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Thread: Child of Fire: The Indigo League

  1. #1
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    Default Child of Fire: The Indigo League

    Hello fellow Serebii users and Pokemon Trainers! My name is Perilous/PerilousFate/Fate. It recently came to my attention that unbeknownst to me that this site, that many have called their internet home for many years, has a large and dedicated Pokemon fan fiction community. This information intrigued me, and pushed me to drop by and see just what the fuss is all about. It did not take long for me to ascertain this to be a great place for me to share my own work, thus here I am. The following story is one that I have been working on for some time, in fact its conception began well over a decade ago and through the years has steadily been molded into what I feel to be something that I can be proud of, not only for my own amusement, but for the entertainment of others and, hopefully, someday soon my own children.

    A few things to keep in mind when you're reading the aforementioned work:

    This narrative takes place in its own canon, and therefore is not bound by pre-existing events of the TV series, video game canon, nor the many manga that have preceeded it. While reading, you may find yourself experiencing nostalgia, and in fact I sincerely hope and pray that you do, as many events may mirror or resemble that of events in the prior listed canons.

    CONTENT: - There will not be mature content of any sort in this story.

    To provide you with a point of reference to my writing style, I believe heavily in strong characters being the foundation for a strong plot, and the characters are what carries the ship that is the plot to its destination. I grew up jumping quite quickly from Dr. Seuss, to C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (who has arguably had the greatest impact upon my style), and keeping in mind that this is a story that I want to someday share with my future children at a young age, I tired to find the perfect balance of story progression, depth, and detail.

    Child of Fire has been a labor of love for me, as it is a grand reimagining of my playthrough of the games with sprinklings of my own original ideas within its subplots and overarching tale. For those of you who, like myself, have been trainers since the beginning, I hope that feeling of nostalgia is warmly accompanied by the many nods of fan service (no, not that kind) that I have littered throughout the tale.

    I hope that you enjoy the journey!

    With that, I give you...
    Last edited by PerilousFate; 24th June 2016 at 10:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Prologue and Ch.1 - Mirage

    POKÉMON: CHILD OF FIRE
    THE INDIGO LEAGUE





    By Andrew Shepard





    All characters and likenesses within are (C) Nintendo, GAME FREAK, and The Pokémon Company International









    PROLOGUE

    Hello there! Welcome to the world of Pokémon! My name is Oak! People affectionately refer to me as the Pokémon Professor! This world is inhabited far and wide by incredible and mysterious creatures that we call “Pokémon”. We humans live alongside Pokémon as friends. At times we play together, and at other times we work together. Some people use their Pokémon to battle and develop closer bonds with them. As for myself, I study Pokémon as a profession.

    CLICK


    A woman on the screen spoke frantically over the sound of pounding rain. She holds on tightly to her microphone - a fierce wind threatening to take it away.

    A massive storm has swelled up south of the Johto region. This hurricane, which meteorologists are already labeling as one of the worst of the century, is creating 50 foot swells and gale force winds up to 230 miles per hour in some areas. Many ships and planes in the area have already begun losing contact with their ports and control towers, and both residents and travelers in the area are strongly advised to stay in their homes and head to their cellars if they have them. If you can safely reach a local storm shelter, please head there straight away.

    CLICK


    A young woman looks away from the television and stares at a small, framed photo sitting on a nightstand. Tears fall down her face as she clutches a glowing, prism, orb-shaped pendant hanging around her neck.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CHAPTER ONE – Mirage

    Large, lush green fern leaves were pushed aside amidst pouring rain as Samuel, a middle-aged, but aging well, man in his thirties carefully made his way into a small clearing surrounded by dense jungle on all sides. He shielded his eyes from the rain with his hand as best he could and looked over his shoulder. Moments later, another man who looked around the same age, if not a slightly older, as Samuel, entered the clearing, swatting the foliage away from his face. “This weather is unbelievable, Samuel. Can you believe how fast this storm is coming up? How are we supposed to find a safe place for base camp now?”

    Samuel looked down, his hair and clothes completely soaked, with an exasperated sigh. “The only conceivable way for us to camp safely is to quickly find somewhere we can be sheltered from the raging elements. With how quickly this storm is growing, we may have to settle for whatever we can find - be it ideal or not. What’s worse Rowan is that if this storm continues to escalate we aren’t even going to find a place in time. Nevermind the rain, if it keeps up like this the wind is going to blow us away! Please ensure that the others are still safely behind us, my friend.”

    With a nod Rowan quickly went back through the leafy wall, returning moments later along with three other individuals, wearing heavy coats, who set down their large packs. All of them looked soaked to the bone and exhausted.

    “These younger researchers are proving to be very eager to continue on our quest, despite these harsh conditions. Perhaps it's following their inspiring leader? After all, not everyone gets an opportunity to observe the great Professor Oak in his natural habitat!” The man jestingly nudged his elbow into the Samuel’s side.

    “It shouldn't be about me, Rowan, you know that”, Oak said with a light chuckle. He knew that Rowan was just trying to lighten the mood under the dreary weather “It’s about the pursuit of knowledge and greater insight into this amazing world we’ve been put on. There is still so much that we don't know about our world and the creatures in it. This region alone still has much unexplored territory harboring Maker-knows how many secrets. That means there could still be undiscovered species of Pokémon here as well!”

    “Whoa there, Samuel! Calm your enthusiasm for a few minutes so we can all get some rest for a moment. It’s been a long hike here and now it’s quickly becoming a very precarious one. We still have at least another half day's journey to go, but with conditions as they are it’s going to take much longer and we can’t risk getting caught out in the open when things really go south.” Rowan said as he placed an easing hand on Samuel’s shoulder.

    As Rowan spoke, Samuel thought he glimpsed something moving in the distance. Squinting hard through the downpour, he attempted to focus on the object through the dense foliage in the area around them. Of course there was something moving; he knew that this was a densely populated valley, full of Pokémon on the ground, in the trees, and even beneath their feet underground.

    “What’s that you see?”, Rowan asked as he scratched at his beard that was beginning to fill in and showing early signs of grey. The others looked up as well when they saw the intense looks on their senior researchers' faces just a few short paces ahead of them.

    “I’m not certain…,” Oak replied apprehensively, “but I could swear there’s something moving up ahead.”

    Not one to discount the instincts of his friend and colleague, a man who had also once been widely known as one of the most talented Pokémon trainers in his nation, Rowan took a step forward and tried to get a look at whatever it was that had caught his friend’s attention. After several moments of staring through the rain and trees, he looked over at Oak to tell him that there wasn’t anything to be seen, or that whatever it had been was gone. But when he turned to face him, the expression on Samuel’s face was undeniable; he was indeed seeing something, but what exactly it was proved to be the real question. Professor Samuel Oak had already established himself as the world’s foremost authority on Pokémon, and Rowan had known him for many years, since before he had decided to become a researcher with a hunger for knowledge and discovery and no longer a trainer in pursuit of individual glory and status of legend. In all of that time and knowing all that Oak had already encountered, he had never seen such a look on his friend’s face; one that could almost be described as ghastly. Whatever it was that Oak had seen, it was real and it was something that completely shocked him out of focus, even from their current precarious situation in the growing storm.

    “Rowan...," Oak whispered in a soft tone so as not to scare away whatever he saw, “Rowan, do you see it…?" The look on his face was a fierce one of shock, awe, and disbelief.

    Rowan moved closer to his colleague and tried to pinpoint where exactly Oak was staring, because it was evident that he was still seeing something there.

    “I don’t see…anything there, Samuel. Where are you look-" Cutting him off mid-sentence, Samuel grabbed his arm and pointed a straight line to where his gaze had been fixed for the last several moments. It took a few seconds, but Rowan’s eyes focused and then widened as finally he saw what Oak had been ghost-stricken by. In the distance, surrounded by a glowing sphere, floated a small creature that Rowan knew had to be a Pokémon. The creature was maybe 100 yards ahead of them, in a small glade surrounded by the dense rainforest. From their distance they had a difficult time making out all of its features at first, but the creature seemed to be floating a few feet above the ground and had a long curled tail that ran half again the full length of its body. Oak held out an open hand and Rowan made haste through one of the compartments of his research travel pack and pulled out a large pair of binoculars and quickly handed them to his focused friend. Oak carefully raised the magnifying tool to his eyes and gently adjusted their focus so as to more clearly see what was in front of him. Through the binoculars he could make out more of its features: it was a pale pinkish hue and had short - almost stubby, pointed ears that were very feline-like, on the top of its head. It kept whipping back and forth, almost as though it was dancing or playing a child’s game with itself.

    The other researchers accompanying them just stood silent, unsure as to what was going on that had captivated their elders so. Professor Oak took a hesitant step forward as he felt something tugging at his heart and will. Rowan watched closely as his friend moved closer to the creature. It was definitely a Pokémon; he had no doubt of that, but not one that he had ever seen before. However, Rowan was familiar with the legends of a mythical Pokémon connected to the Kanto and Johto regions. Tales of a “Phantom Pokémon” were scattered throughout ancient literature and texts, thought by many to be nothing more than “a mirage”. There was never any concrete evidence regarding it, no solid facts to be found, just conjecture and old tribal myths passed down from one generation to the next, but what they were seeing right at this very moment was very real, that much was true. Whether they were truly in the presence of the mythical Pokémon known in those legends, that remained to be seen, but at this point that was all that was on their minds. As Oak drew closer to the creature, he could begin to hear its soft cry echo through the rain; at first it was only as audible as a whisper from a distance, but slowly he was able to make out its sound: a soft, but high-pitched “mew…” piercing through the wind and rain.

    When he was finally able to make out its cry, he froze in place immediately, trying to imagine the gravity of what he was now witness to out in the dense rainforest of the Silver Mountain range. He turned to Rowan, who also heard the creature's soft cry and the two professors shared their moment of astonishment. Once he gathered the courage to move closer to what he was now positive was the ancient Pokémon, Mew, it slowly turned its head to look at him; and through the binoculars for a moment the creature’s gleaming sapphire eyes pierced through the deluge and were locked with his. Samuel didn’t know what to do; all he knew was the feeling of something pulling at him to keep going forward. That feeling soon turned into follow as Mew began to slowly float off. Oak was sure he was following it for a reason. Why else would it be moving at a pace with which he could keep up in the first place? He could hear the rest of the research team starting to slowly trail behind him at a distance, but he didn’t look back. He didn’t even blink; he just kept his eyes fixated on Mew, as it, seemingly, led him through the dense foliage of the valley.

    The already darkened sky had only grown darker, and the rain was falling from the heavens with increasing intensity. The wind was reaching gale force, yet Professor Oak continued to follow for coming on two hours, by his estimate since he didn’t risk looking down at his watch for fear of losing sight of the Phantom Pokémon. It led him far deeper into the valley than he had initially planned to go, but he knew somehow that wherever Mew went, he must follow. As he followed Mew, Oak’s thoughts wandered through many of the things claimed of the Pokémon in the myths and legends which he had read: stories of its power, myths of it thought to be the ancestor of all Pokémon, and how it was said to appear only to those who were pure of heart. Oak didn’t know if his heart was ‘pure’, but he wasn’t going to complain today. Today he would follow. Today he would have faith that he was being led for reasons too great for him to understand right now.

    This is either incredible or mad or both. Rowan thought to himself as he and the rest of the research team followed behind Samuel Oak just close enough to still see and keep track of him. He didn’t want to get any closer; or rather he did but he felt a pulling at his heart to keep his distance. Rowan glanced over his shoulder to see if the rest of the team was still in close proximity. He and Oak were the eldest of the team, with the rest being younger graduates from their respective institutes for Pokémon science and learning. They were some very promising young grads who he knew, someday soon, would become renowned professors in their own right. He himself hailed from the Sinnoh region, far from their current location on the map.

    Two of the young men in their party were quietly talking as they walked; presumably trying to assess the situation and figure out just what exactly was going on: an understandable goal, as Rowan himself was still only grasping at straws. One of them, Elm, was a graduate from Johto, the region they were currently in the far northern ranges of, and was already becoming well-known throughout it for being one of the very first individuals to witness and document a Pokémon laying eggs and seeing them hatch. The larger man walking beside him, and scratching at the beginnings of a beard along his jawbone, was Birch of the Hoenn region. Rowan had never been to the region, but he had read that it has a plethora of tropical habitats and small island locales. The sole female in their party was a young girl by the name of Aurea Juniper. Her father, the nearly retired Cedric Juniper, was a renowned Pokémon professor the world over. They were from the far off Unova region. The girl couldn’t have been more than 18 years old, but already she showed signs of brilliance. The thought of the positive future that was in store with researchers like this group was a pleasant distraction from the current mystery, but just as quickly as he had allowed his mind wander to the team behind him, Rowan reset his sights on trailing Oak and the Phantom Pokémon yet again. He quickened his pace for several yards to make up for the lost ground from looking back, but dared not to get too close and slowed again so as to avoid complicating matters further. “I sure do pray that you know what you’re doing, old friend.” Rowan said softly aloud to himself as he gestured the rest of the team to come up more closely behind him.

    Oak’s legs were starting to burn with lactic acid build-up from the long hike that Mew had been leading him on for what had now been over 24 hours. He had felt the ground begin to incline a mile back, and now it had started to be not quite so gradual and it was all he could do to just push through the pain and cramping muscles as the path began to grow steeper. Though he hadn’t dared divert his gaze away from his mythical guide, he had noticed that any Pokémon along the path had stopped whatever they were doing to just stare at Mew as it passed by, as though they too were in awe of its presence. The wind had begun to pick up too as Oak climbed ever higher up what he now believed to be Mt. Quena, the tallest mountain in the Johto region, rivaling even Mt. Silver which split the regions of Johto and his homeland of Kanto. This confirmed his theory that they had traveled far from their initial path, but he paid the revelation little mind as he was determined to continue to follow Mew wherever it would lead him. The weather clearly had other plans, as not only had the winds been blowing in strong gales, but the night sky had been dark with storm clouds, offering no light from the moon or stars. The near black nimbus overhead had been relentless in its deluge and Samuel was soaked from head to toe from the torrent. Behind him, the rest of his team had scrambled to don their heavier raincoats and pull up their hoods, but Oak pushed through the torrent as if it was just a light drizzle. He was too focused, too determined, and he felt he was too close now to let a ‘little’ rain slow him down. Through the storm he could still see his guide; Mew had generated a glowing sphere of light around itself, allowing the team to follow despite the reduced visibility around them. Oak’s mind wandered more as hunger began to set in; a few times he had reached out and plucked some edible berries that he had noticed ahead of him, but those were hardly enough to sustain him. He hoped the rest of his team had eaten something from their travel packs, though they hadn’t exactly planned on their trip taking such a turn of events.

    Chewing on a part of a sandwich he had rationed for himself, Rowan wondered how much farther this would go on. It couldn’t be much more now, as he too had assessed that they were nearing Mt. Quena’s peak, or as close to it as could be ascended by normal means. His legs were tired, his body was tired, and so were his eyes from straining to make out the figure of Oak in this darkness using little more than their travel flashlights and the heavy rain was not doing him any favors either. He made a quick head count to ensure everyone was still with him, as they were. Trailing just a few paces behind him, Birch and Elm exchanged some fruit in their packs; each of which was unique to their respective regions. He was glad to see that they were still in relatively good spirits but could see the visible signs of fatigue on their faces even in the night. Then Aurea came jogging up beside him. She was wearing a heavy, water-resistant coat with a large, fur-tipped hood. The young girl looked at him with a questioning expression and seemed like she was ready for some answers. Rowan couldn’t blame her; they had all been mindlessly following behind Professor Oak for over a full day now. They hadn’t slept, and had been rationing what food stores they had brought with them for their, what had intended to be, relaxing expedition.

    After several moments of walking beside him and studying his face, she finally spoke up, “Professor Rowan, what exactly are we doing right now? I get that we’re following Professor Oak, but to where? And why is he so far ahead of us?” Her bright, young mind was full of curiosity, but this was more than that and Rowan knew it. Had he not seen the Mirage Pokémon himself, he too would likely believe this to be some wild chase through the wilderness. He smiled at her, rain dripping from his beard, and put a hand reassuringly on her shoulder and gave her the quick version of why they were on this hunt. When he was through he wasn’t certain if she understood, but she at least pretended to and they pressed on, as Rowan also felt this journey coming to its peak.

    The rain had become more unbearable by the minute. With each passing moment, Oak felt his strength slipping away as the cold, hard deluge ceaselessly and mercilessly rained down - his only remaining strength coming from the feeling that he was nearly there - wherever ‘there’ was. He had climbed higher than he had intended to on this expedition and far further west as well, but when he saw that Mew had come to a stop just a hundred or so yards ahead of him, he felt a surge of energy. Finally, he thought, this is it. He was so excited that he lost his footing on the muddy earth, falling end–over-end several feet backwards. He got up as soon as he stopped rolling, just as the rest of his team came up behind him. Oak rose to his feet, not looking back, and sprinted up the remainder of the distance to where his guide awaited him. He could hear the research team slowly making their way up behind him, but they were taking their time.

