon training even though we are trainers?”

“Well,” Ash replied, “if you think about it, the games are a nice distinction from reality.”

“Yeah,” May added, “In Hoenn Magma and Aqua are two fraternities at Petalburg College!”

“And Giovanni is a game show host!” Ash said. May giggled.

“Not to mention Orre is a planet in Star Wars,” Brock added. Ash snickered.

“And Steven Stone is the name of that little plush rag-doll they give out at Devon Corp!” Brock laughed.

“And after they had games based off of Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn, which were like a tenth the size of real life, they decided to name the regions after 2010 boat companies – Aumar, Antia, Detrol, Orantal, and Fiore!”

Ash fell down laughing with a thud. He sat back up. Minutes later he said, “Ow.”

May, Brock, and Ash laughed even harder.

“Okay,” Ash said. He tried to not laugh. “I think. I should. Go challenge the gym.”

“Which one?” Brock asked.

“Um the one – I don’t know. With the best cheerleaders?”

May slapped him on the cheek. “Ow.”

“I don’t think we should have ordered that second bottle of wine, Ash,” May commented.

“No, you probably shouldn’t have,” Ash said firmly. “Which is the badge I need for the league?”

“Oh,” Brock replied. “Which league?”

“The League,” Ash replied, agitated.

“So you want to challenge all six-hundred some gyms in the region of Hakkou?”

“No, Brock,” Ash said angrily, “The Champion’s League.”

“So,” May added, “Regional, State, or National?”

“I don’t know, National,” Ash said.

“Okay,” Brock said, “to Rio Grande Ridge Gym!”

“Let’s go,” Ash said. He slung his backpack over his shoulder and strolled out the door. May was right behind him.

Brock was still sitting at the table they had been eating at. “Hey, guys, wait for me!”


Ash, May, and Brock were greeted by placid pools of water, which stood calm in the gardens that sat in front of the house. They walked past lush greens hedges, bushes, and vines that intermingled with the indigo, cobalt, crimson, and golden flowers. They walked around a large tree that sat in the middle of it all. Its leaves were a fiery pink in the mid-morning sun. The garden seemed to swing out as the three of them walked closer to the house, revealing a carefully laid brick foundation. On top of the sturdy foundation was a wall of brick. Sitting on top of the brick wall was a brass tiled roof. Ash could see the house as far back as the eye could go. Behind the front roof was another, another stood behind that, even higher. Far beyond these roofs a high tower poked out of the rest of the house.

“Wow,” Ash commented in amazement. “What a place!”

“Yeah,” May added, “that must be a huge gym!”

Ash raised the gold, Pidgeot-shaped knocker and brought it down upon the wood three times. They watched the door, and waited. They waited and waited. The tall, grandeur door didn’t move an inch.

“Okay,” Brock said impatiently, “open the door for us, already!”

The door swung open with a creak. A man stood in front of Ash, May, Brock. He wore black pants and a black suite and that was buttoned up to his neck. A long tie ran down to his waist. Upon it were avatars of two pokemon. The top avatar was in blue and was a depiction of a Machop-like pokemon. The bottom avatar was outlined in red and colored in gold. It was a depiction of a Pidgeot at the side view. The bird’s head was dwarfed by a long, flowing, ribbon-like head feather.

“Thank you,” Brock added.

“Ah, gym challengers, I presume? Who do you wish to challenge?” asked the man.

“Only one challenger, sir, um – your name?” Ash asked.

“Oh, of course,” the man said with amusement. “I am Charles Ross, the butler for Master and Mistress O’Brien. I am also the official referee for both the Rio Grande Ridge Gym and the Rio Grande Heights Gym.”

“Okay. Well then, Charles, I am the sole challenger. What do you mean by which I would wish to challenge?” Ash asked in confusion.

“Well,” Charles replied, “both Master and Mistress O’Brien are gym leaders. Master Kyle O’Brien is the leader of Rio Grande Heights Gym. Meanwhile, Mistress Cindy Staten O’Brien is the leader of the official gym, Rio Grande Ridge. Both of these gyms are housed in their fine estate, Rio Grande Manor. Would you like to have a tour before you challenge.”

