March 17th, 2008 (8:55 PM). Edited August 21st, 2012 by delongbi.
Genre: Adventure/ Eventual Romance
Summary: 1 Psychic Trainer + 1 Criminal Mastermind + 1 Psychotic Killer + 1 Apple = 1 Great Story (hopefully)
Ok, I am very, very new to all of this. Though I have been reading fanfics for a while, I never created or posted my own before this. In fact, I joined this place so I could post my own story and get feedback on it. I'm very sorry if I ask stupid questions and do not always know what I am doing! I just started writing this, and plan to continue, though I'm not sure how often I will have time to write new chapters. Please, I want lots of feedback! Thanks- and here is the start of my story.
Well, actually I have a stupid question before I post my first chapter- Am I allowed to post this story on other forums/ websites as well?
Oh, and I do not own or create pokemon. (Do I need this disclaimer?)
Ok, now here really is the prologue + 1st chapter
Chapter 1: Welcome to My Life
Chapter 2: Typically Atypical
Chapter 3: And Then There Were Six
Chapter 4: Legend by Legendary
Chapter 5: Eevees... 'Nuff Said
Chapter 6: Misadventures
Chapter 6.5: Break It Down Now, Y'all
Chapter 7: Clash
Chapter 8: Reminiscence
Chapter 9: Peepin Pond
Chapter 10: Bonding
Chapter 11: Watch and Watch Out
Chapter 12: Rare Encounters
Chapter 13: Fire Away!
Chapter 14: Visions of the Passed/Past
Chapter 15: Erin's Revenge
Chapter 16: Rock & Roll Disaster
Chapter 17: Mis-Taken
Chapter 18: Emotional Complex
Chapter 19: (Act One) Missing Links
Chapter 20: (Act Two) Sweet 'n' Sour Minus the Sweet
Chapter 21: (Act Three) Di-Vine Dancing
Chapter 22: Mysteries
Chapter 23: Cackle Attack
Chapter 24: Ridiculous to the Max
Chapter 25: Establishing Chaos
Chapter 26: Chaos Established
Chapter 27: Worthwhile
Chapter 28: No Goodbyes
Chapter 29: The Search is On
Chapter 30: Invisible Forces
Chapter 31: Power Exchange
Chapter 32: Bon Voyage
Chapter 33: That Ship has Sailed
Chapter 34: Smells Like Change
Chapter 35: Mendol Muddle
Chapter 36: Styx and Stones Can Break My Bones, But Words Can Never...mind
Chapter 37: Identification, Please
Chapter 38: Stuck in a Bind
Chapter 39: Lost Revelations
Chapter 40: (Act One) To Travel
Chapter 41: (Act Two) Through
Chapter 42: (Act Three) Time
Chapter 43: Break Away
Chapter 44: Fighting the Irr-ash-inal
Written (or being written) But Not Up
Chapter 45: Venomous
Chapter 46: Preparations
** Dark thunderclouds hovered over the usually serene town of Melonbi. A pale young girl, about seven years old, stumbled through the light drizzle, frantically trying to get to her house before the storm. In her rush, she was unaware of the dark figure raging in an intense battle ahead of her until she, quite literally, collided with him, and knocked them both into the sticky mud.
For a second, the man in the dark uniform was stunned. Then, angrily lifting his mud soaked body from the ground, he shouted, "Hey! Brat, watch where you're going!"
"S-s-sorry Mr." The young girl trembled. "I didn't mean—"
"Charizard, quickly, finish it before it starts to rain too hard," the man yelled, pushing the girl aside and returning his attention to the battle. "I'll grab the psychic-proof net, just keep that fire going!"
The man scrambled toward his backpack, about twenty yards from where he had been previously standing. The young fallen girl peered after him and then glanced at the large red monster spurting fire from its mouth. It was clearly exhausted, and the rain was not helping this fire Pokemon. The girl could tell it had undergone an intense battle and curiously looked for the opponent. She caught sight of a small figure in the flames protecting itself with a weak psychic barrier, too weak to move itself from the blaze. The girl felt pity for both creatures, one being commanded to attack under such harsh conditions, the other just trying to protect itself. She wished to help both, but knew she could not possibly help the attacker, for it already had an owner. The girl glanced back at the man. He had reached his equipment and was now fiddling with something, though the girl could not see what through the thick rain.
Suddenly, the girl heard a sharp gasp and then a thud. The girl snapped her head away from the strange man to see the giant dragon Pokemon fainted in the mud next to a smaller, pinkish brown Pokemon. Throwing a nervous glance back at the man, the mud-covered girl staggered toward the two fallen creatures. The small pink Pokemon had not yet fainted and was shivering helplessly in the mud. The girl could now see that the brown on the creature was just disgusting wet dirt and burnt fur. Scooping the pink Pokemon into her arms, the girl frowned sadly at the giant fire Pokemon, wishing there was something she could do. She then saw that the man was running back towards her and the Pokemon. Taking one last glance at the Charizard, the girl turned and fled, cradling the pink Pokemon in her arms. Panting, the girl finally reached her small house. As she climbed through the door, she thought she could hear a scream of agony in the distance. The girl shuddered and went inside. **
Chapter 1: Welcome to My Life
Bright light streamed into my eyes as someone pulled up the blue curtain that had previously blocked out the morning sun, and my consciousness.
<Rise and shine, my friend,> said a slightly sarcastic voice... in my head.
I rolled over and plunged my head, face-down, into my pillow, contemplating my dream. That had to be the thousandth time I had the dream; it has haunted me from the day it actually occurred six years ago. I, of course, was the young terrified girl in the dream, and the Pokemon, well that was—
<Come on, get up! Today's our big day!>
—yes, that was the psychic Pokemon, Mew.
"Okay, okay, I'll be up in a minute Apple," I muffled through my pillow.
Apple was what I named the young Mew I rescued that stormy day because her burnt fur matched the color of the apple trees that grew in my backyard. I wish I could say we had been friends from the day we met, but that would be lying.
When I had first brought Apple home that rainy afternoon, I was scared my mother would not let me keep the wild Pokemon in the house. Ever since my dad left….well, she hasn’t quite been herself.
My mother was always a clean lady, but after my dad abandoned us, she would not tolerate a speck of dirt anywhere. She took to cleaning whenever she became nervous or stressed. She would certainly not tolerate a wild dirty creature that might mess up her precious house.
Thus, I was forced to nurse Apple back to health by stealing old burn heals and half-used potions from my mother's medicine cabinet. She hadn’t thrown out the leftover Pokemon medicine from the days my father lived with us and trained Pokemon.
I kept the small pink creature in a box under my bed. The Mew seemed to dislike me at first. It glared up at me with those violet distrustful eyes when I fed it medicine. A few times I found the box empty, but the Mew always returned more sickly-looking after these instances. The Pokemon was too weak to go far, and had nowhere else to turn for help.
By the time Apple was back to full health, I had earned the Pokemon’s trust. We became friends and played together. The first time the Mew spoke psychically to me, I nearly fainted in shock. It took me a while to get used to having the Pokemon in my head.
I eventually decided it was safe to tell my mom about my pink friend, but when I tried to show her, Mew was nowhere to be found. Similar occurrences happened when I tried to show Mew to my friends. At the time, I did not understand why Mew did not want to be seen. Apple had to explain that an angry man was trying to capture it and it was trying to stay hidden from this person.
<You see,> the small creature told me. <I am a very rare Pokemon containing power I don't even know how to use yet! I was born only two years ago, from the ashes of my father Mew. I don’t have enough power to be able to defend myself from the angry man.>
"What do'ya mean ashes?" I questioned, confused.
<When a Mew is 5,000 years old, it dies, and from its ashes, rises a new Mew,> the pink creature explained.
"If you're only two years old, how do you even know that?!" I asked, bewildered.
The Mew shrugged. <I guess I was born knowing that. But that's not the point. The point is I can't be seen by anyone because they might want to capture me for my power, or worse, they know the angry man! I'm not strong enough to protect myself! I need to hide myself from the world!>
I asked Mew, "Well, why don't you just put on a disguise to hide? That’s what all the people do in the movies."
And that was how Apple learned how to transform into different Pokemon.
After that, Apple came with me to school everyday, and I had a Pokemon just like every other kid. As I mentioned, my mother dislikes Pokemon for their dirtiness. So, though every other kid in school had a creature as a friend, I did not have one until Apple came along, and even Apple did not qualify for some of my classmates. For one, I did not actually have a Pokeball for Apple because Apple refused to be held captive in such a devise, and I refused to capture it. Why would you want your friend kept cramped in a small uncomfortable space anyway?
Apple also did not qualify to some...well, to put it nicely, irritating companions because Apple never came to school in the same form... so the other kids in school never thought Apple was the same Pokemon. One day Apple would pretend to be a Rattata, and the next it would be a Spearow. Apple always picked small, common Pokemon so it would not draw attention to itself.
Anyway, these fellow classmates liked to pick on me before I had a Pokemon, and they continued to do so when seemingly different Pokemon came with me to school every day. One boy and girl in particular, Reece Annnoyingface and Carly Iwantoslapyou (ok, so that’s not their real last names, but they fit really well!), called me some rude, and sometimes unusual, names.
Like I said, some of the names they came up with were... creative. Well this name-calling business went on for quite some time, and I really did not mind because I ignored them… for the most part. Every once in a while my anger overcame my rational mind and I ended up tackling Carly or Reece to the floor and getting detention. But, that only happened once every other week... or day.
I REALLY only started minding the name-calling when my mom found out about these names, which eventually lead to her discovery of seemingly random Pokemon following me to school. Disliking wild Pokemon, my mother insisted that I stop allowing these Pokemon to follow me. Well, I did not want to be split from my friend, so Apple and I came up with two solutions. We either-
A) had to make Reece and Carly tell my mom that they made the whole thing up and that Pokemon really didn't follow me to school every day (yeah right) or
B) Apple had to pick a form, and I had to convince my mom to let me keep and train a Pokemon.
Since choice A really was not possible, I had to persuade my mom to allow a Pokemon to stay in our house and come to school with me everyday. This task was not actually as hard as I initially believed it to be, for after I mentioned that the dirty wild Pokemon would continue to follow me until I had a trained Pokemon to protect me (so I lied just a little bit), she happily allowed me to keep one Pokemon.
Now the only question was what Pokemon Apple would take the form of. I left that up to Apple; after all, it was Apple's body. Apple, in the end, decided to take the form of Eevee because Eevee could evolve (well, pretend to evolve) into many different types, and therefore Apple had many options. As the Acceber region’s mascot, Eevees also happened to be a common starting Pokemon so it wasn't unusual.
Thus, from that day forth, Apple, as an Eevee, came to school with me, and played with me, and once in a while, battled with me (it is forbidden to battle at school, but I don't believe that such rules apply to people like Reece and Carly), waiting for that special day to come, the day Apple and I could leave school and home behind and go on out own journey. That day is—
<Today! Wake up sometime today! Come on, get up already!>
March 17th, 2008 (11:01 PM).
Welcome to the world of fanfiction! don't worry about being new to fanfiction - everyone was at some stage, and incidently, usually when they start out. Yeah, I'll shut up now.
Anyway, onto the story. It's quite good actually, and a different spin on Legendary Pokemon, as a baby Pokemon. I have read one other such story, but it's still a nice concept, and the way you've gone about it is interesting.
The description is quite good here - nice and strong. The prologue was quite enthralling, and well-written. A good introduction there - showed lots of promise and was generally solid. The 1st chapter was also good, including the relavation that it was a Mew (although I had somewhat half-guessed it was so), and the prespective of school from Anita was good and enjoyable. At times the ideas that Anita is trying to convey happen a tad too quickly, and there is the occassional mistake, but overall it was good.
Also, if the man had been so intent on getting Mew, would have liked to have seen a chase scene - did seem that she got away far too easily there. The '**' could have been separated form the prologue a bit more as well - formatting issue but, and minor.
Also, break up paragraphs - the last one is far too big, and as such isn't the easiest thing in the eyes. Break that up into shorter paragraphs - a simple idea or two per one. There are a few sentences that could be shortend a tad as well there, if you look.
Another thing to add - sometimes you need to capitlise more things. Ie.e Pokemon at times was uncapitlised, and Mew, being the name (like Apple), and of a Pokemon (like Charizard), should be capitlised. Pokeballs as well.
Overall, however, it's quite a good piece of writing - nice concept, good plot and the description (particularly in the prologue) is great. A little rough at the edges in places, but a lot of promise, and rather enjoyable to read. Take your time in continuing this fic, and keep the things I've mentioned in mind, and it should only get better. I look forward to reading more and apply my nitpicky ways upon this more.
March 19th, 2008 (5:59 PM). Edited March 19th, 2008 by Astinus.
I loved this story. I would like to make a preposition. Could I put you story on my site? Its located here [link removed] Okay. see ya
March 19th, 2008 (6:36 PM).
killin_kobra, it's nice that you want to share other people's fanfics and put them on one site, but you're pretty much spamming and advertising. Next time you just post to ask for a fanfic for your site, you'll get a warning. PM these people if you want.
And I'm editing out your website URL, since it's considered advertising.
Link your site in your signature. Actually add some padding to your reviews.
March 19th, 2008 (10:52 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Thanks for bobandbill the review! I tried to fix most of the errors.
Here is chapter 2!
Chapter 2: Typically Atypical
I had reached the limit of Apple's patience. The Mew disguised as an Eevee used its telekinetic powers to pick me out of my soft bed and toss me onto the ground.
<Drat, I was aiming for the stairs. Oh well, at least you're up!> Apple's excited tone clashed with my usual sleepy thoughts. It made my head hurt.
I groaned and slowly picked up my battered body from the floor. After much of Apple's excessive encouragement, I eventually got dressed and soon found myself staring out the window at the beautiful country of Acceber. My town, Melonbi, was just the small northern tip of the large island. Even from this window, I could see beyond the grassy plains of Melonbi Town to the distant townhouses of Azul City and their reflections in Peepin Pond. It was a beautiful sight. The lush green grass glittered under the bright blue sky, making the scene brilliant in color. If one looked closely, small shimmers of movement could be seen in the taller, golden grass from Pokemon bustling about on this gorgeous day.
I peered closer at the window to inspect my own reflection. My usually straight, dark brown hair was slightly crumpled from my uneasy sleep, so I flipped it back into a ponytail. I stared once more into the clear glass, only to be stared back at by the reflection of my violet eyes. Apple had told me that purple eyes were a sign of a psychic, but if I had any psychic powers, they had yet to reveal themselves. Then again, Apple may have thought this because its eyes were purple as well. Even when Apple transformed into other Pokemon, its eyes contained a slightly violet hue.
"Alright, I'm ready to go." I sighed and turned away from the window. I grabbed my pack of supplies, and my elated Eevee jumped into my arms as I stumbled down the stairs.
"Happy birthday, honey!" my mother exclaimed when I reached the bottom step. After a moment of hesitation from seeing the Eevee in my arms, she thrust her arms around me and Apple.
I was taken by surprise. My mom usually refused to even look at Apple, and to touch the cute little Pokemon was unthinkable. I started, "Mom, what has—"
"Sweetie, I'm s-s-s-so proud of you," she spattered tearfully. "Though I initiall-ly didn't want you to g-go on this quest for P-P-Pokemon..." She stopped, shuddered and took a deep breath, "Now you are thirteen, old enough to make your own d-decisions, and decide what-what is b-best for yours-s-self."
At this point, my mom broke down crying, and I hugged her, trying to provide some comfort. "Don't worry mom, I'll be fine," I told her with a confident tone, but she continued sobbing. "Mom," I tried again. "in the old days, children left home to start on their journeys when they were ten years old. They've changed the laws recently, but the point is they were fine, and I'm three years older than they were! I will be okay. You don't have to stress over it."
My mother chuckled sorrowfully, "I guess it is kind of silly for me to-to-to... I don’t want to lose you after…" My mom stopped, took a deep breath and locked her cerulean eyes with mine. "Take care of yourself, I'll miss you." My mom prepared to bear-hug me again, and disliking its first hugging experience, Apple jumped out of my arms just in time.
After releasing me from her grasp, my mother hurriedly fished for something in her pocket.
"These are for you," my mother quietly murmured, pressing five Pokeballs into my hand. For a second, I stared at her hand, shocked that she would give me such a present. Then I quickly recovered, pocketed the Pokeballs, and pulled her into yet another hug.
"Thanks mom. I'll miss you too," I whispered. "But really, don't worry; I'll be back in no time." Then I turned away from my sobbing parent and headed for the door.
<That was touching,> Apple said smugly while following me through the door.
I didn't reply. Instead, climbed down the pearl-white front porch stairs and mounted my bike. Taking only one quick glance back, I started pedaling south toward Azul City. As I rode away from my home, I could hear my mom shouting goodbyes, and of course, that little psychic voice—
<Hey, wait for me!>
I pedaled faster.
By late afternoon, I had finally forgiven Apple for its sarcasm and let the little Pokemon into the stupid-looking basket attached to the front of my well-worn bike.
<This thing makes me look like I'm some sort of oversized, poorly wrapped traveling gift basket,> Apple complained.
"Well, you would still be chasing the bike looking like a crazy rampant bunny if I hadn't let you back on the bike," I shot back in a raspy voice and then inhaled sharply. I was tired from a long day of non-stop cycling.
<Humph...> the violet-eyed Eevee growled, turning in its oversized gift basket to face the faraway city. Despite traveling most of the day through the great grassy plains, we were not even halfway to Azul City. We had encountered very few wild Pokemon, only a few scampering Rattatas trying to avoid getting run over by my strange looking bike and the crazed Eevee in close pursuit.
<Can we stop soon?> Apple whined. <It's dinner time and I'm hungry.>
I sighed, irritated, and glanced around the flat grassland looking for a place to stop. The sun was starting to set, turning the sky a pale blue. The loss of light made it harder to see into the distance, though I could make out a large mansion on the horizon. The great mansion was too far away for us to stop at for the night, but I spotted a lone tall oak only a few hundred yards away.
"There. See that tree? We'll stay over there for the night," I panted.
I hurriedly pedaled toward the oak tree, my feet pounding from the long day's journey. The pedaling only got harder as I neared the tree. The long, stringy grass seemed to become longer and stringier, constantly trying to tangle my feet in its wispy grasp. Finally reaching the tree, I stumbled off the bike and fell to the ground as my knees buckled in exhaustion.
"Man, I had no idea cycling was this tiring," I mumbled, massaging my legs.
<Come on, I'm hungry! Let's eat dinner!> Apple demanded, nosing the pack.
I reached over the disguised Mew and snatched two loaves of bread, two granola bars, and two apples from the bag.
<Aww, is this all we get for dinner?! I already miss your mom's specially baked potatoes and grilled steak...> Apple squawked. The fluffy Pokemon eyed me slyly, trying to push me to lose my temper.
"Mom wouldn't let you have that stuff! You've never even tried it!" I exclaimed, ignoring Apple's poor attempt to anger me.
<That's what you think.> Apple smirked.
After the meal, I decided we needed to do some training. Apple was so very pleased with this idea.
<WHAT? I just chased your bike for half a day and now you want me to train!!> the Pokemon angrily hollered.
"We have to start some time, and you need to learn to battle in this form and your true form," I replied, rubbing my head.
<Fine, but if I have to train my powers, then you have to train yours.>
"I don't have any powers!!"
<If you have purple eyes, you have psychic powers! Don't you read any books? Every person with purple eyes is a psychic!>
"Whatever. I'll do your training if it makes you do yours," I retorted.
For the next half an hour, I had Apple work on simple techniques like tackle, bite, sand-attack, and quick-attack. By the time we finished with this training, the area looked like thirty Tauros had trampled the area. Broken rocks were sprawled around bent grass and small chips of bark. Satisfied, we moved on to a more complicated move – dig.
<Eww. I don't wanna get my paws dirty!> the Eevee protested.
I sighed. "This move will come in handy if you want to surprise your foes. You should want to learn it."
<I like learning new moves as long as they don't involve me getting covered in dirt.> The Eevee glared.
"You’ve never had a problem with dirt before! You’re just tired. If you do this, we'll be done with my training for the day. I'll have you train as a Mew some other time."
Apple finally complied, and after forty-five minutes of rigorous practice, seemed to have the move down.
<It's not so bad after you get over the 'I'm trapped underground in a tunnel that has the potential to fall at any second’ part,> Apple said sarcastically, still trying to shake the mud from its coat. <And anyway, now it’s your turn to train.>
I rolled my eyes. "What do I have to do?"
<Just sit and relax—>
"I'd love to," I interrupted. I laid my head back against the tree, closed my eyes, and pretended to sleep.
<I wasn't finished! Take deep breaths and listen to the world around you. What do you hear?>
"Your voice," I snorted, peeking an eye open.
<Not funny, Miss Smartypants, but you have a point. Stop trying to listen to me, and listen to that patch of grass over there.> The Eevee pointed a paw toward a small spot of shaking grass.
I closed my eyes again, and after deeply inhaling, tried to listen to the bit of grass. I thought I heard a faint, <Honey, you're late for dinner again! How many times do I have to tell you—>
I opened my eyes in shock and shook my head. The voice must have been my imagination.
<So, did you here anything?> Apple questioned, smirking.
"No," I replied defiantly.
Apple was still smirking. <I think we've had enough training for today. Let's go to bed.>
With that, Apple trotted over to the great oak and curled up beside me. I gazed in wonder at the peculiar Pokemon for a minute, then closed my eyes and was asleep before my head fell back against the tree.
March 19th, 2008 (11:21 PM).
Well, what timing - I came just when you released this chapter. Although, a word - don't use chapter releases too quickly - wait at least a few days, although a week is usually better, unless you are just bring a chapter to speed from another forum (like I am )
Anyway, it was good, but sometimes a bit lacking later on in description, which in turn had the pacing of the story moving a little bit too fast. You're description is really good - the description of the region was great, and introduced fantastically. Use more of that description - stick to your strengths. In turn, the pacing of the story will slow down a tad. Made the second half of the story feel bare as it was missing what the first half had, so watch out for that, and when changing things up like that, make a smother transition from lots of description to little descripting, taking some away as you go.
Wouldn't have minded seeing more evnts or so in the second half - for instance, more in the pedalling. She rode on her bike for half a day - think something interesting might have happened, or some of the scenery noted so we get more of an idea on the region, or where she is going. In stories with new regions, it's important to tell the reader what places look like, which you did we in the beginning of this chapter, but could be improved upon throughout the story.
'psychiced' seems too uncomforatble, don't make up words. Also, don't tell us fact in the middle of a sentence via brackets - instead incorprate this int he story, from Anita's point of view, not the narrators. It feels that you are 'breaking the forth wall', only not in a 'funny' sense, and is a bit inconsistant.
Missing a, and I suggest cave in instead of fall. Nice somment from Apple however.
Interesting meditation as well, I found.
Stiil good however - just use more description, slow things down, and keep up the good work!
March 20th, 2008 (4:47 PM).
You're right, the chapter was rushed and I did not spend as much time as I should have editing it. I tried to tweak it a bit, though I know it still lacks some description. I'll spend more time on future chapters, thanks for the advise again, especially on the how often to release chapters bit.
March 20th, 2008 (5:12 PM).
It's a nice concept...and everyone beats me to all the grammar criticism. X.x
The <'s and >'s are...odd.
And chapter two seems a bit rushed.
March 26th, 2008 (10:52 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Okeeday, here is chapter 3, a lot longer than I thought it would be.
APs are coming, so it might be a while until the next chapter.
The * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * means there is a change in narrator.
Here we go.
Chapter 3: And Then There Were Six
“Master, we have finished,” a voice said behind me.
I had been impassively staring at the blank basement wall. Now, I turned my swiveling chair to face the speaker behind the desk, though I could barely see him through the dim light.
“It has only taken, what, six years,” I replied sarcastically. “My father would not be pleased.”
“Your father is no longer here,” the speaker retorted, smirking nastily.
That was true enough. My father had died of a heart attack four years ago, leaving me in control. Yet, as this assistant demonstrated, there were many who still refused to give me the same respect they had once given my father.
Instead of becoming offended, I calmly responded, “So, how did you manage to finally complete this horribly overwhelming task?”
“Well, as you know, for the past few years we have been developing ways to track rare Pokemon. We have recently discovered that all Pokemon emit certain auras specific to their particular species. These auras can be tracked by gathering the DNA of the particular species, and we have been rather successful in tracking numerous Pokemon. However, until now we have been unable to track one specific, important Pokemon, for this Pokemon contains DNA of every other Pokemon known to man." The man paused to catch his breath.
“Yes, I know about this mysterious, what do we call it, Pokemon ‘X’,” I muttered.
Ignoring me, the assistant continued, “Three weeks ago, one of our researchers finally located a strand of DNA specific only to Pokemon ‘X’ by intensely studying the DNA of Pokemon ‘X’ collected by your father six years ago. Over the past few weeks, we have been installing a device to trace this DNA, and now we finally have a machine that tracks Pokemon ‘X’.”
“So now we can track Mew,” I murmured, turning back to face the wall in my swivel chair. “Let the hunting begin.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Something was not right. The air felt strange, as if it had changed during the night, but my garbled morning mind could not yet comprehend the exact difference. Eyes still tightly shut, I sniffed the sweet-smelling air as it lightly tickled my face but quickly sneezed twice. I knew what was wrong. The air was wet.
Finally opening my eyes, I groaned. It was raining, and my clothes were already damp. I peered next to me and found Apple was also just waking up to this lovely morning.
<Oh pooh, I'm wet.> The Eevee pouted as it began changing its form.
I stared blankly at the creature as its long ears shortened into pink stubs and its tail grew long and whip-like. As soon as Apple had transformed into its original form, it began changing again. This time its tail became blue and flat, and its head widened into a football shape with purple antennas sprouting from the sides.
Finally snapping out of my brief space-out, I glared angrily at Apple, who had finished transforming into a silly-looking Wooper. "What are you doing? Someone could have seen!"
The Mew sniffed and rolled its eyes. <We're in the middle of nowhere and its dumping rain. We are obviously going to encounter other human life forms.>
"You never know," I defensively replied, "Plus, you'll have to transform back before we get to that mansion."
<What, are we planning on stopping there?>
"Nooo, I want to travel in this weather," I retaliated, voice thick with sarcasm.
<You don't like the rain?> Apple smiled smugly. <I think it's rather nice.>
"Not all of us can transform into oddly-shaped wingless ducks that resemble platypuses with their faces smashed in," I grumbled, getting to my feet. I squinted into the distance and could barely make out the outline of the large mansion a mile or two away. Sighing, I picked up my bike and winced as I thought of the horrible discomfort my already tired legs were about to undergo.
"We had better get going," I told Apple as I glanced down at the rapid-forming mud. "If we don't leave soon, the ground will be too muddy for us to bike through."
<Can we at least eat breakfast first?> Apple pleaded.
I quickly rummaged through my pack until I found the last two pieces of bread. After stuffing a portion into Apple's wide mouth and garbling down the other piece, I pushed Apple into the bike-basket, mounted the vehicle, and took off at a rather slow pace.
The sticky mud attacked the bicycle wheels from all sides, constantly forcing the bike's speed to decrease. The mud only got worse as the light rain became a strong downpour, and within ten minutes, Apple and I were forced to dismount the bicycle and continue by foot. Though we were now less than a mile away from the mansion, the large house remained almost invisible to our eyes, hidden behind a curtain of rain.
As we wearily drudged through the heavy raindrops, I reminded Apple that it needed to change back into its Eevee form before we reached the mansion.
<Why should I change? This form is much more suitable for the weather,> the Mew argued.
"The people of Melonbi Town believe that I left with an Eevee as my starting Pokemon. If I were to encounter someone from Melonbi Town, or even someone who was friends with a Melonbi citizen, news would spread that I was not traveling with the Eevee I had started with, and people would become curious or even suspicious.
You once told me that there are people who are after your power. You used to be so fearful that someone would track you down… If you want to stay hidden, you have to appear in only one form, otherwise people may come to investigate," I tiredly reasoned. I had to make Apple understand the danger of morphing into different Pokemon.
