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View Full Version : The Adventures of Varian Trance



October Winds
13th February 2012, 3:44 AM
Rated PG-13 (for violence, will warn if other)

I do not possess, own or claim authority over the following:

The Pokémon (includes world, animé/video game/manga characters, concepts and ideas)
The Music (artists will be labeled with song, so the only lyrics that are mine are what I don't give credit for)
The Art (paintings, photos, statues, graffiti and the occasional "Kilroy was here")
The Writings (novels, histories, research composites and geologic surveys, to name a few)
The People (if you can Google their names and find them, I don't own them; any relation to individuals outside this fic, whether fictional or not, is unintentional save where I clearly mark it "CHARACTER Y IS REPRESENTATIONAL OF PERSON X", with "X" representing the individual being represented and "Y" being the character supposed to represent them)
The Site (should be self-explanatory, but I'm gonna cover all my bases)
The Spork (long may it serve humanity as both a fork and a spoon)

Essentially, since this is a FAN-MADE WORK OF FICTION, I (the fan who is not getting paid for this) am clearly not to be held responsible for taking creative liberties with someone else's world. It's your own fault for not making it as cool as I am about to.

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Theme Song: Renegade/Styx

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Chapter 1: The Beginning is Important

In the crowded waiting room, he was one of six individuals over the age of fifteen and one of twenty-three who were remaining silent and self-absorbed, ignoring the loud and unruly antics of the rest of the very, very many people therein. Lounging in his Pallet Laboratory's Pokémon Licensing and Examination Waiting Room Chair (as clearly marked by the sign on the back), he bore an aura of "don't touch me or I'll be mildly violent" that nobody bothered to mess with. His full head of dark brown hair was cut short, tapered in a fashion that was vaguely reminiscent of a military hair style. His eyes were a soft brown which, as was the case then, could become unnervingly emotionless far too easily, particularly when he was reading. Wiry muscles covered long limbs and a medium-sized torso, although few people noticed this due to what he normally wore; his clothing consisted of blue jeans, black sneakers, a maroon t-shirt and a navy-blue hooded sweater. Barely visible above the collar of his sweater, twin lines of scar tissue could be seen starting just above the left collarbone and disappearing beneath his shirt.

He looked up from his book as one of the waiting teenagers caused one of the other waiting teenagers to yell loudly and throw something large, the racket audible even though he had his headphones on and cranked up. Controlling his temper, he settled for narrowing his eyes at them before returning to his novel. Reaching down to the silPod in his jeans pocket, he skipped songs until he reached Hearts Burst Into Fire/Bullet For My Valentine, then settled down to enjoy some peace-without-quiet.

He hated loud and chaotic things, and crowds especially; why couldn't people be more like music? You could pick the volume and the song and get some time to yourself anywhere, anytime. He'd already had to utilize a pen in order to ensure the rest of his day was no more chaotic than it had to be. Stupid speeches...

Then he sensed the room around him grow still and raised his eyes once more, regretting the interruption to his reading even though he spotted Professor Oak standing in the doorway, looking the group over with his usual patronizing smile. He did not like interruptions, even if they were good and promised to get him moving along in his life; besides, Robert Ludlum's protagonist was combating a psychotic, dying assassin who had almost killed his wife, while BFMV was about to hit their chorus. Good times, unless said times are interrupted by people he had no choice but to listen to.

One shoulder came up and pushed his headphones off his ears just in time to hear Professor Oak say, "everyone please enter in a single-file line through this door. Your day will begin at ten o' clock, which is fifteen minutes from now."

The room erupted in a flurry of activity as every single person besides the solitary reader made a mad dash for the door the Professor, wise in his old age, prudently retreated through, slamming it back and barreling through like a crazed bunch of lemmings meeting a valley on the path to destiny. The reader calmly remained in his seat, taking a bookmark from where it had been resting on the chair next to him (a chair left unoccupied, as had the one next to him on the opposite side, after he had swung at several people attempting to sit down there) and placing it between the pages where he had stopped reading. He then pulled a folded miniature computer that was roughly double the size of his hand out of his backpack and unfolded it, revealing a keyboard on the lower half and a series of small lenses on the top half. A holographic representation of a computer screen popped into existence above the device and he tapped a series of commands into it before holding it up so one of the electronic readers along its edges was aimed at the book. A flat orange light came out and scanned the book, then both the light and the book abruptly vanished, a light winking on at the same time within the multiple other lights of the holoscreen. Pulling his headphones off and coiling up the cord, he likewise sent his silPod and associated gear to the digital storage program.

"Whoa, cool, is that the Hiwatomi JX-3500?"

Whatever else the friendly-seeming adolescent was about to say died in his throat as the man flipped the device shut, slipped it into one of his pack's pockets (which he promptly zipped shut) and then got up, straightening to his full height (which was considerably more than the still-growing teen's) as his expression remained blank. The teen pondered the wisdom of trying to make conversation with this weird adult, then his friends called to him from the mass of the funneling crowd and all thoughts of weird grown-ups were drowned by worries about his seating in relation to his friends. The reader watched him leave impassively, then reached down and picked his backpack up. The chair it had been resting on creaked with what might have been relief if it wasn't inanimate; the pack weighed around sixty pounds.

