Chapter 1: Route 24 & 25
Starting date May 20th, Monday
Your journey starts immediately on Route 25, a forested valley between tree covered hills. The road is well maintained and clear still, for those who prefer not to take the wild path and search out pokémon! Later, the road turns southwards into Route 24, which has more farms nestled in between the forest areas.
You're heading off from Cerulean Cape in the afternoon and the trip should take you about 1 day at normal pace. This means that you will likely want to camp out or seek shelter in a farm for the night since you won't be able to make it all the way to Cerulean City before nightfall. The weather is good and there are no really dangerous pokémon here though, so you shouldn't have much trouble!
Note: you are allowed to take longer than this to get through this area, but then you risk missing out on events happening on specified dates in later chapters.
WHAT TO FIND HERE
- Plenty of fledgling trainers from the Cape College, classmates and students from other years, who come here during their freetime to practice. Professor Palm is quite lax about allowing you to battle trainers and travelers here, as it is relatively close to school and you all have provisional Licenses.
- On Route 24, farmers who are quite used to the students and usually eager to help them out if they are in need of rest or a good meal.
EVENTS All are possible to team up with other players in.
HOPELESS: May 20th, Monday / OPTIONAL
- One of your classmates has almost given up already on Route 24. They don't feel like their starter pokémon trusts them, and they have very little confidence that they will be able to do well against any gym leader. You will need to either encourage them to continue, or make them go back to the College and decide to study for another year. There can be several trainers feeling like this, so several players can choose to do this event once each, together or independently for different NPCs you invent yourselves. Or perhaps one player character can even assume the role of this hopeless trainer :)
- Reward? Depends on what you choose to do.
- Alternative? If you can come up with one, sure? But it's not like they can sit around and mope on Route 24 forever; they'll eventually need to either brave onwards or give up and go back.
NUGGET BRIDGE: May 21st, Tuesday / MANDATORY - Some delinquents are hanging out near Nugget Bridge and won't let any pesky Cape College students pass unless they can beat one of them. You are still a rookie trainer, but hopefully you have caught some more pokémon by now, or you have gotten to know your starter well enough to be able to take one of these illegal battlers down. (They don't have licenses and as such don't count as legal trainers) - Reward? You get to enter Cerulean City! - Alternative? You find a way to cross the wide river without using the bridge. Feel free to be creative. And actually, you'll still get the same reward, to reach the city.
POKÉMON FOR CAPTURE Hover for movesets. All are approximately Lv 3-5.
Pokémon below are more rare and only available after you have leveled up your starter to at least Lv 7. All are approximately Lv 5-7.
Miles had gotten up early for this day. The day that he truly started his pokemon journey. For his starter pokemon he had chosen a pretty Vulpix, noting that her fur was quite healthy like the ones he had seen at his mother's breeding ranch. Vulpix had seemed to accept him, but wasn't particularly loving or affectionate for him. Miles knew that not all pokemon were like that, but he was quite used to interacting with pokemon from birth who were much more trusting of his mother and him.
Despite this, his unnamed Vulpix nicely walked along side him through the route leaving Cape College. Miles figured that many trainers would be eager to catch their first pokemon and would be looking as fast as possible so his plan was get some distance. Still, he thought about what first pokemon he could catch. Vulpix's Ember would make any grass type found in the forest easy pickings, but typically grass pokemon didn't need to be tough to make it in the forest.
In the distance Miles could see a small pond, in it was a Poliwag! It looked quite relaxed, just laying on a rock with it's tail dangling in the water, eyes closed. He hadn't planned on getting a pokemon yet but it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the jump on this Poliwag, even if he felt bad for disturbing it.
Professor Palm had told Miles that Vulpix knew the move Psycho Cut. Not typical for a Vulpix, he had been intrigued and looked up the statistics of the move. He was surprised to find for such a low leveled pokemon the move was very strong. Creating multiple psychic blades, the move would cut through and damage the foe. He just had to sneak up on the Poliwag and catch it off guard.
Miles bent down and softly spoke to his Vulpix.
"Do you see that Poliwag over there? We're going to quietly go up to it and I want you to use Psycho Cut. Are you ready?"
Vulpix, seeming to understand, nodded it's head. Miles softly crept forward as Vulpix did the same, keeping between the trees so the Poliwag didn't spot their figures as they approached. Crouching behind the closest tree to the pond Miles motioned for Vulpix to go forward.
Vulpix dashed toward the relaxed Poliwag, using her psychic energy to call upon Psycho Cut with a short howl. Startled, the Poliwag didn't have time to react to the...actually very small set of psychic blades. As the blades came down they did not penetrate the pokemons's tough skin but had pushed the Poliwag off the rock it was occupying into the water.
"What?!" Miles bursted out. Was that it? His Vulpix turned around to see what the trainer was yelling about. He felt a little embarrassed, he should have thought about if Vulpix's psychic powers might have been too underdeveloped. He didn't have time for this though, the Poliwag had emerged from the water.
Angrily the Poliwag shot out it's Water Gun at the offending foe before Miles could finish calling her, dousing Vulpix and throwing her backwards, not having time to turn around from her previous glace towards her trainer. She shook off the water as the Poliwag dipped under the water. Vulpix growled.
"Aw.." Miles sighed. The fire pokemon shook herself off again and began licking her fur.
At that moment the Poliwag burst from the pond, it had swam from the bottom to the top at high speeds, jumping into the air. It leveraged it's height and downward force into a fierce Pound attack. Vulpix, once again caught off-guard, was hit square on the top of her head. Dazed, she stumbled around.
Miles ran to his pokemon's side, the Poliwag took a defensive stance. Seeing that the foe was still dazed and the human didn't seem to be attacking, it was content with it's revenge. The pokemon retreated to the bottom of the pond.
Miles steadied his pokemon and began to pet her water damaged fur down. Vulpix grunted at him and rebuffed his hands.
"Here, at least let me use this." Miles searched through his bag and pulled out a normal potion. He sprayed it on her head on what he could assume would be a bruise. It seemed to relax Vulpix, who went back to cleaning her fur herself.
Miles walked away from the pond and his pokemon and looked out at the path. Well that was stupid, he thought. How many trainers lost their first battle? It had to be some, right? You just didn't hear about them, it had to be.
Miles pulled out his pokegear to see if he could find anymore information he had missed on Psycho Cut. He spent a little more time searching about the development of a pokemon's psychic ability as well. Satisfied with some tips about strengthening a pokemon's conjuration skills, he turned back to his pokemon.
He has seen quite a few trainers on and near the main path, but they aren’t what Casey is looking for. Casey is looking for Pokémon. He is currently about thirty feet up a tree and has found several Caterpie. Casey is here because he thinks this tree can offer him a clear view of the surrounding area. The Caterpie are here for their own reasons. Neither party is currently interested in the other.
Charmander’s complaining filters up through the branches.
“Yeah, I hear ya! Just a sec!”
Casey glances at his Pokémon as he steps from branch to branch. Charmander is idly hitting small plants with a stick. The two are getting along fairly well, Casey thinks, sliding down a few feet before catching the next branch. Charmander has been happy to match Casey’s brisk pace while criss-crossing the road in search of interesting things. They’ve stepped on about five Oddish so far, but they're getting better at finding them deliberately as the afternoon goes on. It’s an easy victory when the Oddish don’t run away- so easy it probably hardly counts as training. Charmander’s energy needs some sort of outlet, so Casey figures they may as well test battle strategies while there’s not much at stake.
Charmander’s already wandering by the time Casey swings himself out of the tree. “Go on and take a left. I think something’s out that way,” he says, slinging his backpack on and scooping up the walking stick.
Charmander’s nearly hidden by the underbrush, so Casey hurries to catch up. It wouldn’t be great to lose track of his only Pokémon. Especially in a wild Pokémon habitat. Obviously. But the ground here is sloping steeply downhill, and Casey’s keeping his eyes on Charmander rather than his footing, and he’s falling forward with a cut-off yelp and tumbling into a thicket. He hears Charmander cry off to his right but his vision is obscured by angry feathered wings. He swipes at his attacker and managed to slap the bird out of the way- it’s a Pidgey, squawking even more angrily now. It dives to peck at him only to be shot out of the air by a well-placed Ember.
The Pidgey shrieks.
The grove comes to life.
Wings and feathers are everywhere, circling and diving, whipping up blinding sands and cutting winds. Casey instinctively flings out his right arm to shield his face, still holding on to the walking stick. He feels it hit a few birds, but that doesn’t seem to help him- in fact, the attackers seem to double down. He flips himself over and crawls. He can't look up- the Pidgey are still diving for his face, raking talons across his neck- but he can hear Charmander fighting and if he gets to Charmander he can- they can- do something. He doesn't know what, not yet, but by the time he gets there maybe-
Casey gets there, and there's relief. The Pidgey are no longer tearing at him from above. He can look up now and sees Charmander, backed up against a large tree trunk, defending a radius that Casey's crawled into. The flock is hanging back, hovering around them. A Pidgey dives, straight into an Ember. Another copies and is also knocked back. A third tries to sneak in from the other side of the tree but Charmander clocks it just in time. Casey clenches his jaw- another hit. Charmander can't keep this up- another hit- he's losing time- another hit- Ember's getting less accurate- another hit. Casey slides the walking stick into the sling across his back. Another hit. If the flock works together- another hit- it's over- almost a miss. Gotta go right now!
He kicks off from a four-point start and flings Charmander over his shoulder without missing a step. Charmander sinks little claws into his jacket and goes right back into slinging Embers, the clever guy. His tail flame flares uncomfortably close to Casey's face with each shot. Casey's never been a sprinter, but he's also never had quite this much adrenaline rushing through him. He doesn't know where he's going. He can't stop to figure it out. He thinks his shirt's on fire.
Something slams into his right shoulder, clearly aiming for Charmander, and sends him flying. Casey pulls Charmander against his chest and curls around him as they hit the ground and skid several yards, finally rolling to a halt. Casey is flat on his back, limbs splayed, heart hammering, panting heavily, Charmander collapsed against his side. Ever so slowly, his breathing starts coming back under control. He pats Charmander vaguely as he glances around without moving. The area's clear of trees. There's no foliage obscuring his vision. The ground under him is packed and level.
Somehow, they've made it back to the relative safety of the road.
Squirtle was looking with sparkling eyes at all the trainers walking away from the college. They were quite a numerous group that year, and he was chosen by one of them as companion, meaning it was time for him to leave the professor's care and prove himself worthy. And in that sense, he was very much glad to travel beside someone who was so much like him! Or, at least, that was his first impression of Arianne - who also seemed to have a clear idea of which starter would have been the best for her.
In fact, the girl had loved Water-types since she was a young child exploring the rugged coast of Cinnabar Island. There were so many Water types, each with its own traits and quirks, but all looked at peace with themselves and with their home, the sea. Something that Arianne admired, if not envied, but that now could actually achieve throughout this journey. If only... she was used to this. She challenged herself to swim for hundreds of meters along Cinnabar's shores, but only because she knew that when she'd get back, a delicious dinner and her comfortable bed were waiting for her at home.
This of course wasn't the case during her travel - from what some of her friends told her, she had to find shelter in a farm that night because there was nothing better. "Don't worry, you'll be fine!", "You're fifteen already!", "It will change your life!" they said. Changing my life, make it my own, is why I'm here in the first place though... I shall not forget it! she thought, trying to cheer herself up. Plus, Squirtle was so eager to travel! Arianne quickly greeted the other trainers in the area before adventuring in the forest: a place to find berries and, why not, new Pokémon. Thief! Gathering Oran berries was supposed to be easy even for a child, and yet when Arianne tried to do so, a certain... tiny Pokémon attacked her with what seemed like a Grass type move, and ran away with the largest berry. Squirtle tried his best to chase it down and attack it with Water gun (which missed) and Arianne was forced to follow the two Pokémon uphill, trying her best to avoid surfacing roots. Once the culprit hid inside a bush, there was nothing that could be done. Arianne reunited with her starter and leaned towards a large tree. "Don't chase Pokémon because of that! I could have lost you! We'll find other berries, I'm sure." She was much taller than the two creatures she was chasing, after all.
Now, the problem was finding the way back. Arianne was used to swimming in the sea, where you have a clear view of things and landmarks all around, but she was now inside a wall of logs, branches and leaves that looked the same from every perspective... and it took Arianne some time to realize she was carrying a compass. Good start! The two companions wandered around for a while, eventually finding few large, undisputed, bushes of berries, but the main road was nowhere in sight. The Bug types watched them from their branches, some amused, some much more alert. Apparently, other trainers had already tried to battle them and they didn't want Arianne to do the same. The girl had just learned a way to explore. When a large, imposing tree with numerous branches showed up in front of them, both she and Squirtle decided to have a go at climbing it. Just to see how far they still were from the main route. Somewhat aided by her height, Arianne grabbed a large branch and eventually was able to sit over it. A couple more branches, and now the road could actually be seen behind the leaves - they weren't far at all! Squirtle followed her shortly after to enjoy the scenery. Some trainers could be seen around there, too!