<Pshht.> Apple blew off my warning. <I doubt the people who tried to capture me are even looking for me anymore. It’s been years! They probably gave up long ago.>
"Yeah right! The man I found trying to capture you did not look like the giving-in type. The only reason he did not chase me after I ran away holding you was because of the heavy rain. By the time he found his Charizard lying on the ground, the heavy rain would have prevented him from seeing the direction I had run." I paused, reflecting on that terrifying memory, but then shook my head and continued, "Nevertheless, even if that man gave up, there are others who want that kind of power. There are always others."
<Like that team that has been on the news recently for stealing strong Pokemon?>
I looked at Apple in surprise. Apple had preferred to run around outside while my mom and I watched the evening news, so I didn't think Apple knew about the Glop'emm Organization. Members of that team had recently been on the news; a few members had been caught trying to steal a rare shiny Ninetales from the gym leader of a town southeast of Azul City called Tinted Town. Frowning slightly, I murmured, "Yes, like that team."
Glancing toward the mansion, I realized we were only a few hundred yards away from the grand, looming house. I could now see there was a dangerous-looking black fence surrounding the house. Through the downpour, I could also make out a twisted road that was weaved through the fence and ended suddenly at the hideous entrance to the gaudy mansion. I stopped suddenly, realizing how close to the dark house we really were. Turning my head to glare at Apple, I insisted, "Change back now, before we reach the mansion."
<Ok, ok, I will.> Apple scowled and changed once again into a floating pink creature and then back into a wet white and brown Eevee.
We continued dragging our feet, or in Apple's case, paws, through the brown slush toward the house until Apple suddenly stopped. <Did you hear that?> Apple questioned, eyes darting and ears twitching.
"Hear what?" I glanced around, but could not see or hear what Apple was referring to.
<This way,> the Eevee replied in an excited tone. It pranced away, angled in slightly different direction than the one we had previously been traveling. I quickly followed the leaping Pokemon through the intense water drops, halting only when I heard a low growl coming from the ground ahead.
"Apple," I nervously whispered. "What was that?" I peered toward the Mew, only to find the quick Pokemon had continued jumping forward. Following hurriedly, I squinted through the rain, trying to locate the source of the growl. I could barely make out two entities on the ground just ahead. One, probably the source of the growl, was a Pokemon, though I could not tell what type, and the other was a box that seemed, strangely enough, to be whimpering.
As I cautiously approached, I realized the growling creature looked startlingly like Apple; the creature was an Eevee.
Unlike Apple, its fur coat was tattered and drenched with mud, as if it had not been groomed in days. The creature was in an attacking position, its eyes flashing angrily at us. Peering past the Eevee, I saw it was standing in front of the strange box, as if it was guarding it. I inched closer to the Eevee and the curious box, and the Eevee's growl became a fierce bark. Suddenly, the creature pounced at me. I quickly dodged and backed away, stumbling over Apple, who had crept behind my legs to watch the scene.
"Apple, tell it we mean no harm!" I exclaimed, still backing away from the wild Eevee.
<I already tried. It's no use, it seems to distrust humans and Pokemon alike.>
"Well, do you at least know what's wrong with it?" I asked tensely.
<Yeah, it—> Apple paused thoughtfully, and then continued, <I know, but I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to find out yourself.>
"WHAT?? This is not the time for silly games!!! I can't speak Pokemon languages! There is no way for me to convey the message 'Hello, I see you are distressed. May I ask what is wrong?’" I yelled angrily at Apple.
Apple grinned. <Oh, yes you can. You can use telepathy.>
"ARE YOU MAD?!? For the last time, I DON'T HAVE ANY PSYCHIC POWERS!!" I screamed, causing both Apple and the other Eevee to flinch.
<Relax, relax,> Apple said soothingly. <It's really not hard. Remember how you listened to the patch of grass last night? This is almost the same, but instead of reaching out with your mind and listening, you need to reach out with you're mind and think a message.>
I opened my mouth to scream at Apple once more but closed it after deciding it would not help the situation. Slowly, I closed my eyes and tried to reach out my mind toward the creature.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
<That was out loud.> Apple rolled its eyes, and then suggested, <Try again.>
This time, I first listened to the Eevee with my mind, though I did not hear any thoughts. Then, I thought <What's wrong?>
<What do you care, human?> came a nasty reply.
Startled, I opened my eyes. Apple was smirking. <Told you so.>
After throwing a glare at Apple, I closed my eyes again and projected toward the Eevee. <You're clearly hurt. I can help you!>
<And why should I trust you?> the wild Eevee snarled.
<If I wanted to attack you, I already would have. I have no reason to want to harm you!> I paused to see the Eevee's reaction. When I saw none, I continued, <Right now we are just wasting time I could be spending getting you to a Pokemon Center!>
<Fine, but—> the wild Eevee was cut off as it fell to the mud fainted from exhaustion. Its breathing became shallow and its body twitched in its fainted state.
Apple curiously sniffed the Eevee as I peered into the box. I gasped in surprise at what I saw. Inside, there were four rather small baby Eevees, all appearing fragile and underfed. They shivered in their knocked out state, making the box quiver as I picked it up in my hands.
"So this is why that Eevee was so protective of this box," I muttered. Then I called out to Apple, "We need to get help for these guys fast! Let's take them to the mansion."
I clambered over to Apple and the wild Eevee, and added as an afterthought, "Anything else I should know about these Eevees?"
<All five of them are siblings. This one, > Apple nodded toward the fierce Eevee lying on the ground. < is a male about two years old. The other four in the box are from the same litter and are only about four months old. Two are female and two are male.>
"How did you know that?" I asked as I gently picked up the oldest Eevee in my free arm and placed him in my bicycle basket.
<I can smell it.> The Mew shrugged. <Oh, and one more thing; these Eevees were abandoned by their trainer a few days ago. That's why the oldest one was so mistrustful.>
"And you can smell that information as well?" I asked doubtingly. With one arm around the box and the other dragging my bicycle, I started once again to rapidly walk toward the mansion.
Apple trotted up beside me. <No, I found that out by telepathically asking the Eevee before you arrived.> The wet Eevee smirked. <By the way, your telepathic skills are not all too shabby for a beginner, though there is no need for you to close your eyes when you communicate.>
I shot an angry look at Apple and refused to speak for the following five minutes it took to reach the gloomy front gate of the mansion.
Leaning my bike against the dark creepy fence, I gathered the fainted wild Eevee in my free arm and pushed through the menacing gate. A chill ran down my spine as I approached the tall rounded doors of the mansion. The bronze knockers on the doors were in the shape of roaring Arcanines that seemed to have abnormally long fangs. I examined the door for a doorbell. Upon spotting it, I asked Apple to ring it with its telekinesis as my hands were full.
The doorbell rang forebodingly. I patiently waited as the rain continued to patter down on my head. Apple shuffled its feet anxiously and pointed its ears forward, moving into an alert stance. The grand doors slowly creaked open and I heard a voice say, "How may I help you?"
Peering through the open doors, I found myself facing a well dressed butler. In one hand he held a tray with what resembled a cup of tea on it, and he had used his free hand to open the door. Behind the man was a great golden hall. Glittering crystals sparkled around small lights that were attached to the large walls, and a great twinkling chandelier fell from the ceiling. A large wooden staircase that possessed a golden railing made the vivid scene even more dramatic as it spiraled through the center of the hall.
I gaped at the amazing sight. Then, remembering the Eevees, I started to speak, "These Pokemon need—"
Something on the staircase caught my eye. For a second time, I gaped in astonishment.
"Carly?" I gasped, forgetting the butler entirely.
The figure on the staircase turned toward the door.
"Carly, what are..." my voice trailed off as I suddenly came to a horrible realization. This house belonged to—
"This is my house pea-brain!" Carly called from the staircase. The girl then marched down the rest of the staircase and hollered, "John, I'll handle this. Go serve my mother her tea!"
"Yes, ma'am," the butler replied as he scurried away.
I stared in shock at the approaching girl. She had brilliant blond hair that matched the color of the surrounding corridor. Her eyes were a dark grey, contrasting sharply with her light hair. However, the potentially beautiful effect was ruined by the permanent sneer the girl wore glued to her face.
"What the hell do you want?!?" the girl barked.
Snapping back to reality, I hastily replied, "Hey Carly, good to see you too."
"I asked WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT?" the girl yelled.
Backing away slightly, I nervously replied, "I know we haven't been the best of friends, but I found these Pokemon..." I stopped talking after I glanced at Carly's face and found it flushing a deep red, her eyes filled with intense hatred. She was staring directly at the hurt Eevee in my arms.
"How dare you... you... get them out of here..." Carly's voice shook with fury.
"Carly, these Pokemon are hurt! I'm sure you have some potions! Please, they need help!" I pleaded.
The angry girl ignored my plea and instead looked coldly at me. "Why did you bring them back?"
I looked at her, bewildered. "What are you talking about?"
"Last week," Carly sniffed and paused dramatically. "these Eevees... destroyed my life!"
I rolled my eyes at the drama queen. "What could five Eevees have possibly done to destroy your life? Did they eat your make-up or something?"
"No, even worse! They chewed up my very best ball gown dress!" Carly cried. I looked into her face and saw her eyes were actually full of tears. This insane girl was serious.
I was too astounded to speak so Carly continued, "Well, even though my Auntie gave them to me as an early birthday present, I couldn't have any wild creatures ruining my outfits." Carly shuddered and then added, "Those Eevees were way too vicious to stay so I left them outside my gate two days ago. Now, you bring the devils back to-"
"You're the person who abandoned and nearly starved these Eevees!" I yelled angrily, "You kicked them out of the house because they ate a dress?!?"
"I was going to wear it—" Carly started.
"I DON'T CARE! I am holding five hurt Eevees that need help! Will you help them?!" I screamed.
"Them..." Carly sneered. "They deserve the pain." The cruel girl then abruptly turned and slammed the door. This was probably a smart move, for if the girl had stood in front of me for one more second, I may have tackled her to the ground. I looked down at Apple, and found it was shaking in anger.
<Let... me... tear... her ... to ... pieces,> the Mew growled.
"I would let you if it were legal." I sighed and looked down at the shivering Eevees. "Well, we've got to get these guys to a Pokemon Center as soon as possible. We'd better hurry."
As we battled the wind and the rain to get to my bike, an idea came to me. "Apple, can you transform into Chansey? You could use Softboiled to heal these Eevees."
Apple shook its head, <I can't. In order for me to transform into a Pokemon, I have to have met one of their kind, and I have not yet encountered a Chansey.>
"Oh well." I exhaled wearily as we exited the dreary gates.
<Umm, Anita, how are you going to carry all of these Eevees to the Pokemon Center? There’s no way they’re all going to fit on the bike.>
I smiled grimly and pulled out the five Pokeballs my mom had given me. "I may not like it, and they may not like it, but it's the only way I can get them to the Pokemon Center quickly. If they wish, I'll release them once they have healed."
I then threw the five Pokeballs at the five Eevees. There was no struggle, as all five Pokemon were badly injured, and the Pokeballs quickly blinked red, signaling the Eevees had been captured. I gathered the shrunken Pokeballs into my pocket as Apple leaped into the bicycle basket. Then, after untangling my bike from the shadowy fence, I hopped on the two-wheeled vehicle.
"Let the pedaling begin," I declared, trying to force my bike to move through the mud.
Apple gave a quick psychic boost to the bike to free it from the mud. Glaring at the mansion we were quickly leaving behind, the Mew finally sighed. <Here we go again.>
March 27th, 2008 (12:06 AM).
Much better. More description throughout the chapter - nice to see, and the level of it was still high. You do description of people very well in particular - Carly's was great. It was interesting that the mansion was hers - unexpected. You did well in making her an unlikable character. Throwing Eevee out for ruining a gown though - is she crazy? Eevee are viewed as the 'prize' rare Pokemon!
Certainly interesting with the finding of the Eevees as well - does raise a few eyebrows in the whole 'is Anita a Mary-stu' character - she doesn't appear to be, but do be careful with the handling of her, as characters with a Mew that find Eevees are going to be viewed as such if you're not careful in keeping the character realistic.
Interesting scene at the beginning as well, revealing more about the plot as well. I also liked how you answered some other questions - such as how Anita escaped the man in the prologue, as well as why Apple couldn't transform into a Chansey.
No major errors to be seen, however quite a few small ones - proof read a bit more prior to releasing (I've been guilty of not doing the sorts before...)
Despite the small-ness of quotation marks on these forums and default font, I saw that this quotation mark is around the wrong way.
Capitlised Pokemon in every instance. Also, do question why it is called 'X' only to be called Mew anyway before the scene's end, especially as it seems a bit obvious what Pokemon they were talking about, considering the fic is centred around Mew and the part about the DNA...
's no use, it seems to distrust humans and pokemon alike.>
It's, not its, and if Mew could discern why it is mistructful, maybe Mew could also see tell its gender? Minor and nitpicky however...
That was an awesome line. Great 'description' of a Wooper (you spelt it 'Whooper' however...) - including the part concerning the face. Similar to my thoughts on Quagsire.
As I mentioned, liked that you explained this, but 'vision-impairing' seems too technical, coming from Anita - doesn't really fit in.
Full stop seems better than a comma after 'shivering Eevees'. probably the same deal for the 'were legal' part in that case - full stop over comma - two separate sentences.
BTW, doubt that you should 'filter' 'hell' by writing it as 'h*ll' - seems unnesserary and actually seems to attract attention to the word, considering it is mild.
Overall, quite good, I must say. I'm impressed by your writing and description. Characters are enjoyable as well, and the events are interesting. Keep it up!
April 28th, 2008 (5:22 PM).
Alright, sorry no new chapter. I'm busy w/ AP Physics... Anyway, in the meantime I made a map of Acceber (ironically in physics class) to help people understand the story. Sorry if it's hard to read, but I don't really know how to make it any bigger.
I put the map in my signiture... I think. I also put it in an album... I'll attatch it as a picture as soon as I figure out how, lol.
May 7th, 2008 (6:03 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Right. Well, I have a link to the map and a new chapter! Yay!
However, apparently I need 15 posts to put a link here, so I'll go put up some posts and then put up the link.
And here is the new chapter, I think it is my longest.
Oh and ------------------------ means change in time.
Chapter 4: Legend by Legendary
My legs felt like they had been trampled by a herd of Ponytas, sat on by a Snorlax, and then swallowed and spat back up by a Swalot. After an hour of hard riding through the mud, I desperately yearned for a break. However, I knew there was no way I could stop. The Eevees needed to get medical attention as soon as possible, and even though Azul City was now clearly visible through the light drizzle, it would probably take me another two hours to get into the city by bike. I winced at the thought... two hours of throbbing legs...
<Hey Anita, we should use this time to continue your telepathy practice,> Apple interrupted my depressing thoughts.
“Let me think about that.” I paused dramatically. "No." I didn't need my body and my mind suffering.
<You don't think about it, you just think it!>
"Nope, sorry, can't do it."
<If you won't practice, then I'll... well I'll...> Apple stopped, unable to think of some horrifying threat to make me practice. <I'll stop talking to you for the rest of your life.>
"Sounds like a good plan to me," I retorted.
<Come on, you were speaking just fine to that Eevee a few hours ago! It's just as easy to use telepathy right now!>
"That was a high pressure situation. I had to use telepathy to help the poor little guy."
<Well this is a high pressure situation, too!> Apple whined jokingly. <You're not going to be able to talk to your best friend for the rest of your life!>
Still cycling, I closed my eyes and thought, <Fine.>
Apple smiled triumphantly, but then scowled. <You don't need to close your eyes when you speak mind to mind! I already told you!>
<It helps me concentrate,> I retorted with closed eyes.
<Well, you're supposed to be concentrating on riding the bike as well as using telepathy. You need your eyes!>
<There's nobody around here, so I can't crash into anyone.>
<Well, actually...> Apple's thoughts seemed to drift, but then the Mew suddenly started sputtering angrily, <This is why they should teach common sense in school! Students learn all about algebra and Pokemon types but then go outside and bike around with their eyes closed and without a helmet. You don't need to be a psychic to know they're going to cra—>
<What are you talking about? There is nobody else around! I am not going to—>
<Never mind,> I sulkily replied as the impact of the crash flipped me over the top of my bike. I landed face up in the mud, my backside completely submerged in the slimy dirt. Lifting myself from the squishy ground, I saw my bike had hit a girl about my height whose features were hard to make out, as she was now covered in mud as well.
"Umm, are you okay? Sorry about that... I guess I wasn't watching where I was going," I embarrassedly tried to explain to the girl.
<How could you watch where you were going with you're eyes closed?> Apple smirked. Apple seemed to have jumped off of the bike seconds before the crash and avoided the mud pit.
"It’s fine; I was just about to head back to Azul City anyway." The girl got up and offered me her hand. "What are you doing out here?"
"Well, I was trying to get to a Pokemon Center... I found some hurt Eevees that need help," I explained. After using her hand to pull myself up, I continued, "I'm Anita by the way."
"Erin," the girl firmly shook my hand, "I'm an assistant Pokemon researcher investigating the effects of different climates on specific Pokemon. Rattata in this area, for instance, tend to have longer legs than Rattatas in other areas of Acceber. Their legs are probably more suitable for getting through mud than the legs of other Rattatas..."
I stared at the girl, stunned at her outburst, but the girl continued to chat about her research, oblivious to my reaction.
"Anyway," The girl snapped out of scientific mode and quickly threw a glance at my bike and then back to me. "I can get you to Azul City quicker than that bike could if you wanna a ride." Erin pulled out a Pokeball. "Come on out Griffy!"
A bright red light flashed and suddenly a yellow and brown creature with four legs and freaky looking tail was standing in front of me. "Giiraaaf," the Girafarig neighed. <Pleased to make your acquaintance.>
I threw a confused glance at Apple. <How does it know I can speak mind to mind?>
<You have purple eyes,> Apple snickered. I glared at the Eevee. <Ok, ok, fine. It doesn't know you can speak mind to mind. All psychic Pokemon can communicate with anyone using telepathy, not just psychics.>
"Umm, are you okay?" Erin waved a hand in front of my face.
"Err, sorry, I guess I zone out a lot." I looked to see her reaction to my lame excuse, but she was already hopping onto her Girafarig.
"Hey, are you coming?" the girl coated with mud called from her Girafarig. The Girafarig was scrunching his nose in distaste of the mud his trainer continued to drip on him.
"Yeah!" I sprinted through the mud toward Erin and her Pokemon, who had managed to clamber out of the mud pit.
<Oh, Aaaniiitaaa!> Apple sang from the edge of the mud pit. <Aren't you forgetting something?>
Forgetting something? What could I be forgetting? I had my Pokeballs, my pack, and ... no bike.
I stopped running— an easy task when there is mud sloshing around your ankles. "Uhh, Erin? I can't come with you. I need my bike, and there's no way your Girafarig can carry a bike and us. Why don't I give you the hurt Eevees and you can get them to the Pokemon Center?"
Even though her face was covered in mud, I could tell Erin was staring at me as if I had just said the stupidest thing in the world. "There’s no need for that. Why don't you just use a shbinker?"
I stared blankly at the girl. "What's a shbinker?"
"You know... a bike shrinker. A shbinker." Erin pleadingly looked for some recognition of this strange sounding word, but I was still thoroughly confused.
I shook my head, "I've never heard of it." I watched the girl quickly shuffle through her pack and pull out a strange dark green box slightly smaller than her hand with a white button on its side. I glanced at Apple questioningly, but found it was curiously watching Erin.
"Watch," Erin commanded as she pointed the green box at my bike. She pressed the white button, and after a sudden green flash, my dirty bike disappeared. Erin explained, "This is a shbinker. It uses the same shrink technology as Pokeballs, but it will only shrink bicycles. I really can't believe you have never heard of them. Every trainer I know has one."
I smiled sheepishly as I climbed out of the mud pit next to Erin and Griffy, feeling relieved to finally be on hard, solid land. "Well, I just became a trainer yesterday so I am still learning... though I have never seen any of those shbinkers in the local stores. Then again, trainers rarely visit Melonbi because it has no gym so I guess there’s no reason for shbinkers to be sold."
Erin pressed the green box into my hand. "You can keep this; I have another one. Now, hop onto Griffy and let’s get going!"
<Careful of my tail, miss,> Griffy politely warned as I climbed beside Erin. <It bites.>
"Come on, Apple!" I called to the Eevee. Apple had been curiously approaching Griffy's backside, sniffing toward his evil looking tail.
<I wouldn't do that if I were you. My tail has a mind of its own,> Griffy warned once more.
Ignoring the warning, Apple inched a little too close to the tail and...
Griffy's tail bit Apple on the ear. Apple pulled away, angry. Strangely, I thought I heard a voice coming from Griffy's back end say, <Delicious.>
<What was that for?> Apple spat angrily at the Girafarig.
Griffy turned its head toward Apple, <I tried to warn you. I can’t control my tail; it literally has a mind of its own.>
Curious, I listened psychically to the Girafarig’s tail and surprisingly heard, <Ha, ha! Victory is mine! I am now one step closer to taking over the world! I have started by eating this Eevee's ear! Next I will eat the world, and soon I will control all! Ha, ha, ha, ha...>
Apple must have heard the tail as well, for it declared, <Griffy, your tail is insane.>
<Yes, I know that, thus my warning. Now get on my back before it tries to eat the rest of you.>
Carefully avoiding Griffy's tail, Apple leapt into my arms.
Though Erin could not have heard the dialog between Apple and Griffy’s tail, she clearly understood the gist of what was going on. "You have a quite splendid Eevee there." The girl smiled amusedly at Apple over her shoulder. She then turned back toward her Girafarig, "Alright, Griffy we're ready! Now, use your agility to get us to Azul City's Pokemon Center!"
My stomach churned as the Girafarig accelerated to speeds I had thought only Ponytas and Rapidashes could run at. I nervously clung to the Girafarig’s fur to keep from falling off and saw out of the corner of my eye the short sparkling grass speeding by. Apple seemed to be getting queasy. Its paws were dug deeply into Griffy's fur, and it was shivering slightly. Erin, however, was unaffected by this speed. She once again started to animatedly chatter about her research, oblivious to the distress of the other riders.
"So I told you I'm a Pokemon Researcher, right? I work for Professor Blubber of Cape Caution. You know where that is, don't you? It’s at the northeast corner of Acceber, but I suppose you know that. Although you didn't know what a shbinker was. That was strange. Anyway, I just absolutely love my research! Pokemon are such interesting creatures, don't you think? I mean, who would ever think that such cute looking creatures could be so dangerous. Look at a Vulpix. They are soooo adorable but capable of destroying an entire forest with their fire! And Pikachu..."
Erin continued on about cute Pokemon, but I tuned her out and watched as Azul City got nearer. We were already at the outskirts of the city and were passing by some small homely looking cabins. I could now clearly see the city's grand buildings, which somehow gleamed despite the lack of sun. Azul City was one of Acceber's biggest cities and had some of the biggest shopping centers in the country. Though I had never left Melonbi, I had friends who had gone to Azul City for occasional vacations, and they always came back describing their vivid shopping experience. I personally thought shopping was overrated, though I could never tell my friends this. They would certainly drag me to the nearest mall, believing I must not be shopping enough to remember the truly amazing sensation of buying crud I don’t need.
Apple, who seemed to have turned a pale shade of green, interrupted my thoughts. <Are we almost there? I think I'm going to puke...>
<Just hold on a few more minutes,> I replied, trying not to reveal my own discomfort.
"Hello? Anita, did you hear me?" Erin peered at me over her shoulder. "I was just discussing your Eevee. I've never seen an Eevee with eyes like that. They actually match your eyes. Where ever did you find it?"
Still clinging for my life, I managed to mutter, "Near my house in Melonbi."
Erin still seemed completely oblivious to my tenseness. "Very interesting. Hmm... and is it male or female? Does it have a nickname?"
"Its name is Apple and... ummm..." I actually did not know Apple's gender. As a Mew it was genderless, but as an Eevee...
<You can tell her I'm a female... and ask her if we're almost there 'cause I think I'm going to barf soon,> Apple spoke queasily to me.
"...and she's a female. I think she's also feeling nauseous, so are we almost there?" I continued.
"Don't worry; it'll only be a few more minutes. Look, we're almost in the actual city. The Pokemon Center is just beyond those buildings." Erin nodded toward the tall buildings ahead. We had finally reached civilization. Cute shops and restaurants lined the road we were now traveling on. In this outskirt of the city the road was fairly empty so Griffy could continue running at a high speed. However, I could see Griffy was going to have a harder time maneuvering the streets of ahead, as they were flooded with busy shoppers, tourists, and businessmen.
<Hey, Apple?> I looked down at the Mew. I had a curious question.
<What?> Apple replied, irritated.
<Are you actually a female in that form? I mean physically... inside and out?>
<Yes. If you took a piece of my fur and examined the DNA, it would match that of a female Eevee.>
<Could you be a male Eevee if you wanted to be?>
<Now I could. Before I had only seen a female Eevee, so I could only transform into a female.>
<You're a strange creature.>
<Thanks,> Apple snickered. <Now will you stop bothering me and let me focus on not puking?>
Griffy soon reached the mass of people, and sure enough, we were forced to slow down. People threw us irritated glances as we rapidly weaved through the crowd and cut people off.
One particular salesman who we accidentally knocked over started swearing loudly at us and sent out a nasty looking Cacnea to teach us a lesson with pin missile. Luckily, Griffy was able to throw up a reflective barrier and get away, though not without first trampling a juggler and ruining his skit. After much shoving, we finally made it to the Pokemon Center.
As we dismounted Griffy, Apple leapt from the Girafarig and raced toward the Pokemon Center. Erin returned Griffy, and we quickly followed the erratic Eevee. When Apple reached the Pokemon Center entrance, it promptly barfed right in front of the glass doors. Apple then turned and pranced back toward us.
<I was going to try to make it to the nurse before I barfed, but oh well. I feel much better now anyway!> Apple happily jumped into my arms.
A girl walked out of the Pokemon Center and stepped in the puke. She looked down at her feet, squealed, and stomped away disgusted.
Erin glanced nervously at Apple. "Are you sure that Eevee is the one that's not sick?"
I laughed as we hurried through the Pokemon Center's entrance, carefully avoiding Apple's... present.
The Pokemon Center was plain on the inside. Clean glass windows lined the transparent entrance and made the building feel more spacious than it actually was. Pictures of similar looking red-headed ladies hung from the pure white walls and beneath these pictures were blue, plushy couches. To the left there was a beige carpeted staircase leading to the second floor where Pokemon trainers could stay over night. Directly across from the Pokemon Center's entrance was a counter, and behind the counter stood a pink Chansey and a red-haired lady that looked remarkably like the women pictured on the walls. Erin and I walked straight up to the red-haired lady.
"Hello, welcome to Azul City's Pokemon Center. I'm Nurse Joy. How may I help you?" the red-haired lady politely asked.
I pulled the five Eevee-filled Pokeballs from my pocket and placed them on the counter. "I found these Eevees badly hurt. Do you think you can help them?"
Nurse Joy nodded and picked up the Pokeballs, "I'll get these Pokemon cared for immediately. Hold on a minute." The nurse took the Pokeballs to a room in back and returned empty-handed a few minutes later. Apple and I exchanged nervous glances, but Nurse Joy smiled soothingly. "Don't worry; your Eevees are going to be fine. They just need to spend the night here, eat lots of food, and rest for a day or so. The eldest one should be completely fine by morning, but it may take longer for the other four to completely recover."
I sighed in relief, "Thank you so much Nurse Joy! I'll be back tomorrow morning." I turned to leave, but then realized I had nowhere to go. "Umm, do you have any available rooms left here?" I asked the nurse.
Nurse Joy shook her head. "I'm sorry, but as far as I know, all of the rooms are taken."
"Hey, you can stay in my room if you want!" Erin offered, "My roomie left yesterday to stay at her cousin's house or something."
