Starting Date: Friday, June 15th Weather: Warm and Sunny, intermittent light gusts of wind
Whether by choice or not, you find yourself in Sandgem Town. You're most likely on your own for the first time, whole world ahead of you, what you make happen is up to you. Bond with your Pokemon, catch some more, find some work or just have some fun and start this journey off on the right foot!
Sandgem Town: Due to Sandgem's proximity to both Jubilife City and the ocean, the small town has become a favorite spot for weekend getaways, for those who want to avoid the higher prices and busier crowds of Sunyshore City. This tourism has resulted in Sandgem boasting an impressive collection of hotels, BnB's, hostels and restaurants that would rival bigger cities in the region. If you find yourself hard up for cash, these businesses could certainly use a little extra labor, especially now in busy season. The locals here are pretty relaxed for the most part, many are transplants from bigger cities settling down in somewhere a little more easygoing. For you trainers out there, Sandgem is equipped with a full service Pokecenter and PokeMart, both facilities can be found on the north end of town, towards the Route 202 exit. Also in the area are two key points of interest, the Sinnoh Institute of Natural Sciences, the leading lab on Pokemon research in the area, and Sandgem Beach, a beautiful ocean front, full of fun to be had and areas to explore.
Prompt - Sinnoh Institute Application: Applications to become a student at the Sinnoh Institute of Natural Sciences works a little differently than most post-secondary. Instead of writing a test, sending in your transcripts, and so on and such forth, you are given an assignment from the head of the Institute, Dr. Jacob Albright. The assignment is relatively simple, you are to go out into Sinnoh, and record data on Pokemon before presenting a report back to Dr. Albright once you're finished. Dr. Albright requires a report on 15 different Pokemon, including 3 live captured (by the applicant) Pokemon. Dr. Albright will also give you some neccesary supplies to aid you on your application, namely Pokeballs (x10), one disposable camera for adding photos to your reports, a notebook and pens for writing stuff down, as well as a copy of Dr.Albright's book, Sinnoh: Flora and Fauna, which contains information about what kind of Pokemon, as well as Berries, can be found along your journey.
Might as well give you the lowdown on Dr. Jacob Albright. He is a very large presence, both height wise and width wise. Yes, the large and round figure with the thick Galarian accent is the one you're looking for. Dr. Albright is also showing his age, as most of his hair is gone, and what's left of it (including his thick mustache) is a Snowpoint white. Dr. Albright also wears thick, round glasses. Dr. Albright dresses very formal, always wearing a full three piece suit whenever at work at the Institute. Yes, even in this June heat.
Don't let Dr. Albright's uptight and antiquated appearance fool you, he is as kind of a soul as you could ever meet. A man truly passionate about his research as well as passing on his knowledge to the next generation, Dr. Albright is always willing to answer questions about Pokemon. Battling isn't his area of expertise however, so although he will try his best to answer those questions its better to keep the Pokemon questions about their mannerisms out in the wild. Usually, Dr. Albright would have his protege, Dr. Rowan working alongside him but Dr. Rowan is currently conducting field research away from the Institute.
Sandgem Beach: The southern edge of town rolls out into Sandgem Beach, the best place to kick it this side of Mt. Coronet. The beach's cleanliness is a source of pride to the locals, due to their efforts on picking up trash, as well as the fact that all of the shipping comes in through Canaclave, so Sandgem is left as a place to enjoy the sun. There's a lot of ways to kill the time out here, all depends on what you're into. Start a game of beach volleyball on one of the courts, rent a surfboard and hit the waves, hang out by the pier, even run into wild Pokemon if you aren't watching (or are watching) where you're going.
The variety of Pokemon at the beach isn't all that, you'll won't have to search very long to find Wingull around here, as they frequent the area, and also keep an eye out for pesky Krabby making their home in the sand. If you head towards the west end of the beach, away from town you will have more luck finding Pokemon, as Dwebble, Shellder, West Sea Shellos and Corphish are known to hang out in the rocky outcroppings on the west end of the beach. Rumor has it, that Popplio will on occasion show up out on the west end, using the rocks out there to rest, or hunt.
Prompt - Metal Detectors: "Want to combine a nice day on the beach with striking it rich? If so, head on down to Darryl's Rentals, right on the beach in Sandgem, where you can rent the latest and greatest in metal detectors! So easy to use, just strap on the headphones attached to the device, and pick up and go find a goldmine!"
Metal Detectors are available to rent for use on the beach, so if you are so inclined, go take one out for a spin! Players who take this prompt will be given 3x Treasure Rolls. (Darryl's also rents out surfboards and other beach stuff as well)
Verity Lakefront Road: also known as Route 201, Verity Lakefront Road stretches from the west end of Sandgem Town to the eastern shores of Lake Verity, which also provides you access to Twinleaf Town. The road itself is short, it will only take you 4 to 6 hours on foot, based on your pace and how many distractions you run into. The road cuts through a forest, only opening up at each end of the route into Sandgem and Twinleaf. A creek, called Twinleaf Creek intersects the road at a few places, and flows alongside the road in a few others. The road doesn't get a whole lot of traffic, which means limited effect to the local ecosystem.
