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October 22nd, 2009 (5:34 AM).
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
In the middle of nowhere.
Belle hadn’t realized that she got seasick. She gratefully stepped onto the firm, solid ground of Pallet Town with the help of the tired-looking man who served as cabin boy. She had never spoken to him enough to learn his name, and on her whole one-day journey, she had never seen the captain.
“Thanks for the poncho,” she told him.
“No problem,” he replied in his gruff voice. He saluted her briefly and turned back to the boat, walking away to tell the captain to take off. Belle reached into her pocket to make sure she still had the Charizard toy before turning away.
Pallet Town was very small. It was smaller, even, than New Bark Town. The only remarkable thing about it was the huge building on a hill, with pastures extending behind it. From here, they looked to be full of Pokémon, so Belle assumed that this was the Pokémon Lab, and therefore where she needed to go.
She picked her backpack up off the ground and slung it over her shoulder. The sky was still overcast, but at least it wasn’t raining anymore. It was a long walk to the Lab, but she finally came to the door and entered.
People in lab coats where bustling around, making notes on clipboards, talking animatedly, carrying Pokémon and Poké Balls. Bookcases stretched from the floor to the ceiling. Belle walked forward slowly, a bit nervous. Now that she saw all the people, she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to be in here.
“Can I help you?” A busy-looking person caught Belle by her elbow. It was a tall, dark-haired man with glasses. He peered down at her in an accusatory way.
“I…uh…was looking for the professor…I need to get a Starter Pokémon,” Belle tried to explain.
The man narrowed his eyes. “Uh-huh. How about I just show you to the door, and you can call later…”
“Where are you taking that girl?”
The man stopped and looked up. A boy with black hair and an orange headband was standing there, a sketchbook under one arm. He frowned at the man as he walked forward.
“I was just showing her the way out,” the man told him.
“She said she needed to get a Starter Pokémon,” the boy said. “I’ll just take her with me.”
“If she needs a Pokémon, she’d better see the professor. I’ll take her to him.”
The man appeared to be gritting his teeth. He relinquished his hold on Belle’s elbow finally and nodded. “Take her, then.” He then turned and bustled off.
“Sorry about that,” the boy said, taking hold of Belle’s other elbow and guiding her through the lab. “The aides get a bit touchy sometimes, him in particular. He seems to think people starting their Pokémon Journeys distract the professor, but it’s part of his job. He’s not very trusting, either. He’s usually under the impression that whoever comes in here wants to steal something.” He smiled and glanced down at her. “My name’s Tracy, by the way.”
“Belle? It’s nice to meet you.” He took her to a large room. Towering bookshelves lined the walls. In the center of the room was a counter with three Poké Balls, and in the corner was a desk and a computer. Sitting in front of the computer was a gray-haired man in a white lab coat, and beside him was a giant purple blob.
“Professor?” Tracy called. “We’ve got another starter.”
The professor swiveled his chair around and stood up. He had large eyes and thick, bushy eyebrows. He smiled broadly as he walked over, but the giant purple blob suddenly came to life and threw itself upon him, wrapping purple arms around him and making some sort of loud sound.
“No, Muk!” the professor yelled, and he grabbed a Poké Ball that had been lying on the desk. He returned the strange Pokémon to its Ball, which he set down. “So sorry,” he said, panting as he walked toward Belle. “Muk is a tad affectionate. I am Professor Oak! And who are you?”
“I’m Belle,” she replied.
was Professor Oak? He didn’t look anything like she expected. He wasn’t skinny and gangly with big square glasses, not at all like Professor Elm.
“And would you like Squirtle, Bulbasaur, or Charmander?” Oak walked over to the counter and gestured to each of the three Poké Balls in turn. Belle frowned. This was the hardest part.
Which Pokémon did she want? This would probably be the one she would grow closest to, the one she would spend the most time with. Her very first Pokémon…how could she choose?
“I’m not quite sure,” she said, putting her hands in her pockets and dipping her head. Her fingers closed over the Charizard toy in her pocket, and suddenly she thought of Derek. What if she brought home a Charizard? How cool would that be? Derek would be so impressed, and it might even inspire him to go on his own Pokémon Journey. And anyway, Charmander was a really good Pokémon. She looked up and smiled. “Actually, scratch that. I want Charmander, please.”
“Charmander?” Professor Oak nodded and went to the table, picking up a Poké Ball. It opened in his hand and a Charmander appeared in front of him, tail flaming brightly.
it cried happily. Upon seeing Belle, it became quiet and cocked its head.
