5th July 2006, 6:38 AM
Hey, alright, I doubt that many of you remember this name, or my old fic "Three for the Road." It might still be around, like Willie Nelson in 'Highwayman.' Anyways, I decided to make a return to Fic-writing in general, and pokemon in particular. This is a revision, an update if you will of my old fic. I'm gonna try to streamline it, because I have trouble rambling, but hey, I get payed by the page. I'm hoping to update this story at least every three weeks, if not two. Though in the beginning it'll probably be very rapid between updates. OK, lets start the show.
This Fic is rated PG-13, also, JC-Heavy. (Johnny Cash Heavy)
The Four Winds.
A lonely boy with dark features sat alone in the corner of the courtyard, gently strumming a guitar to an old Johnny Cash song. He didn't know it, but his father was a proud Nigerian and an prodigy in mathematics, teaching at a local university at this very moment. His mother was a lovely young woman, a devout Roman Catholic, and living in a nunnery. He was the result of his father's multiplication, his mother's gravest sin. Thats why he sat alone in courtyard of an orphanage in the heart of Goldenrod City.
He was a lonely boy. No prospective parents admitted to it, but they didn't want the Blatino boy who only got B-'s on his homework. There were plenty of children that weren't sullen already, not poisoned by their own life's struggles.
His name was Sam Early, and he was a prisoner of his own circumstances. But tonight he had a plan to escape. He was single overnight train ride to free air, to Ettu. Ettu was cold and mountainous and more than a little backwards compared to his metropolis hometown, but he needed to get away.
Hundreds of miles away, another lonely boy sat, this one with red hair and soft green eyes. Reciting answers by heart to his mom's textbook questions. This boy also didn't know his father. He was only four when his dad died in a bankrobbery. His half-formed memories had transfigured his father into a demi-god of sorts. Brave, handsome, infallible. Twelve years after his father died, he was truly forgotten, replaced by a cross of Hercules and John Wayne.
He was a lonely boy. None of their neighbors admitted it, but they all considered his mother, a successful lawyer, to be a nutcase. She seemed to have the intent of changing her own quiet, introspective boy into his father, who was louder-than-life, jovial, and more than a wee bit crass. She had half-succeeded, with her boy contracting a bad case of sarcastic humor and false bravado.
His name was Will Ratic and he was a prisoner of his mother's over-protectiveness. But tomorrow, he was about to be paroled. He was a single night away from becoming a Pokemon Trainer. His mother wouldn't dare let him leave Ettu, but getting a few towns away would just be fine.
Another few hundred miles south, a lonely boy was just punched to the ground. He knew his father all too well. Especially his father's right cross. Jeremy Cole didn't want to beat his kid, but sometimes, Ethan Cole was just a big disappointment. Tonight, they had caught Ethan with an open can of beer. Ethan was a slacker, even too lazy to shave off that damn soulpatch from his chin. Too lazy to comb his hair, so it was hidden beneath a beanie. Ethan was even more a disappointment when you compared him to his older brother, Francis Cole. A former officer in the Pokian Army, Francis Cole helped support his father. Sure, once or twice, Francis had been disciplined while in Pewter Military Academy over some alcohol, but he was the pride of the Saffron City family.
So thats why it stung Jeremy so much when Francis died. His son saw action during a military intervention in Rwanda, but he was invincible. The war veteran didn't die in glorious combat, or after a long life telling his war stories, but by a bunch of hooligans while Francis was on the job, looking for artifacts in a cave in Ettu. One Explosion attack by the hooligan's Golem, and the resulting cave collapse choked the life out of their son, only two years after he returned from Rwanda.
Ethan Cole was a prisoner of his brother's shadow. But tomorrow his jailor was going to give up. His father had already decided even as he hit Ethan that he was going to let him try to find his own way. Jeremy was an old man, and he was tired of raising children. Ethan had just turned eighteen a few days ago, and tomorrow, he'd find himself on a plane to Ettu, far away. Maybe Jeremy could then admit to himself that the reason he hit Ethan was because Ethan was much closer to Francis, emotionally, in their characters, in every way imaginable, than Jeremy ever was.
In a undisclosed location, perhaps, an unknowable location, someones or somethings were chatting, animatedly. It had finally started to come together. Of course, the doubter of the pair was less than convinced.
"We are being over-assumptous here, brother," the doubter said seriously, "The prophecy clearly stated that there would be four winds, and these only add up to three."
The believer was not swayed, "Have faith, brother. You know that we have already identified the fourth wind. The prophecy didn't state that the four winds would all start up at the same time." He began humming the same Johnny Cash song. "Ring of Fire, huh, Mr. Early? Very appropriate for our plans, don't you think, brother?"