The local Starly population is thriving along the Verity Lakefront, they make their nests in the forest and you can hear them chirping away constantly. Avoiding the Starly as much as they can are the area's Wurmple, who can be seen frequently along the way. If you see a dam built on the creek, you can bet that was a Bidoof. Also along the creek, especially as you get closer to the lake are Lotad. Much more uncommon is Turtwig, which are said to live along the creek bed.
Twinleaf Town: Down in the southwest corner of Sinnoh is Twinleaf Town, a small tight-knit settlement. So small in fact, that the town does not have a Pokemon Center or Mart, instead trainers out here will use homemade methods of healing Pokemon, namely with herbs grown in their gardens. Twinleaf is largely self-sufficient, they like to grow their own food, make stuff themselves and raise their families with minimal outside influence. Since the town is by and large out of the way, they have been mostly successful in doing so.
The town itself is spread out, even stretching its way out to the shores of Lake Verity on its western edge. The lakefront is home to Verity Park, a small park that the community takes a lot pride in upkeeping. The houses in Twinleaf are mostly on larger properties, except for a core cluster of buildings on the east end of town, which is tongue in cheek referred to as "downtown" by the locals.
Prompt - Twinleaf Festival: Lucky timing, Sunday, June 17th is the date of this year's Twinleaf Festival, an event thrown by the Twinleaf Town Council once a year. Head on down to Verity Park and take in all the town has to offer, from the variety of food stalls serving up delicious home cooked food, to a flea market where you can find some cool stuff, as well as ways to kill time. Play a few rounds of Whack-A-Patrat or get your face painted, Twinleaf goes out of their way to enjoy the day. The biggest event, which happens in the afternoon is the Pokemon Contest. Not an officially sanctioned contest, and operates slightly differently. It's just one round where you and your Pokemon get five minutes to do a routine, or make one up as you go. There is a panel of five judges who will give you a score out of ten, and the highest score will get a trophy. Don't worry if you don't win as everyone who participates gets a bag of mixed berries, grown here in town.
Prompt - Canoe Rental: Rent yourself a canoe on Lake Verity, and spend the day on the water if you so fancy. They'll even throw in a fishing rod if you so desire. Magikarp and Barboach fishing is pretty steady all year round. The summer is great for White-Striped Basculin. Remember to bring a Pokeball with you if you plan on keeping something you caught!
“Okay then, so it looks like you’re ‘Toxel’, uh? I’ve never seen anything like you, and I’m starting to wish it stayed that way.” Staring at the purple reptile crawling on all fours with discontent, Suzu sighs, her bright red lips arched into a wide frown.
Despite being raised by a former professional Pokemon Trainer, never once growing up has Suzu ever really dreamed of embarking through the region to obtain badges and take on the Sinnoh league. Her interests always lie elsewhere, namely movies, niche music from the Galar region, and games on the recently released “Famicom” system. But her egg has just hatched into a newborn Toxel, and her parents have been dropping some not-so-subtle hints about how she’ll need to move out soon. What choice does she have?
She’s not really mad about that- anger is an emotion that requires a lot of energy, and that’s not something she has a lot of. But even if she did, she could really use a push in the right direction after getting involved with school gangs and other bad habits in her teenage years, as well as her general lack of ambition.
What she is upset about however is that her mother would think to just leave her with a Pokemon without any prior education on how to take care of one! Even more displeasing is that her new companion isn’t exactly the most appealing in terms of appearance, in-fact she’s kind of ugly, especially as she fumbles around on the tile floor. Even if she doesn’t know a whole lot about Pokemon battling as a sport, she’s seen enough of it to know there are species far easier on the eyes that she’d appreciate a lot more. Something eerie like Misdreavus or Murkrow, maybe something more on the fierce side like Houndour or Sneasel, hell, even a common house Purrloin would be preferable!
Of all the Pokemon her mom had to breed for her, why did it have to be this ugly mother psyducker?
“Anyways… I’m Suzu, apparently I’ll be your trainer from now on. ‘Nice’ to meet you. Now then, how about you get in the ball so that I won’t have to look at you until I have a use for you?”
She aims a Pokeball at Toxel, but the baby Pokemon suddenly starts to wail, unleashing a loud, metallic noise that reverberates through the small bedroom. It’d be painful to most people, but Suzu just finds it annoying- it’s nothing compared to the live shows she’s attended. Honestly it sounds kind of cool, and if it was used in a song, she’d probably like it. She’s just more irritated that her Pokemon is throwing a fit for no discernable reason, but fortunately the press of a white button is enough to cut the tantrum short. Suzu always assumed being a trainer was more similar to raising a pet than a child, but apparently not.
Suzu sighs, followed by a knock on her door. “Who is it?” she asks nonchalantly with the assumption it's her mom. But the creaking door reveals differently, instead is a teenage boy significantly shorter than her, unkempt short brown hair and similarly colored eyes peeking through- those belonging to her younger brother, Kota.
“Oh. Hey Kota.” She greets, lips very subtly curling upwards. “What’s up?”
“Hey Suzu…” Her brother replies, slowly creeping his way in. Suzu raises a brow, skeptical of the boy’s movements. He’s always been a pretty awkward kid, but not to this extent.