    Probably safer that way… He thought to himself, noting his own misstep just moments ago. When he was finally no more than 10 or 20 yards from the mythical Pokémon that had been his mysterious guide for the better part of the last 48 hours, it floated into a small cave imbedded into the mountainside. Oak took a quick glance around; he wasn’t at the peak of Mt. Quena, but he was close enough for one trip. He raised his head and hands to the sky in thanks, allowing the fierce rain to wash away the mud that was caked all over his face and palms. Taking a deep breath, unsure of what he was going to find inside, he stepped forward into the darkness of the cave. The cave opening had been small, but beyond that it was wide, having a ceiling more than high enough for him to comfortably press forward without worry of hitting his head, and went back several more yards than he had expected. It began to curve at a sharp 90 degrees, and he noticed a faint, flickering light coming from around the bend. As he turned the corner, Oak involuntarily held his breath, not knowing what he would find, but even with all he had witnessed these last couple of days, what he saw was probably the absolute last thing he could have expected to find.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Welcome to the forums! I hope you enjoy staying here. Let's get right down to business.

    Moments later, another man who looked around the same age, if not a slightly older, as Samuel, entered the clearing, swatting the foliage away from his face
    Remove the comma please, it's unnecessary.

    “It shouldn't be about me, Rowan, you know that”, Oak said with a light chuckle.
    Misplaced comma. It should be before the quotation.

    “What’s that you see?”,
    Again.

    “I’m not certain…,”
    and
    “Rowan...,"
    You don't need a comma if you end with ... in a speech.

    Once he gathered the courage to move closer to what he was now positive was the ancient Pokémon, Mew, it slowly turned its head to look at him; and through the binoculars for a moment the creature’s gleaming sapphire eyes pierced through the deluge and were locked with his.
    Semicolons can not be used with conjunctions. It should be a comma, although the whole sentence is very wordy. Maybe give the audience a bit more room to breathe by removing "and" and put a period after the "him"?

    Samuel didn’t know what to do; all he knew was the feeling of something pulling at him to keep going forward.
    There we go. A correct usage of the semicolon. Although, it seems that you use semicolons a lot. (That's not necessarily a bad thing).

    This is either incredible or mad or both. Rowan thought to himself as he and the rest of the research team followed behind Samuel Oak just close enough to still see and keep track of him.
    I don't know about you, but I like to use italics when expressing thought, and the period should be a comma.

    He didn’t want to get any closer; or rather he did but he felt a pulling at his heart to keep his distance.
    Again, a conjunction, so no semicolon. The rest of the grammar errors you can find yourself.

    I see that this story is in the past, with Juniper only being 18 or whatnot. I can see that this work is kind of like Tolkien. Might want to bring the narrative down a little bit, it's a bit too much. Great start so far, I'll continue reading and see where it comes to!

    Oh yeah, another minor nitpick: when a character does something please refer to them by only one name or two (at most) for each character/narrator. For example: You can call Professor Juniper Aurea, Juniper, the lady, mom, Professor Juniper, the light brown haired girl, the green eyed woman, etc. It's kind of confusing. A child can call her mom, but will it call her "the green eyed woman"?

    Your paragraphs are long, but I think that's because of the narrating. Decent start, I'll keep reading to see what lies ahead!
    Team Rowlet!

  4. #4
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    Default Ch.2 - An Unexpected Find

    CHAPTER 2 – An Unexpected Find

    Samuel Oak had stopped a few feet after turning the corner in the cave which had taken him an excess of two days to reach. His eyes were wide and mouth hanging partially open in disbelief at what was before him. When he had noticed the flickering light at the back of the damp cave, he had expected a fire in some form or fashion, but he hadn’t expected it to be from the tail-tip flame of a Charmander - much less an infant and even less still two of them. But what shocked him even more was that the two small, orange in hue and fire in affinity, reptilian Pokémon were nestled against a human child - a boy, who couldn’t, by his best estimate in the poor lighting of the cave be more than 6 or 7 years old.

    Oak didn’t even get enough time to ponder on how the child came to be here, as he noticed that all three of them, the boy and the two infant Pokémon, were all in poor health. It was clear that they had not eaten much in days, no surprise given the fact that they were in no shape to go find food on their own and much less in the weather and conditions that had reigned over the valley the last two days. They shivered, their only source of warmth being each other’s body heat and the small flames on the tips of the baby Charmanders. That trademark flame on the end of every Charmander’s tail was also a tell-tale sign of its vitality: the more intensely the flame burned, the stronger and healthier the Pokémon, whereas the opposite also held true: if the flame on the end of its tail was weak, so too were its life-signs, and these flames were barely more than a small flickering candle. Being the expert that he was, Oak knew that if a Charmander’s tail goes out, it can faint or worse. He took a step forward and removed two Poké Balls from his pack, determined to keep these two infants alive until he was able to get them to the nearest Pokémon Center. The staff there would be able to nurse them back to perfect health.

    The two Charmander clung tightly onto the boy, acting as though he were another sibling they were protecting. The professor knew they didn’t have the strength to harm him if he got closer, but he didn’t want to scare them either, after all even a weakened Charmander could still be volatile if it feels cornered and threatened. He paused as Mew, who had been levitating a few feet above the boy and Charmanders, floated closer to the boy and did something which shocked and amazed the professor. The small child looked up at Mew in a way that suggested he had seen it before. This told Oak that Mew had been keeping watch over these three for some time now. The boy then raised a hand up to the Pokémon as Mew, floating down within reach of the child, pressed its own small hand against the child’s and made a smiling expression with its eyes, a look of ‘Everything is going to be alright now’, as the point where their hands met began to shine brightly. Professor Oak was astounded and watched as Mew removed and levitated a glowing strand of its fur, fur that was so fine that Oak hadn’t even noticed it had any until just now, and inserted it somehow into the child’s forehead, like it was sharing a bit of its DNA or its life force with the child to help him hold on a bit longer. Never before had he seen anything remotely as wild, fascinating, or unbelievable as what was now taking place before his eyes. Almost instinctively, Samuel reached into his pack and pulled out his camera. Raising it to be just level with Mew, he breathlessly positioned his finger over the shutter release as the Mirage Pokémon half-turned to face him.

    SNAP

    The camera’s flash went off and light shot from the cave. No sooner had Oak lowered the camera, Mew teleported away in a flash of light of its own. Looking down at his camera, Oak wondered if he got the photo, but that would have to wait. He heard the rest of his team outside and footsteps running towards him as young Aurea came running from around the corner.
    “Professor Oak, what are you doing in here?,” the young girl exclaimed, “And what have we been hiking all over----" Aurea fell silent, stopped mid-thought, as her eye caught the young boy and Charmanders in the corner just a few feet from where she and the professor were standing. “Maker…!” She nearly tripped over her own feet as she turned and rushed over to the three, little, waning lives before her. Aurea picked up the boy and cradled him closely against her chest, as she whispered into his ear, “It’s going to be alright. You’re safe now…” As she held him, the two infant Charmanders stumbled over to her, tugging on her pant legs to get to the boy they felt they had been protecting. She looked over at Professor Oak, with an empathetic look of sorrow for the poor and assumed parentless, Pokémon. “Professor…,” she started to say, before Oak nodded and held up the two Poké Balls he had in his hands. A bright light shot from each sphere as they opened and a glowing energy surrounded the two, baby Pokémon. The light lifted up off of the cave floor as the Charmanders each were sucked into a Poké Ball before the capsules sealed shut. They would stay safely inside the Poké Balls until the research team was able to get to a PokéCenter. Professor Oak knelt down to the ground as the rest of the team finally came up behind them. Rowan looked Oak dead in the eye and Oak gave him an unspoken acknowledgement that something incredible had transpired. Birch and Elm came next, looking perplexed as all they saw was Aurea holding the young boy and Oak kneeling on the ground with a ghastly look on his face.
    Samuel was on one knee, both from exhaustion and from being in deep thought. Then, looking over to his right, he noticed a scattering of eggshell fragments.

    “Elm”, he immediately called.

    “Yes, professor?” Elm responded as he quickly made his way over to where Oak was kneeling.

    “Take a look at this…,” Oak said as he motioned to the eggshell remains.

    “What do you make of this?”

    “Well,” Elm paused for just a moment, “it looks like the remains of a Pokémon eggshell, sir.”

    That’s just it, Oak thought, 'A' Pokémon eggshell…Just one. And yet there were two Charmanders here.

    “Gather up every fragment you can find and account for, just to be sure.”

    “Right away, sir!” Despite visible fatigue, Elm practically snapped to attention as Oak assigned him his task. The professor felt bad about asking anything of any member of his team at this point, with them all hungry, sore, and sleep-deprived, but this was important and it certainly showed the work ethic of these young researchers in going far above and beyond what was required of them.

    After several minutes of scouring the cave floor in a roughly 10 foot radius of where the bulk of the fragments lay, Elm returned to Oak, with every fragment he could find in his hands.

    “This is everything, Professor.” He said as he handed Oak the shards.

    “Very good, lad.” Oak acknowledged laboriously, fatigue finally setting in, “Please take out your field storage kit and we’ll place them in there for further examination later.” Elm did as directed and removed a small box from his pack, quickly adjusting his glasses and unlocking it and placing each egg fragment inside with care. He didn’t know what the significance of the shell shards was to the professor, but he wasn’t about to question him on the matter either. Besides, he was far too exhausted to do so and figured that he would learn their purpose in due time. Patience was a prerequisite for his profession as it stood anyways. He smiled and slid the box safely back inside his pack.

    Aurea held the boy carefully in her arms. Then spoke up, “We need to get him out of here. And I mean right now. He’s shivering and probably hasn’t eaten in God knows how long.”

    Birch nodded and reached into his pack, pulling out his Pokémon Navigation device, also referred to as PokéNav. PokéNav acts as a GPS tracking device as well as a satellite phone. Quickly noting the party’s latitude and longitude position on the GPS's map, Birch then dialed the emergency frequency, sending out a distress call to whatever city might hear it.

    “Hello? This is professor Birch of the United Pokémon Researchers Expedition. We are deep in the wilds of Johto, about 4 miles up the southwest side of Mt. Quena. We are in need of immediate aerial extraction from any town with transport capable of reaching us. Our coordinates are…”

    After repeating the message several more times, they at last received a response.

    Hello research team, this is Olivine City Tower Control. We have received your distress call and are prepping an extraction and rescue team as we speak. Confirming your coordinates at…

    There was a huge cheer followed by an equally large sigh of relief from the entire research team. They were all quite ready to get down from this mountain and get home.

    Samuel sat at the back of the cave with his hands resting on his knees. He had volunteered first watch, but Rowan had put his hand on his friend’s shoulder and said that he would take it in his stead. Even though everyone else insisted that he rest, Oak was far too overwhelmed by all that had transpired to be able to rest his mind at least until they were off this mountain. He periodically looked over at the other members of his party to make sure they were all doing as well as possible. Birch and Elm sat by a small fire they had managed to put together using some dried twigs and matches after several unsuccessful attempts. He had considered having one of the two Charmanders light the fire for them, but quickly dismissed the idea. The infant Pokémon were far too weak at the moment to provide assistance, and even if they could, it potentially could use up the last of whatever energy they had left. No, they had been through enough and would stay safe and secure until they could be tended to by the clinic nurses at the PokéCenter.

    Young Aurea Juniper was still taking care of the boy. She leaned up against the wall of the cave and held him in her lap. The boy was looking straight at Oak, and it was in that moment where he saw it. He wasn’t sure at first if it was the light from the fire or not, but the boy’s eyes were crimson red, gleaming like twin flames in the cave. He shook his head and looked again, but the boy’s eyes were closed now, presumably because he was sleeping or attempting to do so. Juniper lifted her head and looked over at the professor.

    “What is it, professor?”

    “Oh, it’s nothing, Aurea. Rest.”

    Aurea protested, “Tell me.” She had a brilliant young mind, but not only that, she was sharp as a Beedrill’s stingers.

    After a moment, Oak looked at the boy again, “That child has a fire in his eyes.”

    “You sure it’s not just the campfire, professor?”

    Oak just smiled as he laid his head back against the cool wall of the cave.
    Last edited by PerilousFate; 24th June 2016 at 10:20 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Ch.3 - Rescue

    CHAPTER 3 - Rescue

    Hours had passed since the party had received word that a rescue team was on its way. Night had passed and it was now early morning. Rowan, Oak, and Elm had each completed a 2 hour watch and Birch was nearing the same length, when he heard the faint, low drone of engines off in the distance. The rain had at last let up about an hour and a half ago, so Birch rose from his seat along the mouth of the cave and squinted through the rain to see what was coming. What he saw made him jump up and down excitedly, waving his arms and shouting, “Hey! We’re over here!”

    At the sound of this, everyone but Aurea and Oak jumped to their feet, running to where Birch was to join him in welcoming their rescue. Oak and Aurea however, remained where they were. Oak, too tired to move, just smiled and breathed a sigh of relief, while Aurea stayed still, holding the child. As the engine sound grew louder, they saw that it was a large rescue helicopter which usually sat up to eight passengers. Minutes later, the helicopter was hovering just outside of the cave opening, and an emergency response rescuer tethered down from the craft and onto the ground, signaling an Electabuzz, a mostly humanoid Electric Type Pokémon, leaning out the side of the chopper to roll a ladder down. He stepped forward and removed his helmet to give the team a better sense of security and welcoming, as he brushed a hand over his spiky, blonde hair. He was clearly a military man by profession, from his clean-cut look, broad shoulders and chest, and his squared posture and how he carried himself as he walked.

    “Hey there!” he shouted over the helicopter’s two loud turbines, “My name’s Lieutenant Surge, and I understand you fine people would like a ride outta here! Don’t just stand there soaking in your skivvies, climb aboard and get outta this beautiful weather!”

    The man obviously enjoyed what he did, because he had a wide grin across his face as he spoke and helped each of the researchers up the ladder one-by-one. He started with Aurea, who tentatively handed the child to the lieutenant before making her way up the ladder one rung at a time. Next was Professor Rowan, who was followed by Elm and Birch. Each of them took a bit longer to make their way up than Aurea, as they were each carrying their large field packs. Professor Oak was the last to make the climb; as team leader he wanted to ensure that the rest of his team had safely made it inside the chopper before he did. He took one last look over his shoulder at the cave and then hefted his pack tightly on his shoulders, stepping up onto the ladder and making his climb. His last climb for a while; he was tired of climbing.

    After the last of the research team had climbed into the cabin and put their harnesses over their shoulders, Lt. Surge grabbed Aurea’s pack and slung it over one shoulder before quickly making his way up the ladder, tightly hanging onto the child which Aurea had entrusted to him. Once inside he took a quick look around to make sure everyone was properly strapped in, taking another moment to help Aurea fix her harness and hand her the boy.

    “Hold on to him tight, little miss,” he directed her, “it could get a little bumpy in here. Plant your boots on the floor, folks, we are gettin’ outta here!” He set his helmet and Aurea’s pack on the floor and then made a quick hand motion to the Electabuzz signaling it to close the vehicle’s hatch. He swung himself around to the cockpit and into the pilot’s seat. “Let’s get the heck outta here, yeah?,” he shouted as the aircraft began to slowly turn and the turbines spin faster. The two turbines angled themselves and the chopper sped off and away from Mt. Quena.

    The inside cabin of the helicopter was a little cramped at best, but that was mostly due to the large field packs strewn about the floor. Each researcher had brought with them a large pack which housed their respective equipment and food stores, as well as standard tools such as Poké Balls and other necessary items. Oak, who had been sitting in deep thought since setting foot on the aircraft, looked up to see Aurea and the boy fast asleep, and Elm and Birch each resting their eyes as well. Only Rowan was entirely awake like he was; and he stared intently at him, trying to pick his brain from the day’s events. Finally he spoke up after a long period of silence,

    “Oak…what happened back there? That was Mew right? What did it show you before the rest of us got there? There had to be more…am I right?”

    Oak spoke very slowly and purposefully, “I believe that Mew had been watching over that child in Aurea’s arms for at least several days now, but more importantly than that…” Oak paused for a moment, choosing his words carefully, “I believe there to be a much deeper connection between it and that boy than even I realize yet; something that will come in time. I think that this boy has a lot more to show us.” He then described the events of the cave to his colleague.

    Rowan nodded, digesting his friend’s words. “I trust your judgment, Samuel.” He finally said before leaning back in his seat and attempting to get some rest of his own.

    Oak just nodded to himself. He didn’t bother trying to sleep; there would be plenty of time for that later, and they were only another couple of hours from Olivine City’s port at this pace anyways. The sky had cleared for the most part by now, as they were no longer in the deep valleys to the north, where the weather was violently unpredictable.

    “Wake up, ladies and gents,” the lieutenant’s voice boomed over the roar of the engines, “Olivine Port is dead ahead!” The sound jolted Oak awake. He had managed to fall asleep in the last ten minutes of the flight anyways, despite not meaning to. He slapped his palms against his cheeks to quicken the awakening process; the exhaustion from their trip had gotten to him more than he thought. That one expedition had pushed the limits of his endurance and adrenaline nearly as much as his entire journey he took as a young Pokémon trainer a couple of decades ago.

    The others began to stir more slowly, rubbing their eyes and yawning widely as they stretched and tried to wake up while the chopper began its descent to the helipad located by Olivine City’s famous lighthouse. The Olivine Lighthouse guided all ships near the southern end of Johto safely into port. The day was getting late and the sun had already begun to set, painting the sky and sea with pinks, reds, and orange hues.

    When the chopper landed, Lt. Surge flung open his door and ran around the side to help the research team out of the cabin as the Electabuzz wound down the turbines and began shutting everything down. Oak could see a medical truck speeding towards them with its lights flashing and sirens blaring. He assumed that the siren was much louder than he was hearing at the moment; everything was happening in slow motion for him and he wasn’t sure if that was the exhaustion, hunger, or a mixture of both. The ambulance came to a screeching halt just several yards away from them, and a team of medics hopped out of the side and sped towards them.