21st July 2006, 6:51 AM
I always hate the introduction, because frankly, I can never make it sound like the rest of the story. See, the front end is very depressing, and the end will probably be too, but the middle, and the vast majority, its a reflection of me, so its sarcastic and poppy, and its a fun time, and totally awesome, because again, its a reflection of myself. But, my reviewer friend, Tezza I must thank you for your kind compliments
The Four Winds
Professor Charles Magne didn't really know how to say it, but he was kind of a big deal. I mean, not many of his colleagues could claim to have a Nobel Prize on their mantle shelf. Even fewer could claim to have gotten it while working for his post-grad. The Paris-born man never intended to get into Pokaiology. He originally was going to be a chemist. Indeed, his post-grad thesis was on alternative biochemistry. This was back in the 1960s, just a few years after Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA. The only problem with their theory was a series of islands in the mid-Pacific, just south of Hawaii. In there lived highly exotic creatures, what the locals called Po-kaimen. They were unlike anything the Western world had ever seen, lizards with flaming tails, electric sheep, even honest-to-God Dragons! In the wonders of Americanization, Po-kaimen became Pokemon.
Charles Magne, a twenty-three year old post-grad, had the answer. Po-Kaimen were not related to other life forms; they weren't even pure organic! They were interlacing carbon and phosphorus-nitrogen-based compounds, with a more flexible DNA-esque genetic code, which at certain times in their lifecycles would actually change. The local language’s term for it was loosely translated as evolution, but in his scholarly work, it was strictly just a phase-shift. After more research, he realized they weren't ~200 species but in actuality 13 species with ~200 subspecies.
He discovered all that in a slow week.
But, when he accepted his current job, head of the Pokaiology department at the University of Ettu-Brutay, he did not realize what he was getting himself into. Apparently, part of his duties involved starting out the young trainers. He knew his field had a symbiotic relationship to Trainers, and on the intellectual level, he respected them. But on a pure emotional level, he thought of them as a bunch of immature snot-nosed idiots.
So, of course, on one of the few days he had something to look forward to (A Steelix with diamond growths between its joints) he obviously had to postpone it to send off three new trainers. They always came in threes. He thought. Never a single new guy, which would take about five minutes. No, it has to be three, with a whole half-hour wasted.
His clenched-jaw, which could already break his own Nidoking's bones, somehow clenched a bit further when he received the three starter Pokemon. The breeder whom he had always relied on always grated his nerves. But of course, blood is thicker than water.
"Hello, Pepin," Professor Magne said bitterly.
"Bon jour, mon frère," Pepin's French had deteriorated ever since the Magne family had moved to Ettu. The professor had always thought his little brother as a few watts short of a Mareep.
"So, did you bring three of them?" Charles said.
"Oh, but of course! Though I must say, the fire one seems a bit weird. Her kind is usually a bit more aggressive," Pepin said, "She also seems to be a runt."
"A pity, to be sure,” Charles said coldly, "So, are you heading back to your island?"
Pepin laughed, his large frame jiggling along each chuckle. He truly lived up to his namesake, Pepin the Short, as he barely cleared 5'4. "Aw nah, man, I left Nora in charge while I'm gone. I mean, I was going to stay for lunch."
Charles bit down on his tongue to avoid from crying. Every time Pepin came, Charles invited Pepin to lunch as a courtesy, always subtly hinting that he didn't want Pepin there. Of course, Pepin had the subtlety of a herd of rampaging Tauros, so every time he accepted the lunch offer.
Charles made small talk with his brother for about an hour while they waited for the new trainers to arrive. A motley crew if he had ever seen one. Will Ratic of Brutay Town, Ethan Cole of Saffron City and Jerald Horst of Grand Rapids, Michigan from the States.
"So, why don't you show me what you brought, Pepin?"
A smile crept onto Pepin's chubby face as he clicked open the Pokeballs.
Across town, Will Ratic was slowly buttoning up his shirt, and sliding on his jacket. His mother was making this a big deal. He stared at his tie. He imagined that his father wore a tie everyday he went to the bank. The bank the Ratic's owned. He was the poor little rich boy. A tie. A sign of maturity. He gulped. He had never worn a tie before. This was his manhood ceremony. A momentous occasion.
There was another reason why he hesitated to put on the tie. His father died when he was four. He didn't know how to put it on. "Mom!"
Sam Early was sleeping quite nicely, for a night-train bed. Of course, for the uninitiated, a night-train bed barely could hold a Clefairy, much less a person. Six people were supposed to sleep in the area of a twin-sized bed. Of course, Sam didn't mind until he felt something climb on top of him. It was warm and soft, and it cooed softly as Sam tried to lift it. It looked strikingly familiar. Almost like a Sandshrew without the yellow plates. Of course, on the top of its head, between its long springy ears, there was one dark grey plate. "Kangaskhan?" He said dimly, recalling that Whitney, his local gym leader, once received one as a gift for the Gym Leader Secret Santa program.