“It’s just, uh-” Kota clears his throat and sighs. “You’re leaving tomorrow, aren’t you? To travel around Sinnoh on a Pokemon journey?”
“Wow, what makes you think that?” Suzu snarks deadpan, holding up Toxel’s Pokeball.
“That was a pretty dumb question wasn’t it…” Kota nervously scratches his chin. “Mom’s been talking about it nonstop and at first I didn’t think it was true, I mean knowing you and all. But uh, you’re really doing it, uh?”
“Yeah, probably should have let you know ahead of time.” Suzu shrugs. “Did you wanna say goodbye or something?”
“Kinda, but also I’m… I’m really worried, y’know?”
“What’s there to be worried about?”
“I’m just worried about like- I don’t know, everything! I know Pokemon journeys look like a total blast on TV, but I’ve been reading about this stuff lately and hearing from my friends and, well, it seems really dangerous! You know, back in the day people were terrified of Pokemon, and it makes sense why- do you know what Froslass does to people it doesn’t like?”
Suzu shoots up another brow. “You do realize I’m not the first person in this house to do this, right?”
“B-but that’s different!” Kota cries. “Mom and Minako went to school for this kind of thing, they trained to do this! You nearly dropped out of regular school and got involved with all that bad stuff, you don’t really take care of yourself- you still smoke, don’t you? How can I trust you won’t get mauled by a Luxray or something?”
Suzu simply shrugs. It’s a genuine concern honestly, but she’s not one to bother herself with that. “Yeah that’d suck, wouldn’t it?”
Kota groans. “I’m serious!”
“Look, I appreciate the concern, but I’m just gonna go along with it. It’s not like I’m gonna be doing anything else- besides, what’ve I got to lose?”
“You’re really going to have me do this then, huh?”
Evan sat cross-legged on the floor, staring at the ball in front of him. The pressure of his grandfather looming over him kept him from looking up as the two shared this quiet moment.
“You will travel.”
The elderly man’s deep, gravelly voice resonated throughout the empty room. His labored breathing, the only thing louder than the soft spring breeze which flowed through the cracks in the old, rotted wood. Today was Evan’s birthday - his eighteenth, to be precise. Over the last five years this day had both been prophesied and promised to the boy.
“Evan, as an adult you must learn how to earn your own. You will take this next year to travel Sinnoh; learn to provide for yourself as I have these last years, learn what it means to live, and labor to rectify the ignominy your parents have left on our name.” The man leaned back, causing the floorboards to creak with his weight as he pulled a smoking pipe out from beneath his leg. Richter took a few long and practiced puffs on the pipe, his gaze still fixated on the young man in front of him. “As long as you continue to do as I say, your sister will be provided for.”
Evan’s hands slowly curled into fists, which he quickly hid beneath the towel in front of him as he leaned over, prostrating himself before his elder. “Yes, grandfather.”
- - - - -
The First Chapter - Begin
Evan watched the town as it passed by from his seat by the bus’ window. It had been a lengthy trip, riding down from Celestic City and transferring between the shuttles with each new city that they ended up passing through. Thankfully, the ticket itself hadn’t been horrendously expensive, but it hadn’t left him with much in the way of pocket change to start his new journey with.
Not that his grandfather had sent him off with much to speak of to begin with, but whatever cushion was supposed to be afforded the beginning of this adventure had been pulled and picked from in every which direction. Richter had definitely never been one to give more than was necessary, but there had been the smallest sliver of hope in the back of the boy’s mind that perhaps he might have accounted for nourishment and travel to somewhere more hospitable at the very least.
Evan shook his head, his gaze floating out over the sparkling waters, ignoring the watchful gazes reflected of the girls sitting across the aisle. He’d not been ignorant to the feeling of their eyes resting on him, but it wasn’t anything unusual for him. Ever since he’d come to this part of the world he-
“Uhh, ‘scuse me.”
Evan inhaled sharply, caught off guard by the effeminate voice coming from beside him. He slowly turned his head to look at her, his eyes focusing first on the ring-laden hand which had found its rest upon his thigh, and then slowly trekking their way up to her face. Her brown eyes locked with his own, and it seemed as though her bronze cheeks began to glow with a slight reddish color as she pulled her hand off of his leg.
“Um, sorry, but… I think those girls were talking about you.” The young woman slowly jerked her head towards the girls across the aisle. The woman slowly lifted her hands towards her hair, pulling back the afro of loose black curls and doing her best to tuck them slightly behind her ear.
It wasn’t much, but it had given Evan enough of a chance to glimpse the two girls he’d been wary of since transferring to this shuttle several hours ago. “Of course they were.” The boy stated bluntly, catching sight of the small smile forming from the lips of the girl beside him as he slowly turned back towards the window. “They always do,” he muttered, shaking his head.
Evan sighed, his eyes fixating themselves back on the world beyond the glass divider. ‘They always talk. Even coming this far, everyone still knows what my parents did… I don’t know. Even if I try my hardest, will I ever be able to make up for their actions? Maybe Grandpa Rich just expects me to fail… to come crawling back, begging to be let into the church so I’m not stuck out here.’