“Ah,” Ash said impatiently, “no. I just want to challenge the gym.”

“Which one do you wish to challenge?” Charles asked again.

“Oh, both of them!” Ash said in frustration.

“A wise choice, Master – your name, sir?”

“Master Ash Andrew Ketchum,” Ash replied.

“Oh, how pleasant,” Charles said. His mind went back to another man with the family name of Ketchum.


A young man strolled through the meadows of Rio Grande Valley; he walked through forests and past glades, over rivers and around lakes. Finally, he walked into a large manor and opened his bag. He strapped five pokeballs to his belt and trotted into a large court that sat outside.

“Ah, welcome to this fine estate.” Charles greeted the man. “I see you plan to challenge Master Kyle?”

“Eh,” the man replied. He quietly unclipped his first pokeball.

“You wish to begin now, Master Andy Ketchum?” Charles asked.

“Eh,” Andy replied.

“Okay, I’ll page Master Kyle for you.”

Andy silently held his pokeball. The orb had a red top-half and white bottom half. On it was scrawled the name “Ruby.” The name was almost impossible to read. In it held a dragon so fierce, so red that all of the peoples of Hoenn, Kanto, Johto, and even the Orange Islands, feared it.

Kyle arrived. Upon his belt were also five pokemon.

“This will be a five on five match for one of the eight badges of the Champion’s League! The challenger is Andy Allen Ketchum of Palette Town, Kanto District, Japan. The gym leader is Kyle Orrick O’Brien of Rio Grande Valley, Grande Re, Hakkou. Will the challenger please release their first pokemon!”


Charles nodded in satisfaction. “Ash Ketchum?

“Eh,” Ash replied. Charles smiled in interest, how like Andy he was.

“Right this way.” He raised his hand, pointing down a hall. “Oh,” he whispered, “this will be a great match indeed.”


Charles stood on a platform that sat on top of a long balcony. The balcony ran from one end of the gymnasium to the other. May and Brock sat on a long bench that was in front of the platform. To the left and right were also benches. They were in three rows. They were rarely used, unless a notable challenger or gym leader that was challenging Cindy’s right to the official badge were to come to the gym. Then they were filled with spectators and the media.

The balcony overlooked a large wooden floor. Across from the balcony was a large scoreboard. On it was a feather and fist that were highlighted in red light. On the left side of the scoreboard was the name Ash. On the right side were the names Cindy and Kyle. Below the names on each side were three rows, each with two columns. On the floor a rectangle was painted in white. It was divided in half by a white line. On either short side of the rectangle were platforms. They stood high above the ground – almost level with the balcony. On one of these Ash Ketchum stood. He reached below his black and green vest and made sure his nine pokeballs were in order. As he gently swayed in his faded, patched, and scratched blue jeans, grayish brown mud, which caked his dull black shoes, fell to the floor of the platform.

On the opposite platform, Kyle and Cindy stood next to each other. As Kyle leaned against the railing on the back of the platform, his black leather jacket and pants folded over and tightened. On the jacket, at about his chest, a large light-red feather was etched. Cindy stood next to him in a short black skirt and a black shirt, on which a grey fist was sketched.

“This will be a six a side double battle. The challenger is Ash Andrew Ketchum of Palette, Kanto District, Japan. This challenge is for both the leader of the Rio Grande Heights Gym, Master Kyle Orrick O’Brien, and Cindy April O’Brien, maiden name Staten, of Rio Grande Ridge Gym. Will the gym leaders please release their first pokemon!”

“Pidgeotto,” Kyle announced. He raised a red and white orb that, in a flash of red light, revealed a majestic bird. The bird swung his crimson, pale gold, and dull orange wings up and down. A sinuous bright-red feather flow like a ribbon as the bird soared through the gym air. Its tail feathers were long and bright red. As the bird flew above him, Ash could see the bird’s white under-feathers and razor-shape vibrant-gold talons.