    The lieutenant first gently helped Aurea, who handed him the boy before stepping down from the cabin, out of the chopper. Once she was on the ground, Surge handed the child back to her and she headed straight for the medics who immediately began to check their pulses and pupil dilation among other things before getting them both on a gurney and taking them straight back to the ambulance. Oak watched them speed away towards the hospital as a second ambulance approached. He assumed this second truck was for him and the rest of his team, and exited the chopper and made his way towards it as soon as it came to a full stop. The other researchers had already exited the chopper and were anxiously awaiting entry to the nearest hotel. They all had two things on their minds: a meal and a bed.

    “I’ll have all of your bags checked in to your hotel and you can sort it out when you get there from the hospital once you all get checked out.” The lieutenant told Oak. “It’s been a pleasure getting you fine folks home safely, and I hope you all get some well-needed shut-eye and grub.” He extended his hand to Oak and they shook, after which Lt. Surge snapped the team a crisp salute before loading their packs on the truck that had just arrived to take their belongings to their awaiting hotel.

    Inside the medical truck heading towards the hospital, Oak glanced around at the present members of his team: Rowan, Elm, and Birch. They all looked exhausted and understandably so; he was ready for a warm bed and hot meal himself, though which he wanted first was difficult to say. He sighed heavily as the truck came to a stop in front of Olivine’s hospital for humans.

    For humans!, He leaped from his seat and bolted out the back of the ambulance, his team bewildered at what had come over him, though at this point they were all done chasing after Professor Oak for one trip.

    The driver of the ambulance shouted over at Oak as he ran frantically towards the entrance to the hospital. “Hey! What are you doing?!”

    Oak stopped and turned around, huffing and gasping for breath as he got back to the ambulance where the others were just beginning to pile out and be led towards the building.

    “Where is your nearest PokéCenter?” Oak asked in a hurried tone.

    “Our nearest PokéCenter?”

    “Yes, your nearest Pokémon Center! Where is it?”

    The driver looked at him for a moment, puzzled by the request at a time where human medics were clearly required. But he shrugged, scratching his head, and pointed to the Pokémon Center off in the distance, its massive Poké Ball sign beginning to light up from all the lights in the port city flickering to life as the sun finally said its final farewell for the day. Professor Oak began running, yet again leaving his team behind scratching their heads at his behavior, straight towards the clinic for Pokémon. He was sweating profusely and running out of breath quickly, having to stop every 40 yards or so to catch his breath again, when he heard the ambulance pull up beside him. The driver reached over and swung the passenger side door open.

    “Hop in, old man. You’ve gone Zubats if you think you’re going to make it there like this.”

    Oak, with his hands on his knees, catching his breath, nodded and stepped into the front seat. As soon as he shut the door, the driver stepped hard on the gas pedal.

    “I’m guessing that you’re in a bit of a hurry to get to the PokéCenter, old man,” said the driver as they rapidly approached the front of the clinic, “so I’ll get you there ASAP.”

    “Thank you,” Oak said, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out the Poké Balls that held the two, weak Charmanders, “I appreciate the help.”

    He shook the driver’s hand once they reached the Pokémon Center and made his way inside. The inside of the PokéCenter was pearl white - the walls, tile floors, and counter tops, and was fairly devoid of people. Professor Oak walked up to the young girl sitting behind the counter. She had deep blue eyes and salmon pink hair that was in large, twin loops. Her nametag read ‘Joy’. The girl smiled brightly at Oak as he walked up to the desk and set the two Poké Balls in his hands on the counter.

    “Welcome to the Olivine Pokémon Center. We can heal your Pokémon back to perfect health! Would you like me to take your Pokémon?”

    Oak was tired and his head was hanging heavily over the counter as he pushed the two Poké Balls towards the nurse. “These two Charmanders…please…they are in extremely poor health and are very weak...”

    The girl nodded and called for a hospital aid to come quickly. Seconds later, a large, pink, oval-shaped Pokémon wearing a nurse’s hat came barreling around the corner. Oak recognized it as a Chansey, a Pokémon with magnificent natural healing abilities. Because of this ability, and their always-happy and very kind demeanor, Chansey were commonly used in Pokémon Centers as aids to the nurses or function as nurses themselves.

    Nurse Joy carefully placed the two Poké Balls on a tray and set that on a small rolling cart, after which the Chansey quickly placed its short arms on and rolled the cart around the corner and headed for the emergency care room. Oak put his back to the front counter and then slid down to the floor, leaning his head back and closing his eyes.

    “Sir…? Sir, would you like for me to call for a ride to the hospital for you?” The young nurse said with a soft smile. “I’m afraid we don’t have the necessary amenities to heal people back to perfect health.”

    Professor Oak knew she could tell he was exhausted beyond the strains of most people that came through here, and that she was just trying to raise his spirits. It might have worked too, if he wasn’t so near passing out. He was too tired to speak, so he just lightly nodded his head. The girl turned and went to the telephone and dialed the hospital. They would be there at the PokéCenter within minutes, so Oak just stayed where he was. He wasn’t going anywhere, he’d had enough travel for this week.

    The medics arrived and helped the professor to his feet and walked him into the back of the ambulance, where he laid down with two of the medics watching over him as they rode back towards the hospital. Oak was in a starved daze as he was escorted to the emergency wing of the clinic. He passed the rooms where his other team members, Rowan, Elm, and Birch, were receiving treatment. He didn’t see Aurea and the boy however, so he asked one of the nurses taking him to his room, “There was a girl and a little boy that came in just before the rest of us...where are they?”

    The nurse nodded as they rounded a corner, “Yes, they were rushed straight into intensive care and have been under careful watch ever since. To the best of my knowledge, with some good rest and a hot meal, they should both recover just fine, as should the other members of your team.
    You all got here just in time, professor.” She said with a smile.

    Professor Oak closed his eyes and smiled as the nurses got him into a hospital bed. The bed was small, and by most standards it would be considered only mildly comfortable, but today was different. Today, ‘most standards’ went out the window; today, Oak didn’t care. And he wondered what significance the mythical Mew and the child it had watched over held as he slipped, finally, into a deep sleep.

  6. #6
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    Default Ch.4 - Over a Meal

    CHAPTER FOUR – Over a Meal

    Stirring in his hospital bed, Professor Oak awoke to find his room empty of anyone but him. He rubbed his eyes and he sat up, trying to wake up his sight as well to adjust to the harsh florescent lighting of the medical center. He twisted out of the bed, haphazardly tossing the sheets aside, and slid his feet down to the floor. It was cold - very cold. Oak peered around for his socks and boots and spotted them in the room’s left-hand corner nearest to the door. When he walked over to pick them up he saw a set of fresh clothes had been hung out for him. He slipped on the clean pair of socks and his boots, which also had been cleaned, and, after donning the clean clothes, made his way out of the room and towards the front of the hospital. When Oak reached the front desk to check himself out of the medical center, he saw the rest of his team there waiting for him.

    “There he is.” Elm said as Oak came walking in. Everyone else turned from what they had been doing to welcome their leader back to the group.

    “How long was I out for?” Oak inquired, yawning and still rubbing his eyes.

    “Nearly 12 hours,” said Rowan, as he put a reassuring hand on his friend’s shoulder, “just about all of us were.”

    Oak pondered for a moment and then stretched, pleased that he had received a good dose of sleep. “I certainly feel like I slept for that long,” he said as he yawned again and nodded his head.

    Birch gave him a pat on the back and Aurea smiled and nodded. She still had the boy in her care, and he was clinging to her like a young child would to its mother. Both of them looked to be in a much improved state of health. Oak nodded back to her; he would have her catch him up on the status of the boy later. Now that everyone was more or less rested, they all had one thing on their minds: food.

    After they had all been signed out of the hospital, a taxi van arrived to take them to their hotel down the road. No one spoke during the short drive; they were all still waking up or relaxing while watching the city lights zip by. Once the taxi had dropped them off, they entered the hotel lobby, received their room keys, and headed to their respective rooms. They were single person rooms, each with their own shower and bath - which every one of them would put to immediate use.

    Aurea Juniper walked down the hall to her room on the seventh floor of the hotel, holding the boy’s hand along the way. When they reached the door, she looked at him, “I’m going to let go of your hand for a moment ok? I have to unlock the door so we can get inside.” The boy let his small fingers slip away from hers and he nodded his head. He hadn’t said a word yet. Aurea was beginning to worry that he may have been traumatized into no longer speaking, but she had to hope for the best. He had, she imagined, been through a lot. After sliding her card key into the electronic lock, the device beeped once and the light on it turned green, signifying its acceptance of the key. Aurea turned the handle and pushed the door open as the boy took her hand again and they stepped inside. She turned the lights on low, having noticed that the boy had been squinting at the hospital, presumably from the harsh lighting that was used there. He opened his eyes a bit wider and looked around cautiously as he slowly let go of her hand. Aurea smiled and went to make sure that her pack had been delivered to the right room. After taking a moment to inspect the contents of the bag, and having been pleased with the state of it, she stood up and turned to the child again.

    “What do you say we get you all cleaned up, hmmm?”

    After drawing a hot bath, she helped the boy get undressed and into the bathtub, which was quite large for a single occupant hotel room. She was an only child in her family and so never had any younger siblings of her own. She was feeling like a mother and an older sister all at the same time.

    “You want me to help you out or do you think you’ve got this covered on your own?” The boy looked around and grabbed a large blue bottle of shampoo with both hands and began applying it to his body. Aurea laughed and shook her head. “No, no, no, silly that goes here,” she said as she tousled his hair, which was quite filthy. She rolled up her sleeves and held her hand out in front of him and said with a smile, “Here, give me some.” After he squirted a large amount of it into her hand, she poured some of the bath water onto his head, lathered up the shampoo and started to wash his hair.

    “You see that one right there?” She said, pointing to a bottle which read ‘Body Wash’ on its label, “Use that on the rest of your dirty little self.”

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aurea let out an exaggerated sigh as she lay in a freshly-drawn bath tub. She had decided that even though the others were probably hungry, maybe even already started eating, she was going to allow herself at least 15 minutes to relax in a hot bath. The hotel employees had been kind enough to drop off a clean set of clothes for the boy: a fresh white t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a small zip-up hoodie - with which he seemed particularly entertained. Aurea told him that he looked better when he showed his now clean, dark brown - almost black hair. Looking at the wall clock, she groaned, not wanting to leave the relaxing atmosphere of the steaming bath. But she was hungry and so was the boy and everyone else. She quickly rinsed all of the soapy water off of herself and drained the bath, drying off with a large, cobalt colored towel and stepping out of the tub.

    “Goodbye, happy place.” she said with a small pout as she readied her change of fresh clothes.

    Everyone sat at a set of tables that had been pushed together in the hotel’s restaurant. Elm and Birch were arguing over which of their regions was home to the best desserts, while Oak and Rowan chatted about some of the less harrowing events and discoveries that had occurred on their journey, over a glass of deep red wine. Aurea walked in with the boy walking beside her. They were playing a game of sorts wherein he kept pulling the hood of his jacket over his head and she kept immediately pulling it back down. They joined the rest of the group at the table and started pouring over the menu to figure out what they wanted. Aurea helped the boy understand the menu and order a small bowl of pasta with a creamy, white sauce. The team talked about their trip over the meal, which was very satisfying, and one of the waiters brought a coloring mat and some colored crayons for the boy to use.

    Professor Oak began watching the boy curiously; the crimson hue he had seen in his eyes back in the cave was still there, and no less intense. After their meal, everyone stood up and got ready to head back to their rooms.

    “Say, Professor Oak, do you think we could make a stop at my lab in New Bark on our way back tomorrow?”, asked Elm as he turned to Samuel, “I’d really like to get a chance to take a closer look at those shell fragments.”

    “As would I,” Oak concurred, “though I would understand if the rest of you have had enough work for one trip.” The rest of the team shrugged and shook their heads, not having any issue with taking the opportunity to see if their adventure had bore any fruit.

    “It’s settled then. We’ll make a stop in New Bark Town before all heading home tomorrow.” Said Oak, pleased that his team was still ready to gain more knowledge. Before parting ways for the night, the boy walked over to Oak, much to his surprise, and handed him the sheet of paper that the waiter had given him to color on, before running back to Aurea and heading up to their room. Oak watched them walk away as the boy took one look over his shoulder back at the professor. Oak held the paper under the light and his eyes widened in wonder as he looked at the crude drawing of two Charmanders he held in his hands.

  7. #7
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    Default Ch.5 - Gemini/A Hard Choice

    CHAPTER FIVE – Gemini/A Hard Choice

    “Yes, that is correct. I don’t see that as being a problem at all...Yes, he can be dropped off first thing in the morning…No, picking him up now wouldn’t be possible I’m afraid…Well, you see, we aren’t quite back in Kanto yet…Correct…”

    Rowan spoke on the phone with a representative from the orphanage in Viridian City. Though dwarfed in size and population by the port city of Vermillion and some of the other cities in central Kanto, it was the main city on the region's western border. It lay just north of Pallet Town, a lightly populated suburban hamlet, and best known as the home of Professor Samuel Oak.

    Aurea was playing with the boy while Oak, Elm, and Birch were huddled around a workbench in the recently completed Pokémon Research Lab in Elm’s home of New Bark Town. New Bark sat on the very edge of Johto, with only Routes 27 and 26 separating it from Kanto’s western border. Even though he was still young compared to Oak and Rowan, Elm was at the forefront of Pokémon evolution research and was rising to be one of the top Pokémon researchers in the world. He was spearheading revolutionary new research into not only Pokémon evolution, but also their breeding and parenting patterns. Oak could not have been more proud to see his young friend’s new lab, nor more grateful because he had special need of its facilities right now.

    Sitting on the workbench to his left, among a littering of various tools and parts, were the Poké Balls which held the two Charmanders inside. The professor was leaning over some freshly made blueprints with Elm and Birch. As he discussed the designs with them, he gently smoothed over the large sheets of paper with his hand in a quick motion.

    “This Poké Ball capsule will be one-of-a-kind and specifically tailored. Elm, you confirmed that the DNA from the two Charmanders is the same DNA as that which was found on the shell fragments from the cave. After scouring the cave floor for every last piece we could find, only enough was present to piece together a single egg. This can lead us to only one fascinating conclusion and that is that these two newborn Charmanders are from the same egg - twins!”

    As an expert on Pokémon evolution, Elm couldn’t help but be excited at the revelation of such a discovery and had been jotting down notes throughout the entire duration of the professor talking.

    “Now”, Oak continued, “our task is to build this capsule so that it will hold both of the twin Charmanders inside it, and respond specifically to their DNA alone. We will call this special Poké Ball the Gemini Ball. The professors all began working in tandem, piecing together the invention one bit at a time. They poured over the designs for hours, making aesthetic and utility modifications, until finally the new Poké Ball was complete.

    Oak held it up in his hand once the capsule’s creation had been completed. “This ball should be able to hold the two Charmanders, provided our theories and designs were accurate. One way or another, we’re about to find out.” He walked over to the lab bench where the two Poké Balls which currently held to the Pokémon had been for the last few hours. Taking each one in his hand, he raised them up and gently pressed the release button on the front of each capsule simultaneously. When he did, a brilliant white light shot out of each ball, and the two baby Charmanders materialized on the lab floor.

    Professor Oak stared at the Pokémon for a moment, looking first at one, then the other, and then back at the first.

    “Remarkable…” he said, astounded as he noticed that, while the Charmanders were in fact twins from the same egg, that they were actually not the same hue. “Now that I can see them under some real light, I just noticed that one of these Charmanders has a rare coloration to it."

    The other professors began to gather around the two, baby Pokémon to see what the professor meant. “You’re right, though I’m not from Kanto, look at how that one is a far lighter hue than the normal orange for its species,” observed Rowan.

    The twin Fire Type Pokémon sat on the cold tile floor for a moment before stirring a bit, looking up at the group of people who surrounded them. They started to tremble, unfamiliar with their new surroundings and the humans there. Aurea walked over with the boy, holding his hand. When the boy saw the two Charmanders sitting on the floor, trembling, he dashed over to them. The two, Fire Type Pokémon huddled into the boy as they started to relax at the sight of a familiar face. Aurea looked over at Samuel and then rushed over to the boy, grabbing his hand and pulling him away. When she did this the Charmanders growled, their tail tips flaring white hot. Quickly, Oak set the two used capsules aside and held up the Gemini Ball, pressing the release button on it, which caused a reddish-orange light to shoot out from within its core and surround both Charmanders as they vanished, pulled into the Gemini Ball simultaneously.

    Rowan, wide-eyed from the event, looked over at Samuel. “Did you see that? I’ve never seen a baby Charmander act like that. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any newborn Pokémon act in such a way.”

    Oak nodded and breathed a sigh of relief; he could tell the strength of a Pokémon, and those twin Charmanders were remarkably, if not deceptively, strong. He walked over to Aurea, the boy clutching the tail-end of her coat, and knelt down to the child. The professor held out his hand, the Gemini Ball which now contained the two Charmanders resting on his palm, and held it closer to the boy.

    “Here, son, I believe this belongs to you.”

    The child looked up at Aurea, who just smiled back down on him. He then tentatively reached out his hand to take the capsule from the professor’s.

    “Go on; it’s yours, boy.” Oak encouraged as the boy drummed up the nerve to get closer. After several moments, the boy reached out his hand one more time and got his fingers around the Gemini Ball. He held his hand over it as it still rested on the professor’s palm for another moment, and Oak felt a great strength and determination, like a fire, coming from within the child. At last he clasped both of his small hands around the capsule and pulled it back towards himself. He smiled and his eyes seemed to gleam brightly, as he stared at the spherical capsule he now held in his hands.