Waiting until he was the absolute last person into the room, he slid into the next room and, as all the seats in the auditorium-style room were taken, moved past several other people standing to the corner, sliding down and sitting on the floor next to his pack in a way that would allow him to view the speaker's platform. He spotted Professor Oak at the podium and sighed, leaning back against the wall and half-closing his eyes in order to doze through what would no doubt be an inordinately long speech. His left hand, seemingly of its own accord, went to the pocket of his hooded sweater and pulled out a small recorder, which he thumbed on before cranking the audio sensitivity up to maximum.

The next six hours were spent in classes he had already taken, warm welcoming speeches to the new trainers and instructions on various subjects. In between dozing-off sessions, the man was able to catch parts of the speeches (made initially by the good Professor Oak, then by numerous other faceless speech-givers who clearly were reciting what they had to say by rote) that were either relevant to him or interesting, to include:

"You will all be receiving one of fifteen starter pokémon. Contrary to popular opinion, these are not rare pokémon, per say, but rather are the only species to be found exclusively in domesticated settings. And I know some of you are thinking, "why couldn't we have gotten them in our home regions instead of being hauled to Kanto at the League's expense?" Well, that is because, while all of your home regions' professors are yet active and lively and therefore running short on personal time, I am officially retired from the research business, now spending my days giving new trainers like yourselves their first partner and advice. Of course, this is not a guaranteed occurrence, as some of the professors like to give starters to favored research assistants along with the much-coveted pokédex encyclopedic device, but in general they don't have time to give each and every single new trainer their starter. Therefore, the league came to me about ten years ago, after I'd been out to pasture for a few years and was feeling terribly bored, and asked if I would take over the job."

"This is no chore, as along with getting the privilege of meeting all of you I also get to observe the starters of each of the regions as well, which are as follows: bulbasaur, charmander, squirtle, chikorita, cyndaquil, totodile, treecko, torchic, mudkip, turtwig, chimchar, piplup, snivy, tepig and, last but not least, oshawott. Yes, we currently have 450 starter pokémon waiting for you, one for each and every single one of the new trainers in this room. And because you are each guaranteed to get one, you are each going to leave today with a great deal of responsibility..."

ZZZ

"After these classes, you will all be given your starters and trainer's licenses before being released from the facility; we require nothing further from you once you leave here except to have a great journey!"

ZZZ

"We'd like to recognize the four veterans of the International Peacekeeping Force in the room with us today for their service: Drake Leonard, Rioca, Jayzer Myoto and... Umm... I'm sorry, but I guess there are only three of them. This last name has been crossed out. Anyway, a round of applause for our veterans!"

ZZZ

"The world is divided up into two main portions: the human-controlled nations, of which the League of Regions is the largest, and the pokémon-controlled islands and continents, which comprise most of the world. New regions and nations are being uncovered as we work against the Shadowmist, which, as you all know, is the mist that covers our world save for where humans are dominant. As each new region is uncovered, it is added to one of the existing unions, although most have become proud members of the League of Regions. The pokémon-controlled areas are known as Shadow-held and are extremely dangerous; only the most powerful trainers-the Elites- and the IPF-with their military equipment and training- have successfully escaped it after entering. What lies within is a mystery..."

ZZZ

"The only requirements the League has for trainers like yourselves are as follow: do not participate in two regional leagues at the same time. If you start in one region, finish there before beginning another. You must earn at least four badges within the first eighteen months before your license becomes permanent. You may not carry more than six pokémon with you at the same time; a computer storage program is available for anyone who feels they need to capture more than that. Other than these requirements, and the constraints of the law, which we advise you to research on your own, you are free to do whatever you want!"

Major ZZZ

"And now it's time for you all to select your starters and receive your licenses! Please form a single-file line out these doors..."

His eyes opened at that, but he remained seated where he was, shadowed gaze observing the rest of the room as every person in there leaped to their feet, stretching out cramped muscles and poking their still-sleeping seatmates to get them up and lively. Then two sets of double doors opened up at the front of the room and the horde descended, wannabe-trainers of every age (mostly under fifteen) smashing each other aside in a mad attempt to get to the starters first and ostensibly pick the absolute best one.

When the throng had diminished until those left were the stragglers and the more easy-going members of society, he reached down and turned the recorder off before putting it in a pocket of the pack next to him. Getting to his feet, he stretched, his arms straight up and fingers reaching for the ceiling, growled low in his throat, then picked his pack up, slinging it over his right shoulder. Remaining in the corner until he spotted the last of the room's other occupants moving toward the doors, he began picking his own way down, taking his time just enough so that the doors of one set had closed and he was just in time to slip through the other doorway before it was shut.

He found himself in a massive room, easily twice as large as the auditorium had been and packed with people and pokémon, four hundred fifty trainers and four hundred fifty starters each looking for the one they wanted to start their journey with, while about twenty lab aides in white coats were standing around and helping or giving tips and advice to anyone near them. Smirking to himself, he took a step forward and to the left, careful to avoid a curious charmander's swinging tail, before sitting down and placing the pack next to him. Folding his legs in front of him Indian-style, he rested his elbows on his thighs, lowered his head and let his eyes half-close, seemingly inert and oblivious to all around him. No starter even approached him, let alone tried to initiate contact with him, and he was pleased.