‘Oh my god, did you hear that? He’s so psyducking hot. ‘Of course they were.’ Uggghhh, so confident!’
‘His leg was so stiff and muscular too! Oh my goddd, I wanna know what he does for a living. I’ll have to try and catch him when the bus stops.’
‘Heh, back of the line girlfriend. Just because you got the seat next to him doesn’t mean you have any special rights to him over us.’
‘Oh yeah? What if I put my hand on his leg again, huh? Jealous? Huuuhh?’
‘Don’t you dare!’
Evan felt the seat next to him empty. The boy sighed again, shaking his head. ‘Of course… once she recognized me she must have decided to grab another seat. I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be until I can make an actual change. And perhaps, the first step to that…’ The young man slowly pulled out his wallet, paying no mind to the conflict erupting behind him as he pulled out a slip of paper which had been tucked away behind a few crumpled poke. ‘Doctor Jacob Albright… I wonder what he’ll be like.’
- - - - -
Evan stood in front of the Sinnoh Institute, his brow furrowed as he stared at his own reflection in the glass panes. 'What am I doing here? Am I really worthy of being a... a researcher? I don't even look the part.'
'Is that a new professor? He certainly looks important, other than that I don't know why someone normal would be wearing such hot clothes in this nice weather.'
'Yeah, definitely... hot...'
'Cindy, c'mon. The boys are waiting back at the beach. I'm not going to listen to Peter all the way back home again.'
'But Moooooll. Just look at... his muscles! He's got-'
'Eh. Neh. Zip. Nuh-uh. Don't wanna hear it. We're going.'
'But Mooooolls! I could totally be like, a researcher's aide or something! Ughhh, why do you hate me?'
Evan peeled the leather of his glove away from his skin, letting a bit of the summer breeze make its way in. His hands were drenched in sweat, and he could feel it beading up on his back as well. However, as he'd gotten off the bus, he realized he didn't have anything more appropriate for the weather and had made the choice to stick it out either way. "Can't let any opportunity slip by, I suppose." The boy whimpered, pulling a lint roller out of one of the interior pockets of his jacket before quickly rolling it across his clothes to do away with the sand which had found its way into the town. "Presentable, presentable, uhhh, what do I even say to... to a professor? A doctor? Sir? Mister? Ah, jeez. Maybe they'll make it easy on me and I won't even have to meet the guy today."
Evan took a second to hype himself up - and then another to ensure his clothes were tidied and his hair looked to be presentable - and then pulled the handle of the nearest door, making his first steps into the Sinnoh Institute. The boy was greeted by the fresh flow of conditioned air, the vague aroma of lemon-scented cleaner, and the quiet of a mostly empty greeting room in the early afternoon. The fledgling trainer looked around, seeing only a single desk at the far end of the room, and an endless line of doors on either side of him.
"Hi, how can I help you today sir?" A small woman with messy blond hair stood up from her seat behind the desk. She pressed her glasses up the bridge of her upturned nose with her ring finger before placing a stack of papers into a short cabinet that sat atop the desk. "I don't believe that the Doctor had any more residency visits due today, may I ask if there's been an emergency?"
"Emergency?" Evan furrowed his brow, looking around him slowly. "Does it... seem like there has been? I've not seen anyone since I came inside."
The woman quickly blushed and tried to speak, but tripped over her words a few times. "I- We- I'm- I'm- I apologize, sir. I'll look for the professor right away, just let me-"
"No, it's not..."
The woman matched Evan's gaze, her eyes slowly widening as she dropped into a bow. "I'm so terribly sorry, I didn't mean to cause any issues for you. I just meant to grab the doctor so he could clear up any misunderstandings you might have had. I'm just a desk clerk, I don't really have any-"
Evan calmly pulled out his wallet, producing the small paper that had been folded and refolded into an unintelligible mess over the course of the various bus rides down. "I'm a student from Celestic City. I was provided this flier by my counselor and was told I should come here if my gap year should find me in the area."
The clerk's gaze slowly rose as she glanced at the page which the young man had produced. Rather than allow herself to become calmed and composed from the revelation that Evan was in fact nobody important, the realization she'd made a fool of herself in front of a prospective student simply aided to fluster her further. "Embarrassment on embarrassment," she muttered in between uneasy laughs.
The woman quickly dug through the cabinet on her desk and then reached into a box hidden beneath the counter before procuring several materials. Her lips remained pursed as she started to lay them out upon the counter in front of the young man, and it wasn't until she'd finally placed the clipboard which read 'Enrollment Agreement' in black, bold typing at the top that she finally allowed herself to speak. "This is a short list of the materials which are being offered to you. We don't expect any of this really to be returned to us in the event you choose to pursue another career, so don't feel as if you're being held accountable for whatever you do or don't use. However for our own records it would be appreciated if should you deign to go elsewhere you would return your journal and the film roll provided to you so that we may add at least that to our own findings. If you'll just go through and give me a 'check' in each of the boxes to ensure everything necessary has been provided to you today, and then sign and date on the bottom lines there. Once that's been completed, I'll be able to add you to our list of applicants and get you on your way."