Uh-oh. Did I really want to stay with this rather… rambunctious girl? But, I had nowhere else to stay…
Plastering a fake smile on my face, I gave Erin an energetic "Thanks!" My stomach rumbled loudly. I had forgotten we had not stopped for lunch.
"No prob." Erin glanced at my stomach as it made another strange noise. "Let's go eat a late lunch, shower, and then—" Erin gasped. I looked behind me to see if someone had passed out or something, but my attention returned to Erin as she excitedly squealed, "Oh boy! And then we can go shopping! Have you ever gone shopping in Azul City? We're going to have so much fun! First..." Erin grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the glass doors, still jabbering on. I was having Deja Vu; Erin was wearing the exact same overjoyed smile my school friends wore when they forced me to shop with them.
I sighed. <Apple, are you coming?>
Apple lightly padded after Erin and me through the Pokemon Center doors. <She better not snore.>
After many hours of being dragged through about a hundred different stores, forced into over three hundred outfits, and much "Oh, you should totally get that! What do you think of this?" I finally convinced Erin to return to the Pokemon Center. Apple and I wearily waited for Erin to find her keys to unlock her room.
"And could you believe that woman? Honestly, nobody would look good in that skirt. Ahh, here we go." Erin pulled her keys from the purse and stuck a particularly large key into the keyhole.
<You know, I don't think I've ever met a fashionable nerd before. She has a strange personality,> I thought toward Apple. I was getting better at this telepathy thing.
<Brilliant analysis. You're finally catching on,> Apple retorted sarcastically and rolled her eyes. As Erin pressed lightly on the key after turning it, the door opened up to a small homely room. There were two twin beds on opposite sides of the closet-sized room, and above one bed was a window that overlooked the Pokemon Center entrance below. Besides the window and a wooden door across from the window, the walls were bare. The door across from the window led to a small tiled bathroom that smelled of newly bought soap. An open book lay on the fluffy pillow of the twin bed closest to the door. I put my pack down on the other bed near the window and sat down.
"So, I've told you a whole lot about me," Erin started as she too sat down on the bed. "But what about you? I know you're a trainer, but that's about it. What do you want to do with your life?"
What did I want to do? What was my goal? Such a deep question from, ironically, such a shallow person. The obvious answer was, of course, to defeat all of the gym leaders and maybe participate in the Pokemon League Tournament like every other trainer. That, however, was not what drove me to become a trainer. Apple was the true reason. I glanced at the Mew and remembered it trembling under the Charizard's fire. I wanted Apple to be able to defend herself so she would not have to fear living in her true form. She could come out of hiding if she grew stronger; thus I must train her. If the Eevees accept, I will train them as well. Then they too wouldn't have to fear those who were cruel. Yes, I wanted to battle gym leaders to test the strength of Apple and the Eevees, not to prepare for some stupid tournament, and maybe one day they would have nothing to fear.
"Hello? Did you even hear me?" Erin asked in an annoyed tone.
"Err, I guess I just want to beat the gym leaders," I lied weakly.
<Liar,> Apple commented.
<Obviously,> I retorted.
<She knows it too.> Apple nodded toward Erin.
Erin narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "Whatever you say. There's a gym leader in town you know; her name is Abalina and she uses grass Pokemon. I can show you where the gym is... well, sorta is... tomorrow if you want…
“Anyway, I'm going to go shower. I'm sweaty from running around so much to shop." With that, she got up, picked out some clothes from her pack, and went into the bathroom. This was her second shower of the day; the first being right after lunch to get the mud off of her body. Erin was remarkably pretty when she was not covered in mud. She had thick strawberry-orange hair, brown eyes, and sun freckles across her nose. She always wore the latest fashions, and though many boys attempted to flirt with her, she gave not one of them a single glance.
I sighed and stared out the window to switch thoughts. It was late, but I could still see people wandering through the streets finishing up some last minute shopping. Stores in Azul City closed very late, and most of the buildings still twinkled with light, indicating they were indeed still open. Apple leapt onto my bed and laid down beside me, resting her head on my knee. I stroked her ears, pondering thoughts of purpose and my life in general.
<Apple, why can I use telepathy with Pokemon?> I questioned.
Apple peeped open an eye. <That requires a long explanation.>
<If Erin takes as long of a shower as she did this afternoon, then we have a long time.>
<Hmm. I’ll consider.> Apple closed her eye.
<APPLE!!> I yelled in frustration.
<Fine, fine. I’ll tell you. I suppose I must begin with the legend of the beginning...>
<Beginning of what?>
<Of everything. Don't interrupt.> Apple obnoxiously rolled her eyes, took a deep breath, and began, <In the beginning, there was only the Creator. The Creator, obviously, created the world, the sun, the moon, the universe, and two beings to occupy this universe. These two beings have come to be known as Arceus and the Great Dragon. For a time, these two creatures roamed the universe together, exploring every nook of the Creator's work and enjoying life. But soon, Arceus and the Great Dragon grew restless and lonely. The Creator saw this, and granted them each, for a time, the power to create.>
<And what does this have to do with my question?> I interrupted.
<I thought you wanted your question answered so I was answering it. Sorry, next time you ask a question I’ll go with my first instinct and ignore you,> Apple snickered.
<Alright, I’m sorry. I won’t interrupt again. Please continue.> I tried to reply in a serious tone, but did not quite pull it off.
Apple stretched and smiled smugly. <I’ll continue on two conditions. One, no interrupting, and two, I get to give you some more psychic lessons tomorrow and you have to listen.>
<Well then,> Apple began again. <As I was saying, the Creator gave the Great Dragon and Arceus the power to create.
<Now, Arceus believed that the qualities of intelligence and power would allow creatures to live peacefully together and work out problems in a fair, smart manner. Thus, Arceus created Pokemon. He granted each species of Pokemon intelligence and specific powers similar to his own. Yet, to made sure there was a balance of power among Pokemon, Arceus created types, each with weaknesses and strengths, so no single Pokemon, no matter how strong, could become all powerful.
<The Great Dragon, on the other hand, believed that granting creatures intelligence and power would only create problems. He wished to create organisms that enjoyed life and did not have to worry about the dilemmas of the world. Thus, the Great Dragon created animals. Animals had instincts to survive, but lacked intelligence so they were never preoccupied with morals or laws.
<Arceus and the Great Dragon were satisfied with their work. For a time they enjoyed seeing their creations thrive and grow. But, as you should know by now, peace never lasts.>
Apple paused to let the information sink in… or perhaps to tempt me to interrupt again. I fought the urge and managed to remain silent.
Apple resumed, <Soon the Great Dragon saw that many Pokemon were using their superior intelligence to kill and consume animals for food instead of other Pokemon, and he grew angry. Arceus argued that the Great Dragon's creatures, with little intelligence and power, were simply inferior to Pokemon and thus they were prone to die out. This of course, made the Great Dragon even angrier, and soon there was a bitter fight between the two.
<The Creator saw that a compromise was needed to cease the fight. He told Arceus and the Great Dragon that all creatures deserved to live, even those that were unintelligent and not powerful. He demanded that the two of them work together to create a creature that would be able to prevent Pokemon from wiping out the animals while allowing both animals and Pokemon to continue living peacefully. Neither the Dragon nor Arceus liked the situation, but they dared not argue with the Creator so they got to work.
<The Great Dragon insisted, of course, that this creature be an animal, for animals had the disadvantage. Arceus wished the creatures to be both intelligent and powerful, but the Great Dragon countered that the creature would just be another Pokemon if it were both intelligent and powerful. In the end, the two compromised by creating a creature that was an intelligent animal, but lacked power, also known as the human being.>
<You still haven’t answered my question. What does this—> I cut off Apple, still irked that she did not seem to be even attempting to answer my question.
<Hush. I’m not finished! Remember our deal!> Apple glared at me, and then continued, <As I was saying, Arceus and the Great Dragon created human beings so that both animals and Pokemon could live together peacefully. Arceus, however, believed that if humans lacked power, they would never be able to relate to or understand Pokemon. Being paranoid, Arceus thought that without this power eventually the Pokemon would be wiped out, not the animals. Without telling the Great Dragon, Arceus added a bit of its own power to the human gene pool so that one in maybe 10,000 humans would have a power similar to that of a Pokemon. Because so few humans had power, the Great Dragon did not discover Arceus's doings until much later, and by then the Creator had taken back the power of creation.
<To further ensure that life would be balanced between animals and Pokemon, eight humans were chosen to rule each region, and a handful of legendary Pokemon were commanded to guard these regions. Kanto, for instance, is guarded by Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, while Joto is guarded by Entei, Raikou, Suicune, Lugia, and Ho-oh. Hoen is guarded by the Regis, Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza, and Sinnoh is guarded by Dialga, Palkia, Uxie, Azelf, and Mespirit.
<Acceber, however, is a different case. You see, Acceber was a bit of an experiment. Perhaps the Creator wished to test the ability of Pokemon and humans to work together or maybe there simply were not enough legendary Pokemon to guard every region. Whatever the case, Acceber was the only region specific legendary Pokemon were not assigned to guard. Instead, eight non-legendary Pokemon were chosen to guard Acceber from danger and rule along side the eight humans. These eight Pokemon were the eight members of the Eevee family; Eevee, Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon, Espeon, Umbreon, Glaceon, and Leafeon.
<To this day, the eight members of the Eevee family rule and guard Acceber alongside eight humans. The humans are nowadays called gym leaders. In every region, the gym leaders meet to discuss laws and protection of all living creatures. In Acceber, along with the eight gym leaders, the eight Eevee forms help make decisions.
<Since the creation of Pokeball technology, it has become traditional that the eight leaders of each region raise, train, and battle with Pokemon. Younger trainers battle their leaders to test their strength, and the leaders give out badges as symbols of honor.
<Now, as I mentioned before, Arceus put power in the human gene pool. This power is often referred to as the "gift." Like the powers of Pokemon, it can come in many different forms- seventeen to be exact. Each form of power corresponds with a Pokemon type and can have various levels of strength. A human with a weak gift will work better with the specific type of Pokemon his or her power corresponds with, but a human with a strong gift can actually have powers similar to Pokemon. For instance, a strongly gifted flying type human may have control of the wind, a water type may have control over water, a bug type may be a particularly skilled climber, and so on.
<Generally, gym leaders have some variation of the gift and I believe in Acceber all eight gym leaders are indeed gifted. However, gym leaders are not the only humans with the gift; there are others. Supposedly in times of danger, a gifted human will gather the guardians of the land, and together, Pokemon and human will overcome the threat...
<Anyway, you are one of the few strongly gifted humans, and your gift type is psychic… Congrats,> Apple concluded sarcastically.
<But I thought you said this was a legend...> I began doubtfully.
<The legends are true.>
<How do you know?>
<You can use telepathy.>
For a time Apple and I stared out the dark window. I heard the faucet squeak as Erin turned off the shower.
Apple interrupted the silence. <You have other powers, you know.>
<What do you mean?>
<You have other psychic powers besides telepathy. You are strongly gifted...>
<What kind of powers?>
<Well, we'll just have to find out tomorrow.> Apple smirked. She lifted her head from my knee and curled up at the end of my bed. I continued to stare out the window for a minute, but then quickly changed into my pajamas and climbed under the covers.
Confusing thoughts clouded my mind. If I was “gifted” then why hadn’t anyone told me? Did most people know of these so called gifts? And the guardians of Acceber were all members of the Eevee family? Why did Apple tell me of creation and guardians anyway? She could have just told me that a select few humans have powers…
After a minute or so my brain hurt from so many questions. I closed my eyes and tried to empty my mind.
I had fallen asleep by the time Erin inadvertently slammed the door on her way out of the bathroom.
May 7th, 2008 (6:49 PM).
Ok... Here is the link to the map of Acceber:
May 7th, 2008 (11:50 PM).
Yay, you're back again. Good to see another chapter come out - oh, and nice map, BTW.
Well, more plot development here - and good that Anita made it in the end, even with a little it of help. Am still wondering about her as a character as well though - now she appears to be a 'chosen' one, so to speak, with magical powers... just be careful with the Mary Sue tag that is hanging and waiting if you are not careful with her.
Otherwise good - some nice moments, and an interesting 'creation' theroy as well there. However in that bit you misspelt 'Johto' (not Joto), and I wonder if Orre has any 'protectors'... which might explain why it is mostly desert. Description is still solid and the pacing was ok as well.
Interesting beginning, but it be 'spat' back up (the past tense).
Ah, yess, nice use of the tail as well. Including the following:
I don't think Deja Vu needs capitalising.
Of the bolded part - o-O.
The 'one in 10000' part seems a bit unnesserary - maybe just 'an occassional human,from time to time, would have power...'.
Also - don't think you need to join up the place name and the tag (e.g. Olivine City, over OlivineCity - have a space - same for 'Pokemon Center').
Much cleaner than before, your chapter, which is good to see. Also a nice explanation for how one can fit a bike into a bag as well - recently thought up a similar idea myself in fact, oddly enough. Guess smart people think alike.
Keep it up!
May 8th, 2008 (11:55 AM).
Hey instead of the errors you have, you have a really great plot for this story, it will be a hitter.
July 9th, 2008 (8:10 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Well, it has been a real long time since I posted a chapter, and I really don't have a good excuse, so here is the next chapter. I believe it's the longest one yet. Enjoy! And thanx bobandbill for the reviews.
Chapter 5: Eevees… ‘Nuff Said
A cluster of green dots blinked on the screen, but they were not just any dots. They were the key to our success. To my success.
I glanced shiftily at the door as the Master walked into the room... not that I truly considered him a Master. The boy glared at me as he entered, calculating. He was, as the saying goes, one smart cookie. That snotty teen had to be in order to have kept his position as Master for the past four years. This, however, did not change the fact that he was ten years younger than me and certainly a less capable leader than I could be... would be...
But nevertheless, this boy was the Master, the leader of Team Glop'emm. He had been since his father, the previous leader of Team Glop'emm, died of a“heart attack.”
Heart attack, yeah right.
The death of the previous Master was not due to any natural cause; it was due to my brilliant plan. It had taken me years to develop and perfect a scheme that would ultimately end in the murder of our leader, but I did it. His death had to look natural so no one could possibly suspect me, the dedicated assistant, of murder. I was not going to spend the rest of my life in jail, as many members of Team Glop'emm have for other more petty crimes. I paid dearly to acquire the poisonous dart that triggered a heart attack when inserted in just the right part of the chest. Without going into too many details, after sneaking my way into the Master's house past all kinds of security, I killed the man with the dart in his sleep. Simple, but brilliant.
I palmed the Pokeball of my Hypno. The scheme would not have been possible without my beloved Pokemon. She had inserted the dart perfectly into the man's chest with her psychic and then had removed the dart when the man died so nobody could find evidence of a murder. The dart was so thin it did not even make a wound. The camera watching the man never picked up the thin dart moving silently through the shadows to kill the man. It was a perfect murder. A perfect plan... almost.
Now, don't be thinking that I am a ruthless, thoughtless homicidal killer. I do not kill without reason. This is in fact the only murder I have ever performed, and I had a very good reason to murder him. There are some people in this world who are destined to be in control, to have power. I have no doubt that I am one of these people, and thus, I wanted to, needed to, and am fated to become the leader of Team Glop'emm. Any person who prevented me from fulfilling my destiny, such as the current leader of Team Glop'emm, had to be eliminated. Then I would take over. This is where my plan backfired.
I worked my way up in Team Glop'emm, from a lowly grunt to the Master's right hand man. Each Master chooses his successor and writes it in a will that can only be opened after the Master dies or retires. I thought as the leader of Team Glop'emm's most trusted assistant that I would surely be named the successor. However, the Master surprised me, for his will named his son, this cold boy standing in front of me, the next Master of Team Glop'emm.
The reason for this choice still mystifies me. I had been so sure that I would be the successor. I had all the right qualities. I had acted so perfectly. That boy...
I clenched my fists. He had ruined my plans of becoming the leader. He would pay. One day.
The cold boy turned his head to me and looked at me with those luminous, frozen eyes.
After a second of awkward silence, the boy spoke tauntingly, almost in a whisper: "Please explain."
I was confused for a moment until I realized he was referring to the flashing green dots on the screen.
"I thought you knew everything," I retorted snobbishly.
The boy waited unemotionally. This must be very important to him, otherwise he would have replied with a threat to demote me or punish me for my rudeness. I decided to explain. Despite my disgust with this horrid boy, he still was the Master. Though I do not treat him with respect, he saw my supposed dedication to his father, and my dedication to the team now. I have no doubt that he has named me his successor, and I plan to keep it that way. Rude as I may be, he knows that nobody else in Team Glop'emm has the craftiness, experience, and dedication needed to be an effective leader.
To become leader, I just needed to find a way to eliminate him. I could not use the same method I had used on his father. It could not work on this boy. He was... special.
The boy cleared his throat, still waiting.
"Master," I started with a derogatory tone, "The device picked up signals of Pokemon X in Acceber for a brief time yesterday. The area the signals came from is represented by the green dots on the screen."
The boy narrowed his eyes toward the screen, "In between Melonbi Town and Azul City? Isn't that where my father found this same Pokemon?"
"Yes, sir," I replied in a genuinely serious voice. "Well, nearly. However, we have a strange issue. The signals were only up picked twice for a few seconds — once at 10:33 a.m. and once at 11:54 a.m."
The boy turned toward me. "And do you know why these signals were not received for a long, continuous time?" The boy asked the question as if he already knew the answer.
"We have some theories–"
The young Master interjected. Clearly, his question was supposed to be rhetorical. "The signals were only picked up for a short amount of time because Pokemon X was only there, in its true form, for a short amount of time. It either transformed into another Pokemon, or teleported to another region."
I rolled my eyes. "If that is the case, then I don't see how this machine can possibly help tracking Pokemon X. As soon as we locate Pokemon X, it will have teleported or transformed."
The boy thought a moment. "We will see about that. Are there any residencies near the area Pokemon X appeared in?"
"One. An old mansion. The rich Goldenthrills live there."
The boy smirked, "Send one of our members in Azul City to the area. I think we must go pay the Goldenthrills a visit."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I leaped out of bed at the sudden wake-up call.
"Where's the fire?" I asked stupidly.
"There's no fire, silly," Erin said, grinning madly. "Come on, get up. I want to show you where the gym is, and then I have to pay a visit to the Azul City Research facility."
Why the heck did she have to wake me up? I looked at the clock sitting on the nightstand beside me. It was freakin' 7:30 in the morning. I growled at Erin and slammed the door on my way into the bathroom.
As I was brushing my teeth I heard a whine from the other side, "Huuuuurrrrry up!"
I slammed my toothbrush down. That was the last straw.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I knew it was coming the moment we woke up. Anita was angry. She’d already found Erin's talkativeness annoying, and you didn't have to be a psychic to know Anita hated being woken up early. Though, I suppose being a psychic did help predict the exact time of Anita's temper outbursts. And boy was she going to burst.
I stretched my paws out over Anita's blanket and looked shiftily at Erin, who was calmly picking out her clothes for the day from a shrinkable wardrobe. Now Erin was a strange character. In front of Anita, she acted like a flippant, annoying girl who had a tendency to start ranting about herself. However, when Anita was not around, she was more calm and more collected. It was as if she was testing Anita...
Of course, I could simply read her mind to find out her objective, but that would be rude. I certainly would not want anyone else reading my every thought, so I do not read minds unless I'm in a dire situation.
I did sense, however, that the girl did not have ill intentions. If she did, I would have informed Anita, but as her intentions were not bad, it was much more fun to watch Erin scheme and Anita lose her temper.
Erin turned toward me and grinned. Unlike many humans, she acknowledged that Pokemon had human intelligence (or rather, humans had Pokemon intelligence because Pokemon came before humans) and treated them like equals. Though she had not communicated with me, and believed that I could not directly communicate with her, she knew that I knew of her odd behavior.
She mouthed, "This is going to be fun!" and then smiled sweetly toward the bathroom door and hollered in a whiny voice, "Huuuuurryyy Up!"
I felt Anita's temper go overboard. Her anger and annoyance were so strong that any psychic Pokemon within a mile radius would surely sense the emotion.
I covered my ears with my paws to muffle the explosion. It didn't help.
Anita slammed the bathroom door open, her face practically purple with anger.
"IF YOU DO NOT SHUT YOUR FREAKIN’ ANNOYING MOUTH UP I WILL PERSONALLY STUFF A GRIMER IN YOUR MOUTH AND GLUE IT SHUT SO YOU CAN NEVER UTTER ANOTHER WORD FROM THAT UGLY PIE HOLE!"
Yeesh, she went just a tad overboard. I was tempted to tell her so, but thought better of it. Though I suppose it was good she now had enough control not to throw things. Before.... well, let's just say it was bad.
I guess it was also good her psychic powers had not fully developed yet. Though there are a few exceptions, for the most part the gift's growth corresponds with puberty. As a human goes through puberty, their gift becomes stronger and more developed. Luckily, Anita was still in the beginning stages of puberty; her menstruation cycle had started only a few months ago and her chest had a ways to go. Had she been older and lost her temper as she just did, she surely would have caused much damage to the area.
Sighing in relief that no real damage had been done, I curiously turned to watch Erin's reaction. She looked terrified until Anita once again slammed the bathroom door shut. Then she burst out in a fit of silent laughter.
I watched Erin noiselessly as she recovered and began scribbling something on a piece of paper. Bored, I turned around and gazed out the window at a flock of Pidgeys clustered around an elderly woman under the dim glow of the morning sun. By the time I turned back to Erin, she was dressed, fashionably of course, and was on her way out the door. She pointed to the note, flung the door open, and was gone.
The corners of my mouth twitched. She sure had style.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Bye Erin. Have a nice day!" Nurse Joy called to me as I rapidly left the Pokemon Center. With the wind whipping at my lab coat, I turned left and began my walk down Rainbow Street. It was a mile to the Research Facility.
I smiled as my heels continued to clank against the sidewalk. My thoughts returned to the girl, who was probably still fuming in the bathroom. After analyzing and testing the girl's behavior, I decided she was a strong candidate.
For the past few weeks, I had been looking for someone to travel with me back to my lab in Cape Caution. Of course, I could have easily gone back by myself, but I wished to collect data on some of the Pokemon species on my return trip. This would cause me to move more slowly and leave me more susceptible to danger.
A few years ago, I would have had less to worry about. In the past few years, an organization called Team Glop'emm has become more active. There were rumors that they had members watching every city, waiting for the perfect opportunity to steal money, Pokemon, and valuables.
I knew that though I had decent battling skills, I would not be able to defend myself against strong opponents, whether they were wild Pokemon, Team Glop'emm members, or other dangerous people. I'm a pretty fourteen year old girl, after all. There are dangerous people in the world just waiting for the opportunity to take advantage of me, if you get my drift. Thus, I needed to find someone to travel with.
Of course, I couldn't travel with just anyone. I had standards, just as I did with everything in life. It is my belief that a person should set rules for themselves, and then keep to those rules. It keeps life organized and makes decisions easier. One of my standards, for instance, is to dress to impress. Nobody has ever caught me wearing anything unfashionable, and I plan to keep it that way.
In this situation, I was looking to travel with a person who
a.) would not annoy me. So many people are whiners or overly talkative nowadays (I am not really usually as crazily talkative as I pretended to be around Anita... though sometimes...), and I cannot stand them. Anita, despite her clear dislike for shopping, did not complain, and she was pretty much the opposite of talkative.
b.) would not flirt with me. This actually falls under the first standard. Boys who flirt with me because of how I look are annoying, and because most boys try to flirt with me, traveling with a boy was pretty much out of the question.
c.) could tolerate many situations. Anita did not flip out when she was covered in mud, like some girls do, and for the most part was able to deal with my obnoxiousness. (She lasted a whole day, even if she blew up this morning.) She’s the kind of person who would not go crazy if we ended up a sticky situation.
d.) could hold their own ground in a battle. This one needs to be tested, but Anita is a trainer, so she should be able to battle. I plan to watch her battle with the gym leader.
e.) was traveling in the direction of Cape Caution. Cape Caution has a gym, so Anita has to go there eventually.
f.) would not bore me. I want to travel with someone who is exciting. Anita's temper, for one, is very amusing. Secondly, she acts so strangely sometimes and has revealed so little of herself that I find her quite mysterious. Surely by traveling with her I could discover whatever caused her to act in this manner.
I grinned. Anita was a very good candidate. Plus, she needed my help. She was, after all, another young girl traveling on her own and needed as much protection from the dangers of the world as I did. I also got the feeling that deep down she was lonely. She was not traveling with any other humans, and she had decided to room with me. She could have slept on the couch of the Pokemon Center if she had not wanted companions; yet, she had chosen to share a room. She may not have even known it, but she yearned for human company, and I could provide just that.
There was also the bonus of those Eevees she had. It was recently discovered that certain environments cause Eevees to evolve. This was directly linked to my research on the impact of the environment on Pokemon!
I smiled again, and sped up my walk. I was excited to find such a perfect candidate. Now all that was left, besides watching the gym battle, was to inform my peers at the Research Facility that I was finally going to depart and to pack up supplies for the trip.
A young man at the corner thought I was smiling at him. He began to approach me, "Hello there—"
I quickly crossed the street to avoid talking to the man. Honestly, I can't stand men. I straightened my face in hopes that no others would accost me if I looked serious and businesslike. The lab coat I was wearing added to my attempt to look serious; if only I had glasses...
I strode onwards, containing my excitement for the journey to come.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Went to the lab, will be back in the afternoon to show you the gym.
P.S. For a quiet person, you sure have a loud temper.
I had felt resentful when I left the bathroom, and a trickle of anger returned when I read the note. This girl was beyond annoying. She was a pea-headed chatterbox that had no off button and was completely oblivious to the world around her. Her emotions changed faster than anyone I had ever been in contact with. One moment she looked terrified, the next she was telling me she was my "pal". An actor couldn't have done better...
I crumpled up the piece of paper and tossed it in the trashcan. Then I froze.
An actor. No way. Could she be...faking... was that even possible? It would certainly explain her odd temperament. But why? I clenched my fists. If that girl was faking... That would mean she was intentionally provoking me with her droning, her whining, her obviousness. I would kick her *ss!!!
And if she wasn’t faking? Then she was just stupid and emotional and not someone I would want to hang around. Either way, I didn't like her.
<Aren't you being a little judgmental?> Apple commented.
I glared. "No."
<You were fine with her yesterday.>
"Today is new day."
<I think you are just cranky 'cause you were woken up. That combined with teenage hormones equals anger management issues.>
"I DON'T HAVE ANGER MANAGEMENT ISSUES!"
<Right, and I'm not a Mew.>
"UGHH. I'm going," I put on my pack and slammed the door on my way out of the room before Apple could get out. Of course, as I was striding away, I heard the door open again. Apple could psychically open the door.
Apple caught up to me when I reached the stairs.
<You know, she could have done worse. She could have decided to wake you up even earlier.>
<Instead she decided to wake me up at 7:30. That's not early at all,> I sarcastically remarked. I spoke psychically. It would look weird having a one-sided conversation with my Eevee. <She decided... It's like she planned to annoy me.>
I looked at Apple, who promptly looked away.
<She did plan it! That little.... And then she just left!> I added angrily, <Why did she even wake me up if she was just going to leave?! Grr. She was just trying to provoke me!!!>
<You could have gone back to sleep after she left.> Apple pointed out sheepishly.
<You know I can't fall back asleep after I'm woken up in the morning! That pooh-head!>
<You could have tried,> Apple weakly argued, but then decided it was not worth arguing about. She changed the subject. <Where are we going anyway?>
By this time, we had reached the Pokemon Center counter where surprisingly Nurse Joy was already up, even though the rest of the Pokemon Center lobby was empty. Instead of answering Apple, I turned to the pink-haired lady. "Good morning," I said tersely, still annoyed with everything and everyone. "I would like the Eevees I gave you yesterday back."