Twenty minutes later, as the final trainer and her new partner left, he studied the lone starter left behind with a nonchalance that belied his interest. It was a turtwig, a small green-and-yellow turtle with a twin-leaf branch growing on its head. This one was smaller than most, barely eight inches tall, if he was any judge; that might be why it had not been chosen by anyone else, its sickly-looking shell had probably not helped at all. Still, it hadn't uttered a single cry of either self-pity or sadness. He had, in fact, witnessed it biting a youthful trainer that had unwisely picked it up by the branch on its head, chasing that individual off with a fiery indignation he could appreciate. The aides all looked at it in pity, then one of them leaned down toward it, pointed toward the man seated by himself and said something encouraging. The tortoise looked at him and their eyes met, something passing between them before the little pokémon turned and stalked purposefully toward the man, the little pokéball attached to its neck by a pink ribbon (identifying it as a female) rocking back and forth rhythmically as she walked.

The turtwig walked right up to the man before looking into his eyes again openly, a direct gaze that he returned, his eyes opening fully and his head coming up to face her. The aides looked on with only mild curiosity, as, while the turtwig had never before shown that much interest in anyone, weirder things had happened than what was occurring and therefore it was deserving of mere casual attention, just enough to make sure the man didn't hurt the little one.

The pair remained motionless for a while, then the turtwig hesitantly raised one foot and touched it to the man's jeans; he brought his hand down and held it in front of her head, allowing her to nuzzle it before a smile broke out across his face for a brief moment. The aides did look then, particularly the female assistants; while he was an ordinary-looking fellow most times, his whole face lit up when he smiled and he seemed to glow with a warmth that made him far easier on the eyes. The turtwig returned the smile with a pleased one of her own, then he reached down and untied the ribbon and pokéball it held, secreting the pokéball somewhere on his person before anyone could see where it went, then tying the ribbon gently into a bow around the branch on her head, leaning back to inspect his handiwork once he was done.

"There. That looks more girly; it suits you." A teasing note entered his voice. "I think I'll call you Cherry, if that's all right with you, because that's how cute you are."

The turtwig flushed a deeper green at his words, spoken in a low, gentle voice that couldn't be heard, no matter how the ear strained, beyond a yard or two from him. She nodded and cooed back, a melodious sound that brought another smile, going as quickly as it came, to his expression before he nodded.

"Great! And my name is Varian. Varian Trance."

She responded with a soft trill and he nodded before slowly getting to his feet, straightening up and looking past the aides, who were looking on with that 'oh-isn't-it-adorable' look on their faces, to the doors on the other end of the room, clearly marked with signs that said "THIS WAY TO LICENSING STATION". Tilting his head in that direction, he spoke again.

"After you, Cherry."

She cooed again and immediately started moving, plodding toward the door at a pretty easy-going pace. Varian picked up his pack and put both arms through the straps, cinching them tight and buckling his waist-strap before following after her, matching his long-legged, swinging stride to her short legs. One leg swung easily out, setting down firmly for a second before his trail foot came swinging along and repeated the process. Neither pokémon or trainer seemed interested in moving faster, to the aides' mild irritation; after all, once this idiot was gone, they could clean up and go home to their families. One of them stepped forward and, plastering one of those 'see? I'm friendly!' smiles on her face, gestured toward Cherry.

"Sir, you should return your pokémon and hurry along to the... the..."

Her words died in her throat, to include an argument about how the turtwig was too small to travel so far on her own and how could he be so cruel, among other things which were all aimed at making him move faster. But before she could even get to the end of her first sentence, the man straightened up to his full five-foot-eleven height and, his posture rigid and set as if he was a predator looking at some smaller animal that had conveniently strolled right up to his jaws just as he was debating whether he was hungry or not, stared at her for a moment. The turtwig beside him was clearly livid; she made as if to charge the aide and take a bite out of her leg, her jaws opening and head turning to the side as she stumped forward, but the trainer's foot came out in front of her and gently held her back. She looked questioningly up at him as her jaws closed and he slowly shook his head, the head and neck moving slightly together as if they were a serpent's as his gaze returned to the aide's.

"Go away."

The aide retreated and the turtwig chirruped angrily at her; then, Cherry's and Varian's faces returned to their original neutral expressions as they resumed walking at their original pace. No other aide came up to bother them until they had disappeared through the doors into the room beyond.

Looking around as he stepped to the side of the door, Varian rolled his eyes slightly; in spite of them taking their time, there was still a line of trainers in front of them at each of the five check-out stations. People were walking back and forth or pacing in place, causing him to kneel down and scratch Cherry on the head just behind her twig. She thrummed, then turned her gaze to him.

"You might get stepped on, so would you mind if I picked you up?"

She trilled a little at that, nodding. Quirking a half-grin at her, he placed one hand on top of her shell, the other beneath her stomach, and straightened up, placing her on the pack behind his head before carefully releasing her. She moved around slightly, which he felt from the shifting of his pack, then he felt her breath on his ear and turned his head as she nipped playfully at his ear. One of his brown eyes met her soft yellow gaze and slowly winked at her.

"That's not yours."

She closed her eyes and nuzzled his cheek, which he leaned into briefly before looking forward and chewing on the inside of his upper lip in thought.