"Oh thank you lord!" A loud plump woman said joyously. Sam recognized her as the one who had the bunk below him on the train. "I've been watching that for my brother, and I thought I'd lost him. Imagine what would happen if poor Joey got himself into the toilet! It'd be horrible. Thank you for keeping Joey safe."
"Uh, you're welcome," Sam mumbled as he pulled a pair of shorts over his boxers. He really didn't mind that the sixty pound monster. He was too ecstatic. They were almost there.
"Professor Magne?" Katherine 'Kitty' Ratic called out, her arm slung around her fire-haired son, "Oh, Professor Magne?"
A rather nerdy looking fellow, one of the Professor's grad students, answered. "He's back in his office. Are you the new trainer he's swearing in? 'Cause I think he's expecting you, then."
Kitty Ratic gave a sickeningly sweet smile, like sugar-laced cereal in chocolate milk. She walked forward, keeping her son within inches. When they entered, they were greeted by three men. No, scratch that, two men and a nervous looking boy.
"You're Will Ratic, I presume?" Professor Magne stood up and offered his hand. Will was reluctant, until he received a sharp knock in his ribcage.
Professor Magne knew Kitty Ratic. Not personally, but the Ratics were famous in Pokia as they were among the richest in Pokia. The current Ratic Matriarch was considered to have a personal wealth in the ten-billion-American-dollar-range. And of course, Nathan Ratic, whom Magne presumed to be Will's father, was a famous playboy here in Brutay until his marriage to an ambitious young lawyer from Blackthorn City. Even though Kitty was in her mid-forties, she still turned a few heads on the street. When your dead husband was the second oldest son of the richest family in the region; when your mother-in-law, a billionaire, said that you would never want for anything, well, you could spare a few dollars on your appearance. Professor Magne, however, found her bleached blonde hair to be slightly unbecoming of a woman of her social position.
"Will Ratic, I'm Professor of Charles Magne, this is my brother Pepin Magne, and this young man is Jerald Horst."
Will didn't quite believe that name. The name was Dutch perhaps? But the boy definitely did not look Dutch. He had black curly hair that either needed to be worked with, or cut off. His skin was a shade lighter than black coffee. He had soft eyes, and most interesting of all, slung on his back was a guitar case.
"Well, boys, as soon as the third of our party arrives, I'll get you your Pokemon, and you can get a...move on," Professor Magne said while obviously under the influence of false enthusiasm.
Luckily for the pair, they did not have to endure any forced conversation with the professor because at that very moment, the doors burst open to reveal what Will assumed was the last boy. He was older, much older than either Will or this Jerald. He had light blond hair, almost white, though most of it was hidden underneath a dark green skull cap. On his black t-shirt was a white skull-and-crossbones. He had baggy ripped jeans that covered his shoes. His eyes were cold, his mouth was curled into a look annoyed disgust, and beneath his disgust lay a soul patch in the same tone of his hair.
"Oh, Ethan Cole, right? Delightful, we can get started, finally," The professor said this in a kind tone, but his eyes flashed dangerously. "My brother Pepin was the breeder of these Pokemon. If you'd be so kind, Peppy?"
The shorter brother obliged by opening the door on the side of the well-furnished office. Immediately, a vision of cream, red, and orange trotted out. Standing only to Will's belly button, one would think that the miniature horse would be ridiculous, but it projected a sense of dignity and regality. It was no mystery why the Queen of England had a personal stable of these Pokemon. Ponyta were a sign of class.
Behind the Ponyta charged a monster. Every time it took a step, the office echoed from the impact. It was about the same size of Ponyta, and it too seemed much bigger than it was. But instead of regality, everything on this craggy Pokemon screamed power. It didn't stop charging, even after it got out of the small closest. Pepin threw himself ontop of the four-legged horned pokemon. Before, Will thought Pepin to be just merely fat, but it was obviously that he had muscle underneath. Legend had it that the Emperor of Pokia used three Rhyhorns like this one, and brought Istanbul to its knees.
After the two dramatic entrances, the third was almost a disappointment. It merely sauntered in. It was a green ball essentially, with short stubby legs. Its arms called to mind the appearance of the balloons that clowns use to twist into shapes. Carved into the surface of the ball was a Jack-o-Lantern face. A yellow crown of spikes lay atop its head. These Pokemon were famous for their mischiefs in the desert. Travelers held that Cacnea would steal water bottles and put sand into them before returning them if left to their own devices.
"Well, let's see who goes first...I believe Ethan Cole is first alphabetically. Wait...it'd be the same order alphabetically if you go with first and last names!" Professor Magne exclaimed.
"Freaky," Jerald Horst said quickly.
"Yes, well, anyways, Mr. Cole, your selection?"