"Thanks." The young man stated bluntly, ignorant to the state of the woman as she ran her hand through her hair which had grown increasingly messier since he'd come through the door. Evan glanced down the list, his eyes darting to each of the items as he came across them before crossing out the associated box. "It looks like it's all there. And... there." Evan placed the pen beneath the clip of the board before passing back across to the clerk. "Signed. Dated."
The woman grabbed the clipboard and quickly traced her finger down the list of boxes before finding her nail resting on the boy's name. "Evan... Mimph?"
Evan clenched his fists behind the cover of the short desk, not sure how to answer her. 'Does she want confirmation? Or maybe she recognizes me too... or maybe I-'
"Well, welcome, Evan. As this is only part of the application process, I'm sure that you will be fine. You only need capture three specimen for live inspection, and then reports need to be made with photographic evidence charting your personal discoveries or experiences on fifteen further Pokemon. You've been provided with a book on the region's Pokemon and various berries with which you might find yourself acquainted. It is, of course, not a comprehensive study - but rest assured you will yet find use in referencing its pages." The woman stacked the various items up before shoving them into a small tote bag. "Now then, unless there's... anything else?"
Evan shook his head, grabbing the bag from the clerk before slinging it over his shoulder. "I'll be sure to do what I can to prove myself useful. Have a good day, ma'am." The boy quickly turned and strode back towards the door with a confidence he'd not had since leaving Celestic City. 'As long as there's something to strive for, this should be easy enough.'
'Ma'am?" The woman slowly tapped her fingers against her face. "I'm only twenty-three... am I... ma'am?'
Evan pushed the door open, the faintest traces of a smile forming upon his lips as looked up at the sun. "I guess I'll try and find something that can hold its own then."
A bedraggled figure in a cropped tank top and hotpants drags itself and its surfboard back onto the beach, stopping briefly to check underneath a miniature beach umbrella before resuming their shuffle to Darryl's Rentals.
"The waves are totally audacious in Sandgem!" the pink-haired boy bubbles at Darryl himself, hefting the surfboard into the shopkeeper's arms. Darryl returns a slow grin, the teenager's energy undampened by a mad amount of plunges into the sparkling water.
"Most definitely, Sunyshore boy. Best surfin' in Sinnoh!"
"Aw, that cannot be, my legendary friend! You gotta get out east while you're still able to hang. It's most outrageous!"
Darryl's good humor falls away in favor of a subtle surliness, but his customer doesn't seem to notice. "So're the prices, grom. Swappin' for the detector or what?"
"Oh, in a flash!" The metal detector and its headphones require much less wrangling than the surfboard. "Righteous. Where do I start?" The headphones clap on fine over water-straightened pink hair, but the lazy way the boy waves the metal detector doesn't look promising.
"Waterline's always good," Darryl says.
"Sorry, dude, the wavelength is all wrong for some reason."
"It's the headphones, they do that."
Darryl gives up and simply points down the beach.
"I'll bring you something absolutely mesmeric!"
Darryl watches him work, for about ten minutes, but a skinny teen wandering in the sand is much less entertaining than one falling into the surf every other wave.
It begins with a single coin on the edge of her towel, just outside the shadow cast by her appropriately-sized umbrella.
Continues with two mismatched earrings and fork.
More coins, more jewelry, more bits and bobs.
A jingling thunk onto the pile heralds a filthy, rusty lunchbox lid emblazoned with the dynamic silhouettes of Detective Greedent characters, and it is this that finally prompts the Togepi to push her pink shutter shades up onto her forehead and fix her trainer with an affronted glare.
"Feast your eyes on our wondrous fortune, my Doll!"
Dollop surveys the sand-crusted pile critically. Is there really anything of value? Perhaps a few of the rings with carefully set stones, given a good cleaning. And the coins are, in fact, money. But there too are bolts and washers, cheap bangles and sunglasses, and the aforementioned half of a lunchbox. She trills her overall disagreement.
Dollop flips her shades back down with a jerk of her head as her trainer shuffles off once more.
An hour later, the collection has doubled in size, and the boy responsible for it plops his now-dry butt into the sand next to Dollop's towel with an air of finality. She heaves a sigh and deigns to raise her shades again, finding her trainer equipment-less and making a heinous mess of his pile.
"A plethora of PokéBall parts, but only a single whole one. But we can make like, a wicked necklace outta the rest. Chains abound, we can use 'em too!" Dollop shrugs. She's not going to help and he knows it by now, so this "we" business is all nonsense. "Lotta bling…" her trainer muses, shaking sand from a large crystalline earring. "Auriferous stones set in this, even!"
Dollop doles out a flat noise. He doesn't need to fill his bag any further- he's already lost her PokéBall twice today. "With much regret, we will make a deposit at the pawn. Our own selections will be only the intensely unique. Oh wait, Doll, these Tutor Movies are most excellent! Can you learn Fling? Or Hail?"
Dollop "flings" a few grains of sand at the hand presenting her with chunky cases of some sort, which its owner takes in stride. "We'll make a party of viewing them later. Sometimes they are vastly humorous." His matted hair picks up more sand with each swipe at his untamed fringe. "This will be a triumphant haul for the pawn shop. Ah, but I have to set something aside for our generous friend Darryl! Do we think he likes earrings?"