“Fisticle!” Cindy said. She raised a dark grey orb in her hand. The orb emitted a flash of red light, which transformed into a creature resembling a Machoke. It bore a toga of light-blue ice. Its eyes were deep and they swirled white and blue. The creature's fingers were covered in ice. The creature flashed its retractable claws of ice. Running down the creature’s spine were spikes of ice, which numbered five. Upon its feet were sandals of ice, and as the great ice-beast moved, the ice upon its feet quivered.

“The gym leaders have chosen Pidgetto and Fisticle,” Charles declared. “Will the challenger please release his first two pokemon!”

Ash quickly grabbed two balls of red and white. “Go, Swellow and Pikachu!” he exclaimed. A flash of red light revealed a large bird and a small mouse. The bird’s dark blue wings flapped up and down. He circled the gym in the air, eyeing the other bird with harshness. His dark blue wings flapped up and down. Meanwhile, a small golden mouse stood firmly upon the hard, wooden floor. Upon his back were three brown stripes. On both sides of his cheek were to red dots. His triangle-shape ears twitched and he glared up in fear at the large bird. He looked across the floor at the large ice-beast. He raised his jagged silver claws and emitted a shout of fervor for battle.

“May the battle begin!” declared Charles.

“Thunderbolt, Pikachu,” Ash commanded. “Swellow, Aerial Ace!”

The golden mouse scurried forward, a golden spark pulsing on his forehead. The blue bird flew forward beside him, his wings aglow a bright blue.

“Fisticle, Ice Beam,” Cindy commanded. The human-like creature of ice opened his mouth wide. A long beam of ice that twinkled in the lights of the gym flew towards the dark blue bird. Instinctively, the blue bird lunged to one side quickly while the beam of ice flew past.

“Pidgeotto,” Kyle commanded, “Wing Attack upon Swellow!” The crimson, gold, and orange bird sped towards the blue raptor. His wings glowed bright orange as he dived.

“Swellow,” Ash declared, “Aerial Ace!” The blue bird glowed a bright blue and quickly flew away from the enemy bird. The crimson, gold, and orange bird quickly slammed into his blue opponent. The blue bird was knocked to the ground.

“Pikachu,” Ash ordered, “Thunderbolt to protect Swellow!”


Connor looked at it all. He had seen battles before, but this was truly amazing. As he pressed his nose against the small glass square above the battle, he saw Ash’s Pikachu knock Kyle’s Pidgeotto to the ground.

“This is my chance,” he whispered. He quickly went to his room to prepare.


Kyle declared from across the battle court, “Perengin!” He raised a red and white orb into the sky and from it came a falcon colored bright gold. He raised his beak and raised a fierce cry into the air. It sounded as if all the pride in the world had been combined in an awesome roar. The golden falcon soared through the air, eyeing the blue and red bird suspiciously.

“Swellow, Wing Attack! Pikachu, Thunderbolt!” Ash ordered. His blue and red raptor rushed towards the golden falcon.

“Perengin, Solarbeam!” Kyle ordered.

“Fisticle, Ice Beam!” Cindy shouted. The four pokemon rushed at each other, vengeance on their faces. Kyle glared at Ash in amusement. He looked back in confusion.

Both Kyle and Cindy were unaware that above them their son was planning the greatest escape the family would ever seen.

The O’Brien’s personal cook frantically reached through the poorly arranged kitchen cupboards. Another challenger made for another frantically finished feast. Add the requests of the bratty O’Brien son, Connor, and Cook Jessica Xavier had the job of a twenty men crew. Still, the work was worth the wage. She made the equivalent of the money should make in one week at the average restaurant in just half a day.

Jessica was startled by a low pitched beep. It was Connor again. “Yes, Young Master O’Brien, what would you like now?” she said politely, though only because she knew that a cut would come her way if she didn’t.

“Yes, Jessica. I would like a platter of breaded shrimp, with the best dipping sauce you can muster up. And it better be better than last time. Also, I would like a bottle of vault.”

“Yes, Young Master O’Brien,” Jessica replied with a hint of complaint.

“Thank you,” replied Connor over the phone. The phone beeped again.

Jessica sighed in relief. At least this time it was only shrimp and a Vault. She hastily began the added work. What she would do for a job at Zapata Pasta right now.