    The rest of the group all smiled as they saw the contented child. Feeling their efforts had been well-rewarded, they now turned their attention to the next matter at hand: the child himself. Elm spoke up first.

    “Now that that’s taken care of, what are we going to do about the boy himself? Not to state the obvious, but he can’t exactly stay here in the lab, that’s no place for a child to be; He needs to be around others his age. You know, go to school - be a kid.”

    “I’ve already spoken with the Viridian City orphanage. They said that they would be happy to take him in and we can drop him off first thing in the morning.”

    “Well, would any of us be able to take him?” Birch queried. “I know that I personally wouldn’t be able to, not that I wouldn’t want to, but I already have a little 5 year old girl, May, and she’s enough of a handful on her own. That and I would worry about not being able to give him enough attention with my constant field research, I worry about that enough already with May.”

    “Hey you’re a great dad and you’ll only get better; don’t worry.” Elm reassured his friend and as he patted him on the back.

    “I'll take him,” pleaded Aurea, not liking the idea of the boy being dropped off at an orphanage and being surrounded by people he didn’t know, “I would love to take care of him. He would be like the baby brother that I never had.”

    The others all knew she was going to offer, but the truth was that Aurea was too young to have to worry about the responsibility of raising a child. They all felt for her though. Aurea knew it too, but she had grown attached to the boy and he had clearly grown attached to her as well.

    “I know…The answer is ‘no’. I just…”

    “We know you’ve grown very fond of each other, Aurea. We’re very sorry.” Rowan consoled. “Samuel, what do you think we should do?”

    Oak thought a moment. “My vote would be to have him stay at the Viridian Orphanage until someone comes along that can give him the proper care that, in truth, none of us currently can. It’s also close to my home town so, if nothing else, I can also keep a watchful eye on him there.”

    The others nodded, though Aurea’s nod was a bit more of accepting the fact that that’s what they were going to do, rather than actually being in full support of it.

    “Okay…” she said; her tone notably sullen.

    “It’s settled then”, announced Oak, “In the morning I’ll drop the boy off at the orphanage.”

    Aurea picked up the boy in her arms and held onto him tightly. “May I come with you, Professor Oak? Please...?”

    Samuel nodded at her. “Everyone get some sleep. We can all meet up in the morning if you’d like.”

    That night, Aurea clung to the boy as he slept with the Gemini Ball held tightly in his hands.

  8. #8
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    Default Ch.6 - Until We Meet Again

    CHAPTER SIX – Until We Meet Again

    The team of professors Oak, Rowan, and Birch, along with Aurea, stood in the lobby of the Viridian City Home for Children. Aurea was holding the boy’s right hand, his left grasping the Gemini Ball, when she suddenly looked frantic and bolted out of the orphanage as quickly as she could. The remaining members of the team were left scratching their heads in confusion as to where she could have run off to.

    “Perhaps dropping off the boy is too much for her. She’s scarcely left his side since we first found him and they’ve become quite attached” offered Rowan.

    Professor Oak looked saddened by this. He by no means wanted to separate the two of them, but the boy needed a real home, and Samuel was positive that someone would come and take him in before long.

    Several moments later, a representative from the home came out. “Hello, sirs. Is this the newest addition to our home?” she inquired, gesturing to the boy.

    Oak gently put his hands on the child’s shoulders. “He is indeed. I hope you’ll take great care of him and find him a home as soon as you can.”

    “We most certainly shall.” The woman, dressed in an indigo suit with a white dress blouse, knelt down a few feet away from the boy. “We’re going to take good care of you, young man.”

    After a few moments of silence, the woman turned to professor Oak. “Has he been through some sort of trauma? Why is he so quiet?”

    “We assume he has been through some sort of an ordeal, but to what extent we are still unsure. Rest assured he’s a very well-behaved boy; he just isn’t used to these new surroundings.” He looked down at the boy, with a warm smile. “Well, son, this looks like farewell for now. Before we leave you in the care of these nice people, we all have some going away presents for you.” He reached into a duffle bag that was slung over his shoulder and pulled out a golden-yellow backpack with red lining and silver zippers. The pack was a bit large for the boy, but he smiled as the professor handed it to him. “This is from me. It’s a little big for you right now, I know, but something tells me you’ll have need of it in the future.”

    Next, Rowan reached into the bag and pulled out a small picture frame with a portrait in it. The photograph showed professors Oak, Rowan, Elm, and Birch, and Aurea with the boy in her arms, wide-eyed and smiling. It was the sole picture they had taken the day before, just prior to boarding their train. Rowan handed the boy the portrait, telling him, “This is from me, but you should think of it as being from all of us, to remember us all by.” and he held it in his hands, staring at it. Birch then reached into his messenger bag slung over his left shoulder, and pulled out a pair of black, fingerless gloves and gave them to him. The child immediately put them on, despite being quite large on his hands, very apparently amused with how his fingers still showed as he wiggled them about in the air.

    “Elm is very sorry that he could not be here today, but he wanted me to give you this”, said Oak as he handed the boy a small, shiny, plastic card. “It’s a Rail Pass, for the train that goes between Johto’s Goldenrod City and Saffron City here in Kanto. This way, you can visit him someday when you’re old enough to do so.” The boy took the Rail Pass card and nodded understandingly.

    “That’s very kind of you all, to give such nice gifts to a boy you hardly knew. We’ll be sure to take good care of them”, assured the orphanage representative.

    “If it’s all the same to you, Miss, I would prefer that you allow the boy to hold onto all of his own belongings. That would go double for the Poké Ball he is carrying.” said Professor Oak.

    After a moment, the representative sighed and smiled. “Very well”, she said, “I will personally see to it that it happens.”

    “Thank you.” said Oak with a light nod.

    “Of course, Professor. Well I guess it’s time for him to come with me now.” The representative reached into a bag and pulled out some legal documents. “I’ll need whoever would be considered his primary guardian to sign a few of these papers, stating you’re handing the care of the child over to the orphanage.”

    Oak, Rowan, and Birch looked at each other. Each of them was thinking the same thing: none of them would truly be considered the boy's guardian. They all knew that the boy’s real guardian these past few days had been Aurea; no one else had spent as much time with him nor put so much thought and care into him. Just then the front doors to the orphanage flew open and Aurea, clutching a bag, hair a mess, and out of breath, burst into the lobby.

    “Wait!” she exclaimed and stood up straight, walking over to the boy as she attempted to haphazardly fix her hair. She knelt down in front of the boy and reached into the bag she was carrying. “This is for you”, she said as she pulled out a hat. The hat was almost all bright red, with the front above the brim being white with a sole green circle that was an emblem in Viridian on the bottom right-facing corner. “I know it’s a little big for you right now…Well, maybe more than a little, but I’m hoping that you’ll keep it long enough to be able to wear it when it fits, and to remember me by.” She ran her fingers through his dark hair, ruffling it a bit before sticking the oversized hat on his head as tears started to well up in her eyes.

    “We’ll take good care of him, young lady”, assured the representative,” What is the boy’s name? I will need to write it on the legal papers here before he is turned over into the home’s custody.”

    The professors were silent. In the entire three days since finding the boy in the wilds of Johto, none of them had even given thought to what the boy’s name was.

    “Goodness”, Oak said as he scratched his head, “We haven’t the slightest idea. I don’t think any of us have even thought about it.”

    “My name is Red”, the boy said in little more than a whisper, with the first words he had spoken since being found. Oak, Rowan, and Birch were incredulous; none of them had heard a word out of the boy in the entire time he’d been in their company. They looked at one another, very visibly astounded and confused. After several moments, Professor Oak cleared his throat and spoke up.

    “Red?” he said, turning to Aurea, “Did he tell you that or is that the name you came up with for him?” inquired Samuel.

    “I gave it to him”, replied Aurea, “It seemed appropriate, considering his crimson eyes, and he really seems to like it.”

    The orphanage representative nodded. “‘Red’ it is then. That is what I shall put on his papers.” She filled in the necessary information on the documents and marked two lines for guardian signatures. “That’s that, then; all I need now are two signatures - one from you, young lady, and one from you, Professor.”

    Professor Oak signed one of the lines and handed the clipboard over to Aurea. She held the papers tentatively, hesitating with the pen in her hand as she stared at the document that would sign the boy’s care over to the orphanage.

    “Aurea…”

    “I know, Professor…I know.” She quickly signed the papers and handed them back to the woman. Aurea looked down, Red clinging to her leg. She started to tear up again at the thought of letting him go.

    Red started to speak, tears welling up in his eyes as well, “When will I see you again…?”

    “I don’t know, sweetie,” Aurea replied as she knelt down and started to cry, “but I promise that you will.”

    The entire group felt heartbroken, but they knew that there was no other plausible way for him to have a good home right now. Aurea hugged him for a long time before the woman told them it was time for him to go. She put her hand gently on Red’s shoulder as she took him into the orphanage proper and Aurea and the rest of the research team watched them go. Red turned his head once, to look back at the professors and Aurea and she stared back at his fiery crimson eyes until he was out of sight.

  9. #9
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    Default

    So. I was just kinda scrolling through fics, saw this had been posted recently by a brand-new member, and... was more impressed than I'd thought I'd be. First off though:

    Hello fellow Serebii users and Pokemon Trainers! My name is Perilous/PerilousFate/Fate. It recently came to my attention that unbeknownst to me that this site, that many have called their internet home for many years, has a large and dedicated Pokemon fan fiction community. This information intrigued me, and pushed me to drop by and see just what the fuss is all about. It did not take long for me to ascertain this to be a great place for me to share my own work, thus here I am.
    Welcome! I'm Umbramatic, also known as just Umbra. (No one's ever called me "Matic" for whatever reason.) This here fanfic community's been a thing a long while - I started out lurking and reviewing here from around 2008-2009, dropped off for several years, came back around 2013, and started actually posting fic in 2014, and in the process befriended a bunch of people, some of which I initially only barely knew but loved their work in the lurk-n-review days and now are some of my best friends on here. So yeah, we're a friendly bunch, generally, and I feel you'll fit in. Also, it's cool you want this to be something your kids could enjoy reading, man.

    Speaking of which, on to your actual fic. It's got a lot to it that jumps at me straight away in a good way. Fanon essentially-hybrid-canon setting much like my own? Yes please. The guts to put most of your focus on canon characters in a fandom and community that lean OCs? Yes please. The fact the main central canon chars in question so far are the professors? Yes please throw in the stat trainers and ill be your undying love forever perilous-sempai. And a fantastical flavor almost Tolkienesqe in vibe? Yes mother****ing please.

    And the story does a nice job of toying with all that in a way that also kept my attention. Treating the professors as a team is a lovely touch, as with opening with a prolouge I'm getting vibes of the second anime movie from. And the stuff with Red as a kid raised by twin Charmander with something weird clearly going on here is a good mystery to hook people in and indicate something big is in store. And you're so descriptive without going too overboard most of the time hnnnng I'm jealous.

    (Also Red and Aurea are adorable. I'm hoping we'll be able to see more of their relationship.)

    There are a few things I find a bit eyebrow-raising about the story so far, though:

    - The Gemni Ball. It's... kinda really pointless and gratuitously "special" for even Red to have one Pokeball to hold his two signature Pokemon. Two specially decked-out Pokeballs would have done better storytelling-wise.

    -A grammar nitpick on top of Polipuff's: You occasionally lapse into run-on sentences, so if you see your sentences running longer than they should try breaking them up as best you can.

    - A question: You say you've been working on this baby a while. How recent is this revision? I ask since Sycamore's notably absent from the team of professors, suggesting you started this around G5 or so, and it might need some more sprucing up to bring it up to speed - but Red's twin Charmanders make me think of the twin Megazards, and if you are tying them into that I'm a bit confused.

    But you've got a really solid foundation here, especially with the focus on the professors and the more fantastical retool to Red's backstory. I do hope you keep this going here, I'd love to see what you have in store.
    Last edited by Umbramatic; 30th June 2016 at 7:43 AM. Reason: Removing external link/advertising + removing my own whining on reviews on top of that.

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  10. #10
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    Default Reply to Umbramatic's Review

    Firstly, I must thank you for you apparent initial interest in my work. Secondly, thank you profusely for the wealth of praise (I always enjoy egoberries in healthy helpings). As for for your queries and concerns, I will address them individually as follows:

    - The Gemini Ball: is it gratuitously unique? Perhaps. I wanted to do something that I hadn't ever read or seen before at the time of my tale's initial inception, which would be circa '07 for the very base plot elements, and that fit the bill. Furthermore, the unique capsule ties in with the twin Charmander and Red as three siblings more than a simple trainer-Pokemon relationship. The three of them hate to be separated and thus the 2 Fire Types always being either in the ball simultaneously, or out of it simultaneously. This will become more clear and apparent as this arc proceeds as well as in future arcs that I already have planned.

    - Running Man: I have a natural propensity to be on the wordier side and it can, without my knowledge, result in run-on sentences when I'm "in the zone" and my fingers are flying over my keyboard as though the phalanges were using Extremespeed. This is an issue that has been known to me for some time and I have been meaning to go back over each chapter, line-by-line, and remedy it. So, thank you for your input in this.

    - Absent Professor: As stated in an aforementioned response, I have been working on this story off-and-on for quite some time, and that would most certainly put its initial beginnings long before Professor Sycamore and the Kalos Region were made known to us fans. However, Sycamore's absence in the Pokemon Professor research team in Child of Fire's (CoF's) opening sequence is more correlation than causality. When I started writing CoF, Aurea and Unova were not yet a known entity either, however when they were I deemed her addition to be fitting and add more to the story.

    Again, thank you so very much for taking the time to read what I have posted thus far. I hope you are looking forward to more, as I will be updating the thread with a few new entries momentarily.

  11. #11
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    Default Ch.7 - The Orphan With The Poke Ball

    CHAPTER SEVEN – The Orphan with the Poké Ball

    There was a gentle breeze blowing through Viridian City. Pidgeys and Spearow, guided by their elder Pidgeotto and Fearow leaders, were flocking everywhere with the arrival of the warmer, spring weather. The streets were bustling with people, both citizens and visitors from abroad. Children skipped and laughed on their way to the renowned Viridian Trainer Academy, a school where young boys and girls all go to learn about Pokémon. The students, ranging in age from five to eleven years old, happily hurried to the school yard, anxious to learn more about Pokémon from their teachers who were equally anxious to give them more knowledge. Trainer School teachers were carefully picked from men and women who were all very knowledgeable trainers in their own right and had a special passion and love for sharing that knowledge.

    Several blocks away and to the north of the academy sat the Viridian City Pokémon Gym, where young trainers from all over the country came to challenge the Gym Leader for an official Pokémon League Badge. That badge was a symbol of a trainer’s bond with his or her Pokémon and their victory over the respective city’s Gym Leader, as well as bragging rights. The goal of any trainer was to collect the eight gym badges from their region, allowing them to travel to Victory Road, a trainer’s final obstacle before being able to challenge the Pokémon League’s Elite Four. The Elite Four were a respective region’s four strongest trainers, and conquering them gave trainers a chance at entering the Hall of Fame to have their Pokémon immortalized for all to see.

    One young woman, her rich auburn hair blowing in the gentle breeze, strode the cobblestone walkway toward the front gate of the Viridian City Home for Children. She had to hold her large brimmed hat on her head as a sudden gust of wind caught her by surprise. She adjusted her blouse, skirt, and bag slung over her left shoulder, as she reached the entrance to the orphanage. Smiling as she reached the front desk of the orphanage lobby, the young woman leaned against the counter and lightly tapped the small bell to call a faculty member to the desk. The soft-pitched DING of the bell was uncharacteristically pleasant to the ear, and seconds later a representative rounded the corner to greet her.

    “Good morning, and welcome to the Viridian City Home for Children”, she welcomed with a genuine smile, “How may I help you, ma’am?”

    “Hello, my name is Deliah Knight; I’m interested in adopting and am scheduled to observe the children today.” The young woman replied with a hint of nervousness in her voice.

    The woman behind the counter entered some information on the computer in front of her, searching for confirmation of Deliah’s appointment. After finding her name on the list of scheduled appointments for the day, she smiled and nodded then handed her a clipboard with sheet of paper on it.

    “Here you are, Mrs. Knight. If you would just sign in on this line here, and then fill out a little bit of information here we can begin the tour.” She offered, using a pen to point to the various parts of the form.

    Deliah carefully filled out the guest questionnaire and handed it back to the woman behind the desk. She glanced over the sheet to verify that it was filled out in its entirety. Satisfied with the sheet, she filed it away in a cabinet behind her. “Very good, Mrs. Knight, we may begin.”

    “Please, call me Deliah.”

    “Very well, Deliah, if you would follow me now. Would you like to start with the guided tour of our facilities, or see the children right away?”

    Deliah laughed nervously. “I’m sorry; I’ve never done this before. Is there typically a preferred order?”

    “Only whatever order you prefer”, the woman offered, “Most guests are satisfied enough with the photographs of our facilities that they go straight to seeing the children, if that information helps at all.”

    “Alright then, I guess we can do that.”

    With a polite nod, the staff member led Deliah through an ornate, stained glass door that was adjacent to the front desk and down a long hallway that was littered with more doors for staff offices. The facilities were kept tidy and clearly well-funded as they had new, hardwood flooring and high quality furniture throughout the compound. Deliah glanced at a floor plan that was framed along one of the walls, and was shocked at how much larger the compound was than she had initially believed.