"Well, we could just stay here until one of the lines is open." Turning his ear toward her, he looked at her from the corner of his eye again. "Good plan?" She nodded before nipping his ear, causing him to wince and grin, playfully batting at her nose with his fingertips. "Ahh! That's mine!"

She thrummed teasingly, then squirmed around until she could get her own view of the room from over his shoulder, the pair lapsing into a watchful silence as their expressions, no longer reflecting the joy of each being with the other, flattened out into the neutral ones they'd wore before.

Minutes dragged by until an hour had passed (the time at this point being 5:37p.m.) the lines shortening until there were two in one line and three in each of the others. Remaining silent, shifting his sore feet around, Varian reached back and gently touched Cherry's nose with his middle finger to bring her attention back to what was happening before he moved forward and away from the wall, gliding softly into place behind the number-two guy in the shortest line. His eyes trained themselves on the two trainers in front of him, watching what each one did closely enough that, when it was finally his turn, he performed each action swiftly and surely as the forty-something-year-old woman gave him instructions.

Put your pack on the ground, place your turtwig-isn't she adorable?- next to it. Stand up straight in front of the cardboard background for your license picture; don't worry, you can change the background at a later date and get a better-looking photo then. Cheese! Snap! You should smile more; makes you look handsome. Ah, good. What is your name? Varian Trance. Gender is male, yes? Good, glad you said so, handsome. Age? Twenty-five, no wonder you look so good. What is your hair color? I know it's a silly question, but I must write these down, handsome. Brown? Good, looks like black, though, but I trust you, handsome. Eye color? Brown. Height? Seventy-one inches. Weight? One hundred ninety pounds; very nice proportions, handsome. Country of origin? Johto? City? Ah, Cherrygrove? My sister lives down there; she says it's very nice this time of year. Bah! Nowhere is as nice as Pallet in Spring; here you go, this is your license. ID number is on the back underneath your descriptive information; as you can see, your photo is next to your country of origin information and name. We have taken the liberty of pulling your bank information and adding it to the license bar code, for ease of monetary transactions. Congratulations, you are now a Pokémon Trainer! Have a nice day, handsome!

He nodded to her and, slipping his new license into one of his pockets, picked his pack back up, reattaching all straps and tightening everything back down before looking questioningly at Cherry. The turtwig shrugged and yawned, then thrummed contentedly as he leaned down and picked her up. Returning her to the top of his pack, he strode past the few trainers still congregating within the building and out the double doors at the end of the room into the fading sunlight beyond.

It was a crisp, clear Spring evening in Pallet. Birds were singing their good-night songs, the breeze was blowing softly in preparation for the rain showers en route, the cumulus clouds in the distance evidence of this, and a horde of new trainers were saying good-bye to anyone and everyone; mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, new friends, old friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and any random passing stranger. Further on, a large group of trainers were challenging every passerby they came upon, which, unfortunately, included Varian.

As his strode down the path along the Laboratory's grounds, heading for the gate, he was accosted by a kid who couldn't have been more than twelve years old with a charmander at his side. "Hey, old guy! I challenge you to a battle!"

Several of the other kids he was hanging out with gathered around, 'ooh'ing and 'ahh'ing as he puffed his chest out in pride, apparently because he had actually challenged somebody. They quieted down, thought, when Varian ignored them and continued walking, causing the kid to huff indignantly and chase after him.

"Hey! You gotta accept my challenge! It's the rules!"

Varian laughed, a wicked, mocking bark, then continued walking, his stride lengthening until the kid ran around in front and barred his way, a crowd of other kids gathering behind him and chanting 'fight! fight! fight!' as he caught his breath from chasing the rude old man down.

"Hey! If you don't battle me, I'll tell-"

"Tell who?!" Varian snapped, kneeling down and putting his face in the kid's face. The other backed away, his eyes widening, as the man continued, "You little prick, article 16 of the Pokémon Trainer's Code of Conduct states that "the trainer has the right to refuse a battle on any grounds, including but not limited to: obvious advantages for the challenging trainer that the trainer believes his own team cannot overcome, such as a type advantage that the team has not been trained for; challenging trainer/team is clearly far more experienced than challenged trainer's; the battle would require a pokémon that is physically incapable of battle to fight.". Kapeesh?" Straightening back up, never having tilted his pack so far that Cherry had to adjust her position, he glared down at the kid, his expression darkening. "If you can't even look up the rules, don't you dare ever quote them."

The kid's jaw opened and closed silently as Varian strode past him, the tall man's scowling expression chasing all other potential challengers away as he stalked off. He kept the angry look on his face until he had passed through the gates, then relaxed back into his normal expression as he turned and headed toward the subway station, calculating the time and deciding he would be able to reach the 6:15 to Viridian. Turning his head slightly, he began speaking softly as he walked.

