Thread: [Pokémon] Reverberations of Time
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Old November 23rd, 2017 (12:52 AM). Edited November 26th, 2017 by Unown Seer.
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    Join Date: Aug 2009
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    Chapter 6



    Prof. Elm, Chica and I are heading to the celebration party in Gold's honor. Chica is walking right next to me, occasionally looking up to see what I'm doing. I wonder if she knows where we're going and why. Apparently, a chunk of the locals have already gathered at Rebecca's yard for the great feast. The walk shouldn't be too long, which is good since December evenings are pretty cold and my sweater and jacket just don't cut it.

    "Professor, how well does everyone in town know each other?" I ask.

    "Oh, this is a quaint small town and we're all fairly close. As my wife tends to say, anyone who lives here doesn't get to have privacy for too long," he laughs.

    "Cool. People in Violet City are also very hospitable, but it's a much bigger community than yours. So I'm only familiar with the people in my neighborhood."

    "Violet is an interesting city, to be sure. It is only second to Ecruteak in terms of honoring past traditions. Have you been to Sprout Tower?" he asks.

    "Just once as part of a school tour. It's beautiful, and I love the idea behind learning to live with Pokémon in harmony. I sort of doubt there was ever a 100-foot-tall Bellsprout, though!"

    "Ha ha. That sort of thinking is probably best left for local legends, but who knows. There hasn't been a lot of research on how Pokémon have changed over centuries. It is conceivable that Bellsprout used to be taller, or that at least some of them were. 100 feet tall sounds farfetched, but maybe over 5 feet? More than twice their current height."

    His words leave me dreamy-eyed, as if this day weren't already the best ever. Chica can tell that I'm happy, so she is, too. And that makes me even happier.

    "Pokémon changing over centuries… That sounds so exciting! Is that something you've worked on at all?"

    "Not really. I used to study regular evolution patterns, but my interests shifted to Pokémon breeding and the Pokéwalker project, as you know."

    I nod. I can't help but admire this guy, who is smart, curious, kind and even rather handsome. I wish Dad were even a bit like him. I'm sure that Mom was, but that is small comfort given that I never got to know her.

    "We're almost there. I think I see Roger waving at us," he points out. Sure enough, that is Roger. I wonder if he's waiting for his dad or me. He's a good kid; maybe we'll get to talk some more.

    "Kris and Chica, over here!" he yells, ignoring his dad.

    I wave back and give him a smile. It's time to join the festivities, Chica.

    ***

    There are about 50 people in Rebecca's yard, all busy eating delicacies while talking with those around them. There is an assortment of tables organized as one big rectangle, but Roger is taking Chica and me to a separate table where Gold and Lyra are sitting, with Snout in Lyra's arms and Cinder resting comfortably on the grass.

    "I've found them!" Roger tells the other two excitedly. Gold smiles, while Lyra waves.

    "There sure are a lot of people here, huh?" I ask rhetorically.

    "Yep. Rebecca has been working really hard to make this night one to remember," Lyra notes. "But Ethan here is too shy to give a speech."

    "Hey, I'm just a kid still. Don't put pressure on me," he says with a note of frustration.

    "Kris, what can I get you and Chica to eat?" Roger asks.

    "What's the best plate on the menu?"

    "Cinnabar volcano burgers!"

    "Volcano, huh? What vegetables are they made of?"

    "All of them! There's lots of chili, hence the volcano," he answers eagerly.

    "Sounds good, especially for Chica," I laugh. He rushes toward a long table with all the food and drinks, leaving me with Lyra and Gold while Chica is trying to wake Cinder up. No success there.

    "So you two have known each other for years, right?" I ask, catching Lyra's attention.

    "Yep. We've been good friends since I moved here when I was about five," Lyra says happily. Gold just nods; there seems to be something on his mind. Before long, Roger returns with a plate of two burgers for me and Chica.

    "Thanks, Roger. Have you eaten yet?"

    "I couldn't help myself while I was hanging the decorations," he laughs.

    "But you haven't had cake at least. I hope you aren't full," Lyra adds in a motherly fashion.

    I signal Chica to stop jumping up and down on Cinder's back and have something to eat. She eagerly runs toward me while I'm cutting the burger into chewable pieces.