Darryl does not like earrings, though he does find some sort of joy in the rusty Detective Greedent lunchbox. The pawn shop likes most of the intact jewelry, besides the handful of mood rings, and Dollop approves of their growing mutual funds even though her grasp of economics is questionable. A good day all around.
But though the day is over, the night is still young!
Sun-reddened faces decorated with blazing smiles tumble into a busy restaurant. Short sequined skirts find their seats and puffy jackets fall away to reveal bared shoulders and more metallic shine, owners giggling and chatting away. Clearly, the night has already begun for this party of women.
"Oh, girls, the waiter is staring!" one of them gasps delightedly. "Yoo-hoo!" she calls, bangled wrist sparkling and clattering as she waves to the uniformed young man. "Show us some love, darling!"
Confusion flashes under a curled pink fringe, just for a moment, then a gentle smile curves across his face to match the easy stride and smooth retrieval of a notepad from his apron. "Good evening, most vivacious of ladies. What can I have the pleasure of bringing you all to start?"
"Your own self would be a welcome appetizer," winks the most bold of the group. Titters break our amongst the rest, though a scandalized "Heather!" breaks through as well. "What would you say…" she quickly peeks at his nametag. "...George?"
"I would say you are the height of bodacious, the epitome of fine, and a queen of audaciousness, but tonight's offerings are exclusively listed on the menu." George's good humor doesn't falter even for a millisecond, and Heather finds herself a little put out. Most boys his age would at least blush. Her companions hide their smiles behind their menus, and she graciously moves on.
"Then a bottle of White Zin, for the table." The boy scribbles it down and ambles vaguely in the direction of the bar, and the girls explode into giggles.
"I can't believe you!" "So forward!" "Do you think he uses that line often?" "No way, he's not that cute." "Don't be mean!"
Heather's glossed red lips tug down into a pout directed at the boy's back. "He said all of those fancy things, but he didn't even look down my shirt."
The playback machine at the Pokémon Center whirrs gently behind the recorded audio as Dollop's trainer feeds her butter-soaked popcorn in the flickering light of the Tutor Movie. Hail had been far more entertaining than Fling is turning out to be, but Dollop will be practising neither at this time of night. They're still on vacation, after all, and dedicated training isn't a relaxing endeavor.
When they go from "vacation" to "adventure", well. That remains to be seen. But it will not be tonight, and likely not tomorrow, and if they spend the whole summer on vacation- that's their business, isn't it?
Dollop may get bored, though, and it's hard to predict when that will happen. She's not one to lay around for long.
He offers her another piece of popcorn as the presented onscreen gives a summary of the lesson. Fling isn't a particularly difficult technique, it turns out, amounting to basically throwing things with boosted force. It might be difficult yet for a Togepi, what with the short arms and limited range of movement. But the concept- that's easy enough to grasp.
Unlike the popcorn, apparently, which keeps slipping out of Dollop's sleepy grip.
"Bedtime, my Doll," Rosey whispers, and scoops her up gently despite her tired complaints.
Bright sunlight, clear skies, warm weather, sand, and crowded areas are all things Suzu dislikes on their own, and when put together they truly make for an unpleasant experience. It’s a shame then, that Sandgem Town was where her journey had started.
Sinnoh isn’t exactly known for its blistering heat or anything, and by the standards of someone from Kanto or Johto, it's pretty tame. But to those who’ve adjusted to the long winters of the region, “mild” heat is almost overwhelming, especially if you’ve lived your entire life in Snowpoint- and unfortunately in this case, that’s where Suzu just arrived from. Everything else is an easy remedy at least- with the aid of black ovular sunglasses, the bright light is severely lessened, and her trusty Walkman drowns out the sounds of the crowd. What’s near impossible to avoid though is the sand.
As the name of the town suggests, there’s sand almost everywhere on the ground. Not wanting grains of sand in her combat boots, she carefully takes wide steps over any noticeable piles of sand that enter her vision. Her slow but cautious movements do earn her a lot of looks from random passerbys, although that could just be because it’s not everyday you see a tall girl wearing incredibly dramatic makeup and fishnets practically all over her body.
Her mother heavily insisted this is where her first stop should be so she could meet with someone named Dr. Albright or something, and Suzu just went along with it just to get her mom to stop talking about it. Is she actually going to visit said doctor? Who knows honestly? Her bigger concern at the moment is trying to get anywhere with so many psyducking people in the way!
Eventually her awkward prodding around does get her somewhere of significance, a building with a red roof and a Pokeball logo hard to notice. It takes her a bit to recognize it, but it's a Pokemon Center, supposedly a solid resource for trainers of all skill levels- though she’s mostly here in hopes she’ll get an idea of what to do.
The doors slide open, and immediately all eyes are on her- even the nurse at the center desk briefly shoots her a peculiar glare. It’s whatever to Suzu though, this is just an average day for her. Her first instinct isn’t really to ask anyone, because she doesn’t even know what to ask. Instead, she finds herself gravitating towards some seats lined up near the walls.