    “Our facilities hold up to one hundred children, typically ranging in age from five to eleven or twelve. At a given time, we may have anywhere between twenty and sixty children staying here,” explained the woman as she guided Deliah, “We try to find each child a good, caring home as quickly as possible so as to avoid filling up our occupancy limit. However we intentionally have a surplus of available space in the event that we need to take in more orphaned children.”

    “What’s the average turn-around for a child?” Deliah inquired.

    “It’s difficult to say for certain. Thankfully there are enough couples today who are either unable to conceive a child of their own, or would prefer to adopt, that most of our children are not here much longer than six months. We only have one orphan who has ever been here longer than a full calendar year, our very first in fact. He has been with us for coming on three years now.” The staff member explained.

    “Really? Why has he been here so long?” Deliah asked; a tone of pity in her voice.

    The woman paused for a moment, thinking of how to describe the boy in question. “He’s a very sweet boy, please don’t get the wrong idea”, she continued as she pushed open a set of large double-doors that led into the compound’s inner courtyard, “He doesn’t talk much, but he plays with the other children regularly and is always on good behavior when adults come to visit.”

    “He doesn’t sound like a bad child at all; what about all of that would make so many adults pass him by?” asked Deliah.

    They strolled through the courtyard, passing by dozens of children playing ball or on the playground. The receptionist stopped and gestured to a young boy sitting by himself up against a large, shady tree with several low-hanging branches. The boy had mid-length, dark hair, and wore a black t-shirt and an oversized red and white cap and the brim covered the top half of his face. He was holding a ball firmly in his hands and staring at it intently.

    “From what little information we were given, he’s been through a terrible ordeal. Many couples looking to adopt see that as a potential for him having a negative demeanor, even though he is probably the most respectful and sweetest child here when adults come around. There was one incident however, with another child...” said the woman.

    Deliah watched the boy as the receptionist spoke, wondering what the boy’s story was. The woman continued, “Just a few weeks after he was left in our care, another boy who was a couple of years older, and had also recently been taken in, took that ball you no doubt see him holding away from him and tried running away with it. The older boy must have expected for him to cry and beg for it back, but instead the child leaped at him, tackling him to the ground, and punched him squarely in the face, taking back the ball and running away to that very spot he’s sitting in now.”

    “Oh my goodness! Was the other boy alright?” Deliah asked, concerned.

    “The older boy was fine, with the exception of a black eye for the next several days. I had only just started working here at the time, and I was shocked at first when it happened. But when our president told me more about the boy, I understood his reaction. He’s not a violent boy at all, but that ball is very special to him. It's actually a Poké Ball. Now under most ordinary circumstances, Pokémon are only permitted here on special days, and those happen to be the boy’s favorite days of the month, but he was given special permission by the president to keep that Poké Ball with him. It was given to him by the people who took care of him before handing him over to our care.”

    An expression of pity and understanding came over Deliah’s face. She took several steps in the direction of the child. “He must feel so lonely, always being passed by but never considered” she said sorrowfully.

    The receptionist gave a sullen nod. “Truth be told, I’ve never seen any of the adults that have come through here, speak to him - not once. He always puts on a cheerful smile at meals or during monthly health check-ups, but I think he’s come to terms with believing that no one will ever consider adopting him.”

    Deliah quickly wiped away the tears welling up from her eyes, “That’s horrible,” she exclaimed before walking over to the child sitting by the tree. As Deliah entered the shade of the tree, the boy looked up and Deliah noticed him put on a polite smile. Her heart ached from hearing her guide talk about him, but she returned the smile all the same as she knelt down in front of him, carefully folding her hands over her skirt.

    “Hello there, young man”, she greeted the boy as warmly as she genuinely could.

    “Hello, ma’am”, he replied. His voice was soft and emotionless; Deliah realized that after having been here for nearly three years that perhaps he didn’t allow himself to get excited when adults came by, but he was sweet, just as she was told.

    “You seem to have the right idea against this tree, with the sun shining as hot as it is today. Do you mind if I sit here in the shade with you?”

    The boy quickly shifted over to allow Deliah to sit underneath the tree. She carefully sat down about a foot away from him, and looked up at the old tree’s branches. “This is a very nice old tree. You picked a lovely place to relax.”

    “Thank you, ma’am. Are you here to look at the children?” he asked.
    Deliah held her hat in place as another gust of wind came and nearly blew it off of her head.

    “Yes, yes I am. This is a very nice place.” Deliah offered.

    “It is. There are a lot of good children here too,” the boy said as he pointed toward some of the children who were playing on the swings and kicking a soccer ball around along the grass. “James is really good at climbing; he’s always swinging on the monkey bars. He even tried climbing my tree once, though that was a bad idea. Suzie is going to be a singer some day; she has the best voice of all the girls, and loves to dance around too. Andy wants to be a Pokémon Gym Leader someday which I think is really cool. And Riku would never admit it, but she’s probably going to be one of the prettiest girls around when she grows up.”

    “I see,” Deliah said as she listened to the boy describe several more of the children playing in the courtyard, “And what about you? What do you want to do when you get older?”
    The boy straightened his posture and Deliah saw a wide grin come across his face, as though he was very proud of what he was about to say. He clutched the Poké Ball he had been holding firmly in his right hand and held it up towards the sky, rays of early afternoon sunshine piercing through the branches of the tree and catching his crimson eyes as he stared straight towards the light. Deliah was in awe of the hue of his eyes; she had never seen anything quite like them before.

    “I am going to be the world’s greatest Pokémon Master ever. I’ll travel to every nation and defeat every gym leader and every Elite Four. I want to build the strongest bonds ever seen with Pokémon and meet every type of Pokémon in the world!”

    Deliah smiled at him and chuckled. “That’s quite the big dream. The life of a Pokémon trainer is difficult, at the very least, but it’s also very rewarding if you stick with it. You think you can handle that sort of commitment?”

    The boy looked at her through his crimson eyes, glimmering in the sunlight. He gave off an uncanny air of confidence, one she had not seen in a long time. She had seen less confidence from seasoned Pokémon trainers.

    Who is this boy? She thought.

    “Yes ma’am, I can and I will!” He said proudly.

    “That’s a great dream to shoot for. Don’t ever give up on that.”

    “Never!” He grinned back.

    Deliah was already growing to really like this boy; she couldn’t understand why so many adults had simply passed him by without giving him a second thought. She held up her wrist to the sunlight to get a good look at her watch. The time allotted for her visiting appointment was almost up, but she didn’t want to leave. She lightly tapped her finger against her lower lip, in deep thought. Out of the corner of her eye she glimpsed the woman from the front desk motioning to her. She sighed, disappointed, then turned back to the boy. He was looking up at her quizzically.

    “Unfortunately, my time here is up.” Deliah said in a caring and calming voice.

    “That’s OK. Everyone has to go eventually. They only let grown-ups stay for a couple of hours at the most on scheduled visiting days.” He stared up at Deliah for a few moments, shifting his weight a little. “Will I see you again?” he asked her, with just a hint of tentative hope in his voice. Deliah’s heart jumped when she heard him ask this.

    “Yes. Yes, you will.” She said through a warm smile. Then she reached out and offered her hand to him. “I’d love to come by and see you again. I’m Deliah.”

    The boy shook her hand and smiled back, a glimmer of joy on his face. “My name is Red.”

    “It’s lovely to meet you, Red.”

    “I’m glad to meet you too, ma’am.” Red’s eyes shone brightly in the rays of the sun as he looked up at Deliah.

  12. #12
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    Default Ch.8 - A New Family

    CHAPTER EIGHT – A New Family

    “Welcome back, Mrs. Knight,” Said the smiling receptionist behind the front desk of the Viridian City orphanage, “Are you here for another tour appointment?”

    Deliah strolled into the orphanage wearing a mid-length sun dress and her large brimmed hat. She carried with her a large, expensive looking bag over her shoulder. The day was exceptionally beautiful with barely a single cloud in the sky.

    “Yes I am, in fact. I’m here to go see Red again.”

    “You’re back to see Red? That’s very sweet of you, ma’am. No one ever really speaks to him; it’s so nice to see you talking to him. This is at least the third or fourth time you’ve come to see him if I'm correct?”

    “You’re right. Well, this is the third intentional visit, but yes it is my fourth time seeing him. He’s truly a wonderful boy.”

    “I’m glad someone else thinks so. Enjoy your stay, Deliah.” The receptionist called back as Deliah headed out towards the courtyard. The sun burst through as Deliah opened the double-doors leading outside. She headed straight towards Red, sitting by up against his tree and playing with his Poké Ball and looking down at a book. He saw her coming, and Deliah noticed his face light up as she walked towards him.

    “Good afternoon, Red. How are you doing today?” Deliah asked him, sitting down beside him as she smoothed out the folds in her dress.

    “Hello, ma’am,” Red replied, noticeably happier now that she had dropped by, “I’m OK, just relaxing here and reading.”

    “What book have you got there?”

    “It’s a combination history book and encyclopedia on Pokémon. Someone dropped it off and said it was for me. If I’m gonna be the world’s greatest Pokémon master then I need to know everything I can. So I’m reading about any Pokémon history, mythology, and anything else I can find.” Red said proudly and angled the large, old book so that Deliah could see it. She looked over the page that the book was open to and began reading the entries that were adjacent to the image of an ancient stone carving of a Pokémon with feline-like features and a long tail that ran more than the full length of its body. There was a caption beneath the image which read “The Phantom Pokémon”.

    Mew appears only to those who are pure of heart. Its magical powers can heal the sick and purify bitter hearts. So rare that it is still said to be a mirage, by many experts. Only a few people claim to have seen it worldwide. Because it is believed to be able to use any ability, there are many scientists who now speculate that it is the ancestor of all Pokémon. Mew is said to possess the genes of all Pokémon. It is capable of making itself invisible at will, so it entirely avoids notice even if it approaches people.

    The entry was very short, and offered no real, scientific data - nothing more than theories based on ancient myths that had been passed down through generations by family members who claimed to have seen it. There were a few minor speculations about its height and weight, and educated guesses that it was a Pokémon of the psychic variety and preferred tropical climates for its habitat, based on the fact that nearly all supposed Mew sightings had occurred in such climates.

    “A lot of people believe that this Pokémon is just a myth, you know. What makes you so interested in it, Red?” Deliah inquired curiously.

    “Because I’ve seen it,” replied Red in a tone that was so ‘matter of fact’ that Deliah was caught off-guard, “I can’t remember when…or where, but I know I’ve seen it once before. No one believes me though; they just think I’m craving attention. Guess they don’t figure that if I wanted that, I’d be running around all over the playground with them. I can’t blame them though; it is a legend, but I know I’ve seen Mew.”

    The look of determination in Red’s fiery eyes was unmistakable; Deliah had seen that look before. The boy was much smarter than she had even expected and even though he struggled to pronounce some of the larger words of the book he was incredibly well spoken.

    “Look at this one!” Red exclaimed as he turned to a page that he appeared to have had bookmarked, and pointed excitedly to the photograph of a large, deep orange, dragon-like Pokémon with a blazing flame on its tail-tip and impressive wings. Its claws and teeth looked razor sharp, and its twin horns at the back of its head gave off an impression of might and power. Deliah held the pages of the book down as a breeze blew through the orphanage courtyard. Her large-brimmed hat was caught by the gust and almost blown away, but Red gracefully leaped up, holding his own hat down with one hand, and caught it by the brim with the other before it could get past them. He sat back down beside Deliah, this time a little closer, and handed it back to her. “Here you are ma’am.” he said as Deliah graciously smiled and ran her fingers through her hair before placing the hat firmly back on her head.

    “Thank you very much, Red. You saved my favorite hat.” Deliah saw the hint of pride at a good deed done, in Red’s eyes as he grinned back at her.

    “You’re welcome, ma’am. I’m going to have a pair of those someday,” he said proudly, turning his attention back to the picture they had been looking at, “They’re going to be the strongest ever!”

    Deliah nodded, but she was puzzled. She knew the Pokémon in question to be a Charizard, the final stage of the Fire Type Pokémon, Charmander. “Why a pair of Charizards, Red?” She inquired as she fixed her gaze on him.

    “Because,” Red offered as he picked up the unique Poké Ball off of the ground beside him and stood up, a glint of pride in his crimson eyes, and gently pressed the release button on the spherical capsule. Immediately a bright light shot out of the ball as it opened up, quickly splitting into two as a second later two Charmanders stood side by side in front of Red, tail-tips ablaze and each with eyes as intense as his own, “I have a pair of Charmanders!”

    Deliah stood up, caught off guard by the sudden appearance of the, two Fire Type Pokémon which now stood before her. The two Charmanders were identical in height and overall size. The only difference she could see was that one of them had a different coloration to its body. While she knew Charmanders to be a rich, bright orange color all over, save for the underside of their stomach, this one was a bright, golden-yellow hue instead. The Charmanders were very small for their age, a good four or five inches shorter than they should be by her estimate and, while they did not appear to be starving, they did look malnourished.

    Come to think of it, Red doesn’t look like he’s been eating adequately either, Deliah noted to herself, That’s definitely going to change.

    The Charmanders stared at Deliah for several moments, periodically looking back at Red for a sign of sorts that the woman standing in front of them was friendly. When Red finally spoke up, he offered, “Guys, this is my friend, Mrs. Deliah Knight. She’s been really nice visiting me. Ma’am, I’d like you to meet my brothers. The one on your right is Vulcan, and the golden one on your left is Ashgar.”

    Deliah wondered what the boy meant by ‘brothers’, but she didn’t want to press the issue as it was of no immediate consequence to her. She smiled warmly and crouched down so that she was roughly eye-level with the two lizard-like Pokémon.

    “It’s very nice to meet the both of you. I’m Deliah,” she said. The Charmanders smiled back and trilled happily at the introduction to a new friend. Red seemed to be pleased with his Pokémon’s positive reaction to Deliah.

    As Deliah held out her hands, gently stroking the top of their heads, Red inquired, “You seem to be really good with handling Pokémon, ma’am; when did that happen?”

    Deliah smiled softly and looked back at the boy. “What feels like a lifetime ago now.”

    Red paused for a moment before following that with another question, “Ma’am…how come you always come here alone? It’s always a husband and wife that come together to the facility. Where’s your husband? Is he away on business?”

    Deliah wondered if she should even be surprised by this boy anymore at this point. The boy’s powers of perception were astounding; Deliah felt as though he could see right through her at that moment.

    “Well, Red, I do have a husband, but he has been gone for a few years now.”

    “What do you mean, ‘gone’?” the boy asked, a puzzled look on his face. He sat closer to Deliah and stared up at her, anticipating a lengthy tale.

    “It’s a long story, but I suppose there’s time. Several springs ago a young man came into the country, arriving at the southern docks of Pallet Town. He was a brash young man, full of confidence, enthusiasm, and big dreams - much like you. He was also a little full of himself too, a little too much for his own good at the time. He came to Kanto from the south-west region of Hoenn, and he came from a well-to-do family there. He was a Pokémon trainer, and it was his dream to become the strongest trainer in his nation. But before he would allow himself to take the Pokémon League Challenge there, he had set sail for far-off regions to learn more about Pokémon and to become stronger, but vowed that he would return one day. The trainer’s journey had brought him here, to Kanto because of our reputation for strong trainers, but more specifically to Pallet town as well because that is the home of the great Professor Oak, the world’s foremost authority on Pokémon. At the time, I was studying under the professor as a research assistant, but I was also something of a trainer myself in those days. When the man arrived at the professor’s lab, he was full of confidence in his abilities, but hungry for more knowledge. He demanded a battle with me, viewing it as a right of passage to be able to learn directly from Professor Oak himself. Unfortunately for him, the professor had trained me in Pokémon battling nearly as much as in research as he was at one point the strongest trainer around, without equal. The battle didn’t last more than just a few minutes, and I defeated him handily. After the match he looked quite beaten, not only physically but also his pride. But he quickly regained his composure and said with a huge, goofy grin,

    Hey, wow, that was a great match; you’re really something! You should let me take you out to dinner!

    I have no idea why I accepted; it may have been out of some sense of wanting a prize for my effort, or the way he picked himself back up after he was defeated and not losing sight of his goal. Or maybe it was just that he looked very handsome. Maybe I’ll never know. What I do know is that one date led to another and we fell in love and eventually were married later that year.”

    As Deliah paused, Red offered, “That all sounds really great, but I’m not seeing a happily ever after look on your face.”

    “You’re quite right, Red. For the next two years, he became an assistant under Professor Oak’s tutelage. Together, we helped the professor make great discoveries in the world of Pokémon, even uncovering a new species, but while he made a great assistant, he was no career scientist. He longed for the thrill of Pokémon battles. We talked about it for a long time, and I knew that I couldn’t change his mind; his heart was set on his dream. I wished him the best of luck on his quest and prayed for his safe return. For the first year, he sent me vid-mails when he reached a new town, or called on the phone where there was reception, but then I stopped hearing from him suddenly. There was supposedly a massive storm in the area in which he was traveling at the time; there were reports of dozens of people going missing. I still hope and pray that he someday finds his way home to me, but that was almost four years ago.”

    Red looked at Deliah with an empathetic sorrow. Mid day was over and the sun, while still well in the sky, was making its descent to the west. Red stood up and put his arms around Deliah’s neck in a warm hug.

    “I’m sorry; I can tell how much you miss him. I promise you I’ll find him when I go on my Pokémon journey.”