    "Here, bon appetit!" I tell her. Gold eyes us.

    "You two have really hit it off after just a few hours, huh?" he says. I smile.

    "I've been waiting to get a Pokémon for a long time, but I've been around them at Earl's academy," I explain.

    "Earl? Oh right, I ran into him right before my first gym battle. What is the big guy like?"

    "Very jolly, but also serious about teaching kids to be strategic trainers," I answer. Lyra raises an eyebrow.

    "From what I've heard, none of his students made it to the Hall of Fame," she notes.

    "Hey, the Hall of Fame isn't everything. The Battle Tower is a great place for battles, too," Gold corrects her.

    "Oh, I didn't mean to say that the academy was the best way to learn about battling," I clarify awkwardly.

    "So have you finished your studies?" she asks. Chica finishes eating and plays with Snout, having given up on Cinder.

    "Kind of. I've passed all the regular tests, but the battles… were too hard," I reply.

    "Hard how?" she keeps asking. I don't know how to answer that without embarrassing myself. Is she doing this on purpose?

    "I don't know. Battles make me nervous and I really didn't want to command Pokémon that weren't even mine," I say after pondering. Lyra looks surprised.

    "I get what you mean. It doesn't seem right to use a Pokémon that isn't yours," Gold chips in.

    "Like that thief who stole Toto!" Roger stands up and exclaims. This is clearly a touchy subject.

    "Yeah, like him. I'm sorry that I couldn't get Toto back, but…" Gold stops mid-sentence.

    "But what?" Roger asks. Lyra looks annoyed.

    "Come on, Roger. Cut Ethan some slack on his big night," she says. I can't help but agree.

    "That's okay. That thief… I call him Silver, and he isn't that bad a guy," Gold explains. "He never introduced himself. I came up with Silver because of his belt; I would have called him Red because of his hair color, but that name is already occupied."

    "Wait, so how well do you know him?" Roger asks.

    "I've battled him several times to get Toto back. I lost the first few times, but I did win when he challenged me in Goldenrod City while I was trying to stop the broadcast."

    "So what happened?" Lyra asks. It seems that she only knows so much about Gold's journey. How close are they?

    "Well, he helped me save the Radio Tower's director and find Team Rocket's interim leader, Archer. I doubt that I could have done it without him." So Gold wasn't the only one responsible for stopping Team Rocket. The media didn't mention Silver at all.

    "He stole Toto, but he fought against much bigger thieves. I wonder what that is about," I note.

    "That doesn't change a thing! He is just as bad as they are," Roger counters.

    "Let's just drop the subject, okay?" Lyra says agitated. Rebecca comes close to our table.

    "Kris, right? I'm glad you could join us. I see that Chica is enjoying my cooking," she says with a smile. She's an attractive woman who certainly knows how to host a party. The guests seem to adore her, probably for being a single mom that raised such an exceptional son.

    "Thank you so much, Rebecca. It's great to be here," I reply. She keeps smiling.

    "Now then, Ethan, you haven't said so much as a word to the other guests. At least send out the rest of your Pokémon so that everyone can admire them," she tells her son.

    "Okay, but they don't like people staring at them. The minute they don't feel comfortable, I'm returning them to their balls," he tells her off. Then he stands up and takes out four Poké Balls, clicking on their buttons in quick succession. Four creatures emerge next to Cinder: Scizor, Smeargle, Umbreon and a white, avian Pokémon I don't recognize. They all look so cool!

    "Go on, send out the last one," Roger says in mild amusement.

    "Yeah, as if. A red Gyarados is not a good fit for a party," Gold laughs. Meanwhile, people have noticed the new guests and are excited. Smeargle and Umbreon hide behind Scizor, while the mysterious egg-shaped critter is flying happily.

    "I saw them on TV! That Togekiss was a real star against Lance's Dragonite," a tall man yells. I guess that a lot of people watched the championship battle, but I didn't. The man sits down when Gold doesn't answer him; he clearly doesn't enjoy the attention.

    "Togekiss? Is that a newly discovered species?" I ask.