"That is fine. The eldest has fully recovered, but you must remember the other four will be in no condition to battle for the next two or three weeks. They are still young and being starved out in the wilderness hit them quite hard. They need lots of love, rest, and food to recover."
"I know, I know," I replied in an agitated tone.
"You understand this is very important to their—"
"I KNOW!" I yelled. Then I realized who I was yelling at. "Sorry. I've had a bad morning."
"Right," Nurse Joy looked at me nervously and then put the five Pokeballs in my hands. "Well, I'm trusting you with these."
There was awkward silence as I took the Pokeballs. Nurse Joy was slightly intimidated by my yelling.
"Thanks." I nodded curtly, and then left the building. Apple must have sensed my continued agitation because she did not speak to me as I walked down the block. When we reached the corner, I took out the Pokeball of the oldest Eevee and released him from his Pokeball.
<What are you doing?> Apple finally asked.
<I need to see if he wants to travel with us,> I replied.
<But you already caught him.>
<I will release him and his siblings if he wishes.>
In the meantime, the released Eevee was adjusting to the area. He glanced at the buildings, and then turned intently toward me. Even though his fur had been groomed, he still managed to maintain a slightly rugged look, with random pieces of fur standing up. He stared at me intensely, not quite angry, but certainly suspicious. <Where are they?> he demanded.
I pulled out the other four Pokeballs, and showed the Eevee. He narrowed his eyes at me but said nothing.
<They are in here. They need food and care, and are in no condition to battle for the next few weeks.> I tried to sound friendly.
<So I have heard. The pink lady informed me after I was healed.>
<What do you want to do?> I finally asked.
<What can I do?> the Eevee bitterly replied. <My family is hurt. We will not be able to fend for ourselves in the wild.>
<Would you and siblings like to travel with Apple and me?> I gestured toward Apple, who was peering at the Eevee curiously from behind my legs, unsure if it would attack.
<No,> the Eevee responded frankly.
More silence. I was about to press the release button...
<But we will anyway. As much as I dislike humans, my family is in no condition to return to the wilderness. You have already proven that you will take care of my family by bringing them to the Pokemon Center to be healed. For now, I will trust you.>
I smiled at the Eevee who responded with a glare.
The Eevee growled, <However, one wrong move, and I swear by Mew—> Apple chuckled and the Eevee turned his gaze to her. <I swear that I will personally rip your throat to pieces.>
Apple stopped laughing and stared intently back at the Eevee.
I clapped my hands, trying to break the tension, <Alright then, welcome to the team! Do you have a name?>
<Eevees, and most Pokemon for that matter, tell each other apart through scents,> Apple informed me.
<Well then, since I now have six Eevees, I must name you so I do not get confused. I will call you Fiery. Any issues with that name?> I told the Eevee.
Fiery turned away. <No.>
<Do you prefer to be in a Pokeball or outside of it?> I was not about to keep a Pokemon in a Pokeball if it did not wish to be held there, especially not a fiery Eevee. Fiery, it seemed, did not like to mess around.
<Outside for now, but keep the little ones in. No need to put them in any more danger than they already are in.> the Eevee decided as he suspiciously eyed a lone Growlithe carrying the morning newspaper across the street. It ran between the legs of the few early risers walking in the opposite direction.
<What's that supposed to mean?> Apple piped, finally deciding it was safe to talk to the Eevee.
<Exactly what I said, moron.>
<Alright, let's be nice to each other now,> I tried. I got two glares in response. I sighed. <I'm Anita, by the way, and as you know this is Apple.>
<How do you do?> Apple snickered, shyness nowhere to be found now.
Fiery growled, but chose to ignore Apple, <How can you speak to me anyway? Only Pokemon can communicate with each other telepathically.>
Before I could answer, Apple responded, <She's a psychic, so she can speak to Pokemon too. It’s obvious really. Look at her eyes.>
<Whatever,> Fiery said coolly. I crossed the street and started down the next block. Apple and Fiery followed.
<So, where are we going now?> Apple asked, again.
<To find the gym,> I replied.
Apple complained, <But we haven't even battled a single person away from home yet! We'll get our *sses whooped!>
I didn’t respond.
<I think you're being arrogant. We need to train! Plus, we don't even know where the gym is. We should wait for Erin to show us.>
<I don't want or need Erin's help.>
<Who's Erin?> Fiery inquired.
<Unfortunately,> I added.
After wandering around town for an hour, stopping for a quick breakfast, and then wandering around some more, we still had not found the gym.
"It has to be here somewhere," I muttered thoroughly irritated.
<Well, it would help if you asked someone for directions,> Apple commented.
<I don't need anybody else's help.>
<Well that's stupid. Of course you do!> Apple countered.
<Yeah, otherwise you'll end up where we are now,> Fiery remarked.
<And where is that?>
I shouldn’t have asked.
<Right where we started.>
I looked up. We were indeed right in front of the Pokemon Center. I groaned.
<You know,> Apple started. <I think there was a gym sign in the park we passed five minutes ago.>
<There wasn't a—> Apple shoved Fiery with a paw. <I mean, of course. How could you miss it?>
<And I smelled hotdogs,> Apple added hopefully.
Fiery looked at Apple in disgust. <Do you know what those things are made of?>
Fiery and I exchanged mystified glances and followed Apple, who was sprinting ahead toward the park. Obviously she just wanted a hotdog, but hey, there was nowhere better to look.
Of course, when we reached the park, there was no gym sign, though there was a hotdog stand. The park was large and green, covered in different trees, grasses, and flowers. There was a single gravel path that twisted down the center of the park. A large cluster of trees created a miniature forest a few yards away on one side of the path, and the other side was a spacious field of different types of grasses. The hotdog stand was a ways down the path, though one could smell it from a mile away. There were some people walking with their Pokemon down the path, and a few wild bug Pokemon scurried about the trees and grass. I sighed. The gym was not here.
Apple was leaping between patches of flowers, while Fiery simply stood.
<HOTDOG!!> Apple shrieked when she noticed the hotdog stand was visible. <Let's go get hotdogs!>
I sighed again, "You can have a hotdog for lunch. For now, I guess we should train 'cause we can't find the gym."
Apple sulked, <But lunch isn't for another three hours!>
"The faster we start, the faster we can eat lunch. Now, before we start, I think I should meet the other four Eevees. Here there shouldn't be too much danger, and they shouldn't be able to get into too much trouble."
Fiery snorted, <Yeah, right. They'll find trouble anywhere.>
We moved to an open area of some yards away from the path. I pulled out the four Pokeballs. Four red lights flashed as the Eevees were released.
The four young Eevees clustered together and stared up at me will big adorable eyes. Their fur was rather dull compared to Apple's and Fiery's and like Fiery, they still had a slightly scraggly look. The Eevees were still rather small, about the size of rabbits, but they were not done growing yet. Their skinny legs and bony bodies revealed their long lack of nutrition, but at least they were no longer wet and whimpering. I remembered Apple telling me they were all about four months old, meaning they hatched about four months ago. They were considered to be from the same litter because they all hatched around the same time from the same mother and father.
The Eevees seemed intimidated at the sight of me. Their ears were folded back and they retreated slowly. Fiery trotted over to the Eevees and rubbed noses with them to comfort them. <Don't worry guys, they won't hurt you. That girl is our trainer now, and she will care for us, and if she doesn't…> Fiery glared at me. <then we will tear her to pieces.>
I put on my friendliest smile and spoke to them psychically: <Hello, I'm Anita, and this is Apple.> I gestured to Apple, who had decided to start chasing her tail. <Welcome to the family.>
For a few seconds, the miniature Eevees stared at Apple, who promptly stopped chasing her tail and lightly skipped over to the new Eevees to greet them. The Eevees then turned their gaze to me and stared in amazement.
<She can talk in our heads!> the one farthest to the left squealed. Its ears straightened and it ran over to sniff my hand. The other three followed cautiously.
<I thought humans couldn't talk to Pokemon. Only Pokemon can talk to Pokemon,> another Eevee commented after much sniffing.
Apple, who was sitting with Fiery watching the scene, answered proudly, <She's a psychic, so she can talk to humans and Pokemon!>
The four Eevees looked up again and simultaneously said, <WOOOOOOOOOW!>
Then, suddenly, the greeting was over, and the first Eevee that spoke bounded away to chase frogs. The second Eevee scanned the area, saw a puddle, and promptly jumped into it, splashing water on itself as well as the surrounding grass. One of the other Eevees ignored the rest and went over to flowerbed, where it laid down. The last, and smallest of the bunch, quietly walked under a sunflower near Fiery and Apple.
<Well, I suppose I must name all of you,> I informed the group. Each Eevee looked up from its activity, and Apple and Fiery watched curiously.
<Which ones are boys, and which are girls?> I silently asked Apple.
<The one playing with the frog and the one in the puddle are males. The others are females,> Apple replied without revealing to the other Eevees that we had communicated.
I started with the furriest and boldest of the young Eevees, the one that had dared to speak first and was now playing with a frog. <I will name you Allo.>
The Eevee cocked its head at me. <Why's that?>
I shrugged. <It was the first thing that came to mind.>
<Then your mind is weird.>
The Eevee splashing around in the puddle turned to Allo. <Your face is weird!>
I turned to the wet Eevee. <I think you shall be Splash.>
The wet Eevee rolled his eyes and mocked his brother. <Why's that?>
<Great, another smart-alec,> I stated dryly.
<I thought you said my name was Splash, not Alec,> Splash snorted. Then he literally snorted water and started coughing and laughing simultaneously. Oy vey.
I turned my gaze to the Eevee in the flowerbed. Her coat was less ragged than the others and she laid in such a way that her fur seemed to glisten despite its dulled color. She had somehow managed to put a red flower behind her ear and was now licking her paws. When she saw I was looking at her, she sat up and appeared to be attempting to pose, as if this action would help me come up with a name for her.
<I will name you Vanilla.> I finally decided.
Vanilla eyed me carelessly and then concluded, <That seems fitting. A beautiful name for a beautiful creature like me.> The Eevee then laid back down and continued cleaning her paws. Splash snorted again, this time at Vanilla's response, and Vanilla glared.
I finally looked over to the smallest Eevee under the sunflower. She would not meet my gaze. <I will call you Sunflower,> I calmly told her. She nodded and moved closer to Fiery.
<Alright then!> I looked at the four Eevees. <You four stay out of trouble while Fiery, Apple, and I train. Don't leave this clearing.>
<Why don't we get to train too?> Splash complained. <I wanna battle!!!>
<Nurse Joy told me you guys need recovery time.> After a second thought, I added strictly, <Under no circumstances will you four battle in the next two weeks. After that, we'll see.>
<But I feel fine!!!> Splash whined.
<Your coat is still dull,> Allo pointed out.
<Well so is yours,> the wet Eevee retorted.
<Exactly, all of us need time to grow healthy. Don't you feel like you tire a little too quickly?> The two female Eevees nodded in agreement with Allo.
<No,> Splash said defiantly.
<I personally think battling is overrated,> Vanilla randomly stated.
Splash snickered, <You think anything that might get your precious fur dirty is overrated.>
Fiery sighed, <Won't you guys ever get along?>
Apple turned to me, <Are we gonna start soon or what? I want a hotdog!>
<Ok, Fiery, Apple, come over here. You four, no battling and stay out of trouble.> I walked with Apple and Fiery to the other side of the clearing where the young Eevees were still in sight, but not in the way of training.
I looked down at Fiery. <I haven't really seen you battle yet, so why don't you and Apple battle each other so I can see your skills?>
Fiery glared up at me. <You're expecting me to battle for you?>
I looked at him in surprise. I had thought he would want to train and battle, <Well, I kinda just assumed... I mean trainers work with their Pokemon in battle to learn and grow stronger, and I thought you would want to become stronger... I won't force you if you don't want to.>
Fiery's continued to stare. <Let me make this clear. I will battle for you, but not because you are now my trainer.> Fiery looked over at his siblings, now huddled together playing some sort of leaping game. <I will battle so I can be strong enough to protect my family.> He turned to Apple and said fiercely, <I will not fail them again. Let's do this.>
Apple shrugged, and the two Eevees distanced themselves to prepare for battle. I was a bit disturbed, but like Apple, I shrugged it off. I spoke: <This will be a one on one battle with no commands from the trainer.> To Apple, I added privately, <Remember, no using psychic powers. We have not told them yet, and we also don't want any people to see.>
<Ladies first,> Fiery snickered.
<Only if you insist,> Apple countered, and began racing toward Fiery in a quick attack.
Fiery eyed Apple carefully, and at the last second dodged out of the way using his own quick attack. He then changed directions and slid to a stop, making the dirt on the ground sputter into Apple's face. Apple spun around confused.
<What's wrong? Can't catch what you can't see?> Fiery ran at Apple.
<Oh, shut up with that classic line! Everyone uses it, and its not true 'cause I will catch you!> Apple spat. Despite my command not to use her psychic powers, I could tell Apple was indeed using her powers to locate Fiery while she couldn't see because she responded by dodging Fiery's tackle, twisting, and biting his tail.
Fiery howled in pain, but I noticed his tail was lighting up.
<Just kidding,> he taunted as his iron-hard tail hit a helplessly close Apple on the head. He then followed up by aiming another tackle at her, but Apple ducked and kicked Fiery up with her hind legs as he flew over her.
By the time he landed, Apple was nowhere in sight. Fiery twirled about until he noticed a hole, <Uh-oh.>
Apple popped up underneath Fiery, sending him flying. Fiery crumpled to the ground as he landed. He shakily got to his feet, and his tail once more began to glow.
Now it was Apple’s turn to utter an, <Uh-oh> and duck out of sight with another dig attack. However, Fiery was not about to fall for the same trick twice. He scanned the ground and found a nearby rock, which he rushed on top of. Apple was unable to pop up directly beneath Fiery, giving Fiery the opportunity to tackle Apple to the ground.
Panting, Apple pounced on Fiery in response, and the two Eevees rolled over each other in the dirt. A bite here, a tail whip there. Their paws and tails were intertwined, and they were rolling so quickly, it was hard to tell which Eevee was which.
<Take that, and that!> Apple squealed, biting Fiery's ears.
<Oh yeah, well take this!> Fiery suddenly rolled over so that he towered over Apple, causing Apple to be stuck in a very awkward belly-up position. He held her four paws down with his own, and his tail was lit up over him, ready to strike should she manage to escape.
He smirked. <Game over.>
Apple struggled for a few seconds, but she was unable to throw Fiery off of her. She then stopped struggling, and smirked right back at him.
<Fine, you win.>
And then she gave a lick across the face that rivaled a Haunter’s in sliminess.
Fiery jumped off of her, <Ewwwwww!> He ran around until he finally stumbled into the puddle Splash had been playing in. He threw his head in the water and pawed at it in an attempt to get Apple grossness off of him. When he was finally satisfied he glared at her. <You're despicable.>
Apple stuck out her tongue in response, causing Fiery to jump back in fear of another lick.
<Do it again! Do it again!>
I turned to see four young Eevees yelping excitedly at the strange series of events they had just witnessed.
Splash ran up to Apple, <You’re sooooo cool! Can you teach me how to lick like that?!>
Apple smiled triumphantly at that comment, and then whined to me, <Can I PU-LEAZE have a hotdog now?>
<Just a little more training, you two,> I started, choosing to ignore Apple. <Fiery, how do you know Iron Tail?>
Fiery shrugged, <We all do.> He nodded toward the younger Eevees. <Our father was an Aagron.>
I nodded, <Can you try and teach Apple? I’ll watch you two and keep an eye on the other four.>
<While you’re at it, you should practice clearing your mind and listening like we did before,> Apple added privately. <I haven’t forgotten our deal.>
I sighed and sat down under a tree as Fiery began to show Apple the technique needed to turn her tail as hard as iron. Splash, Allo, Sunflower, and Vanilla were huddled together watching Apple and Fiery a few yards away.
I inhaled deeply, closed my eyes, and relaxed my body.
I jumped up so fast, I accidentally hit my head on a low branch and started cursing.
“Err, sorry miss. I noticed your two Eevees train’in while I was a-walkin’ n’ I was a-wonderin’ if ya wanted to enter ‘n my contest.”
I quit my cursing, and, rubbing my head, I turned to face the source of my pain. “What do you want?”
I was facing a short man wearing a top hat. He had a short gray beard, was plump, and had a squeaky voice.
“Wanna enter me contest? It’s free n’ there’s prize money.”
I considered, “Alright. When is it?”
“Starts 1:00 in front o’ the hotdog stand. There’ll be sixteen compet-etors, n’ each battle’s one on one,” the man answered and handed me a sheet of paper with a few other names scrawled on it. “Sign here.”
I signed. It would be a good test of Apple and Fiery’s skills.
“Thanks much,” the man said as he tilted his top hat and walked away.
I looked at Fiery and Apple to find Fiery still teaching Apple the basics of Iron Tail. They had been so caught up in training that they had not noticed the strange little man.
I looked at the four young Eevees to find… they weren’t there.
I quickly scanned the clearing, but the Eevees were nowhere in sight.
Fiery would kill me. Literally.
Did I mention crap?
January 3rd, 2009 (11:03 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Alright, first of all, I am very sorry this chapter took so long. I had to do some thinking on whether to continue this story. I have decided I will finish it, no matter how long it takes. I will update as much as possible.
So here is my next chapter. It is super long.
Wow. I take that back. This is super super long! It exceeded the characters!!!
Special thanks to my cousin!
Chapter 6: Misadventures
I love them.
Short or long. Glittery or plain. Colorful or gray.
Whatever the case, I love them.
I love them as much as I love myself.
They are a shadow of the wearer, revealing to the world the wearer’s mood.
They are beautiful.
But one was the most beautiful.
And most important.
This was the dress that was going to win me the pageant.
Win me my dream.
My dream of becoming a model.
My dream of wearing and showing the beauty of dresses to the world over and over again.
My fallen dream.
They did it. They tore away the dress’s beauty. They tore my dream to pieces. They would—
I spun away from the mirror I had been staring at, still holding the tattered dress against my body, as if I could magically heal its wounds.
“It would have been perfect,” I whispered to the little red fox lying peacefully on a vermillion cushion next to my bed.
The Vulpix opened its sparkling golden eyes and nodded in agreement. The well groomed fox not only matched the room’s color, but its elegance. Everything, from the mosaic border of the mirror to the intricate design of the translucent lamp shade created an aura of flowing beauty. Sunlight danced through glittery shades onto the soft gold-colored comforter of a bed fit for a queen. The sparkling crimson stone walls reflected bits of light onto a beige carpet, as if blood-rubies had been dribbled about the entire room.
Even the tattered dress seemed to fit in with the design of the room. The ripped cloth twirled itself into curls, like the golden hair of a goddess. Ribbons once perfectly placed streamed from the dress wild in every direction. Yet, despite this wildness, the ruins of the dress managed to maintain a certain dark beauty. The wild ribbons glimmered red, black, and gold— a faded sun, a fallen star.
I sighed and slumped onto the plush bed. I would call a friend to blow off some steam or at least find someone to gossip with in order to make my problems seem less problematic, but my friends and classmates had all left on their journey. They were all on their way to becoming trainers, researches, coordinators, or whatever the h*ll they were in the mood for. They had all turned thirteen.
Why did I have to be the youngest person in my grade? While everyone else left on their journey, I was stuck in my house for another two July weeks until my birthday.
Even Reece had abandoned me! Though what the heck he would be doing… I snickered. He thought he was going to be a trainer, but I would bet money he had already changed his mind. He was much too lazy to ever work hard and too greedy to be able to keep his hands to himself. Maybe he had already gotten himself thrown in jail. Then I would be able to catch up with him in Azul City.
Maybe he had seen Anita. I growled. Even that rotten goody-two-shoe had left. Left with those vicious little f—
Wasn’t that good-for-nothing butler going to answer the door? Ugh.
I stomped out of the room, closely followed by Flora, the sleepy Vulpix. I peered over the fine wooden railing into the main hall. Past the spiral staircase, I could see the butler, John, scurrying to open the door.
I turned away and started back to my room. I honestly could care less who was at our door as long as that irksome doorbell stopped ringing.
I heard the door creak open and a stranger’s voice say, “Good afternoon. May I speak with the lady of this house?”
This got my attention. Who would want to speak with my mother? We rarely got visitors, and those who did stop by were not visiting to see my pompous mother.
I twirled around and looked back over the railing to the door. An important looking man in a black suit and a briefcase was standing in the doorway. Who was this guy?
“Please wait—.” John began.
“John, let me speak to this man. You know how mother hates to be disturbed for miniscule matters,” I called down to the butler. I hurried to the staircase and then descended. When I reached the door, John gave me a slight bow and scampered off to the kitchen.
I turned to the man in the door. Up close he looked nervous, as if he felt out of place. “What do you want?”
“Miss Goldenthrill,” the man started. “I am from… err… from an organization that tracks Pokemon, and our machine reported some strange data from this area. Did you happen to see anything unusual around your house yesterday? Any odd people or Pokemon?”
Yesterday… that was when…
I suddenly grinned.
This had the sweet scent of revenge all over it.
I invited the man inside.
“Let me tell you about Anita Parkwood.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Okay, I could handle this.
I took a deep breath and turned to Apple and Fiery who were still absorbed in practicing Iron Tail.
<Umm, I have to go to the bathroom. I’m going to go and bring the other four with me,> I nervously told the two Pokemon.
Fiery didn’t even answer. He nodded and then demonstrated to Apple how to smash a rock with his tail.
Though Apple appeared to be avidly watching Fiery, she smirked slightly and answered only to me, <You lost them, didn’t you?>
<Ugh. I’m going to go find them before Fiery finds out. Keep him busy, will you?>
<Fine, but buy me a hotdog on your way back.>
<Alright.> I tried my best to walk at a normal pace away from the practice area.
The second I was out of their hearing range I raced through the undergrowth, looking frantically in every direction. The Eevees couldn’t have gone too far.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It had been fun watching Apple and my big brother battle, but then they started practicing, and who wants to watch that? Boring!
“Let’s go exploring!” I had told my fellow siblings. To a human, it would have sounded like “Eeeveee eee,” unless the human was a psychic who could understand the thoughts behind the words, which my trainer was. So cool.
Too bad she wasn’t listening at the moment.
“Whatever,” Vanilla answered.
“I’m not sure that’s the best idea.” Allo looked hesitantly at our new trainer.
“They won’t even notice we’re gone.” I looked over at Anita, who had just slammed her head on a tree branch, and I chuckled. “Come on!”
I jumped through a bush and began my stroll through the forest shrubs.
Allo sighed and followed. “I have to make sure you guys don’t get in too much trouble.”
“We’re already in trouble,” Vanilla stated, carefully stepping around the bush I had jumped through.
“Good point. Okay then, I have to make sure you guys don’t get yourselves killed.” Allo turned around suddenly. “You coming?”
I stopped too. I had forgotten about Sunflower because, no offence, she wasn’t very exciting.
“…” Sunflower had replied as she looked fearfully at Anita, but she finally padded after us.
So now we were all wandering somewhere in the woods! Whoooo! There was so much stuff to look at and sniff! I ran from tree to tree inspecting everything.
“Calm down Splash! You’re going insane!” Allo tiredly insisted.
“He’s always insane,” Vanilla declared. I turned, planning to retort something like, “I’m insanely awesome,” but then saw that Vanilla had stopped to sniff a suspicious looking mushroom.
Hehe…that was not a mushroom!
“OWWWW!” Vanilla squealed.
A Paras clenched her nose with one of its pincers.
When she saw what was on her face, she freaked and ran in frantic circles.
“GET IT OFF OF ME!!”
“That’s for invading my private bubble!” a new voice yelled. I assumed it was the Paras.
“Hold still!” Allo called. “I’ll get it.”
“AHHH!” Vanilla didn’t seem to hear him.
Allo ran at Vanilla and miraculously managed to bite the Paras.
“Hey! Buddy, this does not involve you,” the Paras said to Allo, still gripping Vanilla’s nose. “This is between me and the bubble invader, so butt out!”
Allo suddenly let go of the Paras and collapsed. I could see he hadn’t fainted though. He was snoring.
“HELP ME!!!” Vanilla was still running in circles.
She tried shaking her head, but the Paras still tightly held her snout. Vanilla was so dizzy from trying to get the Pokemon off that she ran into a tree and collapsed.
The Paras let go of her and scolded, “I hope you learned your lesson.” He then scurried off.
The episode terrified Sunflower so much she almost fainted.
And I watched the whole thing laughing my butt off.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I opened the door to my room.
Nobody was inside.
Not that I really expected Anita to have waited, but I was kind of hoping.
I set down my pack and fell onto my bed. I had just finished packing up all of my stuff at the lab and informing everyone that I was leaving. Everything I needed was safely shrunken and packed away in my bag. Shrinking technology these days was really amazing; I could carry a full wardrobe, research equipment, and Pokemon supplies in a small lightweight bag.
Now I was left with two options.
I could go looking for Anita. I’m sure Griffy could easily find her.
Or I could get a manicure. Manicures were half-price every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Betsy’s Beauty Salon.
Today just happened to be Thursday.
I looked at my watch. It was 12:40. I knew a shortcut through the park that could get me to the salon in time for a half-price manicure.
Wow. This was a real tough decision.
I picked up my pack and headed toward the park.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I opened an eye.
That was a mistake. There was a giant killer fluffball hovering over me. It looked like a cushion with teeth.
I closed my eye and then opened it again, hoping the image would disappear.
Unfortunately, now there were three giant killer fluffballs hovering over me.
I blinked again.
This time my eyes focused. My three siblings were all looking down at me. Siblings, giant killer fluff balls… same difference.
I slowly got up. I looked around at the surrounding woods. Where was I?
“What happened?” I asked, struggling with my memories.
“A Paras put you to sleep,” someone replied. “Luckily, Sunflower here found a special berry to wake you up. You were out for, like, twenty minutes.”
I looked at the speaker and my memory came flooding back. “How’d you get rid of the Paras?”
“It ran off.” Vanilla scowled and then added: “No thanks to any of you!” She glared at Splash.
Splash ignored her and scampered off into a bush, uninterested now that the excitement of my awakening was over.
I turned to Sunflower and smiled warmly at my sister. “Thanks.”
Sunflower blushed but didn’t answer. She never did. She was brilliant, but extremely shy. She never talked to strangers and rarely even spoke to us.
I called out to Splash, “Don’t you think we should go back now?” I knew what the answer would be, but I could still hope…
Vanilla apparently had no hope. She scoffed at me.
Splash, of course, replied with a “No!”
I sighed and followed after Splash. I could leave him… I’m sure my sisters would follow me… but without me, Splash would get himself into even more trouble. It had happened before. It was safer to simply follow him.
“Hey guys! Come look at this!” Splash’s voice wavered in excitement. I followed his voice to a patch of bushes and found my crazed brother running in circles around a rugged sign next to a hole in the ground. Vanilla and Sunflower trailed behind me.
“Look!” Splash squealed again. He seemed rather pleased with himself.
I sniffed the sign curiously and then turned my nose to the hole in the ground. Sweet natural aromas wafted from below the ground.
Vanilla sniffed too, and was apparently soothed by the sweet smell as well. “Maybe we should go down,” she said.
“Yes!” Splash rushed toward the hole.
I grabbed his tail a second before he jumped. “We don’t know what’s down there!” I warned.
Splash was not deterred, and continued to fight my bite on his tail.
“Help, anyone?” I mumbled through clenched teeth. Vanilla joined my struggle to prevent Splash from jumping. We managed to get him under control.
I thought a moment and then glanced up at the sign. I could not read it. Neither could Splash or Vanilla for that matter; Fiery had not taught us, and I wasn’t even sure he could actually read. I shifted my eyes to Sunflower. I suspected she had taught herself how to read because I had seen her looking at a newspaper back in the big golden place we had been kicked out of.
“Can you read it?” I asked her.
She only half-nodded and half-shrugged in response. I waited.
“I can read the letters,” she finally whispered, “but I don’t know the word.”
“Well, what is it?” Splash asked impatiently and then tried to jump through the hole again. Vanilla caught him.