"Cherry?" The turtwig cooed uncertainly at him. "I just want you to know that I don't doubt your ability to battle. However, we haven't trained together at all, and, from the looks of your shell, you aren't healthy enough right now to fight anything. I can make you better, but not by making you fight a fire-type. Okay?" She chirruped at him, her tone light as she bumped her nose into his cheek, and he smiled softly. "Good." Turning his attention more to the front as he approached the moderately-busy subway station, he continued speaking to her in a soft voice. "I want to get to Viridian as quickly as possible, both to start getting you to feel better and because I want to avoid the long path there; it's going to be choked with trainers trying to get more pokémon all tonight and tomorrow, and maybe longer if the rains hit and they return to Pallet for the night. Although," he mused, thinking out loud more than speaking to Cherry by that point, "there's going to be a drastic cut in traffic anyway when all the trainers wanting to return to where they came from get back on their ferries. It should make our travels much easier, but a head start can't hurt, anyway."

He looked up to find himself in front of the stairs leading down to the inter-city subway. Steeling himself, he joined the press of people going down and went with the flow as it led through the gates, where he had his pass clipped, and into the train itself. Even in the packed car, the tension radiating off of him and his pokémon was enough to give him about two inches of space all the way around as the train took off down the tunnel leading to Viridian.

Neither he nor his partner liked crowds.

It was a rather short ride, barely twenty minutes in length, during which Cherry tucked her head nervously in the crook of his neck between shoulder and head, and then they were disembarking, most of the people remaining on the subway so they could head home; many were workers and researchers at the lab who commuted from across the region to Pallet every day, while some were family members of the new trainers. He spotted only three other trainers aboard, all of whom were obviously seasoned; all three were also getting off at the Viridian station with him.

As he emerged into the cool evening air, he grimaced when he saw that the sun had already gone down; so much for getting Cherry some sunlight before bedtime. Turning his head slightly, he reached up and cradled Cherry's face with his hand. She responded with a weak chirp and he gave a wry smile. She was probably a little motion-sick from the subway ride.

"We're going to find somewhere to hole up, don't worry." A questioning chirp from her and he amended, "We'll find somewhere to sleep, I mean."

The Pokémon Center, with its boarding areas and services available free to licensed trainers, was the logical choice, so, looking around to get his bearings while remembering every map of Viridian he'd ever seen, he focused on a pair of bright red-and-white, neon-light pokéballs rotating along the skyline and started walking that way. Twenty minutes later, after passing through what would have been termed an ill-advised route through a grungy part of town, he arrived at his destination, the knuckles of one fist skinned from having to punch the thought of mugging out of the mind of a rough individual. He'd never even slowed down; when the man had pulled a knife on him, his arm had naturally swung back while his foot had swung forward. Instead of swinging the arm back forward, he simply balled his hand into a fist and launched a punch that spun the man around before he dropped. Varian had not even lost the tempo of his stride, while the other shady figures lurking in the shadows of doorways and building-corners had wisely decided that he was probably not prey material and proceeded to leave him alone.

Still, he breathed easier when he entered through the sliding glass doors of the Center and nodded in greeting to the nurse on duty. She smiled in that fake, "if-you-smile-at-them-they-won't-make-your-day-harder" fashion. Ignoring her, he strolled toward the sign-in station for the living quarters, tapping one finger on the touch screen to wake it up out of screen-saver mode. A few more finger-taps and a swipe of his license elicited a beep from the machine, followed by the ejection of a card key from a slot slightly below the screen. Retrieving the key and tapping the 'exit' button, he moved away and down a nearby hall which conveniently indicated that the lodging areas were located at its other end. Following the hallway, he found himself at a T-intersection, with multiple doors lining the walls. Numbers were on small placards next to each door and, looking at the number on his key for confirmation, he proceeded to locate his room, smiling a little when he found it. Swiping the key card, he entered the room and waited for the door to close behind him before flipping the light switch.

The room was small, barely large enough for the single twin bed and the door to the bathroom, which opened into the main area just past the bed, which bore the usual pillow-quilt-sheets ensemble that most hotels do. Still, it was quiet and, as he noted by looking behind him, could be locked by a deadbolt as well as the key card. Turning the deadbolt's handle to throw it, he moved over by the bed and, crouching down with his back to it, rested his pack on it and slid out from the straps, holding the pack up and slowly rotating it so Cherry could crawl down off it onto the bed. When she was on the bed, he placed the pack on the floor before opening one of the pockets and pulling out his Hiwatomi. Turning the computer on, he accessed his storage space and scanned the pack into it before withdrawing a small bowl and a bottle of water, clearly labeled "CRYSTAL ICE BRAND SPRINGWATER! BOTTLED AT MOUNT SILVER TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE PUREST AND HEALTHIEST WATER ANYWHERE!"

As he poured the bottle into the bowl, he looked up and smiled wryly at Cherry, who was poking her nose curiously over the edge of the bed. "Yeah, this is yours. I'm pretty sure the reason you're not up to speed is that they've been giving you tap water. As a turtwig, though, you're supposed to have fresh water from a spring; as I can't get you to a spring yet, though, you'll just have to settle for water I've personally witnessed being bottled." Emptying the last of the water out and shaking the droplets left over into the bowl, he capped it and, reaching up, moved Cherry down to the floor to let her drink. She cautiously took a sip, her eyes on him until she tasted the water. Cooing in surprise and joy, she dunked her face in and began sucking the water up as fast as she could. Varian chuckled.