    "Kind of. I got a Togepi egg from Mr. Pokémon, who got it from the Kimono Girls in Ecruteak City. It's a very rare Pokémon, and it was by coincidence that Prof. Elm figured out how it evolves. Long story short, it evolved into Togetic after the Radio Tower incident, and then again right before I entered Indigo Plateau," Gold says.

    "Amazing. So how did it defeat Dragonite?"

    "It's a Fairy type. They're pretty good dragon slayers in general, but even so, Lance's team were a real hurdle," he says.

    "Don't be so modest, Ethan! You showed that Lance guy who's boss!" the tall man from before yells again. Gold sighs, while Cinder finally wakes up to join his friends. Chica and Snout greet them, too. It's funny how Cinder and Scizor tower over all the others.

    "Your Pokémon are so cool," I tell him.

    "They're my loyal partners. We'll always be together," he says smiling. An elderly woman approaches us. She's eating a piece of cake.

    "Ethan, my boy, what do you want to do now? You've already achieved so much in just a year," she tells him. Gold pauses.

    "Have you considered replacing Lance as the champion?" she asks after he stays silent.

    "No, I could never do that. I want to keep traveling with my friends," he answers.

    "Oh? Travel where?"

    "I'm thinking of Kanto. There are some great places to visit there, and the gym leaders are tough," he says.

    "Kanto is an interesting region. Very different from rural Johto," she notes. "I can't imagine that the gym leaders will be much of a challenge for you, though."

    "Battles aren't just about the challenge, and besides, there is a very strong trainer I want to meet."

    "You mean Red, right?" Lyra asks, while the woman looks curious.

    "Yes. Red has been my role model ever since I heard about him bringing down Giovanni. I realized then that age means nothing," he says while petting his Umbreon.

    "Of course age doesn't matter. Why, I'm in my 70s, but I feel as vibrant as ever. Anyway, I hope that you don't rush off to Kanto first thing in the morning, eh?"

    "Don't worry about it. I've promised Mom to stick around for at least a week."

    "Wonderful. I'll see you later, then," she says and turns back. She almost stumbles over Chica, who is too preoccupied with her playtime to notice where she's going. Awkward.

    "I don't know about you guys, but I could use a slice of cake right about now," Lyra says. "Shall I get you plates?" We all nod excitedly. She comes back after a few minutes and we enjoy the delicious flavor of a black forest chocolate cake. We let the Pokémon have some, too. Before long, the guests start leaving, as it's already past 10 pm. Prof. Elm approaches, looking ready to leave.

    "Okay, Roger. It's bedtime for you."

    "Geez, why should I go to sleep while everyone else is still up?" Roger mopes.

    "They're older than you are, and in case you hadn't noticed, they're going home," the professor retorts. "Now Kris, it's way too late for you to start your journey today. How about I let you sleep on the sofa in my lab?"

    "That sounds great. Thank you!" That is a load off my mind, but I was afraid to ask him.

    "Thanks for coming, everyone. It's been fun," Gold tells us. His Pokémon other than Cinder are back in their balls by now. "And thank you, Lyra and Roger, for making this happen."

    "I did all the work, really," Roger laughs. Lyra is giving him the evil eye.

    "Like hell you did. Even I can't take the credit for Rebecca's hard work," she says. "Anyway, it was worth every second! Even if you were pretty quiet, Ethan."

    "I don't like being in the spotlight, that's all. And I told you to call me Gold."

    "Hey, if you don't want to feel important, don't change your name just because people all over the region know you now," she says. He doesn't have a good comeback.

    "Fine, call me Ethan. But not you, Kris." I nod, while Lyra stares. This is so awkward.

    "Okay, you kids. Let's get going, and Ethan, don't forget to bring your Pokéwalker device tomorrow. I want to see all the juicy details about your journey," the professor says and Gold nods. I signal to Chica that we need to get going, and she follows me reluctantly. She could probably keep playing all night if we humans weren't in the way…

    "Goodnight, everyone," I tell Gold, Lyra and Rebecca. It's time to go to sleep.

    ***

    It's morning now. Chica is resting comfortably on my blanket, and I'm thinking ahead about our journey. I haven't planned nearly enough, not least because I didn't even know that I would receive a starter. The only thing I know is that I am not going back home. I did have enough sense to bring a supply of potions and repels just in case; there is no way that Chica will get hurt on my watch. After thinking back and forth, I realize that I have to be spontaneous. What's the worst thing that could happen?