The tall boy slowly paced, looking at the assembled Pokemon, and he almost looked like he was selecting his preferred method of suicide. Doctor Magne had seen many trainers out with their new Pokemon, but he had never seen one look so depressed while choosing theirs.
"Well, not for nothing or whatever, but I think I'm gonna take the badass lookin' Rock one," Ethan mumbled.
Will couldn't stop his inner smart-alec, and leaned over to whisper something into Jerald's ear. "He's gonna have his butt handed to him by like a Staryu."
"What?" Sa--Pardon, that is to say, Jerald responded.
"Totally, man. He's gonna be walking along, and he'll be fighting a trainer, or I don't know, a Mudkip will try to start something, and he'll use his 'badass lookin' Rock one', and the Mudkip or the Bellsprout or the whatever is gonna be like 'Bubble!' or 'Absorb' and Rhyhorn will fall on his butt. Honestly. He made the worst choice, like ever. And I think he's probably dumb enough to try my little scenario."
Young Mr. Early, I mean, young Mr. Horst merely shrugged, and walked up to Magne. "So, its my turn, right? I think I'll take...I like the look of the Cacnea. So, yeah, uh, ring me up."
That suited Will just fine. He liked Fire Pokemon. He didn't have much from his father, but his grandmother did give him his Dad's old Flareon. Of course, Will learned the hard way that just because Will fed Flareon, and took care of it, it wouldn't battle for him. Much to his embarrassment, while trying to use his father's Flareon, he was beaten by one of the neighborhood kid's Weepinbell. Nevertheless, he felt that a Fire Pokemon fit right. It was a step in his father's direction.
"I'm alright with Ponyta," Will said as he caught the Pokeball that Professor Magne tossed to him. Normally, he would have looked at his mom's approval for a momentous decesion, but today was his day.
Will walked out, calm and collected. His mom had given him a few words of encouragement and some basic survival tools, most importantly, a cell phone. He couldn't help 'Jerald' following him.
"Hey, Jerry," Will said suspiciously. 'Jerald' looked around, to make sure he was the one being spoken to. "You're not really Jerald Horst, are you?"
The interloper looked around making sure they were more than an earshot from Professor Magne. "Nah, I think that old dude got confused. I walked in here for directions, and the guy assumed I was Gerald Horst, and who am I to turn down a free Pokemon?"
"Well, who are you, I think is the more approriate question than your Pokemon stealing ability."
"Oh, right," the stranger slapped himself in embarrassment, "My name is Sam Early. I'm from Goldenrod. And who are you calling a Pokemon thief?"
"Well, what's Jerald Horst supposed to do when he arrives?"
"And SOL means?"
"**** outta luck."
"And that sounds like...?"
"Something a Pokemon thief would say..." Sam said wisely, "Y'know I think I see what you're saying. So, where are we off to?"
"Well, yeah. I mean, you sound like a smart enough guy for your Rhyhorn speech back in the office."
"I don't want to spend my time with a Pokemon thief."
"I ain't stealin' it. I mean the guy showed up late. Same thing happened to Ash Ketchum, and he got a super powerful Pikachu."
To this, Will had no snappy answer. "I still don't trust you."
"Oh come on. This is because I'm black, right?"
"Dude, did you just play the race card?" Will said confused.
"Well, I would not call it playing the race card so much as I'm letting you be aware that I have the race card in my large hand of an arsenal. C'mon man, I don't know my way around Ettu."
"Then why are you here?!"
"Well, it beats Rabbi Shapiro's friendly neighborhood orphanage for unwanted immigrant kids," Sam said sourly.
Will was dumbfounded, "You're messed up, man. I don't need to know this kind of stuff."
"C'mon, just a trial period, at least. If you don't like it, I'll leave when we get our first badge."
"How do you know I'm going for badges? I mean, maybe I want to enter Pokemon Contests."
Sam looked at him dismissively, "I spent most of my free time in Whitney's Gym back in Goldenrod. I know when I see a kid who's actively trying to become a Pokemon Champion. You, sir, are actively trying to become a Pokemon Champion. I bet you have a map etched out in your head the path you want to take for all eight badges for the Ettu Grandiose Cup."
"Okay, yeah, you're right. So you want to enter the Grandiose Cup too?"
"Beats Pokemon Contests, cause those things are flaming," Sam said, as he stretched out his back.
"As flaming as a Magmar."
"You know what, Will? This could be the start of a beautiful friendship," Sam smiled.
Will smiled back, "No way, Pokemon thief."
A boy with black hair shaved into a crew cut came up to the pair, "Hey, my name's Jerald Horst. D'ya know the way to Professor Magne's office?"
Sam merely laughed as he walked forward. Will tried to explain to Jerald but he was shouted down by Sam, "Hey, tell me if you get a super powerful Pikachu, man!"
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