Sunflower mumbled, “It says…. G…..Y…. and what’s that W doing upside-down…. Oh…. That’s an M.”
“G. Y. M,” she said more definitively.
“What does that mean?” I asked more to myself than anyone.
“Well, it spells out G-gggg-ggg-yeeee-ggg-yeeum,” Sunflower sounded out. “Gyeum,” she concluded.
“Sounds like geese mixed with yum to me. Maybe there’s yummy geese down there,” Splash suggested.
“And maybe my tail will fly off my butt to spread peace and happiness throughout the land,” I added, frustrated.
“And farts,” Vanilla inserted. I glared.
“It could happen.” We all stared at Splash. “What?”
Sunflower yawned, and I noticed how shaky and tired she looked. “We need to go back,” I announced, nodding toward Sunflower.
“But—” Splash started.
I growled deeply, and he thought better of arguing. “This way.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tra-la-la, tra-traa-la-la, tra-le-la-le-la.
I hummed to myself as Griffy stepped through the undergrowth as quickly as possible without falling. My shortcut to Betsy’s went right through the woods in the park. Even though Griffy could not run without falling in here, it was still shorter than going around.
Griffy suddenly stopped. Four small rugged Eevees scampered in front of us.
I cursed silently. Why was my life suddenly haunted by Eevees? Eevees were not even supposed to be found in the wild in this area. First Anita has one, then she tells me she has five others that are hurt…
Wait a second. Anita probably picked up her five other Eevees in the morning. What if…?
“Griffy, stop those Eevees with psychic!” I yelled.
I examined the scraggly Pokemon. They definitely looked malnourished, but not starving.
“What do you think, Griffy? Are these Anita’s Pokemon?”
<Most definitely. Their thoughts have revealed they are searching for Anita.>
I bit my lip. I really did not want to talk to Anita just yet. She would definitely still be mad. Plus, manicures were half off…
But these Pokemon were more important. I sighed. “Let’s go find Anita.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Crud, crap, cruddy crap, crappy crud crap,” I whispered to myself as I glanced at my watch. It was already 1:05. I was missing the tournament, I still couldn’t find the Eevees, and surely Fiery had figured out that I did not just leave to take a dump by now. I had tried listening for them psychically, but I was too worried to concentrate. The bushes suddenly rumbled.
“Erin!” I exclaimed in surprise as she and Griffy leapt out of the bushes. Then I remember what she had done to me this morning. I growled, “Erin.”
Erin grinned madly and winked at me. “Hey there.”
I’m sure my face was turning purple with anger, but before I could start shouting, Erin said in a mock serious voice, “I felt so bad about this morning that I decided I had to make it up to you.” She gave me a sad, puppy-dog look. “So I brought you a present. Griffy?”
I noticed Griffy’s eyes were glowing. Behind the Girafarig floated Sunflower, Splash, Vanilla, and Allo. They struggled against the psychic, but were unharmed. I forgot Erin, ran to the Eevees, and pulled them into a hug as Griffy released the psychic. My worries gone, I was able to open my mind to their thoughts.
Splash squirmed. <Geez, woman. We don’t even know you.>
Though I did truly care for the Pokemons’ well being, truth be told, I was more worried about Fiery killing me than them getting hurt in the wild.
<Hey, cut it out. You are going to ruin my fur,> Vanilla complained. I let them go and reluctantly turned to Erin.
“I guess I owe you one,” I grumbled.
Erin smirked. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
I looked at my watch again. I really did not want to ask Erin, but…
“Hey, Erin? Do you think you could give me a ride back to the path? I am late for a battle tournament I entered and I need to find Fiery and Apple.”
Erin’s eyes flashed. “You’re entering a battle tournament?"
“Hop right on,” Erin invited.
I turned back to the Eevees, who were looking at me in with big adorable eyes. “Alright, we will discuss your actions later. Just don’t tell Fiery about this or we’ll all be in trouble. For now, return.” They disappeared in a flash of red light.
As we raced through though the undergrowth, I plotted the story I was going to tell Fiery. By the time I had pointed out the clearing Apple and Fiery were in, I had thought of a very simple explanation.
“I met Erin in the woods and I became rather distracted as we discussed the happenings of this morning,” I explained to Fiery when we finally reached the clearing. Fiery looked confused and turned to Apple for a clearer explanation. I had forgotten that Fiery had not witnessed my argument with Erin this morning.
Apple shrugged. <She and Erin roomed together and had a loud quarrel. Well, Anita was loud anyway.>
I inwardly sighed in relief. Apple had not told Fiery about his siblings getting lost.
“Alright, let’s go!” There might be a chance that I would still be able to participate in the tournament, even if it had already started. I hurriedly pulled out a Pokeball to return Fiery.
<Wait,> Fiery demanded. <Where are my brothers and sisters?>
I pulled out their four Pokeballs to show him. Fiery nodded in acceptance, and I returned him to his Pokeball.
<But I still want a hotdog!> Apple whined. <And you owe me big time, Anita.>
<I’ll get you one on the way there. Now come on!>
Apple jumped into my arms, and we took off on Griffy.
<Ugh. I forgot how sick this makes me feel,> Apple moaned.
I told Erin and Griffy to stop at the hotdog stand. As soon as we dismounted and Erin returned Griffy to his Pokeball, Apple bellowed, <HOTDOG, HERE I COME!!> She raced to the hotdog stand, all traces of motion sickness gone.
I ran after the Eevee. “Apple, NO!” I yelled when I saw what she was going to do. I was too late. Apple pounced at a wide-eyed hotdog salesman and demanded a hot dog. The poor man stumbled backward in surprise, knocking over his stand and spilling hotdogs everywhere. Apple immediately started devouring the spilled meat filled buns.
I quickly reached Apple, but not before she had consumed four of the hotdogs. I scooped her up into my arms to keep her from continuing.
<Enough!> I scowled.
She licked her lips, grinning.
I helped the salesman up with the arm not holding Apple, frantically repeating, “I’m so sorry!”
The disgruntled salesman stared blankly at his fallen stand. He didn’t say anything until I reluctantly offered to pay for the damage, and then he finally muttered, “It’s fine.”
Erin caught up to us just as I was handing the salesman the majority of the money I had saved up in the past few years for my journey. She tapped my shoulder. “Hey, don’t you want to go see if you can still participate in the tournament?” She pointed beyond the fallen hotdog stand to a wide field where I could see three battles going on.
“Oh yeah!” I glanced toward the field. I had been so flustered about the fallen hotdog stand that all thoughts of the tournament had left my mind. I hastily handed the salesman a few more dollars for two out of three hotdogs that had not fallen out of the stand. I tossed one hotdog to Erin, muttered another apology to the salesman, and rushed toward the tournament while gobbling my own hotdog.
The salesman behind us was left bewildered. For a moment, he stood in the midst of the sprawled hotdogs and stared at the large wad of cash in his hand—more cash than he would have made in the next six months. The man glanced around shiftily.
Finding no witnesses, the man whistled and walked away.
January 3rd, 2009 (11:06 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Chapter 6.5: Break It Down Now, Y’all
“You’re in luck, m’dear,” the contest man with a top hat told me when I finally found him amongst the battlers. It had taken me a good fifteen minutes. “I only managed to-a-find fif-a-teen trainers, ‘n without you, it had been four-a-teen. If you’d a been here, there would’a been a bye round for a someone else. But now a that you’re here, you can be the one with the bye ‘n battle ‘n the next round. We’ll be done ‘n the next few minutes.” He nodded to the only two trainers left battling. One was using a Spearow, and the other a Sentret. They both looked really tired so the battle would end shortly.
“Thank you, sir,” I replied to the tournament man. He tilted his top hat and turned to chat with one of the winners of the past round. I turned to join Apple and Erin, who were sitting on a small hillside nearby.
“We better feed everyone lunch,” I said, sitting down next to Erin. Erin nodded as I reached into my pack and pulled out a bunch of Pokemon food containers. I released my five other Eevees. Erin released Griffy and two other Pokemon I had not known she possessed.
One was a small bird with blue wings. It screeched, “Low- tail-low,” which meant, as I heard in its thoughts, <Hello world! I am here!>
I smiled when I saw the other Pokemon. It was, in fact, one of those oddly-shaped wingless ducks that resembles a platypus with its face smashed in (if I remember my description correctly). Like all Whoopers I had ever seen, it had a silly smile plastered on its face.
What was surprising about this Whooper, however, was its initial thought.
<I hate the world.>
<Whoa,> I thought to Apple. <Did you hear that?>
<You don’t seem surprised.>
Apple shrugged. <Don’t judge a Pokemon by looks. Pokemon don’t always have the same expressions as humans. That Whooper is like a clown. She may smiling on the outside, but that doesn’t mean she’s happy.>
“Hello! Anita, you’re dazing out again!” I snapped my attention back to Erin. “This is Tweal,” Erin said as she pointed to the Tailow. “And this is Wella.” She gestured the Whooper.
I relayed my name and my Pokemon’s names to the newly met Pokemon and added silently to my six, <Please do not tell Erin or her Pokemon of my ability to speak with you. I don’t know how she will react, and I don’t know how trustworthy she is.>
<Your secret is safe with us!> Allo declared proudly.
<Only if you give us food,> Splash added, eyeing the Pokemon cans.
Fiery glared at everyone, and Wella waddled over to the angry Eevee thinking, <I think we’ll get along.>
Erin and I passed out the food, and I turned to watch the last few seconds of the battle between the Sentret and Spearow. I was interrupted when Erin spoke.
“So, miss anger-management, where did you meet your Pokemon? I met Wella in some marshes a month or two ago, and I caught Tweal on the way to this city. Griffy I’ve known for a while. We’ve been friends for, like, forever and—”
“You can cut the act, Erin,” I snapped. “I know you’re faking.”
“Faking what?” Erin asked in a sugary voice.
“You being a nitwit!”
A mock frown replaced Erin’s sweet smile. “How am I a nitwit?”
“You talk a lot. And annoy the crap out of me.”
Erin pouted. “Are you implying that I am faking talking and annoying you? I don’t see how that’s possible as I’m doing it right now.”
I sighed, exasperated. “Ugh, no. That’s not what I mean! You’re not really a naturally chatty, obnoxious person. You just act that way—”
“If I act that way, then that must be how I am.”
“But you arguing like this just proves my point! Ugh! Forget it. It’s not worth it!” I retorted. I could feel the anger bubbling in my stomach again so I turned back to the battle and found it had ended, the Spearow the victor. “Erin, watch my Eevees,” I ordered curtly as I grabbed Apple around the stomach and stalked away from Erin toward the tournament manager.
<Hey! I wasn’t done eating!>
<You have had more than enough food today,> I replied sourly.
<You know, she’s right about the anger management thing. You should see someone—> Apple must have seen my thoughts turn violent because she stopped midsentence. <Geeze, I was just kidding. If anything, you should take your anger out in this battle.>
I nodded. We reached the manager, who was already splitting up the seven winners of the previous round into battling pairs.
“Alright. N’ you over there,” The tournament guy pointed to a small, scrawny kid. “You’re with this young-a lady who got a bye ‘n the last round.”
“But it’s not fair! She shouldn’t be allowed in—” the kid started to complain, but the tournament manager cut him off.
“I make the rules ‘ere, lil’ fellow. You’ll be battling this lassie.”
My lingering irritation prevented me from fully feeling the gratitude I owed the manager, but I managed to give him a feeble smile. Then I turned to scowl at the scrawny boy, who looked like he was ten (though that couldn’t be the case). We walked to an open area and waited for the manager’s whistle to begin the battle.
I decided to attempt politeness, despite my mood. “What’s your name? I’m Anita.”
The boy sneered, “Peter.”
The whistle sounded before either of us could say another word.
<Ooh. What a creative name,> Apple snickered sarcastically as the boy released a Caterpie from its Pokeball.
<Apple, focus! Remember your training, and remember not to use any attacks that an Eevee shouldn’t know. No psychic!>
“Apple, quick attack!” I shouted.
Peter shouted too late. Buggy had already fainted and the battle was already over.
Apple stared in surprise for a second and then started celebrating by running around in circles.
<Yippie!!! We won our first real battle! Oh yeah! Go us!>
<Apple, you realize we only beat a Caterpie.>
Apple stopped and considered a moment. <A win is still a win.> She shrugged and continued her celebration.
I smiled my first genuine smile of the day, shook Peter’s hand, and then returned to where Erin was seated to watch the remaining battlers. My other Pokemon were cheering— well, mostly Splash was cheering. The others were smiling, or in Fiery’s case, grimacing, as they finished the last of their food. Apple joined them, receiving looks of admiration from the younger Eevees until Fiery snapped, <It was a Caterpie, for goodness sake!>
“I wonder what the boy beat to make it to the second round,” Erin remarked.
Probably a Magikarp, I thought but did not answer.
When Erin continued to babble, I was able to ignore her by focusing on the three remaining battles and my upcoming opponents. I watched a Bidoof exchange attacks with an Oddish and a tough looking Quilava knock a female Nidoran to the ground. The Spearow I had seen earlier was easily beating a Rattata by attacking and then taking flight.
I suddenly felt something budge near my leg. I looked down and found Splash staring up at me with wide eyes.
<Can I please battle? Please?> the little Eevee pleaded.
I sighed. <No, Splash. I am going to use Fiery this round, and you are not going to battle until you are fully recovered.>
I ended the discussion by turning to Fiery. <Ready?>
<What!? I don’t get to battle?> Apple whined.
<I need to train all of my Pokemon,> I reminded Apple.
The three battles finally finished (with the Quilava, Spearow, and Bidoof the victors), and the manager assigned me to battle the girl with the Spearow. It was probably her only Pokemon because she had not used any other creatures in any of her battles thus far.
“Alright, C’mon Fiery!” I shouted as the whistle signaled the start of the battle.
“Let’s go, Arrow!” the girl yelled as she sent out her Spearow.
I ordered a quick attack, but the Spearow dodged into the air.
The Spearow hit Fiery before I could order a retaliation. Fiery fell down, but quickly got back up snarling.
When Fiery saw the Spearow was already out of reach in the air, he called, <Hey, bird-brain, get your little bird-butt down here and fight me!>
The Spearow responded by taking a dump on Fiery’s head.
<Did you just **** on me!?> Fiery howled. The Spearow dove in for another peck attack, but I was prepared this time.
Fiery lit up his tail and flung it over his body just as the Spearow made contact. Both Pokemon were sent flying.
“Fiery, tackle him while he’s still on the ground!”
“Arrow, take flight!”
Fiery hit the Spearow before it could take off.
“Alright, finish it Fiery!”
Fiery’s tail lit up again, but just as he was about to smash it into the Spearow, the bird-Pokemon managed to flap off of the ground. Fiery’s tail slashed uselessly through the air.
My opponent commanded a fury-attack, and I quickly instructed Fiery to try another iron-tail. The Spearow, however, attacked in the second it took for Fiery’s tail to light up, and then once again fluttered just beyond Fiery’s reach.
<Err, we need to think of a way to get that Pokemon out of the air,> I thought to Fiery. <We’ll never win if it keeps up this strike and run tactic. Do you know any long range attacks?>
<No,> Fiery growled sourly, as he attempted to dodge another peck attack. He was too tired to move quickly and was hit.
“Let’s finish with a whirlwind!”
The Spearow started to flap its wings rapidly and the wind picked up. I suddenly had an idea.
“Fiery, stand still!”
Fiery narrowed his eyes at me but did nothing, as I had requested. The wind swirled around him.
<Hold onto the ground until I tell you to let go,> I requested. <Then, launch yourself into the air toward the Sparrow using an iron tail to push off the ground.>
Fiery nodded. The winds picked up. Dust twirled in the whirlwind.
Fiery slammed his lit-up tail into the ground and went flying up the whirlwind. The wind increased his velocity as he shot toward the Spearow. The Spearow stopped flapping, unsure of how to respond. Just before Fiery hit, the Pokemon uttered its first words of the battle, <Fiddle-Farfetch’d-sticks.>
Both Pokemon plummeted toward the ground, but Fiery used a quick attack against the Spearow to decrease his own speed and increase the Spearow’s just before hitting the ground. The Spearow did not get up again.
“Anita n’ her Eevee are de’ victors!” announced the tournament manager. I looked around and realized that everyone had been watching our battle. The fight between the boy with the Quilava and the other kid with the Bidoof must not have lasted long.
I ran over to Fiery and scooped him into a hug. <You were amazing!>
Fiery tried to look angry at me, but a small smirk gave away his satisfaction.
I shook hands with the girl I had just battled and started walking toward Erin and my other Pokemon. Then it dawned on me that I did not get a break this time because my battle had taken longer than the other one. I hurried to Erin, and plopped a tired Fiery down in her lap. The younger Eevees ran to congratulate their brother, who was nearly falling asleep, and I silently cursed myself for not buying potions.
Erin gave me a thumbs up and winked at me when I yelled a frantic, “Thank you!” I gathered Apple in my arms and hurried back to the open battling area.
As I rushed back to the field, I studied Apple a moment. She had not said a word to me since the battle. I was surprised to see she was frowning slightly and had a gloomy look in her eyes. When I reached out with my mind to hear her thoughts, I was even more surprised to be forcefully shoved out.
“Apple, are you ok?” I whispered as I reached the grass clearing. Several spectators had gathered and were chatting excitedly.
Apple only nodded.
“Right-y-o folks!” the tournament manager proclaimed. Apparently, he decided that there were enough people watching and this final battle was important enough for him to announce into a microphone. “Here we have a ‘lil lady named Anita Parkwood n’ one o her Eevees. N’ she’s against this blond lad called Jake Veneer n’ his Quilava. I think we’re in for a good battle! Now, let’s get this battle started before the sun starts a-settin’!”
I looked up and realized that the sun was no longer beating down with midafternoon intensity. I refocused my attention on my opponent and was startled to find his face quite striking. He had a sharp jaw, brilliant blue eyes, and had arranged his sun-bleached dirty-blond hair into small spikes that stuck up in random directions.
A whistle blew.
Oh, right, I had a battle to win.
I tried to talk to Apple psychically as she leapt out of my arms to the battle field, but she was still blocking me. I was starting to get nervous. I had never battled with Apple without being able to communicate with her silently. A flicker of irritation crossed my mind as I wondered what her reasoning was.
“Quill, go!” Jake yelled as he released his Quilava in a flash of red.
“Apple, c’mon!” I half yelled, half pleaded.
Apple picked up on the double meaning of the phrase.
She shook her head.
And for the first time since I had met Apple, I felt disconnected. Alone.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A word I would never use to describe myself.
Except that was exactly what I was at the moment.
I winced and nodded as Anita asked me if I was okay, but I continued to block her out. She could not see me like this! I had never lost my cool with her! I was always her playful, friendly, smart-*ss Pokemon! I was observant and knowledgeable; I didn’t waste my time on petty feelings!
But now, now I was feeling more than I ever had in my life and each feeling seemed to create another and all the feelings were all jumbled around and overwhelming me and—
I took a deep breath. Okay, maybe if I could sort out the feelings I could control them.
The first feeling was the pang I felt when I watched Fiery battle and be hugged by Anita. It was… what do humans call it? Jealousy. I was jealous of Fiery for being stronger than me, for beating me, and for defeating a tough Spearow that I don’t think I could have overcome. I was jealous of the attention and care Anita gave him.
Which leads me to the next feeling: shame. I was ashamed for feeling jealous of the attention Anita gave Fiery because I knew that she cared about me just as much as she cared about Fiery. It’s just that I had never had to share Anita with anyone before.
This whole situation was completely embarrassing. I was embarrassed for feeling jealous, for feeling this petty emotion when I was supposed to be the one who always kept her cool. I was embarrassed to be a legend in hiding, a legend experiencing stupid feelings.
A weak legend.
Most of all, I was feeling sorry for myself. Sorry that I was a weak Pokemon. Sorry that Anita got stuck with pitiful me— a legendary Pokemon who couldn’t hold her own against a crappy wet Charizard or a dumb, average Eevee. Sorry that I had to hide from the world I was so weak. Sorry that my weakness caused me to experience stupid emotions that made me even weaker. Sorry that I was a disappointment.
I felt Anita try to reach my mind again, momentarily distracting me from the downward spiral of my thoughts. My organization of emotions technique was failing. I still had so many feelings.
I couldn’t deal with it. I had to distract myself. I looked around desperately and spotted Erin. I opened my mind to listen to her thoughts. She was thinking about how attractive a human male with blond spiky hair was for a moment, but then she reconsidered. She was suddenly contemplating the uselessness of males in general and how it was pointless to imagine any of them attractive. The distraction was a sufficient one, for I started wondering why she thought that way and who the boy was.
Then I noticed she was staring at someone. That someone was the boy she was trying not to think about, and he was standing across from me and Anita in a stance that suggested he was ready for a battle.
A whistle blew.
The perfect solution and the perfect distraction. I had to win this battle! If I won, I would prove to myself and everyone that I was not weak! I would prove there was no need for me to be jealous of Fiery! Not only that, but for the time being, the battle would distract me from my emotions.
But I could not let Anita into my head yet. Not until I was sufficiently engrossed in the battle.
I leapt from Anita’s arms and blocked Anita from my head again. A wave of shame swept over me. I felt awful for keeping Anita from reading my thoughts. We had shared our thoughts and feelings for so long that not being connected felt like we were missing part of ourselves.
However, I still could not allow Anita to see my thoughts and feelings in such a weak state. It would only cause her more worry and me more shame. No, I would wait.
The spiky boy sent out his Quilava.
“C’mon, Apple,” Anita said in a voice that probably sounded like a normal way to start the battle to most people. To me however, it sounded like she was asking me to let her into my mind. I shook my head “no”. I was not yet ready.
The battle began.
The Quilava grinned at me with razor sharp teeth. “Hey, little kitty,” he taunted just before racing at me in a quick attack.
Kitty? Excuse me; I was most certainly not a kitty! Did the long ears mean anything to anyone?
“Use your quick attack too, Apple!” I heard Anita command.
I was faster than the Quilava. I dodged around him, and then hit him from behind. The Quilava swiftly turned to tackle me, but I was already speeding away.
A pattern began. Anita was using the hit and run tactic the Spearow had used against us. I hit the Quilava when I could, but made it my priority to dodge his attacks. I felt something was not right though. The Quilava continued to smirk at me the whole time, even when I managed to hit him. It was like he and his trainer were just waiting for something. I was tempted to read his mind, but I knew Anita would not approve.
As the battle wore on, I grew more confident. Even though the Quilava’s smirk unnerved me, I felt that if the Pokemon was able to beat me, he would have already done so. Finally, I felt good enough to reconnect with Anita.
<Apple! What happened? Are you ok?!?!> Anita’s thoughts were so loud I nearly jumped.
I did not allow myself to think about the questions she asked. I concentrated on the battle. <Anita, focus on the battle. I think they might be up to something,> I relayed while dodging another tackle.
<Me too. That boy has just been smiling the whole time at me.>
<What I think is really weird is that he hasn’t used a single fire attack yet.> I narrowed my eyes at my opponent. <Can I please read his mind?>
<No. We cannot risk discovery. You have to act like a normal Eevee, and plus isn’t that kind of like cheating?>
I snorted and tackled Quilava again. <Using what you have isn’t cheating.>
Before Anita could retort, black smoke filled the area. I automatically used to my psychic powers to locate the Quilava and give him a bite attack.
<NO! Apple, you can’t use your psychic like that!!! What if—> I ignored my trainer and held onto the Quilava as tight as I could.
I had finally taken the stupid smirk off the Quilava’s face.
“Quill, shake it off!” I heard the Quilava’s trainer yell.
The Quilava thrashed, and I was finally thrown off.
To my amusement, Anita was frantically thinking of ways to stop me from using my psychic powers.
“Apple, use dig!”
I grimaced for less than a moment. I hated that attack. However, I wouldn’t disobey Anita. I dug underground, and then realized that Anita had indeed stopped me from using my psychic powers. Pokemon performing a dig attack used the vibrations in the ground to figure out where an opposing Pokemon was located. Of course, I could use my psychic powers anyway, but the point is nobody would know either way.
I located the Quilava, and attacked him from underneath. “Hey, little weasel,” I snickered. The Quilava went flying, as the attack was super effective.
“Finally!” the opposing trainer exclaimed. “Quill, finish it! Flame wheel!”
Even though the Quilava was weak from my attacks, he was grinning madly. The flames around his body were so hot they glowed blue.
My eyes widened as I my mind pieced together what our opponent’s strategy was. The Quilava had been conserving his fire, slowly making it hotter and hotter within his body. He waited until he was weakest to release it because his ability, blaze, made his fire attacks strongest when he was weakest.
The heat he had been building up combined with his blaze ability would wipe out almost anything.
The blue flames raced toward me.
<Apple, jump in the hole!>
It was too late.
The flames engulfed me, just like they did when I had fought the Charizard.
Once again, I failed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“How’s she doing?” Erin asked as she walked in the room.
I looked to the Eevee sleeping on my lap. Immediately after the battle I had rushed to the Pokemon center to get her and Fiery healed. Nurse Joy had said they would both be fine, but had requested I let Apple sleep for a bit. I was now sitting in Erin’s room with all of my Pokemon except Apple in their Pokeballs. The younger Eevees needed their rest too, but they seemed unable to get it outside their balls.
“She’s fine,” I told Erin, “The nurse just requested that she rest.”
Erin paused a moment.
“I have a note for you.” Erin took a piece of paper out of her pocket, and handed it to me.
I looked at the crumpled paper suspiciously and then read it.
Though you may not have known it, by being in the final four of the tournament you have the opportunity to attempt a battle against me, the gym leader of Azul City. If you can find my gym by noon tomorrow, I will accept your challenge. My gym is located no more than half of a mile away from the spot you battled on today. Being in the final four and finding my gym by noon are the only conditions you must meet in order to challenge me. If you cannot find my gym by noon tomorrow, do not bother looking further. You will have another opportunity to find my gym if you make it to the final four when the next tournament is held.
I hope to see you soon.
I looked at Erin again and said, “Thanks.” Then I went back to watching Apple sleep in my lap.
Erin seemed to not know what to do. “Umm,” she started awkwardly. “Well, I wanted to let you know a few things. First of all, I guess I don’t have to show you where the gym is because you already found it. Or rather, you found where to start. Most people don’t know it, but the tournaments held in this park are what the gym leader uses to stop weak trainers from battling her every other second. She changes the location of her gym door before every tournament to stop such nuisances from bothering her. ”
Erin opened her mouth to say more, but then abruptly closed it. She played with her hair nervously, and then seemed to make a decision.
“Secondly,” she continued. “I think you’re a really great trainer. I know this is corny, but you shouldn’t let a loss like this get to you. And I want to ask you… no, I demand that you allow me to travel with you, at least until you reach Cape Caution. You owe me, remember?”
I said nothing and then nodded. As much as I really did not want to travel with her, I did owe her for finding my Eevees and for helping me thus far.
“Thirdly.” Erin grinned. “What kind of pizza do you like?”
January 3rd, 2009 (11:08 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
After an hour, Erin left to pick up the mushroom pizza she had ordered for us. I was left to stare out the bedroom window and contemplate the battle against the Quilava.
Strangely enough, the fact that I had lost did not bother me. From the start of this journey (was it only two days ago?!), I knew that there would be times that I lost battles, and I had made a pact with myself to not become too upset after losing. Instead, I would try to learn from my mistakes and then move on.
What really bothered me was that Apple had blocked me out of her head. I tried not to focus on it during the battle because it would distract me, but now I wanted to know why Apple had hindered our communication.
Apple stirred in my lap, ruffling the bedcovers. I immediately reached to her mind. <Apple?>
<Apple, are—> Apple shoved me out of her mind again. She started shaking.
“Apple what’s wrong!?” I held her up so I could see if she was physically hurt.
Apple shook and whimpered.
I didn’t know what to do.
Apple was still blocking me so I couldn’t get to her mind, and she wouldn’t reach out to mine. I panicked.