    Roger and his dad enter the lab. The former is his usual perky self.

    "Rise and shine, ladies!" Roger shouts.

    "For heaven's sake, Roger. They're free to sleep for as long as they'd like."

    Chica looks pretty pissed. She did not want a wake up call.

    "Sorry. I just thought that Kris was already up," Roger says.

    "That's okay, I was. And we should get going now," I reply.

    "Hey, Kris… I want to keep in touch with you. After all, you're going to do important work for us and it's my job to monitor your progress!" Roger says seriously. I can tell that he just wants to talk.

    "That's a great idea! Here, let me write down my Pokégear number," I say and take out a pencil. "You can call me whenever about anything," I smile.

    "Sure, when I am not too busy with other projects," he smiles back. Prof. Elm looks amused.

    "Kris, two things: First, I've prepared you some food for your trek to Cherrygrove City. Second, your Pokéwalker device is ready," the professor says.

    "Awesome. Professor, you've been really great to me, and I'm just some girl from another city. I could never thank you enough."

    "Now, now, don't make me feel emotional. You are not just some girl and you deserve a great start as a new trainer," he smiles. "Just promise me that you won't do anything reckless. Use those Poké Balls when needed, and train that Chica of yours."

    "I won't do anything reckless, don't worry," but those balls... Let's not rehash that debate. It's best to just smile.

    ***

    Well, it's time to head off. "Are you ready, Chica?" Her eyes tell me that she certainly is. The Pokégear map should help me navigate my way out of town. We start walking along the pavement Lyra and I used to get to the lab yesterday. After we get to the bus station, we'll get on the first bus and stop mid-way to see the wild Pokémon from up close. We just need to be careful not to attract attention; the last thing I want is to get into an unnecessary battle.

    Suddenly, I see Gold running toward us. "Kris, wait up!" I stop, while Chica looks confused.

    "I didn't get a chance to wish you good luck on your journey," he says.

    "No worries, and thanks. I hope that you find what you're looking for in Kanto."

    "What I'm looking for? I don't really know what that is."

    "You said that you wanted to meet Red, right?

    "Yes, but he isn't the only one. I'm also looking for Silver, to thank him for his help against Team Rocket. I didn't mention this to Roger, but I believe that Toto is pretty happy where he is."

    "You should tell that to Roger. I've only known him for a day, but it's obvious that he's very worried about Toto."

    "You're right. Hey, what are you looking for?"

    I pause. I don't like being asked this question because I don't have a good answer that satisfies people.

    "I just want to get to know Pokémon better. To do that, Chica will always be on my side, and so will any other partner that comes along."

    "That's a great answer. Lyra told me that you don't like Poké Balls, so I guess this is the reason for that. Just be careful, okay?"

    "Funny, the professor said the same thing just an hour ago. What should I be careful of?"

    "Trust me, even Johto has its share of dangerous wild Pokémon and criminals. You need your Pokémon to keep you safe, and that means training them."

    Criminals I understand, but why would wild Pokémon be dangerous? He's exaggerating, but he has good intentions.

    "Don't worry, I'll be fine. Hey, do you want to share Pokégear numbers? That way we can keep tabs on each other's journeys."

    "Sure, give me your Pokégear and I'll ring mine so that both numbers are saved." I take the device out and he dials his number. Done.

    "Great. Well, we should get going. Enjoy the break before you leave, okay?" I say.

    "Will do. I'll be bored out of my mind, but I'll be a good son for now," he laughs.

    "Your mom is pretty great. I hope you know that," but then, he couldn't know what it's like not to have a mom at all.

    "Sure do. Anyway, feel free to call me about anything – especially training. I want to see Chica as a Meganium next time we meet." As he says that, Chica tackles him. She must want another hug from Cinder. Gold knows this all too well, so he summons his trusted starter, who lifts Chica up to say goodbye. Heartwarming, really.

    "Get a room, you two. Kris needs to get going," he says.

    "Yeah, we shouldn't miss our bus. Bye Gold, and let's remember to stay in touch!"

    He nods and signals Cinder to put Chica down. We move in different directions, but I know that we'll meet again. What sort of person will I be by then?
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