Includes mild-medium language, scenes of graphic violence, gore,
frightening images, mild horror, and suggestive themes.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokémon. Any resemblance or reference to any real persons,
places, or ideas is purely coincidental and unintentional unless explicitly
stated otherwise by the author. Opinions and statements of religion,
politics, cultures, or anything else expressed in this story do not necessarily
reflect those of the author. Also, the ideas and components of this story
do not specifically relate to the games, anime, manga, or trading
card game of Pokemon.
PM List duncan
Cool Trainer Abhi
Son of Shadows
Fire master of the east
Rain fell lightly from a dismal, overcast sky. Gathered around a giant granite tombstone in a rather minute and shoddy cemetery was a small congregation of criminals, rich folks, and a few others. Armed police men patrolled the perimeter, ready for any convict to try and escape.
Among the crowd stood two men, both in their mid-forties. The first man had hair the color of crimson flame, bangs brushed to the sides of his face. The second had longer hair, a deep sapphire blue, combed straight back, reaching slightly past his shoulders. A few strands of hair hung down to his thin cheeks. Covering the eyes of both men were sunglasses. They had no need for them in the current weather, but they wore them nonetheless. Although the gentle shower stained their faces with water drops, no tears fell from their eyes as they listened to the priest’s monotonous speech.
The man with red hair felt sorrow, yet at the same time felt nothing. His father had not been the greatest role model. They had always been rich, but his father had always been experimenting in his laboratory, and neglected his two sons. Then, slowly he led them to a life filled with false promises and power they had only dreamed of. Their lives became immersed in a plot, one that would leave them at the top of the world.
But then, they had been foiled by a man by Wes, a former member of an ally of theirs. They had suffered a great defeat, but behind the scenes, the man’s father had worked furiously on a new project. His ultimate masterpiece, XD001. The legendary Lugia was under his control. XD001 was the first stable unpurifiable Pokémon. XD000 had been a failure. It was completely shadowed, but it was unstable and suffered wild changes in health. But XD001 was perfect. Or so they thought. Five years after Wes, a little kid named Michael had wiped out the entire plot. Somehow, the kid had talent in battling and was able to defeat their strongest admins. By the defeat, Eldes had a change of heart. He realized they had been chasing an impossible dream, one that would only result in chaos. He convinced his father to surrender and turn himself in. Greevil had agreed, and Ardos reluctantly gave in as well.
Here they stood, four years later, at their father’s funeral. He had died in prison from cancer, and despite his wrong deeds in the past, he was a kind man in the jail and many inmates and guards grew to enjoy his company. Now, Eldes and Ardos were released on probation.
As the priest finished, the blue-haired Ardos turned away and walked to a sleek black limo. Eldes turned and followed his younger brother to the automobile. Both climbed into the back seat. As they drove away, the man in the passenger seat spoke of their property and who it was to be inherited by. Eldes hadn’t paid attention, but instead looked at his brother’s eyes through the sunglasses. Eldes recognized the same expression that Ardos had, four years ago, when he had been at his prime in the Cipher organization. For the first time in his life, Eldes was truly afraid of his younger brother.
End prologue. Catch any foreshadowing? hehe...
Last edited by Pkmn Breeder Jack; 20th March 2012 at 1:40 AM.
The noon sun sat in the clear blue expanse of sky, casting gentle rays upon the playground. Laughter rose from the many children who darted back and forth, up and down, under and over and side to side on the play structures. Some children were out in a small field, kicking a ball back and forth.
Apart from the multitudes was a young boy, only eight, sitting on a swing. His thick brown hair framed his face, falling over his ears. Soft, dark gray eyes stared at the shreds of rubber on the ground.
Two boys of the same age approached him, one with a soccer ball at his feet.
“Hey, you wanna play?” The boy with the ball asked.
The boy on the swing looked up, a bit startled. He glanced at the first boy. “What?”
“I asked you if you wanted to play with us.” He eyed the kid. “My name’s Max.”
“I’m Jack,” the boy on the swing mumbled.
“I’m Ian,” the second boy said. “So do you want to play soccer?”
Jack looked back down at the ground. “No thanks.”
Ian frowned. “You sure?”
Jack nodded, not looking up.
Ian shrugged and turned to leave, but Max put a hand on his shoulder. “Jack, aren’t you the new kid?” Max asked.
Jack nodded again, still staring at the ground.
Something dawned on Ian, and he smirked at the top of Jack’s head. “Isn’t your daddy an American?”
Startled, Jack glanced up, his grip tightening on the chain of the swing. “Yeah, he is.”
Ian smirked wider. “So that means you’re American too, right?”
Jack swallowed. “Only half.”
Ian laughed. “You’re still an Amerigo.” The demeaning term made Jack flinch. He stood up, his fists clenched tight.
“Take it back.”
“Why should I? Americans are worthless.” Ian took a step towards Jack.
“Take it back,” Jack mumbled, not meeting Ian’s eyes.
Ian shoved Jack away. “Make me.”