Her eyes scan a nearby news rack, which is filled with magazines exclusively featuring subjects relating to Pokemon. There’s some focusing on raising newborn Pokemon, others are more centered around sensationalist headlines than delivering helpful information, but a lot of them are filled with articles about competitive battling. One in particular sticks out to her, “Rising Stars” it’s called. There’s a young woman with brown hair wearing lots of pink is featured on the cover, and to Suzu it almost kind of resembles her older sister.
…hey wait a second, is that her psyducking sister on the cover!?
Suzu rushes forward and swipes a copy right off the shelf for a better look, and sure enough, printed on the cover is none other than a picture of Minako Okabe, Suzu’s older sister, front and center. “God psyducking damnit…” Feeling a pit in her stomach, she furiously flips through the pages until she lands on the cover story.
“Minako Okabe: Fighting Fire with Fairy” is printed in large text at the top of the page, and following that is a short interview with her and an article outlining her battle strategy. The latter is filled with gibberish but the fact she managed to get featured in a magazine while Suzu doesn’t have a clue what she wants to do has her feeling empty. She’s made impressive progress at only age 22, and has been on this path for years- Suzu, on the other hand, has just wasted her life up until this point, and it’s time to do something about that.
There are some ways to get started, with all the nearby businesses hiring during the busy season, but Suzu knows very well they’d take one look at her and turn her down, not that it’s something she wants to do anyways. Of course, there is the path she was sent on she could continue down…
Suzu groans, plucking Toxel’s Pokeball out of her bags. “This is sooner than I would have liked, but it looks like I finally have a use for you! Come on, we’re doing something!”
|June 15th|Noon|Sandgem Town|Chapter 1 - Glory Days
Go out and do something productive with your life.
The last piece of advice Benny was given before leaving home for Sandgem Town, a short trip from the big city to the small beach town, one he had made before many times but it was different now. Instead of just vibing on the beach or something, he was stuck going on a "journey" to "discover himself". Cool story bro, see you there. Just Benny and his wits, and a family credit card, that was supposed to be for expenses he incurred along the way, and not to "go nuts with".
Oh, and I guess there was Paris, the Pokemon he had been given. Apparently Pops thought Benny should take one with him, who knows why. Did they think he was going to be like one of those pro trainers you'd see on Jubilife TV, those guys were all showboats anyways. Whatever, roaming around Sinnoh beat being stuck in a class room all day.
It had been a couple minutes since Benny finished his lunch, yet the waiter hadn't come back to grab his plate yet. Not to mention the waiter was a dude, not a fine young lady, totally lame. The waiter makes his way towards Benny, with Benny motioning with his hand for the waiter to come over to his table.
"Chop chop pal, I got things to do," Benny snarked at the waiter.
"Sorry about that, issue I had to sort out in the back," the waiter replied, sighing under his breath before he apologized.
"Well don't let it happen again, not everyone is as forgiving as me," Benny remarked again, as he placed his credit card on the table.
'Yes, that's a Bank of Jubilife Black Card. Yes, I know I'm a big deal bud, shouldn't have made me wait.' The waiter comes back with the check, and Benny pays for the lunch and leaves. No tip, obviously. That guy was lucky enough Benny was patient, rest of his family members wouldn't be so forgiving. Time for Benny to split from this dive, head on down to the beach, or something.
Normally he would have went to the beach with a crew, but the usual suspects were still stuck in Jubilife until later today. So it was just Benny and his Eevee, Paris out at the beach. Benny figured that the small fluffy Pokemon would be a hit, there was probably an added benefit of having the Pokemon outside the ball be good for her, who knows.
Benny couldn't help but be distracted by a pair of girls walking towards the beach, one brunette and one redhead. Benny made sure to check his breath, and walked on over.
"How about this weather we're having ladies," Benny opened.
"Oh.. um yeah nice I guess," the redhead replied.
Nice opener, Benny thought to himself, just mess it up right off the bat. Benny didn't even have a chance to recover before a couple of guys, both taller than Benny and likely a year or two older, walked over to the girls, and they also had a Chimchar bouncing a volleyball in the air with them.
"We're looking for a couple more players for a volleyball game, you two in," one of the other guys asked.
"Totally," the brunette responded.
"Sorry kid, don't think we have a spot for you," one of the older guys smirked, walking away with the two chicks Benny was attempting to talk to.
Well if they are going to rain on Benny's parade, then Benny could rain on their parade as well. He took a second to remember what moves Paris could do. Tail Whip, Growl, Yawn, none of these will work, Benny strategized, Quick Attack, now that's more like it.
So off Paris went, under Benny's direction to Quick Attack the Chimchar bouncing the ball still. Paris took off with a burst of speed and collided into Chimchar, knocking the monkey Pokemon back and letting the volleyball roll away from the scene. The two thieves threw their hands up in the air, shaking their heads at Benny, who stood tall with a huge s*** eating grin on his face. This caused Chimchar to retaliate, hitting Paris with a scratch. One scratch wasn't enough, as Chimchar hit Paris with three more attacks, sending Paris tumbling back. Uh oh, Benny might have gotten himself into some trouble here.