    Deliah started to cry, though whether the tears were joy or sadness she wasn’t sure, but she knew one thing for certain: this boy is coming home with me. Several moments passed before she wiped the tears from her eyes and looked over at the boy, who was staring at her intently. She stood up, brushing herself off with a few gentle swipes to the folds of her dress before leaning forward and looking the boy in the eyes and offering with a smile,

    “Say, how would you like to come home with me, Red?”

    Red’s face lit up, equal parts joy and shock, as he stared blankly back at Deliah, unsure how to react to a situation he hadn’t counted on actually happening to him. He felt his heart pounding so hard that it seemed as though it was going to beat a hole right through his ribs. It was several moments of barely breathing, heart-pounding, and shaking before he managed to vocalize the words he had been trying to get out, “Y-yes, please!”

    Deliah’s heart leaped with a great swell of joy; she couldn’t have imagined the magnitude of this moment, but she knew it was going to be life-changing.

    “I’m so glad that you will,” she said, “I suppose I should go inform the receptionist and fill out whatever paperwork they will need me to sign for before they let me take you home, but I really hope we can just get it all done today.” Deliah smiled once more at Red, with a smile that could only be described as ‘motherly’, and then briskly strolled back towards the front office.

    Red watched Deliah walk out of the courtyard and back into the orphanage proper. The entire time he watched her, he kept thinking, There goes my new mom…, He turned toward his two Charmander companions who were staring up at him quizzically.

    “We’re going to be a part of a family now, guys…We...we have a home!”

    Vulcan and Ashgar both trilled happily, understanding Red’s words and sharing in his joy as the three hugged each other. Red stood in the sun, soaking in its warmth as he waited for Mrs. Knight to come get him. As he waited, a few of the other children who had been playing in the courtyard came over to him, a boy and two girls. All of them were at least a couple of years younger than Red, except the boy appeared even younger. The little boy wore an ocean blue t-shirt with a white horizontal stripe across the abdomen, bright yellow cargo shorts, a baseball cap of a matching hue that he was worn turned backwards, and white sneakers; he was the first to speak up.

    “Heya Red. Who's that lady? She was here for a long time.”

    “Yeah, she was really pretty. What did she want?” chimed in the two girls.

    Red smiled softly as he finally said it out loud to someone, “She’s my new mom…” Saying it out loud to the other children felt cathartic and gave it a sense of reality, as he was beginning to worry that he had been dreaming the entire day up.

    “No way!” The other children all gasped in surprise. Most of the kids in the orphanage knew that Red had been there longer than anyone else, and more than most of them combined at that.

    “That’s so cool!” said the little boy, “I’m getting picked up this weekend by a couple who lives in Cherrygrove City in Johto.”

    “That’s great Joey. I’m glad you were able to find a home so quickly.” Red offered with a sincere smile. Just then one of the orphanage hands walked up along with Deliah, both had wide smiles and smiling eyes. Red and the other children looked up as they reached the shade of Red’s tree.

    “Normally it can take anywhere from 3 days to a full week to get all of the necessary files sorted, but this is a special case,” said the receptionist, “So you two may go home together today.”

    “Thank you so much, again,” Deliah offered graciously, looking back down at her newly adopted son, “I hope it wasn’t an inconvenience or will cause any problems. I just don’t think I could bear to leave him here any longer than he’s already been.”

    “It’s no trouble at all, Mrs. Knight; I’m just as excited to see him finally find a home as you are. Grab your things, kiddo, you’re getting out of here!” she said to Red with a great big smile across her face.

    Red, Vulcan, and Ashgar all looked at one another and then took a few steps closer to the trunk of the tree they had called home for the last three years. Red picked a stone up off of the ground and then started to carve letters into the white bark of the tree; as he did this, Vulcan and Ashgar, on either side of him, touched the very tips of the flames on their tails to the tree trunk - just enough to singe the bark. When the three of them stepped away, they revealed “Red” carved into the tree, with two distinct singe marks below it. Red smiled and nodded back at Deliah and the receptionist then turned to Vulcan and Ashgar and held up the Gemini Ball.

    “Vulcan…Ashgar…return!” Red said happily, as the bright light shot from the ball capsule, enveloping the two Pokémon and bringing them once again back inside the Gemini Ball. Once his Charmanders were safely inside their ball, Red walked around behind the tree, followed by the others, and knelt down to pick up the golden yellow backpack he had received years ago. He slung it over his shoulders, checking both straps to make sure they were in proper alignment. It was beginning to fit him better, as was his hat. Once he had all of his belongings in order, he turned back to everyone else, the Gemini Ball gripped firmly in his right hand and his left hand clasping the matching strap of his pack.

    Deliah had an adoring look on her face, “Well don’t you look like a dashing young adventurer? C’mon Red. Let’s go home.” she offered with a smile as she held out her hand to him. Red took a few steps towards her and removed his hand from his pack’s strap and clasped Deliah’s as the two took their first steps together.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Ch.9 - The Hands of Fate

    CHAPTER NINE – The Hands of Fate

    “Welcome to your new home, Red!” Deliah said cheerfully as she stepped inside her modest, two-story home on the west end of Pallet Town. She flipped on the entryway light switch, the sun had gone down and dusk had fallen upon the region, and held the door open for Red as he took his first tentative steps inside his first home outside of the orphanage. He stepped a little further into the house, then frantically turned around, dropping his backpack on the floor, and took his shoes off.

    “Sorry, I almost forgot to take them off. I wouldn’t want to track dirt all over your floors.” Red said apologetically.

    “Red,” Deliah replied reassuringly, “This is your home now, so they’re your floors too. You don’t have to worry about that, but thank you for being so considerate.” She smiled and knelt down, picking up his shoes and opening up a closet door that was adjacent to the front door, setting them inside. “I know these are new surroundings for you, Red. Take your time to look around; I’d be happy to give you a guided tour.”

    “Thank you...” he paused, stopping himself mid-sentence. He almost said ‘mom’, but he couldn’t do it out loud. Not yet. He told himself. I need to earn that privilege. “I would really like that.”

    Deliah led her new son from the entryway through the rest of the house, starting with the kitchen. The kitchen was large, for a smaller house, with an overhang which held a collection of variously sized pots, pans, and skillets. The appliances were all kept clean, matching the rest of the room - which was near spotless. When Red mentioned how clean it was, Deliah jokingly replied that it was easy to clean a kitchen when you’re only cooking for one. While the rest of the lower floor was primarily wood flooring of an auburn color, the kitchen had a patterned tile that Red could feel was cold even through his socks. After the kitchen, she showed Red the main room, which had a seating area with a single large couch and a reclining chair. There was a large television mounted on the wall opposite of the front of the house, the largest that Red had ever seen; he recalled there only being a few small televisions at the orphanage that they used for weekly movie nights. After completing the tour of the lower floor, Deliah led Red up the staircase located in the front of the house, in between the kitchen and living room, to the second level of the house.

    “Ok Red,” she said, “the last stop is your room.” The two ascended the stairs and turned the corner to the first door on the right hand side of the hallway. Deliah stopped in front of the closed door and motioned for Red to close his eyes. Tentatively, he closed them and then covered them with one hand. Then Deliah, holding his free hand in one of hers, and opening the door in front of them with the other, led him inside. She held her breath as they stepped inside the room; she had spent almost the entire time since her first visit getting the room prepared for him, having hoped and prayed that she was going to be able to take him home. After several steps inside the room she said, “You can open your eyes now.”

    Red didn’t know what to expect when he opened his eyes; most certainly he didn’t expect what he saw: the room was roughly 30 by 16 feet in dimension, with its four walls painted a rich red color. The room had an uncommon amount of open space, with nearly half of the room on the closet side being free of anything except a single large throw-rug in the image of a Pokémon Battle Stadium. Noticing Red’s reaction to the open space and the stylized rug occupying it, Deliah commented on it. “I think that you, Vulcan, and Ashgar could use the extra space.” Red was very grateful for this.

    In the far corner of the room, adjacent to the window, was a large, queen-size, captain’s style bed with an oak frame and boards on either end. The captain’s bed sat higher than a normal bed would, with the mattress sitting atop several drawers for clothes, this was typically done to conserve space in smaller rooms. The white sheets smelled freshly washed and spread out neatly on the mattress. On top of the bed, against the headboard and wedged against the corner of the walls, lay a massive pillow version of a Snorlax - a very large, rotund Pokémon of the Normal Type variety, that was nearly all black with an off-white underbelly and face. Snorlax was widely known for eating and sleeping all day long. At the foot of the bed lay three more Pokémon pillows. One, which Red recognized right away, was a Charmander. The others he knew to be a Bulbasaur, a rare Grass/Poison Type Pokémon that was reptilian with a large bulb on its back, commonly given to select new trainers in the Kanto region, and a Squirtle, a small blue tortoise Pokémon of the Water variety. It too was an uncommon species that a few lucky new trainers received each year.

    Red’s eyes widened at the display; he had never owned toys of any kind, but he recalled many of the children at the orphanage possessing many various Pokémon-themed toys and pillows, many of which had been donated to the facility to give to the children on holidays or birthdays. He remembered one of the lucky children had been given a large Pokémon pillow, much like his Snorlax, that was of a water type Pokémon from a far off tropical region.

    Wailmer, from Hoenn, I think it was, Red thought to himself.

    He returned his attention to his new room. In the corner opposite of the bed and window was a simple oak desk with a few drawers and shelves; to the right of that was a large bookshelf of the same make with a small collection of books resting on it. Red walked over to the piece and pulled one of the books off of the shelf. It read, The Trainer’s Journey by Prof. Samuel Oak; he flipped through the first few pages, his eyes wide with excitement, before closing it and placing it neatly back where it had been. He then pulled down another book, which appeared very much like a journal, with its spiral binding, brown leather cover, and slightly tattered pages. Turning the first couple of pages, he realized that it was in fact a journal; there were no signs of any signatures or initials to give him an idea of who wrote it, so he promptly shut the journal and replaced it in his hands with a hardcover volume bearing violet binding. The dust jacket read, The Bond Between People and Pokémon by Deliah Knight, with preface by Prof. Samuel Oak. Opening the book up to the inside back cover he saw a small, smiling portrait of his new mother. Red looked back at Deliah with an excitedly inquisitive expression. Deliah smiled and knelt down on the oak wood floor, and placed her hand on the book Red was holding.

    “I wrote that what seems like forever ago, after I had been studying under and researching with Professor Oak for some time. I’ll never forget the feeling of pride that came over me when he offered to preface it for me. The look of pride in his own eyes made it all the better. Professor Oak always did tell me that I should go on to teach at an academy, or go into the research field like him; he told me I would excel at either.”

    “Why didn’t you?” Red inquired.

    “That’s a good question, Red. Why didn’t I? Hmmm…Perhaps I wanted to settle down and have a family; in order to do that I had to put my own ambitions and dreams on hold. Then, when my one love went missing…I don’t know. Maybe I just lost the fire.”

    Red scowled. He knew that there was nothing that could ever stop him from chasing after his dream of becoming the greatest Pokémon Trainer in history, and he didn’t like the sound of his mom giving up on something she loved and was good at. Deliah watched him sort things out in his head for several moments before he spoke up.

    “That settles it then.” He said at last.

    “What settles what, Red?” Deliah asked with curious amusement.

    “You will be my teacher.” He proclaimed.

    “Me? Red, I’d love to, but I’ve never taught before; I’ve only ever been a student.”

    “That’s perfect, then. I heard someone say the best teacher is a student!” Red grinned wide, and his crimson eyes smiled along with the rest of his face. It was captivating, entrancing, and it seemed to spark a fire somewhere deep inside Deliah.

    “Alright, you’ve got it!” Deliah announced as she stood up proudly. She stifled her tears of joy as she looked down on the smiling Red. She could think of no better thing to bond with her son over than their shared greatest passion: Pokémon. “Are you hungry for some dinner? I can fix something for us if you’d like.”

    Red pondered a moment as he pressed the palm of his hand to his stomach and felt a low rumble coming from within. “Yes please.” He said with a nervous laugh.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Professor Oak let out a heavy sigh as his assistants all left his lab for the evening. As the last one exited the large lab on the southern cape of Pallet Town, the professor closed and locked the door behind him. Turning back to his lab, which still required a bit of tidying up, the professor began to sort through any loose papers he found on the desks and file them away appropriately. He was just a few minutes into this task when he heard his lab phone ring. He casually walked over to the receiver, tired from a long day’s work, and placed it against his right ear, holding it in place with his shoulder as he continued his prior business.

    “Pallet Pokémon Lab; this is Professor Oak speaking.”

    “Good evening, professor; my apologies for calling so late in the evening. This is the Viridian City Orphanage.” The woman on the other end of the line said.

    “Ah, hello, what can I do for you this evening?” the professor cheerfully asked.

    “Nothing at all, professor. I’m calling because you requested that you be notified when the young boy you left in our care was taken in by a new family,” she offered.

    “Why yes, yes I did. Has he been?” asked Professor Oak, beginning to feel an anxious excitement.

    The woman continued, “Yes, he has been - today in fact. A young woman from Pallet Town adopted him late this afternoon. She had come to look at the children before and had become quite taken with the boy. She visited multiple times and by the end of the afternoon today she was rushing to fill out the paperwork and take him home with her as soon as she could. The young woman seemed very charming and caring, and quite motherly despite not ever having had any children of her own.”

    “That’s great news! Thank you very much for the update. This will definitely allow me to sleep better; I was beginning to worry if that little incident three years ago really had hampered his chances of getting adopted by anyone after all. Three years is a long time to live in an orphanage, even one with facilities as complementary as yours.” The professor beamed.

    The orphanage representative concurred with Oak, “No, I understand entirely; the boy deserved to be in a real home. The woman who picked Red up today was a Mrs. Deliah Knight.”

    When he heard the name, the professor brimmed wide with a giddy sort of grin. He hadn’t anticipated his own former graduate to be the one who would adopt Red, but the idea of it seemed so perfect that it fell just short of being unbelievable. With all that he had seen so far in his lifetime, however, Samuel Oak knew better than to doubt a miracle. With that, he thanked the woman on the line again and hung up the phone. He went back to his cleaning, which didn’t take him much longer, and then sat down at his desk, quickly browsing through any new e-mails he had received and responding to any that couldn’t wait until morning. He was about to log out of his computer when he got a second thought; quickly pulling up his e-mail again, he began composing a new document:

    From:
    samuel.oak@kanto.net
    To: rowan_lab@sinnoh.com, newbark.research@johto.net, birch.family.lab@hoenn.org, juniper_research@unova.net
    Subject: The Child of Fire
    Document:
    My dear friends and colleagues,

    Three years ago, we all journeyed to the Silver Mountain Range together in search of knowledge and adventure; what we found instead was a mystery that could very well go far beyond what any of us could hope to comprehend - at least at the present. That mystery came in the form of a young boy, whom we all know to be 'Red'. As difficult as it was to do, some more so than others, we decided that it was in the boy’s best interest to leave him in the care of the Viridian City Orphanage here in Kanto. I am writing this message to inform all of you who shared in this mystery with me that a representative from the orphanage has just called to inform me that Red now has a new home and mother who will take utmost care of him.

    The young woman, much to my surprise as fate’s plan for things tends to be, is a former graduate and research assistant of mine, Deliah Knight (you may recall her remarkable work The Bond Between People and Pokémon). This was unexpected for me, but I believe that I am beginning to see the threads of fate in all of this. I see no coincidence in the boy being found, along with the two infant Pokémon, by us five Pokémon researchers from five different regions. For him now to be adopted by a former apprentice of mine who herself was a brilliant researcher and trainer as well, tells me that Red has the word ‘destiny’ written all over him. I know you’ll all agree with me in this as we’ve had many talks together over the nature of this incredible world we live in and a plan for everything. With that I ask this of each of you: I know that someday this boy we found is going to start a journey of his own. It is clear that he is destined to do great things, and apart from that he’ll be searching for answers to mysteries of his own. I ask that when he comes to each of you, whenever that time comes, that you aid him however you can. I too will do the best I am able. As I speak, I am working on plans for incredible new tools as likely you all are as well.

    I’m sure you’re all just as excited as I am to see what lies ahead for our young charge, so let’s each of us put our best foot forward and strap on our lab coats; I think we’re in for one wild adventure in the years to come.

    - Prof. Oak


    With that, Oak sent out his notice to his colleagues and logged off of his computer. He stood up and turned his attention to a large set of blueprints that were labeled: Electronic Encyclopedia spread across one of the laboratory’s tables. He smoothed them out with his flattened hands and stared at them for several moments. He made a few quick notes in the upper left hand corner of the designs, copying the notes into a pocket-sized notebook which he then slipped into his lab coat pocket, and then stacked them neatly to the side as a priority item. Done for the night, the professor shut off the lights as he exited his lab. Placing his hands inside of his coat pockets, he said aloud to himself as he looked up at the starry night sky.

    “Deliah and Red, huh? What sort of adventure does fate have in store for the two of you?”

  14. #14
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Ch.10 Journey's Start

    CHAPTER 10 – Journey’s Start

    Deliah gently opened the bedroom door in front of her, briskly strode to the window and pulled back the curtains, allowing the early morning sun’s rays to pour into the room. She opened the window itself and inhaled the fresh, spring air. The sky was nearly cloudless and, on a day as important as this, that was great news. Deliah smiled; it was only a few minutes past 7 o’clock in the morning, but today was a special day and her son needed to get up earlier than she knew he typically liked.

    She picked up the Poké Ball that rested on the nightstand beside the bed and with a click, hit the release button. Shooting out of the capsule in a flash and display of bright light, came the two Charmanders who, comparatively with when she had first seen them, looked infinitely healthier. The flames on the tips of their tails, the signs of a Charmander’s life force, burned bright and hot and they had intense, gleaming, blue eyes to match. The fire Pokémon both trilled happily as they stretched and rolled across the stadium-themed rug spread across the floor.