Belle knelt down on the floor. “Hi,” she said to it. “I’m Belle.” How many times was she going to introduce herself today?
The Charmander eyed her for a second before taking a tentative step forward. Belle reached her hand out toward it very slowly. “I’d like you to come with me on an adventure,” she told it. “I’d like you to be my friend.”
It came toward her, and inquisitive look in its eye. “Would you like to come with me? Would you like to be my friend?” She leaned forward ever so slightly, and the Charmander reached out with its tiny little claw and touched her fingertip. She drew in a breath and held it. Silence descended upon everyone in the room, which seemed to consist only of Belle and the Charmander.
And suddenly, the Charmander cried out happily and threw itself at Belle, hugging her. Belle laughed as it toppled her over, and she hugged it back. “You wanna be my friend?” she asked, and it cried out again. Finally it let her up and she sat up, stroking its head lovingly. “Hm…how about I nickname you…Charmy! Do you like that?”
“You do, huh?” She tickled it.
“He seems to like you quite a bit,” Professor Oak said.
? Charmy is a
?” Belle asked, scooping the Pokémon into her arms and standing.
“Yes. Is that a problem?”
“No…it’s just good to know.” She tickled Charmy under his chin. “So, the next town is Viridian City, right?”
“Right,” Tracy said. “You’ll want to stop there to rest for a while and buy some Poké Balls.”
“I don’t have enough money for a hotel room,” Belle said uncertainly.
“Trainers are allowed to stay for free at Pokémon Centers,” Professor Oak told her. “You look familiar…do you have any older siblings, by any chance?”
“No, but I have a face like my father’s.” Her stomach lurched. Did Oak perhaps know her father?
“What is your father’s name?” Oak asked her.
“Uh…my father’s name was Daniel,” she told him. “His first Pokémon was a Bulbasaur.” She remembered being five years old and clambering all over the flower on Venosaur’s back.
Oak frowned. “His name
Daniel? Is he…”
Belle took in a deep, shuddering breath. “He died when I was eight. He was continuing his Pokémon Journey in the Sinnoh region, and a bunch of cult freaks killed him in some quest for a better world.”
“I remember him,” Oak said softly, putting his hands behind his back. “He often sent me updates on Venosaur.” He sighed. “I would like to give you, young lady, a Pokédex.”
Belle watched Oak go over to his computer and pick up a red thing that had been lying next to it. “A Pokédex?”
“Yes. It’s an encyclopedia of sorts. It records information on Pokémon. It’s quite useful.”
“It’s kind of a high-tech encyclopedia, then?”
Oak sighed. “I’m so tired of using those words, but yes.” He handed her the red thing. It was rectangular. She placed Charmy on the ground and opened it up, moving it so the little lens on it was fixed on her Charmander.
“Charmander,” it said, startling her. She jumped and almost dropped it; instead, she shut it and tucked it into her backpack.
“Here’s Charmy’s Poké Ball,” Tracy said, handing the Ball to Belle. She took it from him. “Charmy goes inside it.”
“Right. Uh, return, Charmy!” A beam of red light shot from the center of the Ball and enveloped Charmy. Charmy was sucked back into the Ball. Belle blinked. It was strange to be doing this herself; she had seen her father do it so many times.
“Well, good luck on your journey,” Oak told her.
“Thank you,” she replied. “And thanks for the Pokédex. Can I hook it up to my laptop?”
“Yes, if you have a USB cord.”
“Okay. Well, I guess I’ll see you later, then. I can transfer Pokémon I catch here, right?”
“Yes. And I’d love to get them.”
“Cool. Okay, well, I’ll see you guys!”
“I’ll walk you out.” Tracy opened the door for her. He looked over his shoulder at Oak. “That way, a certain
won’t pick on her.”
Oak sighed. “I really need to have a talk with him.”
Tracy smiled reassuringly at Belle as he led her out of the Lab.
How to get in touch!
From now on, you guys will have to send me e-mails. I’m going to be on the road, so there won’t be a physical address to send any letters to. I’m going to send you guys e-mails too, so CHECK IT OFTEN!!!!! I don’t want to be ignored!
Alyssa, you’re graduating soon, right? I’d better be invited! Also, you REALLY need to ditch the student e-mail address and get your own.
Cassandra, when’s your first Contest? Break a leg! (That’s what artsy people say instead of good luck, right?)
Okay, girlies, I need to go on up to Viridian City, so I’ll write back later.
Love you both,
Joined Aug 2009
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