Uplifted by their little accomplishments, the two quickly got off the tree, shaking vigorously the branches. Once they reached the ground, though, a weird looking fruit rained down on Arianne's head. That hurt! Just leave us be! Most of the bug types living on that tree had a strong grip on the bark, but not that one. The poor Pineco, who was apparently waiting for preys to pass by and who looked very startled, tried its best to get up again on the tree, but was nowhere as fast as the.. what was its name again? Arianne had no idea. Squirtle could easily aim his Water gun at the bug-type, who could only Protect twice before being hit by another attack. Pineco then tried to use the force of that attack to bounce into something and hit Squirtle with Tackle. The turtle Pokémon, somewhat surprised, hid in its shell but still got knocked back. "Tail Whip!" mumbled Arianne, raising her head just enough to watch the fight. She at least had realized that her opponent would have taken a while to get closer to Squirtle.
"Ok, Tackle..." she commanded, frantically looking for an empty Pokéball in her backpack. Let's try this while I have the chance! Once her starter's attack hit the Pineco, the ball followed shortly after. Arianne wasn't the best at throwing them - she wasn't even standing up, but the Bug type was easy enough of a target. The ball shook once, twice... three times... Arianne had captured a Pineco!
Being tackled by four pounds of bird doesn't feel nice at all. Neither does breaking the fall for two hundred and twenty pounds of human and eighteen pounds of Charmander. It is not a great day for Casey's shoulder. The bruises are going to be wild tomorrow.
He rolls over and shoves himself upright in one fluid motion. Charmander grumbles and also rights himself. Casey bounces in place. His beanie- gone. Shoulder- painful but working. Neck- ah, those scratches are deep. Shirt- singed? He abruptly shucks his backpack and wriggles out of his jacket. Yeah, his shirt is for sure a v-neck now, but more important- his jacket's fine! Maybe a little scuffed, but wow! The thing's tough! And probably padded his fall a decent amount, too. What a great buy, honestly, he's real thrilled with himself. There's a little blood on the collar, though. Better take care of that.
"Hey, Charmander, can you get my water bottle?" Casey pauses, halfway out of his long-sleeved shirt. "Oh, yeah, you doin' alright? Prob'ly should've asked earlier."
Charmander makes a noise roughly equivalent to a shrug and tosses the bottle up to Casey, who flips his shirt inside-out and wets it near the hem. He figures it's ruined anyway, may as well use it to blot the blood out of his jacket.
"Y'know," he muses as he inspects his handiwork, "that coulda gone much worse for us."
Charmander cocks his head and mimes scratching his own neck.
"Oh, I should get to doin' something about that, huh? Don't want more blood on my jacket." He adds water to his shirt and dabs at his neck. "This ain't- ah, man- even a problem. Does sting though, man. We're real lucky there wasn't a Pidgeotto with them out there. Or a Pidgeot. Wouldn'ta got out with just scratches in that case."
He shakes out the shirt. It's unfortunate that teal doesn't hide blood. Or soot. Oh well. He knots the sleeves around the top of the walking stick. He's learned several times over not to leave wet clothes in a bag. "You think we should stay on the road a while? Prob’ly could use some peace after all that. But if we do that, I don’t think we’ll see any more- Pokémon!"
He’s running before he finishes the word, jacket in hand, backpack across one shoulder, Charmander at his heels. The flash of brown darts between the bushes in a bid shake off its pursuers. Casey tracks it through sharp turns and dense underbrush until he sees the Buneary jump- so high! awesome!- and land in the lower branches of a tree, chattering triumphantly. He keeps eyes locked on it as he pulls a PokéBall from his backpack. Charmander is circling underneath its chosen perch.
The blaze hits the Buneary’s foot and it loses balance, toppling down to the ground. It lands on its feet but Charmander is already rushing it, raking claws across its side twice before the Buneary slams its coiled ear into his face. Casey yells, Charmander ducks, a PokéBall smacks Buneary between the eyes, and it disappears in a flash of red light. The ball barely clicks shut before Buneary breaks out, the punch to Charmander’s gut resounding in sync with Casey’s expletive as he scrambles to retrieve another PokéBall. Charmander reels, growls, and shoves the Buneary to the ground, pinning it with his weight just long enough for Casey to bean it again.
Charmander stands ready. Casey holds his breath. The ball shakes violently several times with the force of the rage it has dragged in. Finally, with a definitive click, it settles.
Charmander slumps down where he’s stood and whines.
“You probably need somethin’ energizing after all that, huh? Sorry.” Casey digs out a few berries and hands them to Charmander. “You did a great job! Your aim with that Ember is amazing, ya know?”
Charmander looks as proud as one can while one is also scarfing down food. Casey scoops up first the PokéBall that failed, then the one that holds his new teammate. He imagines he can feel its anger even through the smooth metal of the PokéBall. This could be… a problem.
A curved trail snakes through a dim route filled with trees. This is Route 25. David's footsteps, sneakers treading the earth, are filled with excitement and trepidation. With a backpack behind him, his favorite striped shirt, and cargo shorts, he feels ready. Today’s the day. We’re actually here-- setting out on our journey! He continues to walk with this anticipative mood, and takes in as much as he can from the scenery in front of him. With the greens, the earth tones, and small hints of the clear sky overhead, this is a sight he will never forget. The shadows of the trees' leaves and branches subtract from the light of the area, and visibility of wild Pokémon is quite low. David can hear some of them, though. It's evident that this route is filled with life.
Little Growlithe seems as chipper as David is. They haven’t had a lot of time to bond, since David has been busy with Cape College work, but Growlithe has been waiting patiently for this day, and his eagerness is palpable. He’s skipping around in zigzaggy paths in front of the boy, fluffy tail perked up, and this adorable sight elicits a laugh from his trainer.
Gazing around, David and Growlithe notice that not a lot of trainers are around anymore. The boy and his pup seem to have started late. The two were just hanging around Cerulean Cape playing fetch on the day of days when they lost track of time, and now it seems they have a bit of catching up to do. Not to mention, when it comes to places like these, getting lost is incredibly easy. The boy just hopes that his puppy has a better sense of direction than him. Growlithe has a good nose. David thinks to himself. We won’t be lost.
Having said that, he notices that Growlithe has been sniffing around near a patch of tall grass. David panics a little, because the grass seems way taller than his partner, so he calls to Growlithe.
“Hey bud, are you sensing something? Is it in that tall grass?”
Looking at David, Growlithe let out a quick woof in response, then he goes back to sniffing in front of him again with a soothed expression. Must be a Sweet Scent or something. Just then, the boy notices the tall grass starting to move right in front of Growlithe. The pup backs a little and lets out a few barks.
Out trudges an Oddish, an unusual sight in the afternoon. Did they really waste so much time that night-time encounters are starting to pop up? Oh boy, this isn’t a good start. Well, enough of that thought. It seems Oddish is looking right at Growlithe with a mixture of wariness and... weariness. Huh. Oddish looks like it still has a bit of earth rolling off of its blue body, which indicates that it’s been sleeping underground, before Growlithe’s sniffing woke it a bit earlier than usual.
The wary expression is there, though. Oddish starts to face its leaves towards Growlithe, and as startling as the weed Pokémon’s appearance, red beams shoot from its leaves, hitting Growlithe squarely on the head. As Growlithe yelps, his body turns bright red, draining his energy.
An Absorb attack! David’s eyes widen in concern. “Oh no, Growlithe!”
Growlithe seems slightly ruffled but still in good shape. Seeing that his pup is safe, David sighs in relief. “Alright, the little Grass-type started it. We’re catching this Oddish.”
Growlithe barks as his trainer says this, looking determined. Without waiting for a command though, Growlithe leaps onto the Oddish! He seems to be using his Bite attack, nibbling at one of the Oddish’s feet. His surprised trainer winces. “Not too strong, bud! And wait for my command!”
As Growlithe continues his attack, Oddish cries in pain. While in his grip, Oddish fires another red beam at the puppy to Absorb a little bit of health back, but Growlithe seems less perturbed by it this time.
“Toss it over here, Growlithe, so that it doesn’t get away!”
Growlithe uses his grip to toss the Oddish onto the dirt path far away from David, which doesn’t visibly damage the Oddish. “Not exactly over here but… I’ll take it.” David runs to approach the Grass-type, as Oddish slowly regains its footing. However, its walk is visibly more wobbly, not from grogginess, but due to Growlithe’s Bite. This doesn’t stop the long range red beam from coming out of its leaves again, though, hitting Growlithe and absorbing his health.
Growlithe seems visibly annoyed at the red beams, so he bounds towards the Oddish again, using Bite at the other foot. “Come on, Growlithe! Wait for my signal!” As he says this, Oddish is starting to lose consciousness.
“Alright then!” David gets a miniature sphere from his pocket, presses a button to activate it, and throws it towards the scuffle. “Poké Ball, go!”
He follows the trajectory of the ball with his eyes and... the ball misses Oddish! Mainly because of Growlithe shaking the Oddish around. “Ugh. Okay, one more!” He retrieves another one from his pocket and activates it to regular size. Taking his time, David gets into throwing position. He aims, winds up his arm, and throws it, moving his body forward with the throw.
This one hits. The ball opens, turning the Grass-type into a red beam of energy, and captures it inside. It hits the ground and shakes a little bit, with David’s and Growlithe’s eyes sparkling in suspense. After a few more shakes, a ding sound is heard.
“I did it...” David utters in disbelief. “We caught our first Pokémon, Growlithe!”
Absorb / Growth / Sweet Scent
The boy and his pup literally jump for joy. Granted, they almost failed at the catch, with Growlithe doing attacks before David could tell him to, but David is able to tamp down his discomfort because of their recent mutual accomplishment. The boy retrieves the ball on the dirt path. All David could do is smile from ear to ear, as he clutches his first catch in his right hand. Growlithe pants a little and wags his fluffy tail.
“I’ll tend to your injuries soon, Oddish. Growlithe and I will just try to catch up with everyone else for a bit,” David tells the Poké Ball.
Reducing the size of the ball and pocketing it, he calls for Growlithe and sprints along the main road. Growlithe barks and runs as well, overtaking him. David laughs and chases his pup. The sky starts to become visible again, with the space between trees getting bigger.
After a few minutes of dashing, with the two following the clear and well maintained path, Growlithe skids to a halt, and stops to sit down. It seems a flock of Pidgey are flying overhead, and the pup stopped to appreciate the view. Not one to make his Pokémon hurry, David stands and marvels at them, too. It’s been quite an afternoon. The two look at each other, hopeful that they can get through this journey together.
Not all students set off at the same time. That would have just been a mess. Some were really eager and left as early as the gates to Cape College opened in the morning - in order to finish the journey before everyone else, you needed a good head start! That was what those kids had been proclaiming. Ralph nodded with smiles before she sent a 'pfft' after them behind their backs. As if that would be the important thing.
Of course, she too was eager. But it wasn't as if she cared about being the best one in the end. Her parents had called the night before and cheered her on and told her how they knew she would make them proud and probably beat all the gyms, or at the very least capture the most pokémon. Ralph hadn't said much back. And she had avoided her sister almost all week, much to the younger sister's annoyance. She wouldn't catch Ralph today either.
From behind a wall, she could spy on the younger Gonder sibling as the latter waited near the school gates. Plenty of Ralph's classmates passed by and got wellwishes, but it was quite transparent whom the sister was really waiting for. Eventually, lunchtime approached and the older sister's patience won over the younger. She retreated, likely to find her friends in the food court, and Ralph took her chance to sneak out. She really wouldn't be able to stand whatever her sister had planned to say to her. Most likely some sort of chastising, or even worse... a heartfelt goodbye and goodluck. Ralph shuddered at the very thought.
Outside of the gates, her whole life instantly started to feel lighter. She was finally here. Finally on her pokémon journey! For the day, she was donning her favorite yellow sneakers, black jeans, a blue long-sleeved thin shirt and an unbuttoned short sleeved red shirt checkered with black streaks. And, of course, pressed down over her fluffy dark hair was a yellow beanie. Despite all her nonchalantness, she couldn't help but feeling quite excited as she took her first steps onto Route 25. Enough to take out her first occupied pokéball that was in her own legal possession, and let the creature within out.
The Sandshrew emerged in a flash of light and blinked curiously up at its trainer. They had met before, when he was assigned to her, and later when she had made an attempt to make friends with him. He wasn't entirely convinced yet that this pairing was a good idea, but he was also polite enough to not work against her unnecessarily.
"Ready to find some wild pokémon?" the trainer asked.
"Sandsy!" the pokémon replied.
"Sandsy!" Ralph repeated, eyebrow raised. "That sounds like a great nickname. Let's go with that. Alright, the forest is there, so-"
Oh no. There was no question of whom that commanding shriek belonged to. Ralph didn't even turn around, but stopped in her tracks with a sigh.
"You're trying to leave without saying goodbye to me?"
After a few seconds of silence, Ralph gave in and turned around. There she was, her small sister, complete with her big nose and high pigtails. And a quite agitated face to compliment it all.
"Yeah, what's it to ya, Carrie?" Ralph said casually and folded her hands behind her head in a lazy gesture.