Benny took a quick second to think about his predicament. Seems like he had entered into a Pokemon battle with someone who knows what they're doing. Benny on the other hand, did not. Sure he had tried it a few times, but never took it as seriously as some kids did. He would have to learn on the fly, how hard could it be after all, it looks pretty easy on TV, Benny thought. The Pokemon do all the work anyways, just tell them what to do.
Let's try another Quick Attack then, Benny commanded. Paris took off once again, chasing Chimchar down and slamming into the Chimchar and knocking it down again. Chimchar bounced back up rather quickly, and went back after Paris, hitting her with a punch, knocking the Eevee back. This punch seemed to motivate the Chimchar even more, and Paris looked weak. Benny had to tuck tail real quick. Unsure on what else to do, Benny retracts Paris into her Pokeball and flees the scene of the beach.
"Hey kid, you owe us some money," Benny hears as he's running away. He notices he's being followed. Thinking quickly, he ducks into a crowd of people before sliding into an alley, and hides behind a dumpster. He must be next to a restaurant, because the dumpster smells like something's rotting. Benny pokes his head out, and sees that he has evaded his pursuers, as they give up on the pursuit and return towards the beach.
Benny felt a rush of embarrassment fill his insides. He couldn't believe that turn of events. Benny vowed to himself he wasn't going to let that happen again, but what could he do about it? Those guys were bigger, not to mention their Pokemon was better. Benny didn't think he was growing anytime soon, but maybe Paris could do some growing...
- CODY SURGE
- WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE 1984
- STATUS: EXCITED
- CURRENT DESTINATION: SUNYSHORE CITY
- TARGET DESTINATION: BED
- TODAY ON SURGE RADIO: BRONSKI BEAT - SMALLTOWN BOY
With the last box hauled up the stairs, what Cody wanted to do was fling the box into his new room before crashing on the bed. He was beat! The ferry ride here had been fine enough (he was after a sea baby of Vermilion the sailors had taken him on all sorts of adventures when his dad was not around), but in a way it had put Cody in a false sense of security.
Nothing could have prepared him for the onslaught of boxes and furniture and equipment that his parents seemed to have accumulated, and somehow stored in their house, that were then pulled out like items from a magician's hat in a never-ending stream! Couple that with all of the equipment that was already at the house for this project his dad would be working on and the chaos was enough to overwhelm poor Cody.
He places the final box in its designated spot in the bedroom (just like every other box, meticulously labelled and placed where it would be unpacked, because efficiency is key!) before going over to the window.
The view was breathtaking - nothing but a slowly rolling carpet as far as he could see, something Cody was used to back home and one of the reasons he loved it so much. Colours from darkest orange to sparkling azure streaming across as if someone had upended the setting sun into the water like a paint pot. It had an effect both relaxing and hypnotic, as proven by Cody not hearing his parents coming upstairs and into his room.
"Heya sport." It seems even Surge has had a rough time, his voice tinged with tiredness. "Pretty choice place we've got, huh? I think this view is pretty rad, almost as good as back home!" Cody grimaces at his dad trying to remain somewhat "relevant" to the culture with his word choice. His mother chuckles.
"Son it could be worse, he could be saying what he used to back in the day. Believe me, your skin would be crawling!" The previous chuckle transitions into open laughter, whilst Surge's face contorts into a betrayed expression.
"Right where it hurts... say no more! Don't want to scare the kid away on his first big adventure!" Surge ruffles Cody's hair, much to the annoyance of Cody.
"So it turns out the leader here is actually out of town for a few days, so we've got some time to kill." Surge explains. "It does seem whoever is organising this is on the ball, as someone left a note with the equipment here to say the rest is to be picked up at Sandgem Town's research institute. Say, I could probably do with a hand and I'm sure they'll want something from us in return, how do you feel about coming along Cody and seeing what this Sinnoh place is all about?" Surge pauses, worrying as the silence grows longer and longer.
"It's fine if you don't answer now, I appreciate we've ju-"
"I'll do it!" Cody interjects, beaming a rare full smile from ear to ear. "When do we go?!" Cody's usual reserved self had been cast aside - he was finally going to see what exactly his dad does whilst he's away! He was going to start his journey in the world and in a different region of all places! The possibilities were endless!
"Well..." Surge's brow furrows. "I don't see why we couldn't go in the next few days. Let's perhaps get everything here sorted so your poor mother isn't left in some like totally gross house and then we'll be on our way. Sound good?"
"Amazing!!!!" Cody at this point is bouncing off the walls. His parents, still taken aback a little, can't help but smile a little.
"Alright soldier in that case it's up at 8:00am sharp so we can get this unpacked!" Surge barks.
"Yes sir!" Cody barks back. "And then our next stop - Sandgem Town!" Surge and Cody both exclaim, fists raised in the air before everyone bursts out laughing at how silly this all is.
"C'mon, let the kid sleep if he's to be up so early!" His mum now barking orders at Surge. She turns to Cody before leaving the room. "Night dear." The door then closes, leaving Cody alone with his whirlwind state of mind.
Cody gets into bed, attempting to calm down so he can be up early tomorrow to start off his very own adventure.
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Klaus the Surskit
Ability: Swift Swim
Moveset: Water Gun / Quick Attack / Sweet Scent / Psybeam