With all my strength and willpower I drove myself into my Pokemon’s mind. Suddenly I was flooded with so many confusing emotions, it was overwhelming.
Whoa. Is this what Apple was feeling?
To my shock, the strongest feeling was one of self-worthlessness. How could Apple think she was so insignificant? At first, all I could do was share the pain and emotions with the Mew. I had never delved so deep into someone’s mind before. I had never even gone further than listen to what a Pokemon wanted to communicate, which isn’t even the full extent of a being’s thoughts. Occasionally, I sensed an emotion from Apple, but it had to be particularly strong for me to “hear” it.
Eventually, I figured I should try communicating with my mind as Apple had showed me to do. The only problem was that it felt like I was actually in Apple’s mind so I didn’t know if it would work the same way.
<APPLE!> I tried to get Apple’s attention, but her mind was so chaotic there was no way to tell if she heard me.
Well, I had gotten this far into Apple’s mind. Could I go farther? Was there even more than this? I pushed my way inward and suddenly found myself surrounded by fire. The orange flames licked at my feet but had no affect.
Where in the world was I? I saw a pink blob in the fire resembling Apple as I had found her when she was beaten by the Charizard.
The pink blob looked at me with wild, frightened eyes. Then there was a flicker of recognition, and suddenly the flames got higher. The pink blob shivered.
<APPLE! Stop this! It’s all in your head!>
The words did not seem to affect the pink blob.
I searched her emotions for more clues.
Self-loathing. Shame. Embarrassment. Weakness. Jealousy.
All building upon each other. I searched for the stimulant of such emotions. These emotions were what Apple was hiding from me before the battle so it could not have been the battle that solely caused this flood of emotion.
I almost laughed when I found the main instigator. It was a jealousy of Fiery. Of course, years of hiding from the world, the battle, and feeling weak all added fuel, but jealousy was the spark.
<APPLE! THIS IS NONSENSE! YOU ARE NOT WEAK!>
<APPLE, I CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR JEALOUSY OF FIERY. IT’S A NORMAL PART OF LIFE, AND AT SOME POINT WE ALL GET THAT FEELING. IT IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OR EMBARRASSED ABOUT!>
Nothing. I got desperate and turned to bullmukting sentiments that never work.
<YOU ARE TAKING THIS JEALOUSY THE WRONG WAY. MAKE IT A DRIVE TO BETTER YOURSELF!>
Still nothing. Oh crap, what if she was dying?
<APPLE, YOU’RE MY BEST FRIEND! WE’VE BEEN THROUGH EVERYTHING TOGETHER SO DON’T YOU DARE ABANDON ME NOW! I NEED YOU!>
I spoke from my heart, and the last three words seemed to get through. The flames melted into the ground and the pink blob seemed to evaporate. I was left alone in empty space.
<Thank you, Anita.>
I sighed in relief, and pulled myself into my own body.
Apple squirmed in my lap and began to cry. I joined her.
When we were finally reduced to just sniffles, Apple looked into my eyes and whimpered, <I’m sorry… for everything.>
I just hugged her.
The room was darkened as the evening light faded.
Apple giggled weakly. <I suppose I owe you an explanation, and you still owe me a lesson. What do you say we combine the two?>
<Sure, but I already understand why you shut me out. You were hiding your feelings. Still, no matter what you are feeling, don’t ever do that again! Look what it has driven us to!>
Apple shifted uncomfortably from my lap to the bedcovers. <Aren’t you upset and disappointed in me for having these feelings?>
<Apple, where did you get that silly notion!? Of course I’m not disappointed! Everyone has feelings, and we can’t control them sometimes.> I thought back to all the times I had lost my temper. <I know that better than anyone.>
Apple threw a halfhearted grin at me when she saw what I was thinking. <I happen to disagree with that, but I don’t want to argue about it now. Anyway, why I blocked you is not the explanation I was talking about. It is how I blocked you out and how you got into my mind that I need to explain to you.>
I sighed as I finally realized what Apple meant by giving me a lesson. Well, it was bound to happen sometime.
<As you discovered today, the mind is like an onion; there are several layers. Telepathy penetrates the outermost level. Actually, not even that. Telepathy is more like the area around the onion, the tiny particles of the onion that are most concentrated around the onion and form a scent. Telepathy is receiving thoughts that someone is trying to project. That is why you can understand all Pokemon; when they speak, they are also projecting their thoughts.
<The next layer you can penetrate is emotion. This is why you can see exactly what others are feeling, and this is why I chose to block you. I knew you would see all of my disgusting emotions.> Apple looked down sadly.
<Err, Apple, you’re wrong there. I barely have ever gone past the first level. Occasionally I’ll feel what you are feeling, but only if it’s really strong, and I only feel it for a second or two. I probably wouldn’t have known your feelings even if you weren’t blocking me out.>
Apple looked at me in surprise. <Really? I assumed… Well, it’s just one more thing we’ll have to practice. Anyway, underneath emotions are thoughts you do not wish to speak, and beneath that are memories. Deeper than memories, well it’s hard to say exactly what is there, but it sure is something. That is where you were in me today.
<Now to the whole blocking business. It’s possible to make barriers in your mind to keep people out, and it’s actually rather simple. You just imagine a strong protective bubble around your mind to keep everything else out. It would be like putting an onion in a plastic bag. Its scent stays in the bag and all the other scents stay out. You got into my mind today by drilling a hole through my bag right to the center of my onion.
<There is one type of barrier, you should know, that cannot be broken through. You know how I explained gifts before, right? Well, if you have a dark type gift, everything psychic does not affect you. Thus, psychics cannot get into their actual mind. It is like their onions are always encased in diamonds—>
I cut Apple off. <Back up a bit. I think I understand the idea of picking up other’s thoughts, but then how am I able to project my own. If my thoughts are just wafting around my mind, how can I direct them at you or my other Pokemon?>
<Well, unlike normal people and Pokemon, you can control where your thoughts go. Let’s go back to pretending your thoughts are an onion’s scent. If you put a fan in front of the onion, you can direct where the scent goes. That is what you can do. You can direct your thoughts to where thoughts of non-psychics are located so even non-psychics can see your thoughts. You’re really good at this part because you’ve been doing this for years!>
I was taken aback. <Years? You just taught me!>
<Na, you’ve been doing it to me since we met. Its how I knew you were a psychic!>
<I always knew that purple eye stuff was a bunch of bologna,> I thought to myself.
<Hey! I heard that! And anyway, I wasn’t done explaining so shush up!> She paused to make sure I wasn’t going to say anything. I complied. <Of course, the first time we talked psychically, I was the one reaching my mind out. After that though, you may have assumed I was always listening to your thoughts, but really, you reached your mind out to me. You never tried it with anyone else because you never believed they would hear you.>
<And you didn’t tell me this before because…>
Apple shrugged. <You didn’t need to know.>
<But now I do?> I asked doubtfully.
<Now you do,> Apple confirmed. <Wow, all this talking has made me feel better.>
<Oh yes,> I said sarcastically. <Discussing the intricate details of powers I don’t want to believe in always cheers me up!> I decided to change the subject before Apple could force me into another lesson. <So are you up for a gym battle tomorrow?> I reached my mind out to Apple, and felt what she was feeling. I felt her uncertainty, her self-worthlessness, and her shame. It was not as strong as before, her self doubt lingered, as it must have for years past.
Apple locked eyes with me, and I knew that she knew that I could feel what she was feeling.
Apple smiled wickedly, and then scoffed sarcastically, <Of course! What in the world would give you the impression that I wasn’t ready?>
We sat there grinning at each other, and at that moment, we understood each other better than ever before.
Apple’s grin widened and so did mine.
I knew exactly what Apple was thinking without reading her mind.
Apple knew exactly what I was thinking without reading my mind.
So it was no surprise when at the same time, we bellowed,
<WHERE IS OUR PIZZA?!>
January 17th, 2009 (3:19 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
So, for anyone actually reading this, I present chapter 7. Special thanks to my cousin, .5Cantelope.
Chapter 7: Clash
“Anita Parkwood…” I muttered to myself. “If Miss Goldenthrill’s information is accurate, the time this girl was outside the Goldenthrill mansion and the time Pokemon X appeared coincide exactly.” It seemed like too much of a coincidence to me. I turned to my assistant, his face hidden by the dark shading of the room. “Tell me, is it possible that the girl made up her account in order to get revenge on Miss Parkwood?”
“I have already considered that, sir.” The assistant flashed a grin. “In fact, it is highly likely that she told us of Miss Parkwood to get revenge. However, our sources in Azul City did, in fact, reveal that Miss Parkwood entered the city with another girl less than an hour later. Thus, it seems likely that Miss Goldenthrill was not lying about Miss Parkwood stopping at her house.”
I considered the situation for a moment. I finally asked, “Who was this other girl? The one Miss Parkwood entered the city with?”
“Erin Kendle,” came my assistant’s ready reply. “She is a research assistant in one of the labs in Azul City and is known to leave the city often in order to obtain information about the local Pokemon.”
“And this Erin Kendle was not with Miss Parkwood at Miss Goldenthrill’s house?”
“Assuming Miss Goldenthrill did not lie, that is correct,” my assistant confirmed.
“Well, it seems we need to take Anita Parkwood, and possibly Erin Kendle, in for questioning.”
“Shall I order their capture?”
I thought for a moment. “No.”
My assistant was shocked. “What! Why not?” He narrowed his eyes in an accusatory manner.
His reaction did not surprise me. Usually, when we wanted information from a person the normal procedure was to kidnap the person and force the information out of them.
“Let’s consider the situation.” I spoke carefully and quietly, thus ensuing that my assistant was paying attention and I would not need to repeat myself. “We know that Pokemon X appeared twice. Both appearances were in between Melonbi Town and Miss Goldenthrill’s mansion, and the second appearance was closer to the mansion. We also know that around the same time, Anita Parkwood was traveling from Melonbi Town to Azul City, and she stopped at the mansion. I would say there is a 90% chance that she at least saw Pokemon X. However, it seems strange for both Pokemon X and Miss Parkwood to be traveling the same path at the same time. Thus, I believe there is a 60% chance that either Miss Parkwood was following Pokemon X or Pokemon X was following Miss Parkwood. We also have to consider the possibility that Pokemon X is traveling with this girl, though admittedly, that seems rather unlikely.”
“What is your point?” I could here a slight tone of derision in his voice. Disrespect was so… annoying.
I rolled my eyes as if I thought he should have figured it out already. Of course, I was really only rolling my eyes in retaliation to his disrespect. “I believe we can learn more by investigating this girl further. Torturing her may get some results, but watching her can probably give us more information, as well as possibly the opportunity to capture Pokemon X.”
“Oh, I see your brilliant scheme now!” my assistant said sarcastically. “Watching this girl will magically lead to the capture of the legendary, mysterious Pokemon X!”
I replied calmly, “Pokemon X appeared to this girl twice. It will likely happen again.”
“Right.” He was obviously not convinced. For the moment, though, he played along. “Even if we assume that watching the girl is the right way to go about the situation, how can we accomplish that without being detected? She’s bound to notice someone following her.”
I grinned. I had a plan. “Don’t worry about that. It will all be taken care of.”
“What does that mean?” my assistant sneered.
“It means you will not have to do a thing. I have already set up everything.”
“And are you going to tell me, exactly what you have set up?”
My assistant growled.
“I will, however, tell you what you need to know and what you need to do. First of all, I am leaving for the next month or two, and you will be in charge while I am away.”
My assistant smiled brilliantly at that, as I knew he would. I hated to entrust him with so much power, but I had more important matters to attend to...
It finally dawned on my assistant that I had told him I was leaving. “Wait…Master.“ He said the word with contempt. “Where are you going?”
“My exact whereabouts are not important. I will be doing some research that pertains to Pokemon X. I will give you a phone you can use to reach me if there is an emergency or if you have found any more information about Pokemon X. Otherwise, I will call periodically to check up on the organization.
“You are to continue running this organization as it has been run for years. You will find, steal, and sell rare Pokemon for money, and continue hunting for and gathering information about Pokemon X… without stalking Miss Parkwood. I will have someone most trustworthy doing that.”
A little too fast, my assistant asked, “Who?”
I smirked. I had learned long ago that he saw anyone I thought was trustworthy as a rival. “A relative of mine. He will be able to contact me and you if he discovers anything or succeeds in capturing Pokemon X. You are not to interfere with him or his methods of gaining information. You and the rest of Team Glop’emm shall pretend that we never found anything suspicious about Anita Parkwood and go back to the usual business. None of our agents, aside from my… detective, shall spy on Miss Parkwood; at this point, we cannot risk being discovered.”
“And what if your special detective fails?” my assistant questioned edgily.
“He will not.”
My assistant growled louder, “But what if?”
Of course my assistant disliked my ingenious plan. He would have no influence over information discovered about Pokemon X or the actual capturing of Pokemon X. I was tempted to become angry with my assistant for questioning my plan, but if I lost my cool with the assistant, respect and dignity would be lost as well.
I quickly came up with a way to appease my assistant. I calmly responded, “If in five weeks from today my detective has not come up with any new information, you may order her capture.”
My assistant narrowed his eyes at me. “Does that mean you will not be back by then?”
“I do not know,” I answered honestly.
My assistant was lost in thought for a second. Finally, he asked, “When are you leaving?”
“Now.” I rose from my desk, and pulled my hood up over my head. I turned back to my assistant. “Do not inform the rest of the team of my departure until three hours after I leave the building. Do not attempt to follow me or find me when I am gone. I will not hesitate to use physical force, even on my own team members.” I pulled a walkie-talkie-like device out of my pocket and handed it to my assistant. “Press the green button to contact me, and press the red button to contact the detective. Do not press either button unless there is an emergency or you find more information about Pokemon X. If our machine finds Pokemon X again, call my detective immediately, and then inform me.” I turned to exit the room.
My assistant grumbled something about never even fully seeing my face. I smiled widely at that. My precaution of always meeting others in shaded light or wearing a hood was finally going to pay off. Even if my assistant saw me in broad day light, he would not recognize me. The last time I had shown my face to anybody on Team Glop’emm was before my father died. I had changed a lot since then.
My hand was on the door knob when my assistant said, “Wait!”
“What about your other responsibilities?”
“Close it down,” I answered curtly. Then an idea hit me. “Actually, put up a sign saying that the prelim has been changed to finding me.” I grinned. The other gym leaders would not be able to replace me or punish me for leaving, and no challenger was actually going to find me because I had never showed my face in public.
Before my assistant could stall my departure any longer, I left the room. After navigating the twists and turns of the building and ignoring the stares of grunts as I passed by, I finally opened a door to the outside world.
I breathed in the fresh air, and pulled out a Pokeball.
For the first time in my life, I was free. Free of responsibility, free to leave Drape Town, free to be on my own.
Good-bye old life.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I kicked a shrub and shouted, “THIS IS SO STUPID!”
<And that’s number 57.>
I turned and kicked another shrub near Apple so hard that the shrub was uprooted and hit Apple in the face.
I looked at my watch. It was 11:30. We had started searching for the gym at 7:00 this morning. Four and a half hours!! It was only in the past hour that I had resorted to kicking shrubs out of frustration, and Apple had boredly started counting them.
“You’ve knocked over so many shrubs people are going to think a Tauros rampaged through here,” Erin commented. My roommate had been no help whatsoever. She just followed me through these godforsaken woods and ignored me every time I asked her to help me find the gym.
Apple had been even less of a help than Erin.
<Why can’t you locate it with your psychic powers?> I had asked her.
<Because you can use your own psychic abilities to locate the gym,> Apple replied.
<I don’t know how!>
<So I can teach you.>
I had naturally refused Apple’s offer, and thus had spent the morning searching through the entire park for the seemingly nonexistent gym.
I collapsed onto a boulder and curled up into a ball. “What am I going to do?” I muttered to myself.
<The psychic deal is still available.>
I ignored Apple. Erin patted me on the back. “I’m sure you’ll find it somewhere, and if not, you can enter the tournament next Thursday while I get a half off manicure.”
Ah, maybe that was why she wasn’t helping me. Stupid manicure.
I randomly wondered if any of the other final four trainers had found the gym. I ran into the Spearow girl just as I entered the park this morning but had not seen any of the others. Maybe they had already found the gym.
How did they do it? How could I do it?
I had avoided asking my other Eevees for help because the younger ones were a magnet for trouble, and I thought Fiery would probably refuse. Now, however, it was getting late, and I had nothing to lose. I released the five siblings from their Pokeballs.
Allo yawned and stretched.
<I rather like being in my Pokeball,> Vanilla declared. <It is good for my beauty rest.>
<It’s not too bad,> Splash added. <but the real world is much more exciting.>
“Alright, everybody,” I interrupted the conversation. “I would like your help in finding the gym in these woods. I’m not entirely sure what the gym looks like, but because there are no buildings in here, I assume it must be underground. So we might be looking for a hole in the ground or a door…” I stopped talking when I noticed the four youngest Eevees were staring at me intently. “What?”
Surprisingly, Sunflower was the first to respond. Quietly, she murmured, <Anita, how do you spell gym?>
I looked at her, confused. <G-Y-M,> I answered. <Why?>
<We know where it is.>
Splash was so excited he started running in circles. <Come on, we’ll show you!>
The four young Eevees bounded into the forest. The rest of us followed.
<Slow down!> Fiery ordered. The young Eevees ignored him.
“Where are they going?” Erin panted as we ran after the Eevees.
I had to keep reminding myself that she couldn’t hear and didn’t know about my conversations with my Pokemon. “I’m not sure, but maybe they already know where the gym is.”
Suddenly, the young Eevees stopped. I nearly toppled over them, but I managed to catch a tree branch and stop myself. There was a hole I would have fallen into just beyond where the Eevees were standing, and next to the hole was a wooden sign that read “GYM.”
<Wow. I should have asked for your help soon—> I started, but was cut off by Fiery.
<When did you have time to find this hole?> he growled.
Oh, crap. This was a bad way for him to find out about me losing the four Eevees.
Before I could even begin to think up an explanation, Splash answered, <We found it when we went exploring yesterday!>
Allo and I exchanged horrified glances. Vanilla didn’t look disturbed by Splash’s revelation, but Sunflower was watching with wide terrified eyes.
“Umm, Anita, we found the gym. Why aren’t we going in?” Erin asked. I had a feeling that if I returned everyone to their Pokeballs now, Fiery would be even more upset with me. I shushed Erin.
<And when did you have time to go exploring?> Fiery was glowering.
Splash answered easily, <When you were training yesterday, we got bored and ran off for a bit.>
Vanilla’s calm disposition shifted suddenly. <You mean you got bored yesterday, Allo didn’t want you to hurt yourself so he followed, and Sunflower and I had to follow you two or be left alone,> she said angrily.
<You didn’t seem to have a problem leaving Anita and Fiery yesterday,> Splash sneered.
<ENOUGH!> Fiery yelled. <I’m ashamed of all of you!> He turned to Splash, <I don’t care how bored you are, you are not to just leave without telling anyone, especially now, when you are supposed to be resting!>
For once, Splash did not retort.
Fiery looked at Allo, Vanilla, and Sunflower. <You three should have stopped your brother from leaving. You should know better than to go along with his risky plans! All of you could have been hurt!>
Allo looked especially shamefaced while staring at his paws.
Fiery turned to me. He snarled, <And you promised to look after them.> I backed away slowly, scared mukless of an attack, but Fiery just sighed. <But you did find them, and for that I am grateful.>
I decided not to mention that Erin had actually found them.
“Anita, it’s getting kinda late. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think you should get in the gym if you want to challenge Abalina,” Erin said. She continued to watch the Eevees with a puzzled look on her face. Of course, all she could hear was “Ee-vee-vee” and such, but from their tone she seemed to understand there was some problem. “Is something wrong?” she asked.
“Err.” I put the best confused look on my face. “I don’t know. Sounds like an argument to me. They’re all related, except Apple, so maybe its some sort of family dispute.”
Erin narrowed her eyes at me. “How do you know they are related?”
Crud, Apple had told me that.
<Uh, oh. She’s starting to get suspicious.> Apple smirked.
<No, duh,> I snapped at Apple. Then to Erin, I feebly answered, “Nurse Joy told me when I picked them up.”
Erin looked like she as going to say something more so to change the subject I hastily announced, “I’m going down now.”
<I thought you wanted to win,> Apple snickered.
Splash added, <Bu-bump-chhhh.>
To Fiery, I silently apologized, <I’m sorry for not keeping track of your brothers and sisters. It won’t happen again.>
<Will you still battle?> I silently prayed for a “yes”.
Fiery hesitated and then nodded. I sighed in relief, and then pulled out four Pokeballs.
<I can’t have you four causing trouble.>
After returning the four young Eevees, I peered into the hole. A soothing aroma seemed to flow out of the hole, and there was a ladder to the dark bottom. Without hesitating, I started climbing down the ladder.
Apple jumped onto my shoulder. Fiery didn’t seem to know what to do until Apple pointed to my other shoulder with a paw and said, <Come on!>
I grumbled to myself about the extra weight as I descended.
<Ugh, do you smell that?> Apple pawed at her nose.
I took a whiff and nearly fell off the ladder. The smell was so overpoweringly sweet it made me feel sick and I had to breathe through only my mouth to keep from fainting.
When I reached the bottom, I saw a faint light to my right so I started walking toward it.
“Hey, Anita, where are you?” Erin called when she reached the bottom. I heard her take a breath and then cough. “Eww. This place is creepy and stinky.”
“I’m walking toward that faint light,” I responded. We silently walked down what seemed to be a tunnel. I soon realized that the faint light was actually light reflecting off of a cave wall. This light was coming from around a corner we could not see from the ladder.
I turned the corner and suddenly found myself bombarded with light. Only after a minute of blinking could I actually see again.
“Wow,” I stated, dumbfounded by the beautiful sight. Wild green grass filled most of the ground, except for the few violet flowers and large trees scattered about the terrain. There was a small pond to my left filled with lilies and algae. Around the pond Oddish evolutions and Sunfloras sat, danced, and played. Well, that explained the smell.
I wondered where the bright light was coming from so I looked up. Lights as bright as the sun filled the ceiling, making my eyes water and forcing me to look away.
Finally, I noticed two figures directly in front of me, not fifty yards away. A tall, beautiful lady was shaking a blond boy’s hand. She looked up, saw me, and grinned. The boy looked at me too, and I realized he was the boy with the Quilava that I had battled yesterday. They both started walking toward me.
“Hey, nice battle yesterday,” the boy said, smirking, as he finally reached me.
“Yes, it was,” I replied politely.
<Not for me it wasn’t!> Apple chirped to me.
“It seems we never got to formally introduce ourselves. I am Jake,” he announced, a little too dramatically in my opinion. “Jake Veneer.”
He took my hand and seemed about to shake it, but at the last second he pulled it toward his lips. I quickly yanked my hand away in disgust. Jake just snickered at me, annoyed, and moved on to greet Erin, who had stepped beside me.
“And who might you be?” he asked in his charming voice.
Erin blushed. “Erin Kendle.” I was surprised she said no more. She was usually on top of the whole social chatter thing.
Jake took her hand and kissed it, not at all unnerved by my rejection earlier.
“Jake Veneer, very pleased to meet you.”
I nearly gagged in disgust. Erin’s blush became more prominent.
Jake let go of Erin’s hand and bowed toward Erin and the lady. “Well, ladies,” he turned to me and seemed to take a second to think of a word to call me. “And Anita, I will be seeing you.”
He smiled at Erin, scowled at me, and disappeared down the hall we had just entered from.
Erin and I were left with the lady, who I assumed must be the gym leader. She had long brown hair that flowed freely to her waist and forest green eyes. A circle of daffodils lay atop her head like a crown. The ring of flowers would have looked childish on anyone else, but they made her appear queen-like. She wore a simple light green dress that matched the surroundings as well as her eyes.
She smiled warmly at me. “Hello, Anita. I am Abalina Sycamore, the gym leader of Azul City. I have been expecting you.”
She held out her hand and I shook it, though her saying I was expected unnerved me.
Abalina turned to Erin. “And you must be a friend of Anita’s, correct?”
Abalina shook her hand and then turned back to me. “Well, now down to business. But first, Anita, do you trust Erin?”
I immediately shook my head. Erin looked taken aback, but come on. Could she really expect me to trust her after knowing her for only two days?
“Well, that is a bit of an issue,” Abalina stated. Then she shrugged. “But it’s not my issue. So Anita, I hope Erin here does turn out to be trustworthy, otherwise your life could quickly turn miserable after this.”
I was puzzled. <Apple, any input?>
<Nope. No idea what she’s talking about. I could read her thoughts, but I don’t like intruding if I don’t sense ill intent.>
<Whatever. I’m sure she’ll tell us soon enough.>
“First of all, welcome to the Azul City gym. As the first gym leader you will battle, it is my duty to explain most of the gym and league policies in Acceber.
“The Pokemon league is held annually every January in Orquid City. To participate, five out of eight Acceber badges must be obtained in the year before the tournament, and badges from previous years are not accepted. Obtaining all eight badges will let you skip out of the prelims in the Pokemon league.
Each gym has its own set of rules and prelims. The gym leader will only give out badges to those he or she feels is worthy, and this usually involves beating the gym leader in a battle.
“I am sure you knew all of this, but I am required to tell you anyway. Now, however, we get to the part that you probably don’t know.” Abalina hesitated a moment and glanced at Erin. “Anita, I know you are gifted.”
My eyes widened in surprise, but I said nothing.
<Ahh, this is what she was talking about.> Apple giggled, though I did not see what was funny about the situation.
“Did you already know this?” she asked.
Abalina continued, “You’re power type is psychic and your strength is still unknown, though it is growing. I know all of this because all eight gym leaders of Acceber are gifted as well, and one of the eight is a psychic. She is often able to foresee events, especially those pertaining to others with the gift, and she predicted your arrival here.”
Erin was utterly confused. She started to ask, “What do you mean by gifts?” However, Abalina stopped her.
“Anita can explain this to you later. Anyway, Anita, you need to know this because it is the gym leaders’ duty to train gifted children and make sure they learn to control their powers. We do not actually teach you; you’ll have to learn from a psychic Pokemon or someone with the psychic gift. However, we will challenge your powers as well as your Pokemon. Because you have the advantage of the gift, your prelims and battles may be different and more challenging than other trainers’.
“This gym will be the exception. Because you just found out about this today, I will not test you beyond the normal battle between gym leader and trainer. Other gym leaders, however, may test you by having you battle alongside your Pokemon or perform some other difficult task.
“Basically, along with training your Pokemon, you have to train your own powers. The gym leaders decided to implement these regulations to prevent accidents caused by teenagers unable to control their powers as well as end the great advantage gifted children tended to have in being able to gain gym badges.”
<Apple, did you know about this?> I asked, still trying to comprehend all Abalina had told me.
Apple shrugged. <Not really, but I probably could have guessed. It makes sense.>
Erin looked like she was thinking hard. I was curious about what and was about to read her thoughts when Abalina slapped something onto my arm.
“During our battle you have to wear this,” she commanded.
I stared at the black band on my wrist. It was made of a material I had never felt before, and it felt a strangely out of place on my hand.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It’s called a dark band. It’s made of the same chemical substance dark Pokemon have throughout their body. By touching it, you will not be able to use your psychic power.”
I wrinkled m nose in distaste at the band, and tried to talk to Apple. I found, however, that I could not touch her mind like I usually could.
<Don’t worry,> Apple said.
<Wait, how am I talking to you?> I asked.
<She only stopped your psychic powers from working, silly. I can still reach my mind out to talk and listen to you, though it is a bit harder with that band on your arm. It actually feels like I’m trying to talk to a dark type Pokemon. I can only hear the thoughts you want me to hear.>
<Wait, I thought you told me that psychics couldn’t get into dark Pokemons’ minds.>
<I did, but—>
Abalina started talking to me again, obviously unaware that Apple was communicating with me. “So, are you ready?”