That successfully riled the sister up even more. She didn't seem to find her words for a moment, until her face suddenly shone up slightly. Uh-oh, what did that mean?
"I challenge you to a pokémon battle."
Ralph's arms fell and she was visibly surprised. "Here?" she said dumbfoundedly.
"Where else, genius? Here!"
"But you don't have your own pokémon."
"I have school pokémon with me! I'll use one against you."
"You've not studied nearly as long as I have..."
"Teach me something then! Mom and dad say-"
She stopped herself there, and Ralph could clearly sense that there was something up with her. Her petite frame had barely left the school gate, so there was quite a distance between them already.
"What are they saying, Carrie?"
"Just battle me already, okay? Rattata, go!"
The younger Gonder sister tossed her pokéball up and summoned a feisty Rattata onto the road between them. Ralph suspected she had met this particular rat before, perhaps even used it herself in some battle. It didn't look nervous at all. She glanced to Sandsy, who stood next to her still. He wasn't a school pokémon. He was bred specifically to become a rookie trainer's first pokémon, or captured and discovered to be a good fit for such a use. He was young and relatively inexperienced still, on purpose, so that he and Ralph could grow together and learn the hardships of pokémon training by relying on each other. All this, the professor had told them.
Ralph didn't feel like the battle would be unfair though. She didn't mind winning or losing. Whatever would make her sister leave her alone so she could disappear off the radar at long last.
"Sandsy, let's have our first battle together," she said nonchalantly. "If that's okay with you?"
The Sandshrew actually didn't look nervous either. He had battled before, although never in serious settings. This was out on the road, in the actual reality. He had been born in the wild, but he barely remembered it as he was trained early on to be somebody's robust partner one day. To be Ralph's partner. He nodded to her.
"Alright. Let's go, sister!" Ralph called out with a smug grin that successfully resulted in Carrie clenching her fists in agitation.
"Rattata, Quick Attack!"
The rat carried out the order without delay. Faster than Ralph could follow, even though she had watched Quick Attacks plenty of times before, the experienced rat shot forwards and tackled Sandsy before any of them could react. Ralph reflexively jumped aside with some delay, even though the attack hadn't even grazed her.
Rattata bounced back after impact and came to stand at the ready near its temporary trainer again. Sandsy however, tumbled backwards until his momentum finally stopped, and he groaned as he looked back up. But Ralph could tell he wasn't out yet, simply startled was all. They wouldn't win this on pure strength; the older Rattata had way too much of an advantage there. So, how then?
"Sandsy, use Sand Attack!"
The young pokémon wasn't exactly as quick to obey as the rat had been, but Carrie also wasn't as quick a trainer to react as Ralph was trained to be when properly prepared. Sandsy tossed a minor dust cloud in the opponent's way, temporarily shielding him from sight and irritating the rat's senses.
"That's nothing, do another Quick Attack!" Carrie shouted.
"Defense Curl, Sandsy!" Ralph countered.
Sandsy barely had enough time to perform its most natural movement, before the Rattata slammed into him once again. Curled up and shielded, however, Sandsy now was just pushed back and bounced more or less harmlessly against a tree by the road. Almost before had had landed again, Ralph had formulated her next order.
"Sand Attack again!"
Sandsy unfurled himself and willingly whisked another dustcloud in an increasingly frustrated and sand covered Rattata's direction. He found himself actually enjoying this. Perhaps he shouldn't be so skeptical towards his assigned trainer after all?
"What kind of coward tactics are those?" Carrie growled.
"It's just called 'tactics' when I took the course," Ralph shrugged. Again, eliciting an angered response.
"Rattata, Hyper Fang!"
Oh, she was serious. Hyper Fang was a stronger move. Rattata opened its jaw wider and started powering up its heavy fang. Ralph had to be quick. Defense Curl? Could it really withstand this move? Or more Sand Attack and hope that it would somehow miss? Or do something completely unexpected? Throw rocks at- Oh, yeah, that could work. Or completely fail. Either way, they were out of time.
"Now!" Carrie shouted.
"Rock Slide!" Ralph finally countered.
As Rattata dashed forward, Sandsy didn't have quite enough time to ready his special Rock Slide move properly. He managed to make one large rock form from the mysterious energies in the air and get flung at the oncoming hypercharged jaw, but it missed its target and merely slowed the rat's approach down. Meanwhile, Sandsy - starting to feel nervous at last - stumbled backwards, straight into a crouching Ralph. She put her hands on his shoulders from behind and steadied him.
Carrie watched it and gasped. "Putting yourself in the line of attack is not safe! Rattata, wait!"
But the rat had reached the Sandshrew and leaped, fang glowing menacingly. In the midst of lingering Sand Attacks, it was hard to see exactly what was going on between the two pokémon, but Carrie saw how Ralph tossed herself aside in the last second, thankfully unharmed. Harsh as she could be, Carrie of course still did care about her sister.
As the dust settled, the scene finally cleared up. Sandshrew was standing up and walking over to his trainer, looking pretty fine. Rattata however, was fang deep into a large rock. When it released its grip on it and tried to regain its composure, it stumbled slightly.
"Rattata? Are you okay?" Carried asked in confusion.
"Looks a bit sickly to me," Ralph commented from her side of the road, arms crossed.
Indeed, Rattata seemed to be in some pain, and worsening by the minute.
"Sandsy conjured an extra rock that the Sand Attacked rat conveniently mistook for him. Once Rattata was so close to him and not dashing off immediately, Sandsy could reach it and give it a nifty little Poison Sting."
Realization dawned on Carrie's features. "You poisoned it."
"Granted, Sandsy isn't a poison type so that move doesn't always actually poison the opponent. Seems we were lucky! Or was it skill?" Ralph said with a smile and reached down to pat Sandshrew on his head. He looked pretty happy with himself too. Ralph looked back up at her sister. "We could keep battling, but I actually didn't plan on tiring out my pokémon this early in the day. Plus, I'm not sure the professor will be happy if you return to him with one of his pokémon half gone due to poisoning..."
"Fine!" Carrie said and held up her pokéball to return the defeated pokémon to it. It was sucked in with a red beam of light. "Sister..."
"Yeah, what else?" Ralph said, sensing that things would either become heated or emotional now and not being very keen on either.
Carrie looked up, and Ralph was actually surprised to see neither anger nor tears in her eyes. Just a kind of calm... Smile.
"That was really cool. Your grades might suck," (Ralph mentally flinched at that remark,) "but I think you will really be a good trainer. I'll keep training, and one day I'll beat you!"
"I'll beat you again, you mean," Ralph blurted out nonchalantly, because that was all she could formulate as a response right now.
Her sister didn't seem to mind though. She chuckled and turned back towards the school without further ado. As her small figure disappeared through the gates, Ralph was left standing there on the dusty road for a few more moments. That was really nice of her to say, she thought. Of course, it probably wasn't going to be true. Ralph wasn't going to become the best at anything, so why really try? But she'd better go on and get that license in some way at least.
"Come on, partner," she said and motioned for Sandsy the Sandshrew to follow her. He did so, and seemed a little bit happier than before, she thought. "You did really well. Maybe you're not the fastest, but I think you will be a really strong pokémon. We'll keep training, and one day..."
Bruno and Gospel walked away from Cape College. He had chosen Gastly because his mom used to use a Gengar on the Smart Condition Contests back when she was a coordinator, it also had this creepy smile and big eyes which Bruno liked. However, Bruno didn't count on the pokemon being very naughty and playful which wasn't good for him since that's something he wouldn't know how to handle, so making Gospel to obey him would be a difficult challenge.
The first thing he wanted to do was train Gospel a little bit (maybe that would help a little to make him obey as well, who knows?) and perhaps catch a pokemon or two, but he would avoid trainer encounters for now since his pokemon was still too weak for that.
Bruno walked his way through an area with a lot of tall grass and tall trees. The trees blocked the wind so there was no problem in having Gospel outside of his pokeball at least for now. Bruno wanted to see what kind of pokemon he could find at night, so he prefered to rest during the day in a nearby farm in Route 25 and explore during the night. In case he got lost, he had a compass inside his bag, but he also was going to be careful not to walk too far from the farm.
He kept walking through Route 25 with a flashlight in one hand and the PokéGear, with its map function turned on, on the other while Gospel levitated around following him. He told to himself "I'm gonna catch the first thing that attacks us", but nothing did: the Slakoth and bug pokemon around were just minding their own business and the Pidgey were asleep. The entire Route was covered in a haunting silence. The only thing he could barely listen to was the hooting of the Hoothoot, but there was none to be seen. Suddenly it sounded as if something crashed against the branches of a nearby tree. Now silence; the hooting had stopped. Bruno turned around and checked the tree, but there was nothing, which made sense. The Hoothoot probably flew somewhere else. He then checked behind him, and he didn't see Gospel anywhere. "This is probably another prank", he thought.
"Gospel, enough. Come here" he said.
Nothing. It wasn't funny anymore and Bruno was starting to freak out, after all, without Gospel, he could say goodbye to his dad's case since he had no other pokemon and he would be out of the game before even starting which would be humiliating. He checked the nearby trees and the tall grass, but there was nothing, only Oddish, Caterpie and Weedle, so he decided to try his luck and throw a pokeball to any of those without previous fighting, obviously, which would be the dumbest move he had done until now.
"sigh Here comes nothing..." he grabbed a Pokéball and got in position. He was ready for his first catch. "Pokéball G--"
A deafening screech came from the tree. Bruno dropped his pokeball to cover his ears and the other pokemon hid, some probably got hurt, but it didn't matter anymore, Gospel was back already.
"Gospel! What is the meaning of this?!" Bruno shouted angry, but the pokemon ignored and floated into the tree again. "Hey! Come back here!"
Suddenly, something fell from the tree and quickly got up. It was a Hoothoot, standing in one foot as it was supposed to be. It was angry, but weak, and its eyes were glowing red as if they were on fire.
"Ha, ha. I see..." the kid chuckled
Gospel went down and started floating in front of Bruno as if he was awaiting orders.
"Lets see if we can put it to sleep, shall we?. Use Hypnosis!"
Gospel's eyes glowed a flashy pink, and that color got into Hoothoot's red eyes as well, but it quickly disappeared and its eyes turned red again.
"Insomnia... just as I expected."
Hoothoot started jumping forward, swiftly alternating between its two feet and ran into Gospel. The purple pokemon was pushed back. Both, trainer and pokemon surprised after being hit by an attack that would normally be totally ineffective looked at each other and together nodded their heads.
Hoothoot quickly started jumping again and rushed towards Gospel. Bruno covered his ears again, if he wasn't wrong, only one more attack was enough and Lick was weak and totally useless against Hoothoot, so he had no choice but to hope not to wake up everyone in Route 25. He breathed.
"Now, Gospel! Lets finish this once and for all! Use Hyper Voice!"
Hoothoot jumped towards Gospel, with what seemed to be a really strong attack this time.
Even with his ears covered, the screech was still very loud, he had definitely woken someone up in the nearby farms. The Hoothoot was sent flying and hit one of the trees, falling on the ground. It didn't faint, but it was very weak to even move. Bruno picked up the pokeball he dropped earlier and threw it to the Hoothoot, which was caught without much resistance.
"Sorry for shouting at you before, Gospel." Bruno said "You did great there."
The Hoothoot was a female. Bruno took her out of her pokeball and took a Potion as well, and carefully sprayed it over her.
"That should be enough, I guess, Eterna. Do you like that name?"
The Hoothoot did nothing, she was still a little numb for the previous hit she took against the tree. Bruno took out another Potion and used it on Gospel, a little unsure since he didn't knew how a Potion would work on a pokemon literally made of gas, but it seemed to work just fine for some reason.
"Well, I don't think I want to return to Route 25 after waking everyone up, so we are going to Route 24 now." Bruno said to both of his pokemon "It may be morning already by the time we get there."
Bruno continued on his journey with his two pokemon in their respective pokeballs, since there were no more trees to block the wind and Eterna still needed some rest. He was thinking on probably battle some trainer in Route 24 or catching another pokemon, whatever happened first.
After such an intense very beginning to the journey, Ralph didn't feel particularly encouraged to enter the forest anymore. Instead, she and Sandsy stuck to the well traveled road. It would take them to Cerulean faster, even if she wouldn't meet as many wild pokémon as all the other Cape trainers likely would. Sandsy didn't seem to mind. He looked to be in good spirits as he waggled on beside her.
Suddenly, he stopped and listened with his small ears though. Ralph followed his line of sight and noticed another trainer further ahead on the forest-lined road, barely visible behind some trees. He seemed to be... Sad? Oh, man. This early into the journey? Ralph rolled her eyes as she kept walking. Perhaps he wouldn't notice her, and just...
Nope, Sandsy was not on her wavelength at all right now. He walked right up to the sad boy and tugged the leg of his pants carefully. Curse that little considerate rat, Ralph thought as the boy turned around to reveal a sobbing face. He blinked down at the yellow mouse before realizing it had a trainer and looking up at her instead. Well, she couldn't just leave him there now, could she? He didn't look old at all. Was he really thirteen? He reminded her a lot of her little brother. Aw, muk. Yea, that did it.