Meanwhile, in his room, Connor was quickly stuffing his belongings into a small brown satchel. He stuffed a pokedex in, followed by a map of Hakkou and then a badge case. Next came a wallet full of the allowance he had saved up for the years. It was supposed to be for a DS, but now it would be his sole source of cash. Finally, he struggled to stuff a small green tent at the top. Next, he would have to wait until Jessica was bringing his order to his room to sneak into the kitchen for a food raid.

Connor quickly darted through the hallways, going this way and that, so that he wouldn’t be seen by Charles or the occasional maid. Finally, he stopped, with a clear vantage point of the kitchen door. It swung open, and Jessica Xavier strode down the hall the opposite way of Connor, balancing a tray on which a plate of shrimp lay.

Connor quickly walked in, grabbing a twelve pack of water bottles, a large package of brats, and buns to go along with them. That was all he could fit. “I hope Kody has more, or we’ll be in trouble,” he whispered, scurrying out of the kitchen, once again making sure he was not seen.

Connor slid his hand into his pocket and opened up a ring of keys he had copied years ago. He subconsciously slid the right key into the right hole and ripped open the door. He searched frantically through the room, ripping open drawers, ripping off paintings, and pushing back furniture. Finally, he saw it. It lay jammed between a blue leather couches two seats. He grabbed it and ran. There was no hope to find five empty pokeballs. He looked across the hall. It was just his luck.

Chapter Three is finally done! Chapter Four: Behind those Starry Eyes, coming soon!

Technically, Chapter Four is already done, though it needs some editing.

Here's a snippet:

“Charolt, come on out,” Connor said nervously, some time later. He raised a red and white sphere into the sky and from it came a young colt. His body was colored white, while his mane at tail glowed a bright red. The colt’s face was alive and was illuminated by to starry, bead-like eyes. The colt softly hummed in gratitude. He had finally been let out! He looked up to a tall boy, much taller than he was. He gazed in sadness at the boy’s angry face. What had he done to deserve such a fate? He frantically looked around to see another that might be his owner, but no one else was around. He lowered his head in acceptance. If his owner hated him, so be it. He would just have to change his view, bit by bit.

June 1st, 2006, 3:36 PM
-Chapter Four: Behind those Starry Eyes-

Connor ran across the hall and found a room full of pokeballs. Each one was either marked “Empty” or had the name of a pokemon written on it. He grabbed the first five empties he saw.

Now, he had all he needed.

Once again, he ran through the halls and finally slipped out of a door and raced for the edge of the grounds. It was only a matter of time before he was free.

It was a grand afternoon as Connor crawled under a large hedge of immeasurable size. As he stood up, he pulled his backpack through the hole that he had dug up some summer ago to go to a party. Next, he unzipped his backpack and grabbed his pokenav from a special pocket on the inside. He quickly dialed a combination of numbers, 01134-101, and waited for his best friend Kody to pick up his navi.

As his navi rang, he quickly went through his backpack, making sure he knew exactly what Kody would need to grab for him. Finally, Kody’s face appeared on the navi’s holoscreen.

“Hey Kody,” Connor said with a smile, “I’m out!”

“That’s great,” he replied. "How’d you do it?”

“Oh,” Connor said slyly, “it was rather easily, actually. My parents were battling this one Ash Ketchum and then…”

“Wait,” Kody said excitedly, “you mean THE Ash Ketchum?!”

“Well, I’m quite sure he’s the only almost-pokemon-master by the name; so, yes.”

“Then they’ll be distracted till tomorrow, I bet you.”

“Probably,” Connor said in agreement.

“Sweet, man, I’m on my way.”



“Could you grab some extra cash, and maybe some cooking utensils?”

“You got it!”

“Okay,” Connor replied excitedly, “I can’t believe we’re finally doing this!”

“Me neither,” Kody replied, “I’ll get ‘em, anything else?”

“Nope,” Connor replied. “Oh yeah, meet you at the usual spot, the route near Howard Drive by Heather’s.”

“Okay, Connor, see ya’ there!”

“Yep,” Connor replied. He switched off his pokenav and quickly ran as far as he could from the house before heading south and west where he would finally begin his pokemon journey.