    “Good morning, you two. You ready for some breakfast for your big day? I’ve got it ready downstairs; c’mon and you can eat it all before Red even gets out of bed.” Deliah teased.

    “I’m up,” said a muffled voice from the bed.

    “You could barely be considered awake, let alone up, Red. I thought you’d been looking forward to this day for, what was it? Nearly eight years?” Deliah said, laughing at her groggy son.

    “I’m up.” He said again.

    “If you’re up, then I’m a Mankey. If you ask me, you’re a Drowzee right now.”

    “If you’re a Mankey and I’m a Drowzee, then I win. Psychic trumps Fighting types.” Red said with a snicker. “I told myself I’d spring out of bed at 7:15 A.M.”

    “It is 7:15, honey.”

    Red threw back the covers on his bed and sprung up to his feet on the floor with an agile, fluid motion. He looked out the window and took in the fresh morning air. He turned to his mother and his Pokémon.

    “Good morning, everyone! Time for breakfast!”

    With that, the two Charmanders rushed out of the room and sped down the stairs towards to the kitchen.

    “Good morning, mom”, Red said as he gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

    “Good morning, kiddo. Now get down there and eat.” She said as she pushed him out into the hall. Deliah smiled; she knew how much he had been anticipating this day, and he’d probably been dreaming of it every day for the last eight years: the day when he finally goes to the other end of town to see Professor Oak and start his journey as a Pokémon trainer. She knew that this journey was important to him and she was happy knowing that he was finally getting to start it, but she also knew that life as a Pokémon trainer was far from easy. It held many potential dangers and disappointments, but most of all, she knew that it meant that the times she would see her son would likely be few and far between for a while.

    He had told her that he would wait until the spring after he turned eighteen years of age before he would leave on his quest to become the “Ultimate Pokémon Master,” and he had honored that promise without complaints of any kind. She had tried her best to instill him with as much of her knowledge as she could. Days of study, consisting of reading, writing, weather patterns and, of course teaching him as much as she could about Pokémon, had littered their last several years together. She also helped him train for Pokémon battles over the last few years, not only to help prepare him for success, but also to strengthen Vulcan and Ashgar, his two Charmanders. She had told them that they were to all watch over each other and had asked them to keep her son safe. That, along with a healthy diet, was how they went from being the frailest and most unhealthy-looking Charmanders she had ever seen, to the strongest and healthiest. It was all she could do to help Red on his journey; she would help in any way she was able.

    Downstairs in the kitchen, Red sat at the table finishing breakfast. The aroma of maple syrup and butter over blueberry-stuffed pancakes wafted through the house as Red, Vulcan, and Ashgar all sat at the table, stuffing their mouths with the fluffy, golden meal. As Red wiped a napkin across his mouth and got up to put away his dishes, Deliah strolled to the table carrying a medium sized, gift-wrapped box that was sealed with a large, velvety red ribbon, in her hands.

    “I have something for you before you go, Red. I know that you’re almost a young adult now, but I want you to have something that will let you always know that I’m with you on your journey to great places. Go on,” she said as she handed the box to Red, “open it.”

    Red held the box in his hands for a moment, taking in the sentimental value of what would be inside of it, before setting it down on top of the table and untying the elaborate ribbon first. Vulcan and Ashgar both hopped up onto the table and sat on either side of the box, curiously watching and waving their flame-tipped tails back and forth as they waited to see what was inside. Lifting the top off of the box and setting it aside, Red then gently pushed aside the wrapping paper that lined the inside of the box and pulled out a red, short-sleeved, collared shirt. The shirt’s sleeves and collar were white while the rest of the body was a red that matched the hat on his head. On the back of the shirt, there was a bold white, circular outline as well. Red smiled and wrapped his arms around Deliah in a big hug.

    “Thanks mom, I love it.”

    “I knew you would, honey. I’ll finish up with these last few dishes; you three hurry up and get ready, and make sure that your bag is packed properly.” Deliah encouraged as she motioned Red to get going. She wanted Red to hurry and start his journey to becoming a Pokémon Master, not because she wanted him to leave home, but rather because the sooner he started his journey, the sooner he would come home to her.

    Upstairs in his room, Red slipped his hands into the pair of black, fingerless gloves he’d received long ago, and placed a few last minute items into his bag. Then he held up the collared shirt his mother had just given to him and smiled. He gently flung it up into the air and gracefully spun around, slipping his arms through the sleeves as it fell in one fluid motion.

    “Nice! Mom sure knows how to pick ‘em doesn’t she, guys?”

    Vulcan and Ashgar nodded happily, clearly liking the shirt as well. It fit perfectly on Red’s slender, youthful frame.

    Lastly he went over to his desk and turned on his personal computer. On the drop-down menu, he logged into “Red’s PC” and clicked the option “ITEMS”, after which he selected “Potion” and then right-clicked and selected “Withdraw Item”. Seconds later the connected small, matter transporter machine on his desk flashed and a small, purple and light blue spray bottle materialized on the matter port. The back of the bottle read: When a PokéCenter isn’t near, PokéMart CO. has your health right here! Healing on the go, from PokéMart CO. Satisfied, he picked it up and slid it into a pocket in his bag-the very same golden yellow backpack he had received from Professor Oak himself all those years ago, right before he was left in the care of the orphanage.

    Vulcan and Ashgar watched him in wide-eyed anticipation; they were ready to start their journey. Red turned to face them and held up the Gemini Ball. “Alright guys! Let’s go see Professor Oak!” he said excitedly as the two Charmanders trilled with him, feeding off of his excitement. Red pressed down on the Gemini Ball’s release button with a click. “Vulcan…Ashgar…return!” With a flash of light, the two Fire Type Pokémon were nested cozily back inside their ball and the capsule shrunk itself down to carrying size, about the size of a golf ball, for easier transport. Red attached the ball to the magnetic belt around his jeans, grabbed his pack by one of the straps and rushed out of his room and down the stairs. Deliah was waiting by the front door for him to see him off.

    “You have everything you need, Red?” she asked, and smiled when she saw him come down the stairs wearing the new shirt. “You look very handsome, son.”

    “Yes mom! Thanks mom!” Red said with the same high energy a ten year old child would have when starting their Pokémon journey. He set his bag by the door and gave Deliah another hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be back for that - I just don’t want it weighing me down while I’m running over to Professor Oak’s lab.

    Deliah looked surprised and it was apparent in her voice as well, “Oh, you’re coming back?”

    “Of course!” Red exclaimed. “I’m going to want to show you what Pokémon I choose at the lab, so I figure I’ll grab my bag when I do that.”

    “That sounds perfect, Red. Now hurry! You don’t want all of the Pokémon to be gone!” Deliah said as she gave him a half hug and shoved him out the front door.

    “I’ll be back in a flash!” Red called out as he ran down the road, holding his cap on his head with his left hand and waving his arm back at her with his right.

    Deliah watched him run until he was no longer in sight, after which she went back inside and closed the screen door while keeping the main door open so as to let the fresh spring air through the house. She sighed and smiled all at once; she wasn’t quite sure how to feel just yet. After all, her son, her whole life for the past eight years, was about to leave on an adventure all on his own and she had no way to know when or if she’d ever see him again. Despite the uncertainty, she knew that he had a fire in his spirit and nothing could hold him back from achieving his dream, and she certainly wasn’t going to be the one to hold him back. She already felt guilty over him having promised to put his dreams on hold for nearly eight whole years just to be with her instead. Deliah shook off her doubts and fears.

    “Red would never forgive me if gave into those.” She said to herself as she looked down at his bag sitting on the floor. “Let’s see what you’ve packed.”

    She unzipped the small compartment on the left, front-facing side. She reached inside - the pocket wasn’t filled with much. All she could pull out was a single bottle of Potion. The small, purple bottle was a common remedy for restoring a Pokémon’s energy lost in battle or from other means, and every prepared Pokémon Trainer knew that there weren’t Pokémon Center clinics every ten feet so having travel med kits was vital to a journey. Deliah slid the bottle back into the pocket, zipped it closed, and then proceeded to look through the next compartment. Opening the right, front-facing pocket, she looked inside and found nothing there.

    “Hmmm…if I know my Red, he probably plans to store Poké Balls in this one.” She zipped it shut and then moved on to the main storage space of the pack. Unzipping the large compartment, she found several things inside; first of which was an object that was mostly rectangular in shape and had a golden yellow metallic sheen to it, with a single red stripe in the center and a small button slightly off-center of that. She pressed the button and the object split in half, opening up from the center to reveal a holographic interface that was a map of the Kanto region. “That’s my Red; you can never go wrong with having one of these on you. I’m glad he doesn’t see himself as above needing a map to find his way.” Deliah pressed the button again and the device slid back together with a soft click. She gently placed it back inside the pocket; when she did this she noticed what appeared to be a couple of small books inside the compartment as well. Pulling one out, she smiled when she read The Trainer’s Journey by Prof. Samuel Oak on the front cover. “Now that is impressive, son. I’m proud of you for having the foresight to bring something like this along on your journey if ever you should find yourself in a situation that you are unsure of what to do. She slid the book carefully back into the bag and then paused when she saw a spiral-bound notebook jacketed in violet. “It can’t be…Why would he…?” Hesitantly, Deliah lifted the notebook out of the bag and held it in both of her hands. She dropped to her knees on the floor when she saw the title as she pressed the book to her chest and began to tear up. “Red…” she sniffled, “I love you, son. And I will always be with you.”
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pallet Town had been bustling with people on the road and sidewalks. This day came once every year, when young boys and girls in Kanto who had just turned age ten went to see Professor Oak and start their journeys as young, aspiring Pokémon trainers. Lucky few of those young boys and girls got to receive one of three special ‘starter’ Pokémon from the professor himself. Everyone in Kanto knew those three Pokémon to be: the Grass and Poison Type Bulbasaur, the Fire Type Charmander, and the Water Type Squirtle. Each of the three had their own strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages, and each trainer-to-be had to put a lot of thought into which Pokémon they would choose to be their first partner on their adventure through the world. Red walked up the cobblestone walkway, feeling some of the loose pieces of gravel and stone crunch beneath his sneakers as he passed by a large wooden sign that read “Oak Research Lab”. Entering through the large, glass double-doors he saw men and women in lab coats busy at a myriad of various tasks. Some were leaning over desks or tables and making notes on large sheets of paper. Some stood huddled around something which Red couldn’t quite make out at first, but as he got closer he saw that it was in fact a Pokémon. The Pokémon was rather tall, about one head height shorter than Red was. It had a star-shaped head and a pair of long whiskers that reached almost to the ground. The Pokémon was hunched over and had a yellow pigment to its skin, and held a silver spoon in each hand. Red could faintly hear it making a sound over the noise of the scientists. Kazam! He heard it say. And it was then that he realized what the Pokémon was, an Alakazam. Alakazam was the final stage of the Psychic Type Pokémon Abra, and was said to have a brain as powerful as any known supercomputer.

    Red knew that he was bound to see Pokémon at the lab, but he was excited to have seen such a powerful and uncommon Pokémon already. He continued through the lab’s main floor until he saw an elderly man at the back end of the lab. The man wore a lab coat like everyone else in the building, khaki pants, and a dark red collared shirt. His hair was a graying brown on top and darker near the sideburns. Red was certain that the man was Professor Samuel Oak, one of the world’s leading Pokémon researchers and the Kanto region’s foremost authority on Pokémon. As Red approached, the professor noticed his presence and turned to face him with a smile. “Good morning to you, young man!” Professor Oak welcomed Red cheerily. When Red came to a stop a few feet away from him, he and the professor shared a moment of silence, a sort of recognition that they had met before. In his mind, Red saw flashes of being cold, starving, and curled up inside a cave, while outside the rain beat against the side of the mountain. The warm, smiling face of a middle-aged man was beaming down at him. Then he was handing a crude drawing to the same man, his face slightly shadowed. Then he was receiving the very backpack that he now had waiting by the front door at home, and saying goodbyes.

    When his mind returned to the present he started to open his mouth to say something, but the professor cut him off before he could utter a word as he offered his hand to Red.

    “You don’t have to say anything, young man; I know who you are and why you’ve come today. You no doubt recognize my face beyond having simply seen it on television or the inside of a book. We met long ago, but have never been formally introduced, so please allow me: my name is Samuel Oak, but most people seem to more affectionately refer to me as ‘The Pokémon Professor’. As you already know, this world in which we live is filled with creatures we call ‘Pokémon’. Sometimes we play together. Sometimes we work together. And some people build stronger bonds with their Pokémon through battles. I myself used to be a Pokémon trainer when I was younger, though, like you, I did not begin my Pokémon journey until I was nearly an adult. Now I help young aspiring Pokémon trainers begin their own journeys.”

    As Professor Oak welcomed him to the lab, Red heard a ruckus as a young man, possibly the same age as himself, stormed into the lab. The boy’s light brown hair was spiked high and messy, and he wore an indigo turtleneck sweater, black slacks, and brown leather boots. He also wore a pendent on a long necklace around his neck. The boy walked with an air of cold confidence and had a cocky smirk across his face.

    “Blue? What are you doing here already?” asked Oak the other boy. “Red, this is my grandson, Blue. He’s been a trainer since he was a young boy. Blue, this is Red.”

    Red held out his hand, but before he could introduce himself, the boy blurted out in an annoyed tone, “Gramps! I’m fed up with waiting!”

    Professor Oak appeared distraught over the sudden and abrasive appearance of the boy. “I told you to come by later…Ah, no matter. Just wait there. Red, to your left on the table over here are three Poké Balls,” Professor Oak offered, his normal cheer returning to his voice. “In my younger years, I was a serious Pokémon trainer, but now in my old age I only have a handful left. You may have one of these three; go on, choose!”

    “Hey gramps, what about me?” Blue pressed in an annoyed tone.

    “Be patient!” insisted the professor, “You can have one too.”

    Red turned, looking at the table and peered closer at the Poké Balls that rested inside an open glass case lined with a dark red velvet cloth. His decision had come down to two Pokémon: the plant, Grass/Poison Type Bulbasaur, and the tortoise, Water Type Squirtle. Since the third choice of a starter Pokémon was a Charmander, and Red already had two, there was really little point in considering a third. He stared through the red, slightly translucent top half of one of the Poké Balls and looked into the eyes of the small, blue, tortoise Pokémon, Squirtle. Its violet eyes stared back at him, and it smiled in a friendly way, but the water type’s expression also held an undertone that said I’m waiting for someone else. Red smiled and nodded in understanding. He turned his eyes to the Poké Ball on the far left and leaned over for a closer look. Inside the spherical capsule nestled a chubby, quadrupedal, reptilian creature with a grass green hide and darker green spots scattered over its body. The most notable physical feature of Bulbasaur however was the signature large, green bulb on its back which it used to absorb sunlight for nutrients and energy. Its eyes were a rich shade of ruby red and gleamed intensely back at Red’s own crimson irises. Red could feel as if the Pokémon and he were breathing in sync and he felt at an odd peace. He reached out and gently rested his hand on top of the Poké Ball and closed his eyes and could feel the subtle vibrations of the Pokémon’s heartbeat.

    “You’re the one, Bulbasaur.” He said at last, as he picked up the capsule that housed the Grass Type starter Pokémon and held it a few inches from his face. He smiled and saw the Bulbasaur smile back at him with a wide, elated grin.

    “So Red, you want the Grass Type Pokémon, Bulbasaur? Go ahead, it’s yours! That Pokémon is really energetic! As I'm sure you are well aware, if a wild Pokémon appears on your journey, your Pokémon can battle against it and you can then try and capture it in another Poké Ball, thus expanding your trove of companions. The life of a Pokémon trainer is anything but easy, but it is also the most rewarding because you get the chance to bond with so many Pokémon!” The Professor offered.

    “Humph!” Blue snorted, “I’ll take this one then!” he announced as he stomped past Red and grabbed the Poké Ball that had been the center of the three. Red knew what it was: a Charmander, the very same bipedal, Fire Type reptile that Red had two of as practically brothers for the last decade. He nodded in courtesy at Blue as he turned to leave.

    “Wait, Red”, he heard Blue say in a cocky tone. He turned to see Blue with that same smirk of cold confidence on his face and lightly tossing his Poké Ball a few feet into the air and letting it land back in his palm repeatedly.
    “Let’s check out our new Pokémon. C’mon, I’ll take you on! Charmander…GO!” he shouted as he clicked the Poké Ball’s release button and, in a flash of light, his Charmander shot out of the ball. It bounced its weight back and forth and side to side, showing that it was energetic and battle ready, as its tail tip burned bright and small puffs of smoke emitted from its nostrils.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    California Bay Area
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    13

    Default Ch.11 Battle! A Rivalry Begins!

    CHAPTER ELEVEN – Battle! A Rivalry Begins!

    “Oh for Pete’s sake…So pushy, as always,” sighed Professor Oak, “Red, you’ve probably never had a Pokémon battle before have you? Pokémon battles occur when trainers pit their Pokémon against one another. The trainer who makes their opponent’s Pokémon faint in battle is the victor. But, rather than talking about it, you’ll learn more from experience. Go on and try it for yourself!” he encouraged.