"Hey there," she said with a sigh she couldn't completely hide. "What's wrong?"
"I'm not..." the boy tried, but was interrupted by a hulking noise from his throat.
"Try again," Ralph said with a forced smile.
"I don't think my starter pokémon likes me."
"I... I just lost our first battle. I'm such a bad trainer!" More hulking, and some tears.
Ralph raised an eyebrow. "That's fine," she said bluntly.
"Fine?" he abruptly glanced up at her, almost a bit offended looking.
"Yeah? You lost a battle. Maybe you'll win the next one. Or maybe you'll need to figure out why you keep losing, and practice to improve your weaknesses. This is what they taught us in the school, isn't it?"
He seemed to consider that for a moment. "B-but... My pokémon, won't she be sorry that she had to start with such a weak trainer?"
Ralph met Sandsy's gaze for a second before answering. She crouched down to his level and pet his head, which he affectionately seemed to approve of. He really was kind of cute, this mouse. One day she'd make him deadly strong as well as cute.
"Look, what's your name? And where's your pokémon now?"
"I'm Finn. Penny is in her pokéball."
"Can I meet her?"
"Okay..." the boy said and released a spunky looking Tangela from its confinements. But before they could say hello to it, something moved quickly in the bushes behind the boy. Sandsy saw it first, and leapt forward with his claws at the ready, as Ralph pulled a bewildered Finn away.
From the leahage crawled two angry worms. They shot toxic stares at Penny and Finn in particular.
"Weedle?" Ralph noted, a bit confused about their attitude.
"Oh no, they followed us here!" Finn exclaimed and moved to stand behind Ralph. "We tried to capture them earlier, but they poisoned Penny so I had to run off to safety and treat her... It was so embarrassing!"
The Weedle let out some kind of gurgling hissing noise, and Sandsy responded with raising his claws higher and standing his ground in the ditch by the road. Tangela didn't do much other than glance back and forth between the foes and her coward of a trainer.
"Listen, kid," Ralph said and pushed him away from clinging onto her. "If you fall over, do you really just keep lying around on the ground? You retreated, now you're healed, so let's battle them again."
"Let... Let us battle them?" Finn repeated, blinking up at her and then at Tangela. "You mean, together with you?"
"Yea, it wasn't a fair fight, was it? Two against one. You're the cowards!" she added with extra tone towards the hissing worms near the bushes. "Sandsy, let's team up with Tangela."
Sandsy nodded and backed off a little so he stood next to the grass type. She looked overwhelmed, almost like her trainer right now. Seemed to Ralph like they were a pretty good match overall.
"Make the first move, and we'll follow your example, alright?"
"Alright!" Finn said, suddenly energized, although streaks from tears were still plainly visible on his cheeks. "Penny, use Constrict!"
Tangela lashed out with vines and managed to grab and squeeze one of the bugs, although, the other one dodged.
"Sandsy, Scratch the one that is constricted!" Ralph ordered.
Sandshrew jumped forwards and landed a flawless Scratch on the worm, although it shook it loose from Tangela's relatively weak vines. But the other Weedle had snuck up behind and now retaliated by casting String Shot onto Tangela. The slimy thread constricted the grass type better than her vines had the bug before.
"Sandsy, get some cover with Sand Attack!"
He tossed up some sand from the ground into the face of the Weedle he had just scratched.
"You should retaliate now," Ralph said, nudging Finn in the ribs.
"Uh... Right! Sleep Powder, Penny!" he called out.
Tangela could very well use that move even when being covered in slimy web. She shook her body violently, releasing spores that made the closest Weedle very drowsy very fast.
"Well done!" Ralph exclaimed. "Sandsy, Scratch on the one close to Tangela!"
He carried out the attack, slicing the Weedle hard over its wormy body. Between that and the Sleep Powder, the weak bug was almost down for the count now.
"It's getting tired!" Finn shouted. "Should I capture it?"
"Go for it," Ralph said, and couldn't stop a smile from leaking out onto her lips.
As Finn prepared to toss the ball, however, the other - possibly angrier - Weedle attacked the distracted Sandsy from behind. The Poison Sting hit him hard, and it seemed like it rapidly managed to make him sick as well.
"Oh no!" Finn exclaimed, halting his action.
"Don't worry about us! Capture your Weedle!" Ralph commanded.
Finn swallowed hard and turned back to Tangela and the bug near her. "Penny, use Constrict again!"
She did so, and the extra squeeze seemed to make Weedle give in to the drowziness at last. Finn tossed his pokéball, and the Weedle was caught without much ado.
In the meantime Ralph had rushed up to Sandsy. She bent down and confirmed his worsening state, while the second Weedle hissed in the background, seemingly coming around for a new strike. "We'll have to finish this quickly, then," she said as calmly as she could manage, to her pokémon. Then she stood back up and backed off. "You know what a bug's worst natural enemy is?"
"A bird?" Finn suggested behind her.
Weedle raised its stinger under the leaves of the bushes and started crawling faster towards the ditch where Sandsy was breathing heavily.
"A really big rock," Ralph answered. "Rock Slide!"
Sandsy mustered all the power he had left, to make this most difficult of his moves work. In the nick of time, two rocks formed over his head and were dropped right atop of the approaching Weedle before its attack could reach him. There wasn't much question about it now. The second bug had definitely fainted under that.
Ralph let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding. "Or two rocks, I guess."
Finn laughed, all traces of sobbing gone at last. "Hey! I caught a Weedle!" he cheered. "We caught one!" he added and crouched to hug his now happy Tangela heartily.
Ralph nodded with another smile she couldn't stop. But her own pokémon wasn't quite as happy right now. "I'm sorry, partner," she said as she returned him to his pokéball.
"Oh, I have medicine! I only used some of it to get the poison out of Penny," Finn said positively. "I'll share it with you as a thanks for helping me out!"
"Thanks, kid," Ralph said, quite relieved. She hadn't packed any antidotes herself, stupidly, and didn't feel like going back to the academy already and risk meeting her sister again...
"What about Weedle?" Finn inquired with a raised eyebrow, nodding towards the mess of bug and conjured rocks by the side of the road now.
"Oh, it'll be fine for sure. Wild pokémon have their own ways to heal. Especially angry ones," Ralph shrugged.
"Aren't you going to capture it?"
Ralph blinked at that. She hadn't even considered it. But... "Yeah, why not, really?"
One pokéball toss later, and there was very little struggle before the ball 'pinged' to signal that the capture was complete. She picked the ball up and felt it in her hand. This was the first pokémon she had caught on her own. A very angry little worm. She hoped that could be put to good use.
"So, what are you going to do now?" Finn asked her and poked her arm with something.
She glanced down at the shorter boy and realized it was an antidote. Thankful, she took it and put it in her bag, for imminent use when they put some distance between themselves and this battlespot.
"Travel to challenge all the gym leaders, of course," she replied as if it was the most natural thing in the world. "Aren't you?"
"I don't think so," he said, to her surprise, and he actually didn't look very sad about it. "I need more training. I will train together with Penny and Weedle at the Cape College for another year. You're not in my class, so you must be older, right? So you waited another year before you journeyed, right?"
"Well, that wasn't... Well yeah, but..."
"So I can do that too! I don't think it's a bad thing. I shouldn't have gone already. I know that now. But I'm not feeling sad about it! I just know that I have to work on my weaknesses. So that I'll get back up when I fall, next year!"
He looked so cheerful and motivated that Ralph didn't have the heart to comment anything that might put him down. Or anything at all, really. It was all very cringy. But he really did remind her of her little brother, except maybe dumber.
"Good luck, kid," she said with a small wave, and a nod towards the Tangela, before she kept walking down the road of Route 25.
They leisurely follow the curved road toward Route 24. Charmander bounds along the ditch, occasionally pausing to evaluate a stick. Casey would be interested in that endeavor if he were paying attention. As it stands, his narrowed eyes rest on the PokéBall in his hand. The PokéDex has assured him that most Buneary are extremely difficult to make friends with. On one hand, cool. This is a common problem. On the other hand, now it’s his problem. Casey spins the PokéBall in his hand and watches it gleam in the dappled sunlight.
Should he let her out? She was so angry when she went in. But she was also hurt. It’s his responsibility to heal her, to keep her healthy. But he’s the one who hurt her, wasn’t he? Will she trust him enough to let him help? The thing is, if he doesn’t let her out, she’s just. In there. Hurt and probably extremely frustrated. How long is he going to let her stay that way? Is he going to wait until he gets to an actual Pokémon Center and unleash this ball of fury on a poor, unsuspecting nurse? That would be terrible, but maybe he’d avoid being attacked by his own Pokémon. Would she do that; attack him? PokéBalls are supposed to have a hand in domesticating Pokémon, but they still have their own agency. Buneary could do anything, really, and Casey doesn’t know enough about her to predict what that’s going to be. He should have just let her out right away, back when he first caught her- she’s probably way more upset now. Or is she? Maybe she’s cooled down a little, ugh, he just doesn’t know.
He solves this dilemma eventually, though not by making an actual choice. His toe catches on a branch and the stumble is just enough to knock the PokéBall from his hand. It hits the ground and pops open in a flash of red.
Buneary glares at Casey. Her posture is threatening, but her fur is disheveled and she winces when she moves her singed foot. She’s still burned from that Ember. He maintains eye contact with her as he slowly slides his backpack off and crouches.
“Do you want a snack?” Casey asks, keeping his voice quiet and steady. He rolls a few berries toward her. Two Oran and a Rawst. The latter should help with the burn, but he still wants to properly bandage it. If Buneary will tolerate it, that is.
He watches her settle a little as she eats. She’s still glaring at him, but he thinks it’s a little less heated. He’ll take it. It would probably be worse if Charmander was in sight.
As if on cue, Charmander skids out of a hedge and back into the ditch. He springs forward, wielding a sturdy stick, and disappears into the foliage once again. Casey can hear growls, hisses, yelps, and thuds as the hedge shakes comically in opposition to the violence happening inside it. He makes it over just in time to take a Charmander to the shins as the Pokémon tumbles out again, antagonist hot on his heels.
A Pancham! They’re supposedly hard to find here, and Charmander’s just gone and pulled one out of a bush. Casey skips back out of the fray, ordering Charmander to retreat into the road. Pancham lives here, it knows the terrain. Take that away as soon as possible, Casey thinks, calling out dodges and blocks as Charmander backs step by step onto level ground. The Pancham keeps hopping back and launching into a body-check- does it only know Tackle?- which is easy to track. It’s not getting through Casey’s commands.
Charmander baits it, blocking with his stick, until they’ve reached the middle of the road. The Pancham hops back again, lowers its shoulder, springs forward-
- and misses, skids, looks positively murderous. Casey gets an eerie flashback of Buneary and immediately changes tactics. He’s not about to catch that.
“Back up and use Ember!”
Charmander swings away, inhales, and puffs out… smoke?
“Oh, no, muk, are you out of- on your right!”
Charmander brings the stick up to block, but the Pancham’s on him and punches straight through the stick. The splintering of wood is just as loud as Charmander’s cry of pain when the second strike chops his throat and he can’t even defend against the third to his stomach. Casey’s shouting something, he doesn’t know what, probably nothing helpful, Charmander’s writhing but he’s pinned, the Pancham leers down and...
Takes a blow that sends it flying down the road.
Buneary stands in front of Charmander. She glares back at Casey, who infers that something in his desperate babbling had come out as a coherent command. Fantastic!
But… something’s wrong. She doesn’t look ready for a fight- oh, she’s physically fine, but she’s not paying any attention to the recovering Pancham. She’s not in any kind of fighting stance, she’s not readying a move, the Pancham is charging again and Casey realizes that she isn’t like Charmander- Buneary’s not going to do a damn thing if he doesn’t tell her to.
Buneary waits. Casey yells again. The Pancham is nearly on top of her, fist about to connect- and she daintily steps aside, letting its momentum topple it once again. It picks itself up, glowering. Buneary doesn’t turn around. Casey grits his teeth. Fine. He’ll play how she wants.
He watches the Pancham shake itself and lower into its charging stance. Three. It kicks off. Two. It pulls back its fist. One. “Frustration!”
Buneary kicks herself into the air from standing, elegantly twisting to pinpoint her target, and slams into the Pancham with the physical manifestation of her unbridled rage. Dust flies up around the pair and when it settles, Pancham is lying in an obvious crater. Buneary is disgusted at the dust coating her fur. She sets about brushing herself off.
Casey approaches gingerly and inspects the Pancham. Knocked out, for sure. They can’t just leave it in the middle of the road, though. He hefts it up and hesitates a moment, then slides it back under the bush they found it in. That works. He turns back to find Charmander dramatically mourning the loss of a good stick. The effect is ruined slightly by the bites of berry he is taking between fake sobs. Buneary finishes dusting herself and tracks Casey with a cold stare as he picks up their gear and offers her a berry. She munches on it dispassionately. Casey feels like he shouldn’t be so intimidated by such a small Pokémon. Then again, she had just pummeled something twice her size and weight so hard that it left a crater in a hard-packed dirt road.