"I thought so." He leaned back on his heels and squatted there as she drank, talking both to her and himself. "Turtwig are more plant-based than animal-based, so sunlight and clean water are your only requirements as far as nutrition goes. I'm not surprised those lab people couldn't figure out why you were sick; most turtwig probably have great immune systems. But any weakness in your body and that tap water they'd been giving you suddenly becomes a source of infection; the chemicals in it that clean it for humans can be toxic to you. And I doubt you got much sunlight, being a domesticated pokémon your whole life." Looking down at her, he smiled to see she had finished the bowl and was moving over to him. "Heh. Not thirsty at all?"

She cooed at him before he picked her up and set her in his lap, folding his legs Indian-style before placing his hands on her shell, his eyes closing.

"Close your eyes and open your mind, Cherry. There's one thing I want to show you before we turn in; it's a training technique we'll be doing every morning." She cooed at him and he inhaled slowly before exhaling.

At the end of the breath, a tingling went through the pair before Cherry gasped. Opening his eyes, Varian saw that they were in a massive, blue-colored room with no doors and no windows. Smiling, he picked Cherry up off his lap and set her on the floor, her head facing him as he remained seated.

"This," he stated in response to her questioning look, "is the mental and nervous training area. It's a room made in my mind where I can train my mind and, by extension, the nervous system without physically tiring myself out or destroying anything. There are other perks, the chief of which you should discover in a minute."

He lapsed into silence, smiling mysteriously to himself as Cherry looked at him questioningly. Then she opened her mouth.

"So what-eh?!"

Chuckling at her shocked look, he grinned mischievously at her. "Because we're in a world made up of mental energy and we're physically touching outside, I can understand what you want to say. Communication directly from mind to mind is so much simpler without language barriers."

Rolling the idea around in her mind, Cherry looked up at Varian. "I think I like that."

Varian nodded. "Good. We'll explore more of it later, but right now I just wanted to introduce it to you and get some input from you."

"Input?"

"Yeah." He sighed. "First, I want to make sure you understand something." He held up a hand to forestall any questions. "I want you to be quiet until I'm done talking, because you need to hear this. I need you to understand who I am and what I want to do, and then I want you to answer a question once that's all said and done."

"I was born in Johto, in Cherrygrove, to Martha and Victor Trance. I had a wonderful childhood; educated at home by my dad, who was a professor of pokémon battling at Violet City University, and my mom, who was a pokémon breeder of amazing skill, even if she wasn't recognized for it; I had enough battle experience by the age of twelve I could have been a Gym Leader if I'd wanted it. Instead, like an idiot, I joined the International Peacekeeping Force at the age of nineteen, right after the Kyogre-Groudon incident. I fought through both Dialga-Palkia incidents and was about to be deployed to Unova to deal with the civil war there before I luckily got attacked by a seviper during training in Hoenn." He pulled the left side of his shirts down to reveal twin scars running from just above his collarbone down to his lower chest, causing Cherry to gasp as he released his clothing to return to its original position. "So I was released from service and decided to become a pokémon trainer."

"Understand me well, I want nothing to do with the League or anyone else any more. I'm tired of taking orders, tired of being part of a group, looking out for their well-being more than my own for no other reason than we are in the same area. From now on, the only ones I'm going to be watching out for are my team and me."

"So I came back to Kanto and did some research on the next batch of starters, sick of letting other people choose how my life would go. I found out about you, that you had gone through three seasons without being chosen, and decided on you for my starter." As she blinked and opened her jaws, he held up a hand, his gaze on hers almost pleadingly. "I chose you because we're both the same. Nobody wants us for who we are. You because you're sick, me because I'm an ex-soldier and nobody wants a soldier who isn't out of sight, and therefore out of mind. I don't want to change their minds, I don't want to fight them. I just want to be left alone and to enjoy my life with whoever I choose as my friends."

"Which brings me to my question. I want to be your friend and I want you to be my partner, but I don't want to force it on you, not if you're unwilling. So, Cherry, would you like to travel with me? To be my partner and friend? If not, I can take you wherever you want to go or to whoever you want and leave you there." He smiled a little hesitantly. "Honestly, though, I hope you say yes. I dunno about you, but, regardless of strategizing beforehand, I knew when I first laid eyes on you that I had to have you as my partner."

Cherry answered instantly. "I want to travel with you." Varian smiled broadly in relief, but remained silent as she continued, "I'm glad you chose me. You know how to make me healthy again, you care about my life and you aren't out to fight everybody." She looked down for a moment, then looked back up at him. "I don't like to fight, but for you, I would. If you wanted me to fight everyone, I would. I can trust you."

Varian nodded, sobering a bit as his eyes glazed over in thought. "I'm glad, but I think we can work around you fighting everyone. I know how to make you stronger and can teach you how to fight without making you fight anyone at all." He looked up at her, his gaze suddenly intense. "More than battles, I want to explore the world, to see things without having to pass through them. I want to move at whatever pace I feel like, to do whatever I want, but I also want to be strong enough to remain free to do so."

"I think that's a good thing to want." She nudged his leg with her nose. "I want that, too."

He reached down and cupped her head with his hand, gently rubbing his thumb along her face as she leaned into it. "Then I am even happier that you let me choose you."

"One question."

"Yes?"