    Red looked at his new companion through the Poké Ball. “You want to give it a shot, buddy?” he asked the Bulbasaur. The Pokémon nodded quickly back in response. “Alright then,” he said as wound his arm back, “Bulbasaur…GO!” and gracefully tossed the Poké Ball out several feet in front of him. As the capsule hit the lab’s cold, tile floor the ball glowed for the first time as light quickly shot out of it and Bulbasaur stood with a grin across its wide face.

    “Heh, my Pokémon looks a lot stronger than yours, Red,” mocked Blue at the sight of the small, Grass Type, “Let’s see if it can stack up.”

    Red was no fool, he knew right away that he was at a disadvantage right from the start. It was common knowledge to all Pokémon trainers that Fire trumps Grass. Not only that, but Charmander was typically significantly more agile than Bulbasaur. Red, while not having ever actually seen or used the Grass starter in a battle before, was able to make his first few assumptions based on the Pokémon’s physiology. This battle would not be won by speed, but rather by careful movements and timed counterattacks. Red had to assume that his opponent would get complacent from knowing he held a significant type and speed advantage already. The only advantage that Red had was that he was already quite the expert when it came to Charmanders, so he could at least hope to predict what sort of moves and tactics Blue would throw at him.

    The laboratory staff stopped whatever projects and research that they were working on and started to gather around to watch the battle unfold, after all, it wasn’t every day that they got to witness two fresh new trainers have a Pokémon battle right there in the middle of the lab. Red’s focus was entirely on his first real Pokémon battle however. He stared intensely at Blue’s Charmander, trying to get a feel for what its first move would be. Bulbasaur calmly swayed from side to side, awaiting its first order in battle; Charmander, on the other end of the room, did the same, though it bounced around with a higher energy.

    Blue took it upon himself to make the first move, “Charmander, use Scratch!” The Charmander sprang forward, quickly closing the gap between the two young Pokémon as its small, clawed feet tore across the white tile floor. Bulbasaur braced itself, and its eyes narrowed as it focused on the charging Fire Type, ready for action and intent on impressing its new trainer. Red waited a second for the right moment before shouting out, “Bulbasaur strafe to the right…now!” When Charmander was still a few feet away, Bulbasaur lifted its right fore and hind legs and hopped to the same side just as the Charmander’s front claws passed by the space Bulbasaur had just occupied. He had to time his movements due to the huge speed barrier between the two Pokémon, so he had to dodge earlier than he would if he was using a more agile Pokémon and attack where his opponent was going to be, if it was moving, in order to connect with an attack. A direct attack was useless under normal circumstances here. The Charmander looked surprised when its attack whiffed, and its trainer shared the expression.

    Quickly recovering, Blue repeated the order, “Charmander, Scratch again!” This time there wasn’t any time to dodge, and the Charmander’s sharp claws on the end of its short forearms swiped cleanly at Red’s Bulbasaur who was just barely resetting itself from its dodge. The attack connected, sending Bulbasaur reeling backwards. Blue wasted no time with his new opening, and pressed the offensive. “Charmander, use Growl!” The Fire Type lizard opened its mouth wide and emitted a loud, high pitched, shriek from its gaping maw. Bulbasaur cringed when the sound waves hit it head on. Bulbasaurs had large ears and were sensitive to high pitched sounds. Red cringed too when he saw his new Pokémon, who was already damaged from the previous attack, starting to shake from the noise. He had to think fast, but Blue didn’t seem keen on giving him the opportunity to regroup, as he again ordered a direct attack, “Charmander, Scratch!” The opposing Pokémon quickly closed the few feet that separated it from Bulbasaur and swiped hard with its small, sharp claws again, connecting and knocking the helpless Grass Type backwards once more. That was when Red saw his opportunity; even though Charmander had successfully damaged Bulbasaur, the force of his attack had also widened the gap between the two Pokémon enough that Red just might have enough room to recover and reform his strategy.

    “Your Pokémon seems to be doing a lot more damage-taking than dealing it, Red!” scoffed Blue.

    Man, that guy is arrogant…He’s right though; there's no way I can win this battle like this. He thought to himself. “Don’t get ahead of yourself; it’s not over yet!” Red fired back. The Charmander sneered along with his trainer, both of them feeling confident in the way the battle was going, as he bounced lightly on his feet. It was then that Red noticed something that unsettled him, Why hasn’t he used any Fire Type attacks? He clearly would have even more of an advantage. Sensing that his opponent was up to something, perhaps trying to make him guess when a Fire Type attack was coming and from where. If so, it was working. It was quickly becoming apparent to Red that Blue knew what he was doing. Now that Red had a better idea of where he stood, he was ready to continue this match. He adjusted his hat and tightened his gloves and encouraged his Pokémon, “Brace yourself, Bulbasaur!” Bulbasaur shifted its weight almost to a pouncing position, or as close to one as it could get with its short, stubby legs.

    “Good advice”, Blue called out from the other side of the room, “Charmander, use Scratch again!” Springing forward, Charmander readied another swipe of its claws aimed at Bulbasaur. This time Red was ready, and called out to his Pokémon, “Bulbasaur, sidestep and use Vine Whip!” Bulbasaur hopped to the side and a pair of vines extended from beneath the large bulb on its back, and shot straight towards the incoming Charmander. The vines quickly wrapped around the Pokémon’s closest arm and leg and, using the centrifugal force from turning, slammed it down onto the ground in a loud crash and a cloud of dust. “That’s it, Bulbasaur, great job!” Red praised his new Pokémon, but his smile faded when the dust started to clear and suddenly a flash and a large, thick layer of smoke appeared where the Charmander had been. Red quickly looked at Blue, who sneered and motioned Red to look up, pointing his index finger up from his crossed arms towards the ceiling.

    Red’s head whipped to look up just in time to see Blue’s Charmander suspended in the air and come down as Blue called out, “Charmander, Ember, NOW!” Red felt a sinking feeling in his gut as the Charmander swung its tail around and a large ball of fire shot from the flame on its tail tip. The attack hit Bulbasaur dead on and the fireball exploded with a loud BANG, sending it reeling through the air and hitting the floor hard and skidding back up against the wall. “Bulbasaur, watch out!” Red shouted as he saw the Charmander shifting to a pouncing position to ready another attack. Bulbasaur was singed all over and coughing deeply. It slowly shook off the disorientation from the attack, but it was clear that it was weak. Darn it!, Red cursed himself, why didn’t I bring my bag with the Potion in it?!

    “Alright, Charmander no more games; let’s finish this!” Blue shouted, “Charmander, Ember!” Everything felt like it was moving in slow motion as Charmander leaped into the air and began to glow; ready to send another ball of flame at Bulbasaur, this one without question the finishing blow of the battle. Red rushed to Bulbasaur’s side with his back against the wall. He looked to his left and saw the string that lifted the blinds covering the large window directly behind him and his Pokémon.

    Is this the sun-facing side of the building? No time to figure it out. He grabbed the cord and pulled down on it with all of his might and the heavy blinds ripped straight up, allowing the sunlight from outside to pour into the room. Bulbasaur began to shake rapidly as it called out Bulba bulba bulbabulbabulbabulbabulba…! The bulb on its back began to glow and open up slightly at the top as energy and light was drawn into it, forming a small glowing sphere of light. Yes! Red thought, This is our last shot! “Bulbasaur…use Solarbeam…NOW!” he called out beside his partner and pointed at the oncoming Charmander. Suddenly the small sphere of light quadrupled in size and shot forth a massive beam of light energy that rent the air in the lab and collided with the Fire Type Pokémon squarely in the chest and sending it flipping through the air. There was an intense flash and explosion of blinding light and the researchers all turned away to shield their eyes.
    “Aha!” Professor Oak exclaimed when he looked up, “We appear to have reached a conclusion!”

    Red smiled wide as he saw Blue’s Charmander collapsed on the laboratory floor, too exhausted to continue the battle, and standing beside him, though exhausted as well, was his Bulbasaur. He knelt down and patted him on the head in congratulations. “Great job, Bulbasaur!” he praised his new Pokémon on its hard won victory.

    “Excellent! Now let’s heal your Pokémon using this machine over here,” Oak said as he instructed the two Pokémon to hop up onto the large, intricate machine in the corner by his desk. The device was quite large, larger than a grown man, and was mostly cylindrical in its geometry with multiple pipes running in and out of its upper and lower halves. The two sections were separated by an open space that had six concave slots, each large enough to fit a Poké Ball half inside it. Bulbasaur and Charmander sat motionless on the machine as it began glowing and flashing rapidly. Several seconds later, there was a soft DING and both Pokémon looked good as new as they hopped down from the port and trotted back over to their trainers.

    “You showed some real instinctual skill there,” praised Professor Oak, “and won despite being at a disadvantage. You must be talented as a Pokémon trainer, Red!”

    Blue hissed in obvious irritation over his loss and the praise Red was receiving from his own grandfather, “Whatever. You just lucked out.”

    Professor Oak shook his head disappointedly and then rested his chin on his closed fist, pondering for a moment. “I have a request of you two,” the Professor said as he walked over to his desk that had a somewhat organized mess cluttered on top of it, “On my desk here is my invention, the PokéDex! It automatically records data on Pokémon you’ve seen or caught; it’s a high-tech encyclopedia!” He picked up two small devices off of his desk. “Red and Blue, take these with you.” The Professor said as he handed one to each of them. The device was bright red, a half inch thick and relatively 4 x 6 inches in dimension. When Red pressed a small button on the right edge of the device it folded open, revealing two large, LED screens, a small keypad, and several buttons. In the upper left-hand corner he also noticed a small lens which, he assumed, was for electronically recording data on a Pokémon.

    Anxious to try out the PokéDex, he turned to Bulbasaur, who had been curiously staring up at him since Professor Oak had started speaking, and held up the PokéDex while aiming the lens at his victorious new Pokémon. Several beeps emitted from the device and then an image of Bulbasaur appeared on the left-hand screen, while information about its height, weight, and other physiology came up on the right-hand screen. Then, to Red’s surprise, an electronic voice started to speak,

    BULBASAUR, the ‘Seed Pokémon’: Its mother plants a strange seed that stores energy on its back at birth; this seed sprouts and grows along with the Pokémon. For some time after its birth, Bulbasaur gains nutrients from the seed. Extended exposure to the sun causes both the seed and Bulbasaur’s body to grow larger.

    “Fantastic Red, You’re already getting the hang of it!” Oak beamed, “Here you two take these with you,” he said as he reached into his lab coat’s large front pockets and pulled out two sets of five Poké Balls, handing them to Red and Blue. “You can't get detailed data on Pokémon by just seeing them; you must catch them to obtain complete data. So, here are some tools for catching wild Pokémon. Anytime a wild Pokémon appears, it's fair game,” the Professor explained, “Just throw a Poké Ball at it and try to catch it! This won't always work, however. A healthy Pokémon can escape. You have to be lucky! To make a complete guide on all the Pokémon in the world…that was my dream! But, I'm too old now; I can't get the job done. So, I want you two to fulfill my dream for me. Get moving, you two; this is a great undertaking in Pokémon history!”

    “Alright, Gramps!” Blue announced as he pocketed the Poké Balls and PokéDex, “Leave it all to me! Red, I hate to say it but you won’t be necessary for this. I’m going to make my Pokémon battle to toughen it up.” He held up his new Pokémon’s Poké Ball, “Charmander…return!” and the Pokémon vanished back inside the capsule. “Red, Gramps, smell ya’ later!” With that, Blue turned and stormed out of the laboratory.

    Professor Oak turned back to Red after his grandson was gone, “Red, say hello to your mother for me if you’re going home before setting out.”

    “I will, Professor. And thank you again...for everything,” Red graciously said as he held out Bulbasaur’s ball, “Bulbasaur…return!” He held his new friend in its half-translucent capsule up close to his face. “Let’s go meet mom, Bulbasaur. Thanks again, Professor Oak,” he said as he headed out, waving goodbye to the Professor and his staff. As Red stepped outside, the sun shone brightly down on Pallet Town. He attached his new Poké Ball to his magnetic belt and removed his hat momentarily to run his fingers through his hair, feeling the warm rays of the sun on his face as he looked skyward.

    The clock on the wall showed the time at 10:30 A.M. Red had been gone for a little more than two and a half hours now. Deliah had been waiting patiently at the table when she heard footsteps at the front porch. She jumped up from her seat and walked briskly to the entryway as her son opened the front door and stepped inside the house. “Hey mom, I’m back!” he said when he saw her coming towards him.

    “Welcome back dear. How did it go at Professor Oak’s Lab? I’m assuming it’s safe to say you received a Pokémon from him?” she inquired, noting the second Poké Ball around his belt. Red removed the capsule holding his new Pokémon from his belt and held it out, pressing the release button on it. It opened up and a bright light shot out from within as Bulbasaur materialized on the entryway floor.

    “Oh! So you chose Bulbasaur!” Deliah noted, “That was wise to choose a Pokémon that would cover for Vulcan and Ashgar’s weakness to Water Type Pokémon.”

    “Yeah...I thought about that on my way back over here, but that actually wasn’t my reason for choosing Bulbasaur.” Red clarified.

    Confused, Deliah queried, “Really? Then why did you choose Bulbasaur over Squirtle?”

    “Well, to be honest, when I looked at Squirtle and it looked back into my eyes, I could have sworn I felt it say that it was waiting for someone else,” Red explained as he shrugged, “Then, when I locked eyes with this little guy right here, I just felt an immediate connection, like we were meant to be partners. So, that’s really why I picked Bulbasaur.”

    Deliah looked shocked. She knew from experience that trainers and their Pokémon grow to share strong bonds with one another over time, even coming to share personality quirks. But for Red to already have made such a connection, possibly even before choosing Bulbasaur as his partner was beyond remarkable. “Red, you may be one of precious few individuals ever who have the gift of a bond so strong with Pokémon that you can actually completely understand and communicate with them as though you’re both speaking the same language.”

    Red pondered his mother’s words. It made perfect sense to him. But why him, was his question; why was he given such a gift? That was the real puzzle to be solved here. At any rate, he surely wasn’t going to find answers in Pallet Town. It was just one more reason to head out on his journey.

    “That might explain why I’ve always felt such a strong connection with Vulcan and Ashgar, since the very beginning,” Red observed as he held up the Gemini Ball, “Speaking of which...come on out guys; there’s someone I want you to meet.” The twin Charmanders shot out of their ball and onto the hardwood floor of the Knight home. At first, when Bulbasaur saw that he now had a pair of the same Fire Type Pokémon that he had just fought a grueling battle against standing before him, he began to quiver ever so slightly. “Hey, don’t worry Bulbasaur,” Red consoled his new Pokémon as he crouched down and gently patted his head, “This is Vulcan and Ashgar; they’re my friends, and your friends now too.” Vulcan and Ashgar smiled and came over to Bulbasaur, standing on either side of him and putting a gentle hand on the large bulb on his back.

    “That’s great that they’re already getting along,” Deliah offered as the three Pokémon laughed and began playing together. Bulbasaur seemed really happy getting to know Vulcan and Ashgar and looked like he forgot all about having just been nearly burned to a crisp by another Pokémon of the very same species. Deliah picked Red’s bag up off of the floor, dusting it off with a few quick swipes from the back of her hand, and handed it to him.

    “Have you got everything that you need, Red?” Deliah knew that Red had best be leaving sooner rather than later if he didn’t want to get caught out in the dark, and she preferred that he didn’t if it was avoidable. Even though he was now a young man, he was still her little boy and all she had, and she still, and always would, cared for his safety.

    “Yeah, I have everything packed. The Professor entrusted me with a really important task of making a complete encyclopedic guide on all the Pokémon in the world, so I’ll need to be prepared for anything,” responded Red as he took the backpack and slung his arms through the shoulder straps, “and I double-checked it all this morning. I guess I had better get you three back inside your Poké Balls.” He pressed the release buttons and held out the two capsules in each hand, “Bulbasaur…Vulcan…Ashgar…return!” A beam of bright light shot out from each ball, enveloping the three Pokémon and withdrawing them back inside their respective Poké Balls. Red then placed both Poké Balls along the magnetized belt around his waist and reached into the pockets of his shirt, pulling out the Poké Balls that Professor Oak had given him to use for catching more Pokémon with. He knew that those five would not last him very long, especially if he planned to help the Professor by completing the PokéDex. He would have to buy more along the way.

    Deliah pulled her black, leather purse off of the coat rack beside her and reached inside, retrieving a small, plastic card. “Here you go, son I’ve been saving this for you. It’s not a fortune, but it should be enough money to get you started and help you purchase some extra Potions, any other medicinal items you may need for your Pokémon along the way and some Poké Balls for when you run out. You won’t get very far with that guide if you only have a handful of Poké Balls,” she said as she handed him the card, “Keep it in your Trainer Card case, honey so it won’t get lost. Whenever you win a Pokémon battle against another registered League Trainer, prize money will be added to your total funds. If you lose a match, however, funds will be deducted and given to your opponent. Be careful not to run out of money; you never know when an emergency might come up while you’re on your journey, but I don’t expect to hear about my protégé losing any battles any time soon,” she said with a warm mother’s love and pride, “So get out there and give it your all, honey; I know you can reach the top of the mountain and shoot for the stars far beyond it.” She embraced him, hugging him tightly for several moments, and kissed him on the forehead. “I love you, son. Go now. Seize hold of your dreams and make them your reality!”

    “Thanks mom. I love you too. I’ll try to give you updates of my progress whenever I get the chance. At the very least, I’ll try and call you from the PokéCenter in each new town and city I arrive in.” Red assured her, as he hugged his mother one more time and stepped out the door and took the first real steps of his journey, walking down the road and waving goodbye, for now, to the woman who gave him the chance to fulfill his dream.

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