“Thanks for listening to me. Um. Your foot is still hurt, right? Can I wrap it?” He reaches down to her, sees the gleam in her eye, and barely avoids a punch in the wrist.
“Oh-kay, got it, won’t ever suggest it again, sorry.”
A Seedot was knocked to the ground, fainted on impact. The dumbfounded trainer looked on with fear, over their opponent. It was a teen who seemed slightly older, yet seemed rugged and fierce. His gaze struck fear to the newcomer trainers who dared approached him for battle, yet not a single one could be successful.
"Tch. Weaklings. Look, Idiots. Dreams can't come true. Welcome to the real world.
A couple of hours after that time, and deep further towards Route 25, another young trainer had sent out her Ducklett. It's blue feathers were shiny, yet ruffled with a sense of battle vigor. It's master trainer meanwhile, stared down her opponent with determination. "You're mine!" she declared, followed out with a battle shout.. or in this case, battlefield quack from her Ducklett. The battlefield was a small clearing from route 25, where a few new students from the esteemed Cape College came to practice. The trainer was also a student, and a pretty good one at that -- one of the very top of the class. Some of the other trainers from the same college came on by, to watch the supposed battle with interest; they wanted to see one of the college's top students in action.
Her opponent, however...
"Trainerrrrrrs of allllll ages!" came a shout from above.
It was from above a small tree branch. There was the opposing trainer. A girl roughly around the same age as her was dressed all flashy, full of lace and decorations with her dress. She seemed quite vigorous and playful... much to the girl and her Ducklett's annoyance. it was none other than Noel Yukino, self-proclaimed trainer entertainer extraordinaire. She bowed once, as her flashy outfit glittered with the afternoon sun's rays. "Light up the stage for Noel Yukino! Are you all ready?! It's time for the fun to-- Oops! Oh my! I almost forgot! Noel never enters the stage alone!"
She looked up, as it appeared as though small amounts of coloured confetti started to rain down upon her, followed up with the sounds of repeated one-tuned clapping. "Can you feel that, trainers! The undeniable radiance that shines upon the starry sky(even though it's day time right now), for even the moon is sick and pale with grief for how much she shines... entering the dazzling Noel, with her super faaaaabulous partner, Luna, the Clefairy!" The confetti started to scatter a bit more, Clefairy with a small flower accessory on her head leaped from a slightly higher, yet well concealed branch, and spun around in the air as she landed gracefully on Noel's head.
"This is a battle, Noel! Battle seriously!!" the other trainer demanded, with quacks of demands from her Ducklett, who was also seemingly upset with her opponent Clefairy. "This is a battle, you know!"
"Right you are!" Luna cheerfully agreed. "Let's go, Luna! It's for applause! The start of a rigorous battle!" Luna... started applauding. Her claps were fast yet, didn't seemed to accomplish much for the battle. The opposing female trainer just sighed.
"Water Gun," she nonchalantly, yet annoyingly commanded her Ducklett. Her Ducklett released a powerful beam of water towards her applauding, Clefairy... as the attack hit both Noel and Clefairy as well, sending them both crashing on the ground.
"Hey-hey! Oww!" Noel winced, rubbing her forehead. The spectators all cringed and giggled softly to themselves, viewing the bubbling, fallen trainer and her equally odd pokemon. They slowly all started to turn and walk away. "...Geez, couldn't you let me go for another few minutes, Rosie? I could of made them laugh even more!
"They were laughing at you, not with you!" the girl known as Rosie replied, her hands to her hips. "You know there's a large difference?"
Noel only shrugged. She then picked up her fallen Clefairy, and patted her on her head. Clefairy softly cried in glee over her partner trainer's care. Rosie and her Ducklett approached them both. "Look, I know you want to be a big shot performer like your mom and your dad," Rosie started. "But remember, your parents always helped everyone smile while they battled and performed. Did you forget the smiles they've stirred from their hearts?"
Noel nuzzled her pink friend. Luna nodded in agreement. "Hehe, but everyone ended up laughing at them in the end too."
"Listen Noel, you--"
"H-Heeelp!" A boy -- another trainer, ran by shouting, pleading. He stopped, recognizing his fellow classmate, Rosie. He gasped for air, before he spoke again. Th-there's... there's someone really scary... beating the students... t-they won't let anyone of them pass...
"Ted, slow down," Rosie suggested, trying to piece everything together. A scary... person? Beating he other students?
Ted had finally caught his breath before he explained in more detail. "I uh, I was heading through towards Route 24, until I saw them... a gang," he started. "I've overheard, a couple of students tried crossing the route towards Nugget Bridge, but I heard that the leader of the gang is this really scary and super strong trainer who won't let anyone passes unless they beat them! Some trainers I hear have tried battling against him! Now his goons are all over the place now... no one wants to even get near them... Rosie, please, you gotta help everyone!"
Noel listened to the conversation. She froze, clenching to Luna, now in deep thought. A gang? Here...?
It's going take a until near nightfall to get there from here..." Rosie said in thought. Unlike Noel, Rosie was often regarded as one of the most trustworthy trainers in the college. Smart, responsible, and courageous at the same time. Everyone regarded her for her talent and skills. "Maybe a plan should suffice? We'll round up as much trainers as we can, and we'll hold a meeting area. It will be along while until we can finally reach the Nugget Bridge, but that will give us time to be ready. Come on Ted. Come if you want too, Noel, but don't hold anyone back." Rosie and her Ducklett left Noel behind, with the young boy following after her.
Noel meanwhile, looked down. Luna looked back up at her with a concerned look. This was the first time she saw her partner this... quiet and sullen. Noel as a student was painfully average -- almost below that -- among her fellow peers. She never really took anything too seriously from school, as her main goal was to make as much people laugh and smile as she could, with whatever antics she saw fit to use.
When she finally partnered up with Luna, her Clefairy, the duo trusted and collaborated together. Luna had almost the same personality has her master; she loved making herself shine, and standout from the other pokemon. Perhaps all her life she was viewed as forgettable and not too special, or maybe some other reason. Whatever reason, Luna and Noel were fit for each other, and started their journey. The two encountered trainer after trainer, trying ways to perform and entertain, not worrying much about the outcome of the battle at all. But this was the first time they thought, what if a battle truly mattered if they won or lost? Can she even keep true to her own style of entertainment?
Charmander had started to lag half an hour ago, so Casey walks alone. The wooded hills melt into rolling pastures as he reaches the western edge of Route 25. Without so many trees to shade him, the evening sun is blinding. It’s getting frustrating- he’s exhausted all his increasingly outlandish solutions and is now just squinting into the light, ruined shirt on his head doing little to aid his vision. He should be stopping soon anyway. Casey’s well aware that once you notice the sun’s setting, it takes no time at all for darkness to roll on in.
A silhouette down the road breaks up the rays of the dying sun. Casey doesn’t even need to see the details; he breaks into a jog, grin spreading across his face. He hadn’t realized how close he was!
North Maple, possibly the largest farm in the area, boasts a rambling collection of structures simply referred to as “the Hub”. It’s noisy and bustling around him, moreso now than any time he’s visited in the past. It’s not the off-season anymore, he supposes. People are talking, laughing, calling out as they stow equipment and shoo Pokémon into pens and stables for the night. Some greet him with a wave or a shout as he passes by, but nobody stops their work. He’s been here plenty of times, after all. They can tell he knows where he’s going.
Maple Lodge is a functional but rustic building in the middle of the Hub, packed full of rooms to accommodate visitors and seasonal farmhands. Twenty rooms in each wing, if Casey remembers correctly, not much more than a bed and a bathroom in each. The front of the central structure is a large, open hall littered with mismatched lounge furniture. Shelves piled high with media and games wobble precariously as people weave through the maze they’ve created for themselves. Four cased openings allow access to the back half of the lodge, the leftmost leading to the kitchen and the others opening into the massive dining hall.
There’s always someone in charge, and they’re always in the middle of everything. Today it’s Bryony, directing traffic, shouting orders, scolding people for tracking in mud. She acknowledges Casey just long enough to find a key to shove into his hands. “Room twelve’s upstairs, west side, last door on the right- Robin, if you bring that bird in here one more time I swear-! THANK you- dinner’s at seven, it’s a buffet but you won’t get much if you’re late. Put a shirt on before that, will ya?”
Casey agrees with a laugh. Bryony waves him off in the direction of his room. He follows her instructions, sidestepping people as they rush to complete their work before dinnertime. This room’s pretty much the same as the other nine on his floor- one each of a window, bed, dresser, toilet, sink, and shower. He drops his gear unceremoniously and makes quick use of the latter.
Fully dressed this time, he steps back into the hall. Finding some human company shouldn’t be too difficult to do in the hour before dinner.
Bruno thought he would be getting to Route 24 by the morning, but it was still May 20th's night by the time he got there, but well, his orientation wasn't his strongest point anyways. He was apparently the only trainer around at the time, probably the rest of the kids had gotten to Cerulean already or were staying in one of the many farms around the place. As for Bruno himself, he wanted to get to Cerulean already, the fastest he made it to the city the better, but he was still a little tired for walking non-stop during the entire night, so he sat under a berry tree and decided to take a break.
The route was silent, he could only listen to the wind and hootings just as in Route 25. He decided to check on Eterna, maybe she had already recovered from the previous hit she had. The pokeball flashed a red light and Eterna appeared, mantaining her balance on her left leg as usual. She turned to Bruno with a fast hop and stared at him for around 5 long seconds that felt like an eternity.
"Are you feeling better?"
"Hoot!" the pokemon replied flaping her wings. Bruno didn't knew what that was supposed to mean, but he took it as if she was okay, she had responded after all.
Bruno was about to return Eterna to her pokeball when suddenly something fell over his head. It was small and soft. It was green and looked like a berry, a very sweet one, judging by the scent it let out. Hoothoot took it with her beak and tried to eat it, when suddenly the weird berry attacked. The pokemon jumped out of Eterna's beak who was trying to process whatever was happening at the moment.
"Fomantis... they are quite rare, supposedly" Bruno murmured to himself.
Just as any pokemon in danger, Fomantis tried to defend itself. It jumped against Hoothoot spinning while extending its scythe-like arms in a Fury Cutter stronger that before.
"Eterna, avoid it!" Bruno shouted, but it was too late. Fomantis hit and slashed through Eterna, making her lose her balance and sending her rotating against the berry tree, but it wasn't a strong hit compared to the other time. Eterna quickly got up and growled at Fomantis in order to intimidate it, lowering its attack. Fomantis knew she was fighting a strong opponent now.
"Tackle it quick!"
Eterna bounced towards Fomantis and the other pokemon ran against her preparing the next attack which seemed as yet another Fury Cutter. Eterna landed the attack first and Fomantis fell on its back, but quickly counter-attacked leaving Eterna on the ground. Eterna was pretty weak already, and she could barely get up. Bruno picked up Eterna's pokeball and decided to retreat. It was very dangerous sending Gospel to the battlefield because of the wind as well. He still had some potions left, he could treat Eterna's wounds later, but for the time being retreating was the smartest move, she wouldn't resist a fourth Fury Cutter.
Bruno ran until he got tired because of his low physical strenght, he took Eterna out of her pokeball and sprayed one of the three potions he had left, but he didn't realize that Fomantis followed them all the way there, and rushed against Eterna, but she missed, thankfully.
"Oh my god, how persistent are you! Use Tackle!" Eterna hit Fomantis and it fell on its back again, but there was no counter attack this time.
"Now use Hypnosis!" She waited for Fomantis to get up. When it started to run to her, Eterna's eyes glowed a flashy pink and the same color went to Fomantis eyes making it fall asleep shortly after.
"It's over..." Bruno looked for a pokeball in his bag. He still had four of them. He threw one of them to Fomantis before it woke up. Bruno called her Artemis. "That was... hard!"
Suddenly he heard a voice coming from a nearby tree.
"Oh, I saw that! Really nice Bruno, though you beat that poor pokemon pretty easily"
"Oh no" he thought. It was a feminine voice and he knew exactly who that person was. He didn't knew she would be here and he didn't want to deal with her, at least not now. "What are you doing here?"
"Woah, now that was rude!" the girl said. She was wearing a striped sailor t-shirt with long sleeves and black pants. She usually wore skirts, but she probably changed because of the cold, which meant she was staying at a nearby farm. "I was training Dukko here with some wild pokemon, but I only find Caterpie, which aren't very helpful with that matter. Then I saw you running. Why was that, anyways?"
"Nothing..." He lied, she would mock him for the rest of the journey if she found out he was fleeing from a Fomantis. "But Deborah, I thought you had gotten to Cerulean by now. I didn't expect to find you here, honestly."
"First. Stop calling me that way, gosh! I always tell you to call me Debbie; and... yeah I wanted to get to Cerulean before, but there's these guys blocking Nugget Bridge, and they seem to be up to no good. I doubt I would be able to get to Cerulean just by asking them nicely if I got to be honest, that's why I was training, I was planning on taking them down." Debbie glared at Bruno. He didn't say anything; he knew where this was going and like it or not, it didn't seem as if he had any other choice. "Buuuut now that I found you here, maybe we both could battle those guys! You want to go to Cerulean as soon as possible, don't you? It's convenient for both of us, and you know it."