<We’ll talk about this later,> I told Apple. <For now, we must pretend we cannot communicate without me actually speaking. Got it?>
“I’m ready,” I said confidently.
“Then come over here.” Abalina lead me to the open field I had first seen her and Jake on. She then backed away from me and declared, “This will be a two-on-two single battle. You may use one Pokemon at a time, and no Pokemon can be switched out of battle. Are you ready to begin?”
“Wait, how do I know you will not use your powers?” I asked suspiciously.
Abalina chuckled. “I would say my powers are much more visible than yours.” She tilted her head to the left and then nodded toward something. I followed her gaze, and to my surprise saw a tree sprouting and growing before my eyes. Erin gasped. Abalina continued, “Also, I’m gym leader here so I make the rules. I don’t have any physical item that will stop my powers with me right now so you will just have to trust that I will not use my power. If Erin here witnesses otherwise, I will declare the battle invalid.”
Erin looked too bewildered to understand anything she witnessed, in my opinion, but I didn’t object.
“What would stop your powers?” I asked curiously. “What do you use to stop the gifts of other gifted challengers from working?”
Abalina chuckled again. “Well, aren’t you a curious one. For now, it is none of your business; we have a battle, remember?”
I felt my face get hot with embarrassment. “Oh, yeah,” I mumbled.
Abalina pulled out a Pokeball and tossed it in the air. “Sunkern, I choose you.”
“Apple, you’re up.”
Apple jumped onto the field, whining, <Why do I have to go first?>
I grinned. <I want to start off strong.>
That made Apple shut up. I knew her doubts lingered from yesterday.
<Now no more psychic talk,> I insisted. “Apple, quick attack!”
Apple struck the Sunkern hard, and the kernel Pokemon took damage, but then grew bigger.
“Bite it, Apple!”
Apple bit down on the Sunkern, but it kept growing until it was too big for Apple to clamp her teeth onto.
January 17th, 2009 (3:21 PM). Edited January 21st, 2009 by delongbi.
Now a giant Sunkern loomed over Apple.
I gulped, and thought that Apple was probably doing the same.
“Ingrain,” Abalina commanded calmly.
The giant Sunkern suddenly sprouted roots and dug into the ground. Apple performed a rapid set of quick attacks, but they did little harm to the Sunkern.
Apple suddenly fell to the ground, as the Sunkern sucked its life.
“Apple, we’ve got to finish this ASAP! The longer the battle drags on, the stronger that Sunkern gets!”
Apple nodded in agreement and tried to tackle it, but the Sunkern once again was not damaged very much. It was constantly recovering through its roots and the energy it was absorbing from Apple.
I was pretty desperate by this point. Even though I knew Apple had not practiced enough, I ordered an Iron tail.
Apple’s tail flickered and she swung it at the Sunkern, but she ended up hurting herself more than her opponent.
“Apple, come on! You can do this! Try again, and aim for the roots!”
More energy was stolen from Apple, but the Eevee looked at the giant Sunkern fiercely. Her tail suddenly glowed bright, and she spun around, cutting off all of the Sunkern’s roots.
“Now finish it!”
Apple kept her tail lit up and flipped through the air, landing squarely on the giant Sunkern.
<Oh, yeah!> Apple squealed and did a celebration dance atop her opponent.
The Sunkern was knocked out.
The oversized Pokemon was returned, and in its place a Leafeon appeared. Abalina looked irked.
Leaves flew at Apple from all directions. The Eevee tried to dodge with a quick attack, but most of the leaves hit anyway.
Apple fell down in exhaustion.
“You got this, Apple!” I cheered.
Apple tried to get up but was knocked back by the Leafeon. This time, Apple did not get back up. I ran onto the field and scooped the Eevee into my arms. She was completely knocked out, but was otherwise fine. I patted her on the head, handed her to Erin, and then returned to my battle post.
I ordered Fiery onto the field.
The Leafeon once again spun razor-sharp leaves at my Pokemon. Fiery, however, was not worn from battle, and thus was able to dodge out of the way. I smirked at Abalina. “You won’t beat me the same way twice!” I called.
Abalina was unfazed. She smiled slightly at me. “Or maybe I will.”
Her Leafeon hurled leaves, and Fiery dodged once again. This time though the leaves turned around and boomeranged right back at Fiery.
Abalina grinned at me. “Magical leaf never misses.”
“Iron tail!” I ordered.
Fiery used his iron-hard tail to slice the leaves chasing him to bits. He continued past the leaves and launched toward Leafeon.
“Quick, leaf blade!”
There was a loud clang as Fiery’s tail met Leafeon’s. Leafeon twisted away and tried again. Again, their tails met with a clang.
Both Pokemon continued to strike with their tails. It was like watching a sword fight. Leafeon’s weapon was quicker and sharper than Fiery’s, but Fiery’s was thicker and stronger. With a silent vow not to order any other attacks, Abalina and I watched the two Pokemon twirl and lunge.
As the battle prolonged, I began to notice signs of endurance failures on both Pokemon. Their tails moved slower and their blows were less powerful. This seemed to hinder Leafeon more than Fiery, as the Leafeon’s main advantage of speed was taken away.
The test of endurance continued until finally, Leafeon faltered under Fiery’s strike. The Pokemon fell backwards, and Fiery struck again with his powerful tail. The Leafeon was too tired to block and too slow to dodge.
Fiery was the only Pokemon left standing on the battlefield.
Fiery’s fur was dirty and sticking up in places from the battle, but I didn’t care as my bursting pride caused me to cuddle Fiery in a tight hug.
I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my hand, causing me to release Fiery. I squealed, “Oww!”
Fiery had bitten me.
I suppose hugging him was not the smartest idea.
I looked down at the ragged Pokemon, and he was grinning.
Erin hugged me and did a little dance. Even Apple, who had woken up toward the end of the battle but was still exhausted, smiled weakly.
Abalina gave me a gracious smile, though her eyes revealed a tad of annoyance. She took off the dark band (thank goodness) and handed me a badge.
“It’s been a long time since I have given out more than one badge in a day,” she commented. “But congratulations. You now have the Maple Badge.”
“Did Jake get the other badge?” I asked curiously.
Abalina nodded and then sighed. “At least I beat one person today… I think I will train more before I hold another tournament.”
I stared at the badge in my hand. It was shaped like a red, spiky maple leaf.
Wow, my first badge.
Fiery eyed my hand slyly.
Suddenly, my badge was swiped out of my hand.
Fiery held it proudly between his teeth.
He closed his mouth, smirking.
Aww, so much for my first badge.
<No more eating badges.> I scolded Fiery several hours later.
Nurse Joy had healed my Pokemon and assured me that my badge would … come out Fiery’s other end without any harm to Fiery. She had been correct. I now was washing and rewashing the badge as Fiery and Apple watched.
Apple giggled. She had been in a significantly better mood since she beat the Sunkern.
Fiery scowled. <If you saw the look on Anita’s face, you would have done the same. She was completely engrossed with the thing!>
Apple thought for a moment. <You know, I think you’re right.>
I rolled my eyes.
When I was finally satisfied with the badge’s cleanliness, I left the bathroom and sat down on my bed. The moon’s light glittered across my bed and barely reached Erin’s. Erin was reading a magazine with a reading light under her covers. She had been abnormally quiet the whole afternoon. I was surprised but glad she was not bugging me as I thought she would about the psychic thing. Of course, she could just be waiting for an opportune moment…
Just then Erin began speaking. “Anita, about you being psychic?” She looked at me expectantly.
Oh, the irony.
“Good night, Erin.” I completely ignored her question and lay down. Apple jumped beside me.
<I’d rather sleep in my Pokeball,> Fiery said. He trotted over to my bag, found his Pokeball, and pressed the center button. He was gone in a flash of red.
“Hello!? Are you going to explain?”
I rolled over to face the window. “Nope.”
“Anita!” Erin started to whine.
All was quiet.
I fell asleep to Apple silently chanting, <Anger management, anger management.>
January 24th, 2009 (10:11 PM). Edited February 8th, 2009 by delongbi.
Chapter 8: Reminiscence
The sea suited me.
I watched the dark waves crash against the beach.
The gloomy water reminded me of another time.
A time before Team Glop’emm and Masters.
A time that I lived on the other shore.
A toddler clutched his father’s hand as they made their way through the crowd. The boy was amazed by the plentiful colors that surrounded him. It seemed that everywhere he looked merchants were showing off Pokemon dolls, balloons, mats, and a wide variety of furniture.
A woman accosted the father. “May I show you this table, sir? It—”
The father ignored the woman and kept walking. He kept scanning the crowd, as if he were looking for someone.
“Daddy, when can we go to the beach?” the boy whined.
“We need to go find Mommy and Auntie to tell them where we are going while they shop,” the father replied. He wished his wife had left her PokeTech on.
The father finally spotted the women he was looking for just beyond the market place fence, stepping into a store.
Despite the mass of people around them and the bright overhead sun, the air chilled the boy. He moved closer to his father as they escaped the lively market place and followed the women inside the store.
The store was named “The Submerged Swamp” and had obviously at one time been someone’s house. Upon entering, the boy was astounded by the vast number of pretty trinkets lying in every nook of the room.
“Don’t touch anything because you might break it,” the father warned. He held onto his son’s hand and carefully made his way around the random ornaments to where he could see his wife was standing; she was talking with his sister-in-law and the apparent owner of the store.
As the father moved toward his wife, a small T.V. caught his eye. It was a noticeably new television, and it seemed out of place in this cluttered store.
On the T.V., a news woman stood in front of an image of Hoenn.
“A drastic change in weather has occurred in the past hour in several Hoenn regions,” the women announced. She gestured to the map behind her. “Sootopolis City seems to be experiencing the worst of this disturbing weather, and all Sootopolis citizens are advised to evacuate the city. Lilycove City and Dewford Town are also experiencing mild flooding. The cause of these storms has not yet been identified, although—“
“Hello, there.” The father was distracted from the television by a woman hugging his waist. “I didn’t expect to see you here. You said you were going to spend the day at home relaxing and catching up on some well-earned sleep.”
The man raised his eyebrows at his wife and chuckled. “That was the plan, but I was convinced otherwise by a devious child.” He nodded toward the boy, who despite his father’s warning was reaching to touch a glass knick-knack.
“So, what’s the plan now?” the wife pulled away from her husband to pick up their four-year-old son.
“We’re heading out to the beach. It’s a nice day; a bit of a chill, but not a cloud in the sky here.” The man then added hesitantly, “Though that doesn’t seem to be the case in other parts of Hoenn. Did you see the news?”
The wife nodded. “It is horrible,” she agreed.
The sister-in-law approached the couple. “Sue, what do you think of this vase for my kitchen?” she asked the wife, holding a neon green vase up in one hand and another young boy with the other.
“It’s too brightly colored to fit in. Do they have it in any darker shades?” Sue, the wife, answered.
“I’ll go check with the owner,” the sister-in-law replied.
The dark haired boy she was clinging to complained, “Why can’t I just go home?” but she ignored the plea and dragged the boy with her.
“Maria brought her boy?” the father questioned in a surprised tone.
Sue laughed. “Yeah. Apparently, Don is at a Corporate event right now in Rustburo, and she didn’t want to bother you with another kid to watch. I told her she was being ridiculous, but you know how stubborn she gets.”
“I can’t believe my own brother didn’t tell me he was going out of town! We could have helped Maria out… Well, now that I’m here, why don’t I just take both kids to the beach?” the father suggested. “You two will be able to finish your shopping faster, and there will be no opportunity for our rambunctious nephew to break something.”
“Great! Now you just need to convince Maria—“
Sue and her husband could hear a stream of apologies spout from Maria’s mouth. “Oh, I am so sorry. Here, let me get that. Really, sorry. I’ll pay for it, of course. Wait here for a second, and then I’ll help clean up this glass.”
Maria came from around the corner, now holding her son. She looked at her brother-in-law with pleading eyes.
Before she could say anything, the man held out his hands for her son and said, “I’m taking the boys to the beach.”
Maria smiled gratefully, handed over her son, and rushed back to help the store owner to clean up the broken glass.
Sue kissed her husband on the cheek and placed their son in his free arm. She patted the two boys on the head. “You two be safe. What do you do if a stranger offers you candy?”
“Run away screaming,” the two cousins replied in unison.
The mother smiled and began walking toward the back of the store where Maria was cleaning up glass. “We’ll meet you boys on the beach once we’re done here,” she called over her shoulder.
The husband watched his wife round the corner. He heard the store manager say, “Seriously, don’t worry about it. Let me show you the vases we have in the basement…”
The man walked out of the store holding his son and nephew. The two boys were giggling madly as they played peek-a-boo, their green eyes shining with excitement.
A few blocks away from the beach, the father put the boys on the ground, mumbling, “You two are getting too heavy to carry anymore.”
The boys sprinted ahead to the sand while the man sighed and jogged after them.
By the time the man reached the beach, the two boys were already splashing happily in the calm water.
The man sat down on a beach chair under an umbrella and pulled out a book. There was nobody else on the beach, but this was to be expected when there were big market sales. Plus, though it was sunny, the air was cool. It was definitely not beach weather, but the boys didn’t seem to care.
The man read for a bit and then gazed over his book at the two boys. From his seat it was hard to tell which boy was which. He smiled. When strangers saw the boys together, they often thought the two were twins. Both had unkempt hair, green eyes, and differed in age by only six months.
He watched the boys play until he finally dosed off.
“Let’s go searching for shells!” one of the boys suggested excitedly.
“Yeah! Oh, but not too far or Daddy will get upset,” the other boy said.
“No he won’t. He’s asleep, silly!” The dark-haired boy started skipping down the shore.
“Wait for me!” The other boy ran after his cousin.
Several minutes later, the man awoke with a start. Something wasn’t right. The sun was still shining brightly, but the air was too still. The man looked around for his son and his nephew, but neither was in sight.
The man rose in a hurry and quickly flipped his head side to side, looking down the shore. He noticed clouds were approaching rapidly.
There was also something weird about the ocean. The man squinted into the distant horizon. It looked like the horizon was getting taller for some reason…
The man froze in fright. His eyes widened.
He turned and frantically ran down the shore, calling “Landon Mendol! Liam Mendol! Get back here this instant!”
“Liam! Landon! Where are you?”
The man saw the ocean grow even more out of the corner of his eye. Did the rest of Slateport City know? Should he go warn everyone? No, the boys were more important. “LANDON! LIAM!” he cried.
He spotted something a couple hundred meters away. Was it his son?
He pumped his legs faster than he ever had in his life. The mountain made of ocean rushed toward shore.
He could now make up the object he had spotted. It was his son. The boy stood staring at the ocean.
The man finally reached his son and pulled him into his arms.
“My son,” he murmured, kissing the boy’s head. Then he asked, “Where is your cousin?”
The boy shrugged. “He wanted to keep looking for shells, but I wanted to come back. So I turned around.”
The man looked down the shore. He couldn’t see the other boy; not a glimpse of his nephew’s dark hair against the pale beach. The man turned to the ocean.
“Daddy, what’s that?” The boy pointed to the ever-rising ocean. The giant wave was much too close.
The man estimated it would hit in less than two minutes. Not enough time to warn the city.
Now he had to make a decision.
His nephew or his son.
He knew what his decision would be in the end. He could not risk his son’s life.
He could only hope that his nephew would get lucky.
“I’m sorry,” the man murmured. He pulled out a Pokeball and released a Sharpedo.
Holding tightly to his beloved son, the man clambered onto the shark Pokemon.
“Alright, Sheedo, ride into that wave.”
As the man departed from the beach, he imagined his dark haired nephew watching from a ways down shore. Guilt churned his stomach. He ignored the feeling.
The man and the boy rode toward the City’s doom.
The sea suited me.
It reminded me of the day the Tsunami hit Slateport City.
The day of the battle between Kyogre and Groudon.
The day my cousin disappeared.
The day my father saved me.
The day my mother drowned.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“So, you’re a psychic?” I repeated for about the thousandth time.
What a surprise; no reply.
Anita and I had been walking the entire morning and half the afternoon, and she had still not said a single word to me.
We were traveling southwest toward Tinted Town, which was a bit out of the way for me, but there was a gym leader there for Anita to battle.
At this point I was considering abandoning her. If she was going to ignore me the rest of our travel time together, then I was going to be bored out of my mind! Ugh.
I wished we could bicycle through these parts to make the time go faster. Unfortunately, there were too many trees and wild Pokemon. We could ride Griffy, but he would get tired if he had to carry the two of us for more than a few miles.
So we were stuck walking, and I was stuck being ignored.
Her two strongest Eevees did not appear to mind the silence. They trotted beside us and attacked wild Pokemon that crossed our path to gain battling experience. Strangely, Anita had not commanded them once. Maybe that had to do with the whole psychic thing….
I really wish she would explain it to me.
Huh, when I consider the questions I’ve been asking all morning, they all had to do with her being a psychic or whatever the heck she is. Maybe if I asked something that has nothing to do with that whole business, she’d answer, as any procrastinator would to keep me from asking worse questions.
“Why don’t you keep your Pokemon in Pokeballs?” I asked, actually curious.
Anita didn’t answer for a whole minute. I was about to return to my pouty plotting when she answered, “They don’t like their Pokeballs. I only keep the other Eevees in their Pokeballs because they are too young to be left unsupervised and I can’t have them wandering off.”
One of her Eevees, the one with ragged hair, growled at her.
“That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” I told the girl, thinking of my own Pokemon. They never minded their Pokeballs. Well, it didn’t seem like it, as far as I could tell. Then again I wasn’t a psychic…
Ooh, I had a great question for her.
“How do you know they don’t like their Pokeballs?” I asked. Hehe. She was caught in a trap now.
Anita seemed to know this too. She whipped her head forward and went back to pretending I didn’t exist.
“It’s not because you’re a psychic, huh?” I taunted.
I was ignored again, but mostly because the ragged Eevee (ugh, why couldn’t I remember his name?) had Anita’s attention.
For some reason, the Eevee seemed upset with Anita. They were having an intense staring contest… I think. I’m not really sure what Anita is doing half the time; she’s very strange.
Suddenly, the Eevee pounced at her. I was too shocked to react and Anita fell backward.
The ragged Eevee disappeared in a flash of light.
I glanced at her hands, expecting to see the Eevee’s Pokeball. However, there was none.
Was this another one of those psychic tricks?
Then I spotted her Pokeballs hanging from her belt. She couldn’t have had time to snatch and put back that Pokeball so quickly…
I remembered the ragged Eevee letting itself into the Pokeball before bed yesterday. Everything fell into place.
I started cracking up.
“You were just tackled by your Eevee because you wouldn’t let him back into his Pokeball,” I choked through my laughter. “Talk about irony.”
Anita glared at me, her face bight red.
I grinned widely- mostly because Anita’s face might as well have been an announcement that she really could communicate with her Pokemon psychically.
I’m sure the last thing Anita wanted right now was me to start rambling. So I did just that.
“You know, Pokeballs are specifically created to feel spacious and comfortable on the inside. Plus, Pokeballs exist for a good reason. Wanna know why? So, a couple thousand years ago someone decided it would be a good idea to get protection. You know, from opponent families, tribes, clans, or whatever other dangers there were back then. Anyway, some person recruited Pokemon to do their protection, and soon everyone was feeding, providing shelter for, and befriending these creatures in order to gain their security. It was a mutual agreement between Pokemon and human: food and shelter for protection. Eventually, the world became a safer place with no rival tribes straining for survival - Pokemon became more of a sport than a need. Then shrinking technology was invented. Before that, there was usually only one or two Pokemon for one person because it was hard to keep track of more than that, but with the invention of the Pokeball, a person could carry many Pokemon at one time. So many, in fact, that a rule had to be made limiting a person to carrying 6 Pokeballs—“
“SHUT UP!” Anita yelled. Ah, just the reaction I loved and expected. Now that Anita was sufficiently annoyed, phase one of my evil plan was complete.
“So, wanna tell me about your psychic powers?”
“Well, then I’ll just have to continue talking—“
“WILL YOU JUST SHUT IT!?” Ooh, she was really getting mad now. Her face was practically purple.
I smiled playfully and retorted in a sugary voice, “Only if you tell me about your gift.”
Anita snorted. “Yeah, my gift of attracting annoying…people.” Her eyes flickered to her Eevee, Apple.
A wild Nidoran popped out of the rustling grass. Anita watched Apple defeat the Pokemon in silence.
“So..?” I led.
Anita sighed and muttered, “If it will get me some peace and quiet… fine.”
I cheered but held my tongue.
“What do you want to know?”
“Well, what’s ‘The Gift’?”
“It’s basically where a person has some sort of Pokemon power.”
I nodded. That would explain Abalina…
“So you have the powers of a psychic Pokemon?”
“Yes,” Anita confirmed.
“What can you do? I know you can read minds, but can you go deeper, like memories?”
The brown haired girl shrugged. “I can mostly just listen to thoughts.”
“And that includes Pokemon?”
“Yup.” Well, that clarified a lot.
I tried to act like I was having a normal conversation on a normal topic. “So, how’d you learn to do that stuff?”
“Apple taught me,” Anita said seemingly automatically. Her hand suddenly flew over her mouth as if she had said something dangerous.
“I thought Apple was a normal type Pokemon. How could she teach a psychic?”
“Um… Apple used to have a friend Natu who was being taught by a Xatu,” Anita said sheepishly. “She ended up learning all of the techniques as her friend learned them, even though she couldn’t actually perform them.”
Anita blushed and wouldn’t meet my eyes. Was this something I wasn’t supposed to know? Or maybe she was lying… though there was no apparent reason for that.
“Well, maybe Griffy could teach you a thing or two,” I said casually, as if this psychic thing did not bother me a bit. In fact, though I was slightly unnerved by the situation, I was mostly curious. I wanted to know the extent of her powers, exactly how she used them and what she could do…
Get ahold of yourself. You are a Pokemon researcher, not a human scientist, I reminded myself.
Another part of me argued, Well, she has Pokemon abilities…
Anita rolled her violet eyes at me… or maybe my thoughts.
I’d have to see if there was a way to keep Anita out of my head. The idea of her reading my every thought was rather uncomfortable. My head was supposed to be private!
Anita’s attention suddenly turned to Apple, who was trotting beside us.
I grinned. Even if she did have psychic powers, she was awful at hiding who she was communicating with psychically. This sure was going to be an interesting journey.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
<Come on, Anita! Now is the perfect time!> Apple whined.
<I don’t want Erin investigating me any more! She’s too perceptive! She is already suspicious of you!> I replied.
Apple scoffed, <Well, that’s your own fault, you blabber mouth. A friend Natu? C’mon.>
<Well, if Fiery hadn’t decided he wanted to go back in his Pokeball just to prove me wrong, she would have never figured out I could use telepathy!>
<Yeah, because Abalina didn’t already give that away,> Apple said sarcastically.
<She didn’t say any specifics!>
<Whatever, you know Erin would have figured it out eventually. You suck at lying, and your body language always gives away who you are using telepathy with.>
<That’s not true!>
<Then why is Erin already suspicious?>
Apple had me there. <Fine,> I muttered.
<Hey!> Apple narrowed her eyes at me. <You’ve been distracting me!>
<From what?> I asked innocently… not.
<From my original suggestion. You should practice your psychic abilities now.>
<I already told you. Erin is suspicious!>
<Suspicious! She KNOWS you are a psychic!>
<Not of that, of you. She already suspects something is up with you.>
<Which is why I recommended you ask Erin if you could use Griffy to practice right now.>
<I can practice without Griffy’s help!>
<Yeah, you could. But if you want to learn something new, you should ask for Griffy’s help.>
<I don’t want to learn anything new,> I explained.
<Didn’t you hear Abalina? You can’t go into these gym leaders unprepared or you’ll get your *ss handed to you! You have to learn to use all of your powers if you want to gain gym badges!>
Why is it that everyone but me seemed interested in my powers? Sure, they were kind of cool, but they seemed to be causing more trouble than they were worth.
Apple suddenly smiled widely with her miniature fangs.
<If you had been listening to Erin’s thoughts, you would already know.>
I hadn’t been listening to Erin’s thoughts because I wanted to respect her privacy… somewhat. Mostly, I just didn’t care what she was thinking.
Now that I was paying attention to her thoughts, I could feel her dying curiosity about what Apple and I were discussing.
“What are you two talking about?” Erin suddenly blurted out.
Apple started growling at me, and then looked directly at Erin with wide eyes.
“Why won’t you—” Erin glared at me, and started again, “You know what—” The girl pulled out a Pokeball and pressed the release button. “Griffy, can you tell me what that Apple and Anita are discussing telepathically?”
Griffy was confused for a moment, but then Erin showed him what she already knew about my psychic abilities. <Why certainly, Erin.>
I heard his tail say, <We can use this situation to our advantage if we build a giant vacuum to suck up all of the mind energy in the world. Wahahahaha!>
Yeah, that tail had serious issues.
<Will you ask Erin to allow you to teach Anita some psychic stuff right now while we are walking?> Apple asked Griffy.
I groaned as Griffy relayed the message to Erin.
“Sure! I think that’s a great idea!”
“I don’t,” I mumbled.
<Well, then. Anita, you’re outvoted so it’s lesson time!>
<Since when are we taking votes?!>
<Since I decided you should have a lesson now.>
<But you didn’t even vote!>
<All in favor, raise your hand, paw, or hoof,> Apple said and Griffy relayed to Erin.
Erin’s hand shot up, as did Apple’s paw. Griffy shrugged and raised a hoof saying, <I’ll vote as my trainer does.>
Griffy’s tail rose. <If you turn into a pineapple, we win.>
Apple and I stared.
I finally shrugged. <Bleh. You guys stink.>
<I beg your pardon, strange Eevee, but what shall I teach your trainer?> Griffy politely inquired.
<Well, we just worked on telepathy, and I was thinking of starting telekinesis next. How about you teach her the basics?>
Erin squealed with excitement when Griffy told her what the lesson plan for today was.
<Miss Anita, are you ready to begin?>
If I didn’t give in, I would never hear the end of it. <Fine,> I answered sourly.
<Psychic powers are based on the ability to project your mind elsewhere. The weakest form of projecting your mind is telepathy. The next level of mind projection is creating barriers.>
<Like Reflect and Light Screen?> I asked.
<That’s correct, Miss. Like telepathy, the greater the distance you try to create a barrier from, the harder it becomes. This is why many Pokemon simply make a barrier directly in front of them during a battle, rather than when their opponent is halfway across the field. Very few Pokemon can do more than that, though there are a few exceptions, such as Mr. Mime.>
<Creating a barrier is very similar to projecting your mind into another’s. You pour a small bit of your mind out of your body with such force that it freezes the air. Listen to my mind as I use Reflect.>
I tried to enter Griffy’s mind, but I found it harder to enter this foreign mind than Apple’s. It was also hard to concentrate on Griffy while walking. Eventually, Griffy had me ride on his back, but even then it was several minutes before I was deeper than the emotion level.
Erin watched us the whole time with a look of fascination. At one point, I thought I even saw her take out her notebook to scribble something down.
When I was finally in Griffy’s mind, he illustrated Reflect. First he stretched a strand of his mind forward toward Apple and said <Moving your mind slowly like this is telepathy.> He retracted his mind, and then shot several strands forward in front of Apple very quickly. Apple walked into the solid barrier and fell down.
This sent me into a fit of laughter, and I was unable to maintain a connection with Griffy.
<Hey!> Apple exclaimed. <That was uncalled for!>
<Your blue frog-squashing watermelon is uncalled for!> Griffy’s tail yelled back.
I sat up on Griffy’s back and rubbed my head, slightly dazed.
<Ready to try, Miss?>
I definitely didn’t feel ready, but it wasn’t like I ever would. I tried to focus my mind on the air in front of Apple.
<Why me?> Apple complained.
I ignored her and continued concentrating.
“Um, what’s going on?” Erin asked, probably hoping for some interesting data she could analyze.
I tried again.
No matter how hard I concentrated, nothing happened.