She frowned thoughtfully. "I thought about this earlier, and it doesn't really have anything to do with anything. Why didn't you store your travel-sack in your storage-device before? I'm grateful for the chance to ride around and rest that was provided by it, but wasn't that heavy?"

"Heh," he smirked with a hint of teeth, "that was so I could intimidate anyone who tried to annoy me. Nothing like a heavy backpack being carried by an angry-looking dude to make people move aside."

Nodding, she smiled before a yawn escaped her. "Well, can we go to sleep now? It's night and, while humans can stay awake all night long, us turtwig need to rest when it's dark."

Chuckling, Varian leaned back. "No, I like my rest, too." The blue surroundings abruptly disappeared and they were back in the room, his words continuing as if he didn't notice that she was back in his lap, blinking her eyes at the sudden shift and the tingles still tracing their way through her system. "Rest up, because tomorrow we leave the city and head out into the wilds. I have some ideas on how to proceed from now on."

She cooed at him and he picked her up, setting her on the floor before getting to his feet. Taking the Hiwatomi out of his pocket, he opened it up and tapped a series of commands into it. A small travel kit appeared in his hand, which, after placing the computer on the bed and moving into the bathroom, he utilized to clean up before bed. Returning once that was done, he stored the kit again and then withdrew a pair of sweatpants, which he changed into after removing his sweater, jeans and socks and storing them in the computer. Closing the computer, he placed it under the bed next to his sneakers and then got under the covers, sitting there as he picked Cherry, who had curled up next to the bed and was slowly beginning to drift off, up and tucked her under the covers next to him, smiling at her sleepily curious look.

"You're a reptilian plant; you need body heat and can't provide it yourself." Flopping down, he looked at the light switch across the room and glowered. "Phooey."

Then, looking around carefully to make sure nobody could see (which was inexplicable since it was clearly a one-person room with nowhere to hide), he switched off the lights and went to sleep.

----


Author's Notes

League of Regions: Every large region that has a Pokémon League as well as Orre. (any region which has a game based around it barring the Ranger and Mystery Dungeon games, for those of you still confuzzled) These countries have created a government that creates laws (typical stuff, taxes, violent crimes, blah blah blah), directs the police network, controls the IPF military forces and essentially acts as the central governmental force for the regions. Does not have as much authority as local governments in most issues, but retains authority based on what responsibilities it is called upon to take on itself. (for example, does not interfere in a single local murder or a string of murders, either to interfere or assist, but will do so if asked; however, when said string of murders can be linked to the same individual and said individual begins moving through different regions, will step in due to local force's inability to contain issue)

International Peacekeeping Force: LoR's military force. Utilized in exploration of Shadow-held areas, defense in times of disaster, both natural and artificially made (Legendary pkmn wars are most common areas of usage) and in domestic situations where local peacekeeping forces (police, Elite Four) are not enough to contain situation. Has usual army, navy, air force; however, each branch is modified beyond our conceptions. Beyond fewer numbers due to status as all-volunteer force, the following limitations are in effect:

As aircraft beyond helicopters and hovercraft are unusable due to Rayquaza's effect on the atmosphere, air force consists completely of said vehicles and flying-type pkmn; responsibilities typically consist of recon, transport and, if situation is severe enough, quick, violent hit-and-run attacks.

Navy has similar restrictions; while Kyogre may be asleep, Lugia's influence on the currents and underwater shifts essentially means that underwater activities are barely existent. Submarines are large and powerful to counteract pkmn influence on underwater stress/pressure change and the effect on said underwater vehicles; surface ships do not fare better, especially if gyarados are passing by. Said pkmn tend to become overly violent when in presence of military powers. Therefore, navy has similar role to air force (except on and under water rather than in air).

Army is least restricted of all as far as Legendaries go, but, due to pkmn themselves, is restricted from using large amounts of metal. Presence of magnemite/ton/trode and ability of numerous other pkmn to affect metals has limited the size and number of vehicles.

Primary focus of all three branches is as follows:

1. Psychic abilities of members. All humans have latent psychic abilities, but few have the ability or training available to draw them out. IPF personnel are all trained extensively in use of psionic abilities in a wide array of methods.

2. Pokémon teams. Teams are drawn from volunteer pkmn and are mixed and matched according to trainer's rank, personal preference and ability to handle said pkmn; few pkmn in IPF remain with partner for long.

3. Tactical and strategic thought. Each member is trained in how to operate alone or in a group, be the group only two or be it a thousand; each member has a sound grasp of teachings of war.

4. Knowledge. IPF personnel are among the highest-educated individuals in the world, as their minimal numbers mean they must often perform multiple tasks at once.