She was right. Both needed to get to Cerulean as soon as possible, and they both also knew the battle style of each other, a double battle against two guys at Nugget Bridge wouldn't be too hard if they both worked together. Also, if Deborah was right and those guys were up to no good, then he could get some answers about his dad, but who knew? They could just be some everyday delincuents as well. But whatever, teaming up with Deborah would be a sure win, if she really stayed up to train her pokemon, then she would be some levels above him, which could be a great advantage.
"Sure, let's do it."
"Good. Nugget Bridge isn't that far from here, we'll just go forward, and in like ten minutes we'll be there."
Arianne couldn't believe that she was able to catch Pineco after being hit on the head by it. Yet, something kept her conscious and made the pain easier to endure. She wasn't sure, but had a feeling that was the case. While she remained on the ground, Squirtle brought her the Pokéball containing the Bug type and circled around her at least five times.
Luckily it didn't take long for Arianne to get up again. Pineco only hit her on the side of her head, without injuring her badly but only bruising her and leaving one or two small cuts. Stop behaving like it's a fatal blow! You've been through worse! the girl repeated herself, in order to cheer herself up. After munching some more berries, Arianne reached the main road. It was afternoon, and she still had quite a way to go if she wanted to sleep in a farm in Route 24: she therefore kept walking, ignoring most of the trainers she found along the way. One of them struck her, actually - he was looking around in the fields as if he was searching something - but she kept going. The sooner she'd reach a farm, the sooner she'd be able to have her wounds properly checked.
To her surprise the pain was loosening its grip on her head fairly quickly, moreso than the wounds themselves were healing. Squirtle, without apparent reason, wanted to stay out of his Pokéball, too, and was running beside her to the best of his abilities. It took until Route 24 for Arianne to notice, however, a faint pink glow in his eyes. What was that?
Arianne could already see many farms in the distance when the sun started to set. Wandering around them were many other trainers, who arrived before her: the majority of that group seemed to head towards the same farm - probably that large 'North Maple'... hostel? She heard many good things about that place back at the College. Some other farms were scattered around the area, yes, but would they live up to North Maple's reputation?
She stopped at a crossroad for a moment, thinking about what to do, while Squirtle took a good look around him.
"It's the first night out of home for you, right?" Arianne asked, getting back a nod and a smile.
"Let's make it a good one then."
Growlithe barked in reply, which David knew was a sign of agreement.
As the two walked along the path to Route 24, the boy began to reminisce. David was fairly happy that he got a starter he actually knew, compared to the other youths doing their journeys. The boy did not intend to be unique in that sense. Growlithe ended up in that position due to sheer luck; the Pokémon was with him when the Professor of Cape College passed by Vermilion City. Professor Palm saw the two young friends interact, and he detected a sort of trust that was rare for trainers and Pokémon of their age. This eventually led to David being offered a spot at the prestigious school.
When David was choosing his starter Pokémon right before his journey, Professor Palm was unsurprised that David asked to use Growlithe as his starter. It was part of the reason David was accepted in the first place, so without hesitation, the kind professor obliged.
Of course, trust was not enough to make the journey ahead of them an easy one. David underperformed during his days in school. He knew the names of moves, but for general battle strategies that required decisive thinking, David was lacking.
Still, this did not stop David from doing what needed to be done-- to be right there in Route 25, at that moment, with his Growlithe. And indeed, his efforts were fruitful. He was given an early opportunity to go on his journey.
"What matters now is what I do with this chance," David whispered to himself.
And so the young boy and his pup marched on. The sun was setting in the distance. At this time of day, Bug Pokémon cries echoed in every tree. Forest life was preparing for the shift that darkness brought. Daytime encounters were slowly diminishing, and nocturnal Pokémon were waking up from their slumber. There was an odd mixture of tranquility and melancholy that was felt throughout the air. It affected David and Growlithe in different ways: the former was at peace, and the latter was hit with a bout of loneliness, which slowed down its pace.
The two spotted a young girl in the distance. She seemed to be about the same age as David, and was walking with a Bulbasaur. Her face seemed slightly familiar to David.
"Excuse me, miss? Are you on your Pokémon journey, too?"
The girl was startled, but nodded. Her eyes squinted a little, as if to discern David's face.
"Wait, aren't you David?"
"Huh? How do you know my name?"
She put her hand on her lips to cover her meek laughter, before revealing a smile and recounting an event to the boy.
"You were kind of famous for being that one kid who kept quipping back in training sessions."
David let out a laugh. "I remember that. Glad I made an impact to someone at least," David said, "What's your name?"
"Julia," the girl replied, offering her right hand to shake David's.
"And this cute little guy?" David asked, scratching the chin of Julia's Bulbasaur.
"Girl, actually. Her name's Lily."
"Oh, Lily! There's a good girl," said David, as he continued to show affection to the Bulbasaur. Lily the Bulbasaur looked happy and accepting of a person her trainer seemed to know, making cute noises. Growlithe was getting a bit jealous, which prompted a few yaps and nudging of David's elbow. It seemed the Fire-type wanted to be pet, too.
"Of course, you're a good boy, too. Come here, you," David said affectionately to his Growlithe, as he began to noogie the puppy.
"Did you have a name for him, David? He's adorable," said Julia.
"No, actually. My dad never nicknamed his Arcanine, so we never had a name for Growlithe, either."
As the two were chit-chatting, there were swarms of Venonat approaching them. The Bug-types seemed agitated, perhaps due to the presence of humans in their area.
"Oh gosh, why are those Venonat coming at us?" Julia expressed worriedly.
Just as she said this, a Venonat tackled Growlithe right in the jaw, while the Venonat next to it let out waves of Supersonic that Lily swiftly dodged.
David ran toward where his Growlithe landed and made sure the pup was okay. A critical hit-- it looked like. David's face immediately turned red with anger.
"You bugs are going to pay for this!" David lashed out. "Julia, we're ready when you are."
The battle was two against a dozen, maybe more, but Julia had a determined look on her face. "Alright!"
"Lily, use Vine Whip from side to side!"
Nodding, Lily let out two vines from her bulb, which extended into a long pair of cords that whipped from side to side, scattering the Venonat. Half of the swarm got hit to Growlithe and David's side, while the other tumbled to Julia's side, most seemingly startled but barely hurt.
"Growlithe, use Ember on each Venonat!"
Growlithe opened its mouth and out burst glowing embers, which flew towards the Venonat on their side of the battlefield. The embers ignited some of the Venonat's fuzzy bodies, which were the same color as the setting sun, before getting put out. It seemed they were still too weak to one-shot each Venonat, because the main expression on the wild Venonat's red eyes besides hurt was anger. A Venonat's eye sparkled, which caused Growlithe to stop moving. Was that Disable? Oh no.
On the other side, Lily was busy dodging Tackle attacks from all sides. Two Venonat successfully hit her on the side, as she dug her feet on the ground to not fall over.
"Good work, Lily," reassured Julia, who immediately issued a command right after. "Hit them with your own bursts of Tackle!"
Lily was able to hit the Venonat right beside it on its weak spot, knocking it out. Her next Tackle landed squarely between another Venonat's eyes as well, putting it out of commission.
David was too focused on his own side of the battle to see Lily and Julia's amazing synchronization. He was angry, because Growlithe was getting hit by multiple Tackle attacks in a row. "Graaah! Growlithe, use Bite!"
With a weakened posture, Growlithe defied David's orders and used a different move. The pup's body began to glow a sunset color. Growlithe was using its special move: Morning Sun. David was taken aback.
"I… That's a better move, bud. Urgh, I should have let you heal first," admitted David, who was still clearly pissed at the Venonat, but acknowledged his partner's wisdom.
When the glowing stopped, Growlithe seemed less exhausted. Perhaps the setting sun was still as potent as a healing source. David briefly recalled his dad talking about an Espeon who had the move and was very close friends with their late Arcanine. It managed to use Morning Sun even at night, and inside caves, as long as weather conditions were clear.
"Alright buddy, do your thing. Roar, then use a flurry of Bite attacks!"
Growltihe let out a Roar, which caused two Venonat to get scared off and run away. He then proceeded to Bite on the remaining few Venonat, one Bite after another. The Venonat were still hitting it with Tackle.
Julia called on to David. "You guys need some help? We're all good here!" Lily was using her vines to hide the unconscious Venonat into nearby bushes. "Our side of the Venonat swarm just kept using Foresight, so Lily didn't have too much trouble."
"Frick-- yeah, uh, we're good," David replied, still irritated, but his mood was getting better. Growlithe gained the upper hand on the few Venonat. His Bite attacks were landing.
"Here, David, catch!" Julia beckoned, throwing a Potion towards David. He caught it safely.
"We might not need this, but thanks!"
Growlithe was chasing the last Venonat, a particularly evasive one. As Growlithe successfully landed a Bite and released the grip of his jaw, the Venonat seemed very weak, with perhaps a light breeze being enough to knock it out. However, it suddenly used the same waves that Lily dodged at the start, and successfully hit Growlithe with it.
Growlithe was left in a daze, suddenly stumbling and hurting itself in confusion. "Come on, buddy! Just one more Bite!"
Alas, Growlithe tumbled and hit the ground, eyes still dizzy.
"David, do you have any other Pokémon?"
"Oh, I have…"
David picks up a miniature Poké Ball, pushes it to regular size and gazes at it.
"But it's hurt. Or uh, she's hurt. Pokédex said it was a she."
Use the Potion. David suddenly thought to himself. He caught Julia's eyes and noticed that she was waiting for him to realize this. David pointed his other Poké Ball at Growlithe to switch him out.
David then let out Oddish from her ball, still visibly weak from her fight with Growlithe earlier. David sprayed the Potion that Julia gave him onto Oddish's feet, and suddenly the little Grass-type was smiling and ready for battle. She seemed visibly appreciative of David's gesture.
"Don't thank me, thank Julia over there," David sheepishly smiled, pointing at Julia with her thumb. Julia and Lily waved at Oddish with hand and vine, and Oddish nodded with a cute sound.
The weakened Venonat's eyes twinkled, as if to use Disable, but it failed to do anything to Oddish, since she was yet to use a move.
"Growth! Then uh, Sweet Scent!"
Oddish grew a little from David's command, a temporary boost to its offenses. Venonat used Disable, which kept Oddish from using more. With a Sweet Scent, Venonat was enamored and easy to hit. Suddenly, a Supersonic attack came from Venonat's way. It kept David on his toes, but to his relief, the attack missed Oddish. Finally, David commanded Oddish to use one final attack.
"Oddish! Finish it with Absorb!"
Oddish crouched down to point her leaves at Venonat, and a red beam shot towards the very much weakened Bug-type. With a solid hit, Venonat fainted. Oddish glowed as some health went back to it.
"Alright! Great job, Oddish!" David exclaimed. "Come on out, Growlithe!"
With a beam of light, Growlithe was back, no longer dizzy from Venonat's Supersonic. He seemed quite happy to see Oddish doing a little dance, and turned his attention towards the fainted Venonat he was fighting earlier. He walked towards it, picked it up with his teeth, and put it back in one of the bushes.
"Argh, that was frustrating," David said as he scratched his head. Growlithe whimpered, but David wasn't angry at him. He was mostly just unhappy with himself.
"We should find someplace to stay for the night, don't you think?" Julia asked. She and Lily walked over to where David was, taking him out of it. "I don't want to get attacked by a swarm of wild Pokémon again."
"Yeah, I've had enough for the day," David winced.
Julia nodded, with Lily dancing along next to Oddish. "Don't be too hard on yourself, David. You guys were great," Julia reassured with a smile, which made David blush a bit.
Julia then pointed at a location far from where they were. "I think that building in the distance is our best bet. That general area should be Route 24 as well."
A small building that looked like a farm of some sort was visible from where they were. A small signboard that read Route 24 was also barely visible. David gazed at the two objects of interest, and looked back at Julia.
"You're right. You have a good eye, Julia, thanks," David said to his new friend. Julia mostly just laughed in response. "You guys ready?"
Growlithe and Oddish nodded in approval.
"Let's go," motioned David, with him calling his friends with his hand. With all five set on their destination, the party walked onward.
"Thanks for the Potion, by the way."
"Hey, that wasn't free. Buy me another one later."
"Crap, crap, crap! How in the world did I manage to oversleep?!"
Melody Hughes was dashing down the path that led away from Cape College as fast as her feet could possibly carry her. Somehow... someway, the brunette had managed to oversleep... no, completely sleep through her alarm this morning. Needless to say, this put her quite a bit behind the other trainers who had graduated with her. After she finally woke up and had a mild panic attack from her tardiness, the girl ran around in a whirlwind to try and gather everything she needed for her journey and then head out to grab her starter.
Of course, her choice of what remained was quite limited...
Truth be told, Melody wasn't even sure which Pokémon she picked to become her offiical partner at the start of her journey. The teenager was in so much of a hurry, she essentially just grabbed a Poké Ball before bolting out the door to try and make up for lost time. The thought was enough to finally start getting the budding trainer to slow down in her tracks, eventually coming to a complete stop. Her olive-green eyes drifted down to a Poké Ball hanging from her belt. It really wouldn't be doing her well to just go jolting across the region without even knowing just what kind of Pokémon was going to be at her side. In fact, there was a good chance it would probably be pretty dumb.