<She needs to really want it,> Apple finally said. <She needs to want it to the point of needing it; otherwise her mind will not gain enough force.>
I sighed. If that was the case, I would never get it because I really didn’t want it. It was everyone else who was forcing this upon me. Even though I knew I would need my powers against gym leaders, I couldn’t get myself to care enough.
I certainly wanted to beat the gym leaders, but psychic powers still did not appeal to me. The actual abilities were pretty cool and useful, I suppose, but they were not worth the complications they had caused. I didn’t want to be gawked at, to be treated like an outcast. I had had enough of that in school…
After half an hour of trying, I gave up. <I’m just not ready for this,> I told Apple and Griffy.
Erin sighed sadly and returned Griffy to his Pokeball.
I enjoyed the half a minute we walked in silence, and then Erin started talking again.
“So, what is your favorite kind of ice cream?” she asked.
“Why are you asking me?”
“I needed an ice breaker.”
“Because there is so much tension here,” I retorted sarcastically.
“Touché,” I muttered.
“Well, can you think of a better one?”
“C’mon, I need multi-word answers here. How about, how has your life been thus far?”
I reflected a moment. “Pretty sucky.”
“And why so?” I thought it was rude of her to be so nosy.
“Huh, let’s see,” I retorted scathingly. “My father left my mom and me when I was six, my mom hates Pokemon, I was picked on at school, my two best friends left on their Pokemon journey a whole year before I did…
“I’m sorry,” Erin replied simply. She apparently hadn’t recognized the “leave me alone or else” tone because she then asked, “Wanna expand on any of that?”
“No,” I replied curtly.
“Okay then. How about boyfriends?”
I rolled my eyes at her. Was there an end to her shallowness?
<Technically, yes, assuming she is a shallow person,> Apple added to my thoughts.
<Butt out,> I grumbled to Apple. Then to answer Erin, I said, “Kinda.”
“What kinda answer is that? I want specifics!”
I sighed in exasperation. I turned my head toward the sky for a moment, and noticed some clouds rolling in from overseas. Great, more rain was just what I needed. I decided that answering Erin might appease her so I finally started talking about my one almost boyfriend…
“He invited me to the school dance, and brought me—
My best friend, Mia, giggled. “Awe, that’s so cute! What are you going to do with it?”
Mia stuck her face over the sink to get closer to the bathroom mirror while she applied a thin layer of lip gloss to her lips.
I shrugged. “Dunno. Maybe I’ll just stick it in my purse or something…”
Mia gasped, “You can’t do that! Give that to me!” She snatched the red rose from my hand and twirled me around to face the bathroom mirror. I felt pressure on the back of my head as she fiddled with my pulled back hair to make the rose fit. “There, that’s perfect! Look, the color even matches the dress we picked out for you!”
I rolled my eyes. She had done all the dress-picking. I had just followed her wordlessly, praying for the shopping to end before I dropped dead of boredom. “Whatever, can we go now? Matt probably thinks we’re sick we’ve been in here so long.”
Mia fixed one last invisible strand of her blonde curly hair and then turned to the bathroom door. “You’re so lucky! My date abandoned me as soon as he saw the chicken wings! Yours has stuck with you thus far through the night, and he even gave you a rose after your first dance together!”
“He has been really nice,” I agreed. “I just wish we could bring our Pokemon. We always have more fun with them around.”
Mia opened the bathroom door for me. Matt, of course, was waiting just outside. Mia winked at me, and then scurried toward a table of boys to drag her date onto the dance floor.
The music changed to a slow song, and the DJ announced, “Alright, kids, last song of the night! Make it a good one!”
Matt held his hand out questioningly. I took it and we walked to the dance floor.
Slow dancing with Matt was slightly awkward. Though I was comfortable resting my hands on his shoulders, he held my waist as far away from him as possible, as if he was overstepping some boundary.
I was content to watch his cute round face as we stepped to the tune, but he tried to look everywhere but me. When our eyes met, we both looked away, blushing.
Carly spotted us across the dance floor, and gracefully pulled her date, Reece, toward us. “I always knew you two losers would end up together,” she snickered.
I felt heat rise to my face.
Reece flicked his eyes from my face down to my shoes and then back again. “Yes, you could do much better, Anita,” he taunted.
I grabbed Matt’s hand and tore away from the dance floor, too angry to speak.
Matt and I left the dance and walked toward our homes through the cool, moon-lit night in silence. I missed Matt’s normal friendly chatter.
For years Matt and Mia had been my two best friends, but when Matt asked me to the dance, things got weird between the three of us. Mia scurried away whenever she saw Matt, and my relationship with Matt was just plain awkward.
We finally reached my house. I didn’t worry about Matt walking home alone; he lived next door. I turned to say goodnight when I suddenly felt Matt’s lips on mine.
It certainly was not what I expected… more wet than anything.
“—were the last words I heard him say. The next day he left to go on his Pokemon journey without even saying goodbye.”
“So, do you still, you know, like him?”
“I’m not sure I ever liked him in the first place,” I replied. Then to change the subject, I asked, “What about you? Any boyfriends?”
“A couple,” Erin answered.
“What kinda answer is that?” I mocked, “I want specifics!”
Erin was silent.
I was genuinely shocked. “Are you seriously not going to talk about it?”
Erin nodded and looked away.
I tried to read her mind, but she was just thinking about grey clouds.
A rain drop hit my head. I looked up and noticed the clouds I had seen earlier were now directly over us. Lightning flashed through the sky, and was followed by crashing thunder.
<A downpour is coming,> Apple warned. <There is a small ledge just ahead we can take cover in if we hurry.>
I relayed Apple’s warning (without mentioning that it was Apple’s prediction) to Erin, and we ran for cover through the drizzle. We reached to ledge just as the drizzle turned into a downpour. Erin, Apple, and I sat huddled in silence, watching the rain.
After an hour of squatting under the ledge, the rain had still not ceased. I sighed when Erin said, “Well, looks like we’re going to be stuck here for a bit. We should take advantage of the opportunity by continuing to get to know each other better!”
Boy, would this be a long afternoon…evening…night. I suddenly realized how long the rain could keep me here…
under a rock…
in the cold…
“So, you never answered my first question: what’s your favorite type of ice cream?”
January 30th, 2009 (9:40 PM). Edited January 30th, 2009 by Buoysel.
HAHA that's a great way to end a chapter. I am not a fan of physic types, however you portray them in a way that make me very curious about them, and would one could really do.
I understand the title now, and I think that you are comming up with great nicknames, just don't evolve "Firey" in to a Flareon.
Now for the lines I want to point out:
Proper English would be “I”.
[quote] <So I have heard. The pink lady informed me after I was healed.>
And when you refer to yourself in a sentence such as that, you use “I” instead of “me”.
Now back to the praise.
I find the tid bit about the typhoon interesting, and I really like Apple's character. I didn't think that s/he would obey a human, especially being a Mew. The mental brake down of Apple was classic, how often does a Pokemon become filled with self pitty in a story. I really like that part, it makes Apple seeme almost human.
Oh, and Griffy reminds me of the overbaringly happy computer on the space ship from "Hitchhickers Guide to the Galexay."
I really need a new signature.
February 22nd, 2009 (4:58 PM).
This chapter is a bit more inappropriate than the others. Definetely pg-13...
Aww, it's just 100 words over the limit, so 2 posts. Sorry, 1st post is short b/c I didn't want to split the chapter at a weird part.
Chapter 9: Peepin Pond
I stared at the walkie-talkie.
A child’s toy really.
And yet this mere toy would enact my brilliant plan.
I pressed the green button.
“Yes, Master?” my assistant answered.
I spoke quietly into the toy. “The detective has been dispatched. My plan has begun. Remember my warnings.”
“Of course, Master.”
“Nothing more. Master out.” I ended the transmission and grinned.
If my calculations on Miss Parkwood’s location were correct, she would soon be meeting someone quite special.
Now things would really start to get interesting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ladies and gentleman, the Master has left the building.
I smiled widely. The past twenty-four hours had easily been the happiest hours of my life. By some stroke of luck, or perhaps G-d’s will, it was finally my turn to shine. I was in charge of Team Glop’emm. I was in control.
And yet… there was still work to be done.
For though I was in command now, as long as the young Master lived, my position was not permanent.
Furthermore, the Master had succeeded in disappearing, and this would be the perfect opportunity to eliminate the brat if I could find a way to identify him. I had seen his luminescent eyes a thousand times, and I could probably estimate how tall he was, but that would not be enough to recognize the snotty teen if I ever saw him in broad daylight.
I fiddled with my Pokeballs, thinking.
I had searched through everything he left behind for any clue; the desk I now sat at, his private quarters, the library, and the labs. I found nothing.
All I had was the little information the boy had told me, and my own experience with the boy and his father.
But if I could kill the previous Master without getting caught, I could certainly find the man’s teenage son.
I looked down at the Master’s desk… no, my desk… and saw the talkie the boy had given me vibrating.
Speak of the devil.
I pressed the green button.
“Yes, Master?” I answered tiredly.
“The detective has been dispatched. My plan has begun. Remember my warnings,” the boy replied coldly.
Whoopee, I thought sarcastically, though I responded with an “Of course, Master.”
“Nothing more. Master out.”
How tiresome that boy could be.
Even if the boy wasn’t the Master, I would want to eliminate the child because of how he flaunted his arrogant attitude.
The boy simply had to be destroyed. I sighed as I racked my brilliant brain for vital details that could help me identify the teen.
That was one detail I had— the name Mendol. That was the name written on the gym door. It was the name the boy’s father went by, and the name the boy was called. Master Mendol. The father had become a gym leader before he joined Team Glop’emm. Thus, when the name was engraved, there would have been no reason for him to hide his identity.
The name was a possible lead. It couldn’t hurt to check it out.
Then there was this detective, the man the boy had sent after Anita Parkwood. He had said the detective was a relative. The boy was probably lying, but either way, it would be useful to have someone watching the detective. Maybe this “relative” would let something slip.
Plus, I needed to make sure I was getting all the information the Master was getting about Pokemon X. If I could figure out a way to find and capture it before he did…
I smiled wickedly.
Well, then it would be a lot easier to take him down.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I ran a hand through my dark hair as I stared at the walkie-talkie. It was silent now.
I had my mission.
I was in position.
Now all I could do was wait.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
February 22nd, 2009 (4:59 PM).
The first four times I woke up, it was still raining.
The fifth time, the sun was blazing into my eyes.
I blinked, and looked around me, confused. Erin was laying a little ways away, still fast asleep under the protection of the ledge. I was barely under the ledge, and my clothes were still damp. The air was a lot warmer than it had been before. I looked around for Apple, and finally spotted her bathing in the sunlight.
After stretching, I looked at my watch.
That couldn’t be right.
I shook my head and blinked a couple of times.
I jumped up and ran into the sunlight. The sun was high in the sky, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.
<Apple,> I growled.
<Nya?> Apple answered groggily. Her body remained motionless, sprawled in the sunlight.
<Why didn’t you wake me up when it stopped raining?>
Apple finally got up and yawned. <I thought I deserved some rest.>
<You realize if we had left as soon as it stopped raining, we could have reached Tinted Town before the sun went down. Now that we’ve wasted most of the day, we’ll have to camp out again.>
<Na,> Apple argued, <It didn’t stop raining till noon. No way would we have reached Tinted Town. We would have to camp out anyway.>
<Maybe, but now we’re going to have to start setting up for camp in just two or three hours before it starts getting dark! We’re not going to make any progress. The day was completely wasted!>
I walked over to Erin and shook her with a foot. “Wake up!”
Erin sat up quickly, her hair a complete mess. “Huh?” She blinked. “Whoa. How long did we sleep?”
“It’s already mid-afternoon! We have to get going!”
Erin stretched. “What about breakfast?”
“Ugh. Come on!” I grabbed her arm and started exasperatedly marching through the lightly wooded area. Apple followed.
So we walked… and walked… and walked….
Did I mention we kept walking?
“Huh. There are more trees here,” I noted dully after half an hour of— you guessed it— walking. We had eaten as we traveled.
Erin nodded. “It’s because there is more water here. About half a mile to our left is Peepin Pond, and four miles to our right is Lemon Lake.”
“And how far until we reach Tinted Town?”
“You really don’t want to know. Too far.”
I frowned and grumbled to myself. Then suddenly, I remembered Fiery was still in his Pokeball. “Oh!” I exclaimed as I released him. “Sorry, I forgot about you.”
<Darn, I was hoping you wouldn’t remember,> Apple pouted.
<Under normal circumstances, I would be offended that you forgot me. However, I already told you, I like my Pokeball!> Fiery growled.
<I think you only like it because I said Pokemon don’t like being confined in them,> I replied.
<Yeah, no normal Pokemon would like being stuck in that thing!> Apple added.
<Have you ever considered the possibility that you’re the abnormal one, Apple?>
<No.> Apple smirked.
Fiery chose to ignore Apple. <Anita, just because Apple does not like her Pokeball does not mean all Pokemon dislike Pokeballs. Some of us actually enjoy resting and being away from you crazies.>
<Well, you need the exercise,> I argued. I already knew I had lost; I was just being stubborn. Abruptly, I realized Fiery and Apple had stopped walking.
Apple and Fiery were staring into the sky.
Erin stopped behind the Eevees. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m not—” I stopped speaking as I followed the Eevees’ gazes.
All was suddenly dark.
Three different laughs came from beyond the wet darkness.
<Whew, I feel much better,> an unfamiliar voice said.
I wiped the wetness from my eyes and saw a large Fearow flapping away above me.
It occurred to me what the wet goo covering me was.
“EWWWWWWW!!!” I yelled.
Fiery snorted. <Now you know how I feel!>
“This is so not funny!” I gave the three giggling hyenas my fiercest glare.
It was ruined when a bit of… crap… fell from my hair to my nose.
<It wouldn’t have happened if you had listened psychically or had better normal hearing,> Apple commented.
“It’s supposed to be good luck when a bird poops on you,” Erin remarked.
“Yeah right,” I grumbled. “So far, today might qualify in the top ten worst days of my life.” I unsuccessfully tried to wipe the crud from my face; it just ended up smearing.
And now my hands were covered in **** too. Great.
Apple joked to Fiery, <I bet it was related to the Spearow you battled.>
“Which way is Peepin Pond?” I asked. I spat as… you really don’t want to know.
“I’m going to go wash up. Erin, can you take my pack if it’s not already disgusting? I don’t want to drip on it…”
“I’m not touching that thing if there is a single drop of crap on it,” Erin answered. She inspected my pack carefully before removing it from my back. “We’ll start setting up camp here. No way will we have time to keep moving by the time you’re done.”
<What a waste of a day,> I thought to myself…
… or not. <Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be,> Apple replied.
<You stink,> Fiery put in while wrinkling his nose.
“I’ll be by the pond—” I said to Erin.
<Hopefully in it,> Apple interjected, though only I could hear.
“Make sure you give these two some daunting task.” I waved to the Eevees.
“Don’t worry. They’ll be fetching firewood!” Erin replied.
<Oooh. So daunting. I couldn’t possibly handle that,> Apple snickered.
The walk to the pond was quiet, and I probably would have enjoyed it if it weren’t for the awful stench and disgusting goop on my face.
The trees became denser as I neared the pond, and the shade sent a shiver down my back.
The first thing I did when I reached the pond was splash the pond’s warm water on my face to scrub the crap off. As I squatted by the pond, I made a mental note to buy soap when I reached Tinted Town.
When my face was wiped off and I could finally see clearly, my reflection in the pond revealed that I was covered in even more poo than I had imagined.
And I have a big imagination.
Not only was my hair streaked with brown and white, but so was the top of my long-sleeve t-shirt. Even my pants had some crap on them; I must have accidently put my hands on them when I squatted down.
I glanced to my left and right to make sure the pond was abandoned.
Seeing no other signs of life, I sighed and carefully stripped off my pants, shirt, and shoes.
While leaning over the pond, I dipped the shirt in the water and began scrubbing it with my hands.
A soft cool breeze sent a chill down my spine.
“That’s a nice look for you.”
I fell into the water, surprised by the voice.
The pond was shallow. I swerved around and squatted so only my head was above the water, while I clutched my shirt tightly to my chest.
My heartbeat quickened when I saw the speaker.
“Reece,” I hissed.
“Ah, Anita, it’s been a while,” Reece said casually, leaning against a tree.
<Apple? Fiery? Erin? Anyone!?> I called out psychically.
I held my breath hopefully.
No answer. I was out of range.
Reece strolled toward the pond smirking nastily. I backed into the pond’s reeds nervously, my feet getting tangled in the roots.
Reece stopped by my pants. He nonchalantly bent down and picked them up, seemingly inspecting them.
“Back off my pants you pervert!” I called.
Reece’s amber eyes met mine. “Anita, I thought you were going to be a Pokemon trainer.”
“I am! Back off!”
Reece smiled and put the pants down. “So where are your Pokeballs?”
“Nearby,” I answered hastily, fear accelerating through my veins.
“Is that so?”
<APPLE!?> I strained.
Still no answer.
Holy crap, I was alone.
The creeper took a step closer to the pond.
“Stay back, or I’ll…” my mind came up blank.
“Or you’ll what?” Reece spoke softly. “Scream? No one will hear.”
He lifted his foot slightly.
I was frozen with fright. Reece chuckled and started to take another step.
That perv had to stay the hell away from me! I automatically thrust my mind at the hated boy.
“Ow! What the—” Reece looked around blankly for the source of his pain. He tried to step forward again…
And hit an invisible wall. Again.
“I said, back off Reece!” I hollered fiercely. I sent another psychic pulse to my barrier. Reece was repelled backwards.
Now, Reece’s eyes were widened with fear. “Anita—” he started.
He flew back again. The pervert carefully treaded backwards while watching me. Then he turned and fled through the thin layer of trees.
I sank back in the reeds as relief flooded through me, still clutching the poop-stained shirt to my chest. Slowly, my fear trickled away into the pond. For fifteen minutes, I watched from the reeds to make sure the boy didn’t come back. I sent my mind out to make sure there was truly nobody there.
When I finally felt it was safe, I began lifting myself from the water plants. I scanned the shore just to double check…
There was someone by the edge of the pond! I quickly ducked back into the reeds.
How hadn’t I sensed this person?
I sent my mind out again, but found nothing.
I peeked through the reeds.
A dark haired young man was crouched by the pond. The setting sun made it difficult to make out any exact details, but I could see he was scooping up the pond’s clear water and drinking it.
How long had he been there?
Suddenly, the young man looked straight at me. The fact that I could see his eyes shocked me. They were green and luminescent, shining like the moon.
“I can see you in there,” the kid said quietly, his voice sending chills up my spine.
Okay, today definitely qualified as the worst day of my life.
The strange adolescent got up and started walking down shore towards where my pants were laying. He watched me the entire time.
“What are you doing?” he asked, stopping just before my pants.
My fear had returned. My heart had to be going a hundred miles an hour.
“Get away,” I warned, mustering up my mind. I was exhausted, but fear powered me.
The boy began to take another step.
I threw a barrier in front of him.
He walked right through it.
The young man suddenly looked down. He had stepped on my pants.
“Oh…” he said. He stared at my pants and then called vaguely, “C’mon. Even I know better than to do that!”
What the heck?
The teen spun on the spot and stalked into the woods.
I determined waiting was a bad idea. I quickly scrubbed my hair as best I could and got out of the water. I decided washing my pants wasn’t worth the risk of yet another person finding me in only my bra and underwear.
Because I was wet, my pants and shirt clung to my body. The air was a lot cooler now, but all I cared about was getting away from the stupid pond.
As soon as I began marching away from the pond, I called out to Apple with my mind.
It was another five minutes of walking before I finally contacted her.
<Anita, what took you so long? I was about to come looking for you. Why didn’t you contact me earlier?>
<I was out of range,> I muttered, and then I showed her what had just occurred.
<Congratulations on making a barrier!> Apple replied when I was finished.
I rolled my eyes. Should have known I’d get that response.
<And…> Apple continued. <Well, erm, then you’re not going to be very happy when you get here.> She showed me an image of Erin talking to the dark haired boy I had just seen by a fire.
<Oh, she is so dead.> I could see a dim light up ahead. <I’ll be at the camp in less than five minutes.>
<You know what that guy is?> Apple asked suddenly.
<C’mon, you should know this.>
<Well, I don’t.>
<He’s gifted. He has a dark type gift!>
Oh, wow. That was obvious now that I thought about it.
I finally burst through a bush into the firelight.
I must have been a sight because Erin yelped. The strange young man, however, didn’t seem phased at all.
“Oh, Anita. You nearly gave me a heart attack! This here is—”
“GET OUT!” I yelled.
“Anita, he’s just—“
“OUT!” I barked.
Erin sighed and reached into her pack. The kid didn’t move.
“I don’t know how you got so soaked, but go put these on.” Erin handed me dry pants and a shirt she had pulled out of her bag. “Then maybe we can have an actual discussion.”
I put on the clothes behind a tree and heard Erin mutter, “I am so sorry. She’s—”
I tuned out the rest. I didn’t want to hear.
<I think you may be overreacting,> Apple said calmly.
<But he’s a perv!>
<From what you showed me, I’m not—> I angrily shoved Apple from my mind.
I came out from behind the tree and laid my disgusting clothes out to dry. I sat down by the fire across from Erin and the perv.
“He can’t stay,” I said unwaveringly.
“Anita, he’s just—”
“HE’S A PERV!”
I looked straight at the dark haired young man. Now that I could see him properly, he looked about my age, maybe a bit older. His bright eyes gazed at me from under his spiky jet black hair.
“I am not. You are simply stupid,” he replied stoically.
“What!? I was nearly naked and you kept walking toward me!” I yelled.
“Whoa!” Erin scooted away from the boy.
“Oh, excuse me,” the kid started sarcastically. “First off, I had no idea you didn’t have clothes on. Before today, I believed nobody would be stupid enough to do such a thing.”
“I was pooped on by a bird! What else was I supposed to do?!”
“Oh, so that’s what happened?” The boy smirked. “Still, it’s a pretty popular pond; you’re lucky there wasn’t anyone fishing.”
“Yeah, real lucky!” I groaned, irritated. “How was I supposed to know Peepin Pond was popular?!”
“You are in Acceber. Everyone knows.”
Erin nodded. She was siding with him! What?!
“Even if you didn’t know, who would undress by a pond named Peepin Pond? As in, people peep. Really, how stupid can you get?”
I didn’t have a reply.
I blushed, took in a deep breath, and turned to Erin. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Erin shrugged. “I assumed you knew! It is a pretty common vacation spot. Plus, I didn’t actually think you would undress in the wilderness. Eww.”
I took another breathe and then asked, “What do you want?” I met the boy’s odd gaze again.
Erin answered for the kid. “Before you so rudely interrupted, we were just discussing the possibility of traveling together—”
“NO!” I yelled stubbornly. What in the world was she thinking? What happened to not giving half a thought about a guy? We didn’t even know this person, and I couldn’t read his intentions. He could be dangerous.
“Will you let me finish? He’s a Pokemon researcher like me and is very interested in my area of study.”
Erin caught the boy’s eye and grinned.
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at the boy. <I don’t like this one bit,> I told Apple.
<I don’t like him either. There’s no way of telling what his true purpose is.>
“Since we share interests, I believe it would be beneficial to travel together,” the young man added. Then he continued, “As a researcher, I am also intrigued by the evolution Pokemon, Eevee. Erin, here, told me you have quite a few of those.”
<Oh, sure. This guy just happens to be interested in exactly what Erin is researching and the Pokemon I have. Why does he want to travel with us so much?> I wondered to Apple.
<He can’t know what I am. Maybe he knows you’re gifted,> Apple thought.
<Whatever the case, he can’t travel with us. I’ll tell Erin of the situation psychically.>
<Careful, you’ve never actually spoken to her through your head. You don’t know how she’ll react,> Apple warned.
I reached out to Erin psychically. <Erin, there is—>
Erin snapped her head to me, her eyes flashing with anger. “Anita, is that you?”
I spoke aloud, “What are you talking about?” but psychically said, <Yes.>
“GET OUT OF MY HEAD, ANITA!”
<Well, if he didn’t know you were gifted before, he knows now,> Apple groaned.
<Erin, I’m not even listening to your thoughts. I just need to tell—>
“STOP! If you have something to say, say it out loud,” Erin snarled at me. Wow, and she said I had a temper.
The kid was watching me, as if he was analyzing my every move.
“You’re gifted,” he said coolly. It wasn’t a question.
“Yes,” I answered.
I turned back to Erin. “Now what I’m try—”
I looked at the boy irritably. “Yes.” He gazed thoughtfully at the fire.
“Erin,” I said curtly. “This kid, like me, is gifted.”
“So what?” Erin frowned at me. “You just don’t want to be shown up!” Erin accused.
Geeze, why was she getting all uptight about this one boy?
<Must be that time of month.> Apple rolled her eyes.
“He’s a dark type.” I glanced at the boy to see his reaction. He had none.
“And?” Erin led.
“And therefore I can’t read his thoughts, making him dangerous to us.”
<Actually, technically you can read the thoughts he wants you to hear,> Apple put in.
<What?> I looked quizzically at Apple. <Ugh, never mind. I’ll ask later.>
“Just because you think he is dangerous doesn’t mean he is dangerous to us,” Erin answered. She glanced at the boy and muttered, “You’ll have to give me some tips on keeping her out of my head.”
“Erin, be serious for a moment!”
Erin stood up. “I am serious. If he wants to travel with us, let him travel with us. If you can’t read his mind to discover his intentions, sucks to be you. I can’t read anybody’s mind; for all I know, you could be planning to steal my Pokemon.”
What was she really thinking? Why was she so trusting?
I carefully crept into her mind.
<—just hates him because he caught her doing something stupid. There’s really nothing wrong with him at all. And he seems validly interested in my research without one hint of flirting! It will be nice to have someone to bounce research theories off of. Plus, Anita needs someone to put her in her place, balance all that psychic crap out so it doesn’t get to her head. Huh, I wonder why she stopped talking—>
I jumped out of her mind before she could become suspicious.
<I still think it’s that time of month.>
<This is really a pointless argument. Can we eat dinner now?> Fiery requested.
“How long?” I asked.
“Huh?” came Erin’s reply.
I looked at the boy. “Supposing we allow you to stay, how long will you be traveling with us?” Erin threw me a dirty glare.
The boy shrugged carelessly. “Until I find a more interesting topic of research.”
<I really don’t like his attitude,> I told Apple. <But Erin already has her mind made up. I could always leave them if things get too horrible… though the company is kinda nice, as much as I don’t want to admit it.>
Fiery spoke up. <I have an idea. Why don’t you challenge him to a battle? He wins, he can stay. You win, he leaves.>
I grinned. <I like it.>
“Alright then,” I started. Erin smiled— she thought I had given up. I looked at the boy squarely and gave him my best challenging gaze. “I’ll battle you. You win, you can stay. I win, you leave.”
The corners of the boy’s mouth rose. “No.”
“Then you forfeit. You can leave now.”
“No, I decline the challenge.”
“What, scared you’re going to lose?” I taunted.
The boy seemed amused. “No. I won’t accept your challenge because I know I would win.”
Great, another cocky smart-*ss to put up with.
I glared into the boy’s green eyes. “Listen up. I am only putting up with you because at the moment Erin sees some imaginary good in you, and I owe her. If you slip up even once, do something suspicious, or cause harm to any of my friends, you are dead meat. Got it creepy-eyes?”
Fiery was shocked. <Did Anita just call Erin a friend?>
Apple nodded. <She did. Knew this was coming.>
The boy snickered, “Ooh. I’m real scared now.” Then as an afterthought, he added, “And I wouldn’t be accusing other people of having weird eyes. Yours are purple.” The boy gazed into my eyes for a moment, making me shift uncomfortably.
Erin clapped happily. “Well, now that that’s settled. Let’s get some dinner!” She started shuffling through her bag for food.
The boy got up and walked around the fire until he was in front of me. He held out his hand.
“We never got to introduce ourselves properly—