Pokémon Trainer's Code of Conduct: The law governing a trainer's treatment of his/her team and conduct at all times; it is not all-inclusive, but it is binding and open to interpretation by the enforcers of the law. Each article can be punished by the minimum up to the maximum amount, depending on the situation. (theft can be punished either by a fine of 50Ą or the removal of the soul from the body)

1. No trainer shall steal another trainer's pokémon.
2. Trainers shall take care of their pokémon to the best of their abilities.
3. No trainer shall attempt to capture a Legendary-status pokémon.
4. No trainer shall refuse an order given them pertaining to their well-being by any League of Regions government personnel, to include Elite Four and master, police force personnel, International Peacekeeper Force personnel, League officials and/or any individuals temporarily under the authority of the League of Regions.
5. Once a battle is concluded, the winning trainer is entitled to receive a monetary reward from the defeated trainer, the amount of which can be up to one half of the defeated trainer's cash reserve. Items other than money may be offered as prizes, but pokémon will under no circumstances be awarded for winning a battle.
6. Once a challenge is accepted, neither trainer can withdraw until a winner is decided.
7. No trainer may have more than six pokémon in their team at one time, although exceptional cases may be waived and pokémon that are traveling with the trainer but not fighting for him/her are exempt.
8. No trainer shall require a pokémon previously knocked out in battle to fight again before being seen by a registered pokémon nurse.
9. No pokémon shall be required to fight if they do not wish to. No threats may be made against pokémon not willing to battle. No trainer will require a pokémon to battle in exchange for necessities the trainer should already be providing, such as food or medical aid.
10. Once the eight badges of a region are obtained, trainers may choose to do one or all of the following: take the Gym Leader's test to become a Leader and battle the competition team of a Gym Leader to take his/her place, compete in the annual League Championship for the title of Champion of that region, battle the Elite Four of that region for the title of Champion, battle the Elite Four and Master to become one of the Elite Four.
11. No trainer shall make another trainer walk any path but one of their own choosing.
12. Any trainer who discovers a Legendary pokémon in a situation not of the ordinary will report the incident to the nearest government facility.
13. No trainer shall interfere with or insult a Ranger.
14. The legal age limit at which a person may become a trainer is 10; they may receive a temporary license which will allow them to train pokémon but not participate in gym battles. At age 13, they may receive a permanent license with full rights of all other trainers. (this is known as the Ketchum Clause; after the controversial Master was diagnosed with PTSD from his numerous traumatic experiences and retired, the question of how young a person could be before they became a trainer was raised by numerous parents and was repeatedly petitioned about until the League finally inserted this clause in the CoC)
15. Trainers may form teams and organizations for any purpose so long as that purpose does not violate these articles.
16. The trainer has the right to refuse a battle on any grounds, including but not limited to: obvious advantages for the challenging trainer that the trainer believes his own team cannot overcome, such as a type advantage that the team has not been trained for; challenging trainer/team is clearly far more experienced than challenged trainer's; the battle would require a pokémon that is physically incapable of battle to fight.
17. All trainers are to be prepared to account for their team at all times.
18. If at any time a trainer comes across someone violating the principles laid out here, they are to deal with the situation in an appropriate manner.
19. Once a trainer receives their license, they are not bound by any rules other than those of the Pokémon League. They are independent of family, city, nation and cultural bindings, to name but a few, and are answerable only to the League.
20. The following organizations are criminal and must be reported to the authorities when encountered, if not destroyed on the spot by the trainer who finds them:
Team Rocket
Team Aqua
Team Magma
Team Aerial
Team Galactic
Team Plasma
Cipher
------

Well, there you have it. I hope you are entertained. Please feel free to leave reviews, cookies and any spare pocket change you may have in this thread.

GastlyMan
14th February 2012, 6:46 AM
Pretty good start so far. I really like your main character. He shows a kind and compassionate side when interacting with Cherry, but often seems to be quite the opposite towards most people, which is certainly an intriguing contrast.


The Site (should be self-explanatory, but I'm gonna cover all my bases)
The Spork (long may it serve humanity as both a fork and a spoon)

Essentially, since this is a FAN-MADE WORK OF FICTION, I (the fan who is not getting paid for this) am clearly not to be held responsible for taking creative liberties with someone else's world. It's your own fault for not making it as cool as I am about to.

Awesome disclaimer, lol. XD



He found himself in a massive room, easily twice as large as the auditorium had been and packed with people and pokémon, four hundred fifty trainers and four hundred fifty starters each looking for the one they wanted to start their journey with, while about twenty lab aides in white coats were standing around and helping or giving tips and advice to anyone near them. Smirking to himself, he took a step forward and to the left, careful to avoid a curious charmander's swinging tail, before sitting down and placing the pack next to him. Folding his legs in front of him Indian-style, he rested his elbows on his thighs, lowered his head and let his eyes half-close, seemingly inert and oblivious to all around him. No starter even approached him, let alone tried to initiate contact with him, and he was pleased.

Interesting how he waits till the very end to pick his starter. I wonder how he’s able to wait for so long; I would’ve been shoving past everyone in order to get my starter right away, lol.


At the end of the breath, a tingling went through the pair before Cherry gasped. Opening his eyes, Varian saw that they were in a massive, blue-colored room with no doors and no windows. Smiling, he picked Cherry up off his lap and set her on the floor, her head facing him as he remained seated.

"This," he stated in response to her questioning look, "is the mental and nervous training area. It's a room made in my mind where I can train my mind and, by extension, the nervous system without physically tiring myself out or destroying anything. There are other perks, the chief of which you should discover in a minute."

He lapsed into silence, smiling mysteriously to himself as Cherry looked at him questioningly. Then she opened her mouth.


This is a fascinating concept. I’ve tried similar things to it myself. Should be interesting to see how he utilizes this in the future. Also, really cool how he can communicate with her there!

Anyway, great job with this.