"I guess we'll just have to go about fixin' this little mess up!" Melody exclaimed with excitement.
Now that she had had a moment to slowdown and her thoughts catch up with her, the thrill of the realization that she was actually a real Pokémon trainer had finally caught up to her. Her goal that she had been working on for so long... it was finally a reality! It was all starting now, and Melody could not be more delighted. Without another delay, Melody took the Poké Ball off of her belt and tossed it out into the air. The ball snapped open, unleashing a flash of white light that gradually took the shape of the creature that had been resting inside. Melody's eyes widened at the sight before her. It was a small, yellow Pokémon. Its ears were yellow and pointy, along with having black tips... Red cheeks graced the Pokémon's face... And to top it all off, the creature had a tail that reminded the brown-haired girl of a lightning bolt!
"Oh... my... Arceus... I have a Pikachu!" Melody squealed in delight. Melody bounded forward, scooping the Pikachu up into her arms and spinning around with glee. The Pikachu's eyes widened in surprise as it stared at its trainer in a mixture of confusion and fright over someone it had never met before suddenly being so forward and bold. "You're so cool! I bet you're really strong, aren't ya? You would have to be! After all, you're one of the starters from Cape College so that means you have to be bred to be pretty strong!"
As Melody rambled, the grip she had on her new Pikachu began to tighten. The Pikachu began to uncomfortably squirm around, trying desperately to escape from the Melody's grasp, but it seemed to have little success in doing so. In a moment of panic, the Pikachu snapped its eyes shut and let out a small, yet angry sounding cry... before doing the only thing it knew to do. It unleashed a quick, yet surprisingly potent Thunder Shock which finally caused the trainer to not only snap back to reality, but drop the electric-type in the wake of the sudden, rather shocking turn of events.
The Pikachu took the oppurtunity to put some distance between himself and the slightly static-ridden girl, staring at her rather cautiously as if trying to get a feel for what she might do next. Melody let out a small moan of pain as she tried to collect herself. Her hair was practically standing on end after that rather surprising exchange.
"R-Right... M-Maybe I overdid it just a bit," Melody coughed. She turned to face her Pikachu, a weak smile gracing her lips all the while. "L-Look, I'm sorry... I guess I just got a bit overexcited, that's all... L-Let's start over."
She slowly climbed to her feet and began to make her way over towards the Pikachu once again. The Pikachu haunched down on all fours, static starting to spark from its cheeks as Melody made her way towards the Pokémon. It seemed to be expecting the girl to put it in another death grip. That said, it was surprised to see that the brown-haired girl stopped a few feet away from it, kneeling down to be more on its level with what appeared to be a warm, friendly smile.
"My name is Melody Hughes. I just graduated from Cape College and... well, I'm just starting my journey," Melody began. "And well... I picked a Pokémon to come with me... and that Pokémon was you. I'm sorry about before, but... can we start over...?"
Melody extended a hand forward, as if she was offering the Pikachu a friendly handshake. Slowly, the Pikachu made its way towards the girl. It cautiously sniffed at her hand, its tail twitching as it judged whether or not the trainer could be trusted. After what felt like an eternity for her, the Pikachu suddenly offered Melody a quick smile before not only taking hold of her hand... But darting up to take a comfortable seat on her shoulder. It took everything she had to not squeal in delight over this, but Melody managed to keep her compsosure over the much more friendly exchange between herself and her Pikachu.
"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Melody cheered as she rose back up to her feet. Her smile seemed to stretch even further as she pumped her arm in celebration. "You and me, we're gonna make one hell of a team! I can see it for sure! Of course, you need a name though! I was thinking... What about Alph? You like Alph? It's short for Alphonse, but that's just too long of a name, you know...? I think Alph has a nice ring to it!"
The girl continued to ramble as she began to make her way across the route once more. The Pikachu could hardly keep up with her Melody's excitement, but he had a feeling this was going to be a journey he'd never forget.
"Wait, no! Where are you going? I'm supposed to be the rushed one, not you!" Debbie said, pulling Bruno's shirt to stop him.
"You said we had to go to Nugget Bridge, didn't you?"
"Yeah, but I still need to take the stuff I left at the farm, duh! I don't even have my bag with me, and I have my potions there! Plus... I'm tired. We'll stay the night there... or at least what's left of it."
"But I'm not tired."
"Of course you are! You were running even slower than usual when I saw you, and that means you're T-I-R-E-D."
"O-okay... I'll stay in that farm over there, but stop pulling my clothes, please." Bruno said pointing at a small farm a few steps past him, knowing Deborah wouldn't leave him alone any time soon.
"What?! No, no, no, no, no! You're not going there! That place looks awful!" she exclaimed, now taking him by his arm and dragging him around. Bruno wasn't heavy at all, in fact he was underweight, and Debbie had a strong arm, since she was used to heavy-lifting for helping his dad with his sailor work back at Vermilion, so she could drag him around without much trouble. "You're coming with me to North Maple!" she chuckled and kept silent for a short while "That place really lives up to its reputation, y'know? I've only been there once and I'm already in love. But you don't care about that, do you? I mean... the reputation thing, I know you care about me." she said in a sarcastic tone.
"I DO care about you. You just talk to much and annoy me."
"I know! That's why we make a great couple!... Though it'd be more fun if you continued the joke at times, maybe." she kept silent again with an uneasy expresion and then continued: "On second thought, no, don't continue the joke, you suck at being funny. I'll stick with monologuing." she kept walking, all her way back to Route 25. Luckily it wasn't that far from where Bruno was, he didn't walk too much into Route 24 after all, and apparently the so called "North Maple" was just at the edge of Route 25.
Deborah Cormac was born in Vermilion. Her father is a sailor, and he owns a cargo ship known as the S.S. Kingdra which is in charge of exporting and importing resources around Cinnabar and the Sevii Islands. Her mother is called Francine, she's a retired pokemon trainer who currently works at Saffron's Game Corner, who was known as the Mermaid because of her ace pokemon, Primarina. Debbie likes helping her dad with his sailor work, which is pretty much the reason of her physical strength and tomboyish appearance.
Deborah and Bruno knew each other since they were kids. When Bruno's mom, Maya, came to Kanto, she arrived at Vermilion first and was spoted by Francine, who was still a trainer at the time, meaning that she was well informed about the pokemon world in nearby regions, and that included Pokemon Contests. Francine understood Maya wanted to live a quiet life and she helped her find a quiet home in Vermilion, until she met and married Harold, the security guard from Saffron. Francine and Maya became quick friends. They would often visit each other, even after Deborah's mom retired from being a trainer, eventually leading to Bruno meeting Deborah.
"There it is! See? I told you it was a nice place." Debbie said, still holding tight on her friend's arm, looking with glowing eyes and a big smile on her face at a big group of buildings (cabins and similar things) in front of her. "Come. You'll like this place, I'm sure of it. The beds are really comfy, in fact I actually wanted to go train earlier, but I overslept because of that."
Bruno followed his friend as she walked freely through what was known as "the Hub", looking around the closed stables and pens and listening to the cries of farm pokemon. There wasn't much activity at the moment, there were some farmers around, but only a few, most of them were asleep already. It was really quiet.
"Oh, by the way. Did you hear a really loud sound coming from the forest here on your way to Route 24? A sharp noise, something like a really haunting screech." Bruno startled, of course he heard it, it was done by his pokemon after all "One of the farmers came running into Maple Lodge and warned everyone saying there were ghosts in the forest because of that." she laughed "Ohhh, you should've seen his face! I didn't hear anything there, though, but I went through in the morning anyways."
"N-nah... sounds like a ridiculous ghost story to me." he answered in a trembling voice.
"Come on, at least say something else! You're no fun at all, Bruno, honestly. Boooooring!"
The two kids kept walking in silence, until they got to a cabin-like wooden structure, but bigger. A hostel, basically. There was a sign on the outside saying "Maple Lodge". This was the place.
"Well, I'll leave you here. Talk to the receptionist. I'll be in room 15. We'll get out of here after breakfast, are you okay with that? Then we'll go and take down the tutorial boss together!"
"I'm fine with that, sure. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Good night, boring kid!"
Debbie rushed to her room upstairs while Bruno approached the receptionist. She was obviously tired, reading a magazine (or more likely only looking at the pictures) because there was nothing else she could do at the moment.
"H-hello. I umm..." Bruno said in a low trembling voice and then kept quiet.
"Yes?" The receptionist asked, leaving her magazine over the table, and rising both eyebrows trying to pay enough attention to him.
"A room... please."
"A rookie trainer, I suppose? Sure. Umm... lend me your Trainer Card, I'll need to register your trainer ID and your name." The receptionist took out a big book, where she wrote down Bruno's information, she returned the Trainer Card and gave him a key with the number 17 on it. "Room 17. It's located upstairs east side, the number is on the door. Breakfast is at 9, so try waking up early."
Bruno took the keys and went upstairs. Tomorrow was a new day, after all the problems he had at Route 25 and 24, his journey would finally begin, this time for real. He felt he was getting closer to his actual goal now.
Vera Hill Chapter 1 - Trainer at Last
Cape College, May 20th (3 A.M.)
Alone in her room, Vera stifled another yawn as she looked over her books and pamphlets. This being her third late night study session in a row, dark circles were forming under her eyes, standing out on her fair skin. "Choosing a starter will be the first big choice I'll make, but it's an important one. I need... *yawn*... to pick the right one... Charmander seems like a good choice, or maybe... *yawn*... Squirtle? Pikachu seems to be a popular Pokemon, so..."
She leaned back in her seat, looking up at the ceiling. "Maybe a Grass type, like Mom? There's Bulbasaur or Tangela here... what would Dad do?" Her head fell back, and she was asleep before she even knew it.
Vera jolted awake, falling out of her chair. She winced, holding her neck in discomfort. "I fell asleep at my desk again? Not exactly an auspicious start to my career." She got to her feet, working out the kinks as she got dressed. She knew she would be late, mentally kicking herself for not resting properly, but that was no excuse not to show proper decorum.
When she arrived, as she feared, there were few options to pick from: Bulbasaur, Tangela, Cubone, and Psyduck. She looked them over carefully, not bothering to conceal her opinions with an inner monologue. "Two Grass types. If I want to emulate mother, I could pick either of them, but I feel like striking out on my own, so I'll pass on both of them. I've heard of the great power Psyduck can possess, but also of their chronic pain. No thank you, I'd like to avoid any unnecessary drama. So, I'll take Cubone. It wasn't my first choice, but I'll do the best I can with what I have."
So decided, she left the College, stepping out onto Route 25. Once out the gate, she called Cubone out of her Pokeball. Cubone looked around curiously, then up at Vera.
"Hello, Cubone. I'm Vera, and I'll be your partner. I understand it is customary to carry Pokemon inside their Pokeball, but it is also common practice to keep one outside of it. And I don't want to just call you by your species, so I shall call you 'Bonnie'."
Bonnie waddled over and hugged Vera's leg, giving an adorable squeak as she did.
"Hey, cut that out!" Vera reacted with embarrassment, pulling Bonnie off of her and setting her back down. "I am not your mother, I am your partner. Our relationship shall be as business partners, traveling companions, and perhaps friends. I will obviously be the brains of the outfit, while you will provide the muscle. Are we clear?"
Bonnie nodded, shouldering her bone club like a rifle as she gave a salute.
"Good. Glad we understand one another." Vera started walking, but stopped when she felt Bonnie cling to her pant leg. "What is it, Bonnie?"
Bonnie held her arms up, like a child asking to be picked up. She gestured to her legs, taking a few small steps to emphasize her point.
"...oh, you won't be able to keep up with me with your short legs. Very well, I suppose I'll just have to carry you." She picked the little Cubone up, securing her over one shoulder. "Don't hit me with that club. You might knock me out with it."
"Use Bone Club!" Vera called out, peeking out from behind a tree. Bonnie jumped forward, swinging her club like a baseball bat and knocking the wild Weedle away. Bonnie lifted her club victoriously, letting out an adorable victory roar.
Vera slowly came out from behind the tree, looking around nervously. "Thank you, Bonnie. I don't like those bugs. I much prefer the other one, that doesn't have the needle on its head..."
A Caterpie looked down at her from the tree trunk, mere inches above her head. It made a curious sound at her comment, drawing her attention. She jumped back in surprise, feigning a cough to protect her dignity. "Ah! *ahem*, yes, one of... those. Bonnie, Bone Club please."
Bonnie charged forward as fast as her little legs could carry her. Vera took a step toward her, scooping her up and using her momentum to toss her at Caterpie. Bonnie swung her club downward, knocking the caterpillar Pokemon off the tree. It bounced when it hit the ground, making an irritated sound and spitting sticky silk at Bonnie.
"Oh, it's tougher than the other one. But still just a Bug. Bonnie, use your Leaf Blade." Caterpie made an excited noise at that, rushing over and Tackling Bonnie as it looked for the leaf. Bonnie stumbled from the impact, a glowing green aura springing to life around her club. She slashed at Caterpie with it, knocking the bug aside.