Connor casually sneaked along the road, hidden amongst the large cedars, oaks, and maples. He patiently thumbed through the index in his Pokedex, and stopped at Charolt. Here is what it read:

Charolt, the white flame pokemon.

Charolts are a species closely related to Ponyta and Rapidash. They are like them, with white body and red mane and tail, until they evolve into a Vaeflare, and then Stallerno. Charolts, Vaeflares, and Stallernos are classified as Equus flarus hakkis, and are native only to the Great Plain of Hakkou. There, they roam the lands with Tauros, Miltank, and similar creatures of the plains. They feed upon special grasses that contain a special herb called rhodium beltrate, which gives them extra power in fire attacks.

Charolts and Ponytas are closely related. They look nearly identical as colts. However, when Charolts evolve into Vaeflares, their coats become a honey-red auburn and their tail and mane turn from red to black. Charolts are only found on the island of Hokkou, which about one-hundred years ago split from the country of Japan into a more European state. Meanwhile, Ponytas can be found almost anywhere on Earth.

Type: Fire

Evolution Line: Charolt ---> Vaeflare ---> Stallerno

Standard Attacks: Ember, Tackle, Roar, Tail Whip, Faint Attack, Ash Tail, Fire Coat, Shadow Ball, Flamethrower

Attack Types Learnable
Primary: Fire, Normal, Dark
Secondary: Electric, Water

“Hmm,” Connor thought, “what an interesting creature!” Even if he hated fire pokemon, this pokemon was pretty cool. He made a mental note to remember that when he battled.

Finally, he arrived at the beginning of a short street, marked “Howard Court” on the street sign. He walked down the street, eyeing the houses, where were nearly as impressive as his parents’ house was.

He reached the end of the street, a cul-de-sac, and eyed the biggest house of them all. It was quite large, spanning five stories high. It had five garage doors that were intricately carved in gold. This was Heather’s house.

Curious, Connor strolled up the walk onto the porch and rang the doorbell. He knew Heather was going on a journey, but she had probably left early in the morning, as he would have, and as Kody would have, if it hadn’t been for that stupid Charolt. So it was a surprise when Heather opened the door. She greeted him with a large smile.

“Hi,” she said with a smile.

“Hey, Heather,” Connor said awkwardly. This was one of the few times since second grade she had been alone with him. “Why haven’t you left yet?”

“Oh,” Heather replied, lost for words. “I…I…I just wasn’t ready to leave this morning.”

“Oh,” Connor replied.

“Why don’t you come inside,” she offered.

“No,” Connor replied, “me and Kody will be heading out pretty soon. And, and I was wondering…”

“What?” asked Heather.

“Do you want to come with us?” Connor asked nervously. In his mind, hundreds of red flags were going up. He would mess up, he definitely would. Still, he had asked.

“Sure,” Heather replied in excitement. “Just a minute,” she said, scurrying up the stairs as quick as she could.

Connor smiled weakly, what had he gotten himself into?

Heather came back down, in a bright red tee shirt that complimented her reddish-brown hair and blue jeans. She carried a bright red satchel, which seemed stuffed to the top with belongings. Connor knew what was inside. A comb, a wallet, a cell phone, that was for sure in there. So was a pokeball, though Connor had no clue what kind of pokemon was in it.

“Ready to go?” Connor asked.

“Yep,” Heather replied.

And so they went, out onto Heather’s porch and into the driveway, onto the road and towards the beginning of the route to Port Re. They were hand in hand, two starry eyed dream chasers about to set off. They were like that, mesmerized in that afternoon, that there journey was now beginning. And then Kody came.

Kody stared at them. They looked as if they were dating. That was what he thought as he strolled up to them at the bench, near the sign that marked the beginning of the route. He couldn’t believe it. One day on the journey, and Connor had done it, or that’s what Kody saw, anyway.

Heather couldn’t believe it. She had gotten out of going on a journey with Ryan Taylor, that geek that had cornered her behind the dumpster and kissed her in fifth grade. She hated him. She couldn’t stand him. Yet, her parents thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. No, since bread became at all. And now, she was with Connor and Kody, her best friends. She smiled; not even noticing how close Connor was sitting to her on that bench.