Feeling too hurt to continue, Caterpie wisely withdrew to the tree, climbing back up the trunk as quick as it could. The aura faded from Bonnie's club as she looked to Vera.
"Well done, Bonnie. Maybe you're a better partner Pokemon than I thought you'd be." She smiled as she picked Bonnie back up, and Bonnie beamed with pride at the half compliment.
Vera Hill Chapter 1 - Send Me on My Way
Route 25, May 20th
Vera held Bonnie close as they crept around another tree. She was actually surprised at how many trees there were here. She wasn't expecting a college near the beach to have such an extensive arboreal influence. The creature they were avoiding, a frankly average Venonat, seemed oblivious to their presence. Bonnie looked at it, giving Vera an inquisitive squeak. Vera jumped in surprise at the sound, but didn't fully understand what Bonnie meant.
"You don't actually want to fight that thing, do you? Just look at those fangs! Mark my words, that thing is venomous as f-" she cut herself off as she rounded the corner, seeing a young girl probably not even 10 yet looking up at her. "...fffffar as I know. Hello."
The little girl didn't return the greeting, instead peering past Vera to look at Venonat. "You're a Pokemon trainer, right?" She asked rather monotonously, finally looking at Vera.
Vera found herself unnerved by the child, slowly starting to move around her. "Um... yes. Yes I am. Provincial, anyway. I'm actually on my graduation journey."
The girl nodded, looking back at the Venonat. "Pokemon trainers aren't supposed to avoid Pokemon. You should battle it."
Vera stopped in her tracks, looking back at the Bug. "No, that's fine. Live and let live, right? No need to antagonize the-"
The girl had already picked up a small rock, throwing it and striking the Venonat in the back of the head. The Bug spun to face the girls, hissing angrily. The child merely pointed at Vera, calmly stating, "She did it."
"I did no such thing!" Vera protested, but the Venonat had already gone on the attack. It lunged at her, its eyes glowing red as they emitted red rays that roamed over Vera. "Protect me, Bonnie!" Vera felt oddly self-conscious as Bonnie leapt from her arms to combat Venonat.
"Start with Bone Club!" Bonnie held her club parallel to the ground as she rushed forward, striking Venonat in the head and knocking it aside. Venonat reeled from the impact, its eyes glowing blue as it unleashed a wave of mysterious blue energy at Bonnie.
"What was that?!" Vera checked her Pokedex in concern. "...Disable? Imparts a mental compulsion preventing the Pokemon from... oh, that's just great! Bonnie, soften him up with a Tail Whip!"
Bonnie wagged her tail cutely, lightly brushing it against the Venonat. Emboldened by her apparent weakness, Venonat Tackled her to the ground.
"That wasn't a very effective attack." The little girl spoke up from right beside Vera, watching the fight intently.
Vera resisted the urge to jump, flustered to be criticized by a toddler. "S-shut up! Bonnie, Tail Whip again!" Bonnie wagged her tail, even squeaking to sell the effect. Venonat's antenna both pointed forward, emitting waves of barely visible sound. Bonnie covered her ears in pain, struggling to stay standing.
"Okay, he's softened up enough, use your Leaf Blade!" Vera was getting nervous now, and a little angry. Bonnie flailed wildly with her club, accidentally hitting her bone helmet and spinning it backwards on her head. She stumbled and flailed in blind panic until Venonat Tackled her. Vera clenched her hands into fists as she watched. "Leaf Blade!"
Bonnie managed to get her skull on straight, slashing Venonat with her green aura blade. Venonat took the hit, and seemed to be hurting, but once again hit Bonnie with Tackle.
"They're both pretty beat. Whoever lands the next hit will win. The little girl chimed in. Vera glared at her, pulling a Pokeball from her pocket. "Is that so? Well, how's this for 'the next hit'!?" She threw the ball with all her might, smacking Venonat in the mouth and pulling him into the ball. The ball shook once...
A third time...
There was a pause...
...and it clicked shut. Vera breathed out a sigh of relief, smirking smugly at the child. "Was there ever any doubt?"
The little girl turned and started walking back towards Route 24 and Cerulean City beyond. "You got lucky. Using the Pokeball wouldn't save you in a real match."
Vera picked up Bonnie and her new Venonat, scowling at the impudence of this child. "That was a real match. One day you'll see. Pokemon training isn't as easy as I make it look, you know!" But the child was already gone.
Vera called out Venonat, who looked at her warily. "Okay, I'll be honest with you. I had no intention of fighting you, let alone capturing you. But I hate losing, and you're really strong for a Bug. For the record, I don't mind Bugs. But your Poison typing squicks me out. I think Poison Pokemon are gross, toxic, and scary. But we're going to try and make this work, okay? I'm going to call you Leo."
Leo blinked, processing that information, then nodded. Vera forced herself to smile, patting Leo's fuzzy head. "Great. We'll stop for lunch and take a short rest before heading out."
"Of course, I didn't know he was dead when I made the comment... And I didn't mean anything bad by it... Still, I guess Mom was a little sensitive to the whole thing at the time. You get where I'm coming from though, right?"
Melody glanced over her shoulder at the Pikachu who was currently hitching a ride on her shoulder. The electric-type merely tilted his head in confusion at Melody's question, his small ears twitching all the while. It was obvious that Alph was listening intently to whatever story that his trainer had been rambling off to him. That said, the brunette suddenly found herself questioning just how much the Pikachu was actually understanding in this conversation... In fact, she found herself starting to wonder just how much Pokémon understood in regard to the human language.
Without warning, Melody suddenly reached back and picked Alph off of her shoulder. The Pikachu let out a surprised squeak as she started to look him over, her eyes narrowing as they eventually met the Pikachu's own. "...Do you understand what I'm saying? Can you tell that my name is Melody?"
"P...Pika...?" Alph replied in response, his ears drooping slightly.
The whole situation suddenly became very uncomfortable for him. Of course, Melody had no idea if her own question was actually registering with the Pikachu or not. A sigh escaped her lips as she placed the electric mouse back onto her shoulders. This whole situation would have been a lot easier if they could just talk normally like her. Regardless, this whole situation was something that she could work on later. For right now, it was time to get this journey started properly. There was a lot more important things to focus on completing compared to the thought process of whether or not Pokémon could understand the human language.
Getting badges... Fighting trainers and getting stronger... Most importantly, putting together a strong team... Now that she had the time to think about it all, Melody had started to realize just what a long and winding process that this was all going to be. That said, the long road it was bound to be did little to deter the brown-haired girl. If anything, it only seemed to fire her up even more. She would put together a strong team. She would complete the Kanto League challenge. She would become a champion! And when all that was said and done...
Melody closed her eyes, picturing a tall and imposing looking man in her mind. She could see his sneer... She could see the his cocky stance... She could hear his gruff voice... She could even see that smelly cigar he had a habit of smoking. It had been so long since they had actually been face to face, but Melody still remembered everything about that man. Just the thought about him made the young girl's blood boil and a fire burn in the pit of her belly. Unfortunately, it also caused the girl to become quite distracted.
Suddenly, Melody found herself somehow managing to trip over her own two feet. Her olive-green eyes suddenly snapped open. The Pikachu on her shoulder squealing in surprise as his trainer started to topple over. Alph quickly hopped off of his perch as his trainer quickly stumbled forward, losing her balance and starting to roll down a nearby hill. A loud scream of panic slipped past her lips as Melody picked up speed, followed by a string of "oofs" and "woahs" and "craps" echoing out and across the immediate area of Route 24. Eventually, Melody managed to come to a stop as she found herself hitting something a bit more solid... Something that also seemed to speak as a loud "H-Hey!" cried out before a sudden weight fell upon her as well.
Melody winced in pain as she started to pick herself off the ground, coming to sit up properly. She shook her head, looking around slowly started to regain her composure. "What in the world...?"
The girl's eyes widened, the sight of another girl laying on the ground a few inches away came into view. She had short, bluish hair and dark sapphire-blue eyes. She was wearing a blue and black jacket, with a pair of fingerless gloves on her hands and a pair of black shorts and sneakers as well. A pair of Poké Ball-shaped earnings dangled from her ears. The girl in question was looking around in confusion herself, a rather angry glare coming to grace her features as her eyes laid eyes on Melody.
"Geeze? What was that all about? Can't ya at least watch where you're goin'?" the unknown girl spat in annoyance.
Melody laughed sheepishly. "Sorry about that... I guess I got distracted and I sort of lost my balance... Um, are you okay?"
The blue-haired girl huffed. "I'm fine, forget about it..."
Melody felt a small blush come to her cheeks as the girl's glare never seemed to leave her features. Thankfully, the gaze shifted as the sound of Alph running down the hill caught the attention of the stranger. The Pikachu quickly made his way towards Melody, giving the brunette a concerned look as he circled around the clumsy girl. Melody seemed to notice that the look on the blue-haired girl softened, before she slowly picked herself off the ground and started to walk away from the scene.
"H-Hey, wait a minute!" Melody cried out. She hopped back onto her feet and began to dash forward with Alph following close behind. A soft smile graced her lips as she quickly caught up to the girl. Her eyes quickly spotted a black backpack hanging off the blue-eyed girl's left shoulder and a ball dangling off of her belt. "You're a trainer, right? You totally are, I can tell. I... I wanna apologize again. I really didn't mean to hurt you or anything. So... How about we have a battle to clear the air?"
A huff of annoyance. "A battle? With ya? Ya look like ya can hardly walk straight. What kinda challenge would that be? I ain't in the mood, kid."
Melody seemed to completely ignore this dig at her clumsiness. "Come on, please! It'll be fun~"
"Why do I get the feelin' ya ain't gonna leave me alone unless I agree?" she sighed. "If I say yes, will ya piss off?"
"Yeah, yeah! Sure!" Melody responded. Her heart was really in the right place. She wanted to use the battle as an apology for what had happened just a few moments ago. Besides, it would be a good way for to get an idea on Alph's battling capability.
"Fine, fine... How many...?" the girl sighed, her eyes once again drifting down to the Pikachu by Melody's side. "Never mind, one on one. I can tell ya just have the one."
"Right! Sounds like a plan then!" Melody replied. The girl eagerly made her way towards her Pikachu. Her eyes were shining with excitement. "We're ready whenever you are! Let's go, Alph!"
The Pikachu quickly made his way forward, a small spark of electricity shining in his cheeks as he got ready for a battle. The other trainer sighed as she watched this, before slowly reaching down to the Poké Ball hanging off her belt. Melody noticed that the look on the other girl's face seemed to soften, if only for a moment, before an annoyed sigh slipped past her lips.
"Alright, Titan... Let's get this over with..."
Melody could feel her excitement building up. With a name like Titan, she was sure she and Alph were going to be squaring up against an impressive opponent. Her mind instantly began to race with what her opponent's Pokémon was going to be. Perhaps it was going to be a scrappy Machop! Maybe she had a towering Onix! There was a chance it could be a rampaging Rhyhorn, even! The brunette was practically bouncing on her heels as the ball left the opposing trainer's grasp, bouncing out onto the field before snapping open and shooting out a beam of white light. The light quickly took shape to reveal... a small... purple... twitchy... nervous-looking... male Nidoran.
Melody felt her excitement drop, just a very tiny bit, as she glanced between the Pokémon and his trainer. "T-Titan...?"
A faint blush graced the other girl's cheeks. "Ya got a problem...?"
"W-What, no! Of course not! It's a cute name!" Melody quickly spat out.
"Whatever..." the opposing trainer muttered. "Let's just get this over with. Titan, use Scratch!"
"Alph, go with a Thunder Shock!" Melody countered.
Alph let out an intimidating, at least as intimidating as a Pikachu can be, battle cry as he dashed forward. Sparks of electricity began to glow from his cheeks as he hopped up into the air, before a small burst of electricity sparked forward in the direction of the male Nidoran. Titan's eyes suddenly went wide in shock as his little legs began to scramble... in the opposite direction. A panicked cry escaped the purple Pokémon's mouth as it made an attempt to dodge the electric attack. However in it's frightened state there was little he could do to avoid it. A pain-filled wail echoed out from Titan, which in turn caused his trainer to groan in anger before immediately calling him back into his Poké Ball.
Needless to say, Alph was more than just a bit confused over the speed at which the battle proceeded... and Melody was quite disappointed indeed.
"That's... that's it...?" the brunette fumbled out, after staring in silence for what felt like at least an hour.
"What? Ya got your battle, right? Go sod off," the short-haired girl replied.
Without missing a beat, the girl turned and began to walk away from the scene. Melody honestly didn't know just how to feel about it all. The girl tried her best to process just what was going on, but the gears in her brain were definitely not turning for this one. She didn't have too long to think about it however, as she was suddenly gifted with a sight that absolutely made her cringe. She watched as the other girl gave an annoyed glare at the ball containing her Pokémon... before simply tossing off to the side and starting to trudge off away from it.
"Are... you serious...?" Melody questioned, the girl suddenly feeling a burst of anger welling up inside of her. "Oh, hell no! Get back here!"