“Okay, Connor, I’m finally here,” Kody said breathlessly. “Next time, let’s pick to meet somewhere nearer the other side of town.”

“Okay,” Connor said smugly, “next time. Not like they’ll be one. Let’s go.”

They strode off into the woods, beginning what they though would be the best time of their lives. Connor smiled cheerfully. He was unaware of his parent’s predicament.

“Are you sure that he’s not just hiding somewhere on the grounds or in this house,” said the officer, memo pad in hand, pen quickly rolling across the paper. He wore a light blue shirt, with many stripes and symbols along the arms.

“Yes,” Cindy O’Brien replied, in tears. “He was pretty mad this morning. He doesn’t hide when he’s that angry. He definitely ran away.”

“Yes, Mistress O’Brien, I’ll do my best,” said the officer.

“Thank you, Officer McNash,” Kyle said calmly. “We appreciate it.”

“Yes, Master O’Brien, we deal with these problems every day. We’ll find your son.”

“Thank you,” Kyle replied.

Officer McNash walked to his police car and got in. He eyed his partner, a man by the name of Officer Ernest McGregor. “Quite a case, aye Ernest?”

“Yep,” replied Ernest, “we better keep tabs on the pokemon centers and marts, and probably that one Rocket base just south of here.”

“Good idea, Ernest. Let’s get back to headquarters. We better find him. I don’t think the O’Briens want to wait very long. And did you see the size of the house!”

Connor O’Brien swayed nervously from side to side. Why in the world had he asked Heather to come along with them? He regretted it now.

Meanwhile, Heather was excited as could be. She loved this journey, regardless that it had just begun. If only her parents would not find out until ten, the time she had said she would have been back from the movie with Ashley, she’d be home free. Or, well, away from home free.

Kody walked nervously behind them. He didn’t feel he should talk. He didn’t want to disturb what seemed to be a spell of perfection. And yet what seemed to be a spell of perfection would be ruined if Connor got caught. He knew that Connor was running away. And if he knew that Heather was too, it would have made him even more nervous.

It was nearly eleven o’clock as once again Officer McNash and Officer McGregor walked up a long street on a secluded street. Once again, it was a lost child. Once again, it was one that was going to start a journey. McNash shuffled patiently as he waited for the door to be opened. He knew that the O’Brien Case wasn’t going very well. He felt, deep down, that for some reason this would be the same.

Twelve o’clock midnight brought sleep for Connor, Kody, and Heather. They slept without care of the surroundings, a pitch black forest, and also without care of the skies gloomy color over which dark grey clouds were forming. Nor did they care that around them were five of the fiercest birds ever to be met in the forest between Port Re and Rio Grande, as well as the fearless man that loved and cared for them.

It was a sunny morning as Connor O’Brien got up. He could hear the sizzling of eggs from outside. There was Kody. He cracked another egg on the frying pan that sat over a small, yet warm, fire. Connor walked past the fire, and could see Heather’s tent, which stood silently, without stir. As he walked out of the camp, he heard the caw of what sounded to be a fierce bird.

“What are you doing?” asked Kody.

“Oh,” Connor replied, “gonna’ see how bad that Charolt of mine really is.”

“Good luck with that,” commented Kody sarcastically.

“Yeah,” replied Connor with just as much enthusiasm, “it’s gonna’ be a blast!”

“Okay, Connor,” Kody said, “breakfast will be in just a bit, so come back quite soon.”

“Will do, Kody.”

Connor walked out through the forest, searching for a patch of treeless ground.

“Charolt, come on out,” Connor said nervously, some time later. He raised a red and white sphere into the sky and from it came a young colt. His body was colored white, while his mane at tail glowed a bright red. The colt’s face was alive and was illuminated by to starry, bead-like eyes. The colt softly hummed in gratitude. He had finally been let out! He looked up to a tall boy, much taller than he was. He gazed in sadness at the boy’s angry face. What had he done to deserve such a fate? He frantically looked around to see another that might be his owner, but no one else was around. He lowered his head in acceptance. If his owner hated him, so be it. He would just have to change his view, bit by bit.