Jack stumbled, but kept his balance. He said nothing.
“You can’t even fight.” Ian swung his fist and caught Jack in the side of his face. Jack landed on the rubber shreds, his hand going to his cheek. He didn’t cry, or even make a sound.
Ian laughed at Jack. “Pathetic.” Just then, something hit him square in the back, causing him to fly forward and land on his face next to Jack. At the spot where Ian had stood was another boy with snow white hair sticking up at odd angles. He had vibrant green eyes, staring down at Ian.
Fuming, Ian jumped to his feet and swung his fist at the boy with white hair. His punch missed and he found himself on the ground again, this time with his hand behind his back.
“I said, go away,” the white haired boy whispered. Ian felt his hand released and quickly scrambled up, fleeing the scene with a backward glance. The new boy turned to Max, who blanched and hurried after his friend. The threat gone, the white haired boy reached out a hand to help Jack up. “I’m Mike.”
Jack took the hand and climbed to his feet. He rubbed his cheek, which was beginning to swell. He looked at Mike, studying his face. The eyes were bright and cheerful, and when he smiled, Jack suddenly felt comfortable. He returned the grin. “I’m Jack.”
“And that concludes today’s class,” the professor said calmly. He turned around to face the class, running a hand through his thinning gray hair. He adjusted his thick glasses and scratched his nose before continuing. “Remember, next Monday I will evaluate your three teams before we begin our end-of-semester tournament. Be sure you have them ready for me. And I need them on a memory stick. No handwritten or typed copies. I need the files on my computer. You have all shown tremendous improvement over the semester, and I think a few of you have a chance usurping Jack’s position of champion from last semester’s tourney.”
Small chuckles rose from a few of the high school students. A boy in the back of the class room glanced up through his shaggy brown hair. He gave a small, fake smile. He knew the chuckles disguised the jealously among most of the students.
Jack was near the end of his tenth year of school. Since the beginning of his ninth year, he had attended Earl’s Pokémon Academy, a private school that focused on students showing talent in Pokémon subjects. Jack had scored near perfect on his entrance exam and had half of his tuition paid for by the school. Jack was at the top of his class in Battle Tactics and Pokémon Biology. In his Battle Tactics class, at the end of each semester, a tournament was held among the class. Each student had three teams, which they battled on a simulator program. For the fall semester’s tournament, Jack had emerged victorious. He had continued to show his near perfect talent in battling, and it had caused many students to dislike him for it. Jack hated the attention, but he refused to perform at any level lower than his best. He owed it to Mike.
Since their first meeting on the playground, over eight years ago, Jack and Mike had become best friends. They took the same classes in school, and both were accepted to Earl’s Pokémon Academy. In the Battle Tactics section of the entrance exam, Mike had achieved a perfect score, a first for the Academy. For the two tournaments in their ninth year, Mike and Jack had been in the finals, and Mike had won both times. He was a celebrity among the students and faculty, hailed as the greatest Pokémon mind of the generation. Jack had been his partner through all this, receiving a lot of fame.
But Mike’s dad, a renowned Pokémon scientist, had to relocate to the Hoenn region. Mike moved at the end of his ninth year, leaving behind a legacy that would never be forgotten. The loss of his best friend had caused Jack to be awkwardly thrust into the spotlight that he had once shared. But Mike had possessed the star quality that Jack lacked, and when Jack was looked at as the next greatest thing, he grew distant and reclusive. He didn’t have any close friends, he hardly talked to anyone, and not many people knew much about him. He slowly became an outcast, not rejected, but not readily accepted by his peers. Jack did everything his best in honor of Mike, to continue the standard that had been set.
The bell rang, and students began to rise from their desks. “Don’t forget,” the professor said, raising his voice above the noise. “Tomorrow I need you to all turn in a short essay on the twenty fastest Pokémon allowed in standard tournaments. That’s all for today. We’re almost done with the semester, no need to pile on the homework. Have a good day.”
The class of twenty-some kids began to file out of the room, backpacks slung over their shoulders. Jack was still in his seat, writing on a scrap of paper.
The professor ambled over to observe. “I see you’re including items. Very thorough of you.”
Jack looked up from his paper. “Um, yeah, well I—you have to be ready for anything in battle. Slow Pokémon can out-speed faster ones with a Choice Scarf.”
The professor smiled down at Jack. “Son, you’ve been the best student I’ve had in my fifteen years of teaching. It’s hard to imagine that boy Mike was even better than you.”
A small smile graced Jack’s melancholy expression. “He was.” Jack folded the paper and stuffed it into his pocket. He lifted his backpack off the floor and stood up. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Professor.”
The man shook Jack’s hand. “Tomorrow.” He watched as Jack left the room. With a sigh, he walked back to his desk and dropped into his chair. Underneath all his admiration for the boy, he actually felt sorry for him.
Jack was walking off campus with dozens of other teens. His backpack was slung over one shoulder, containing his textbooks. He was alone; he didn’t have any friends at the school. The others walking around him threw quick glances his way, as if expecting to see him do something horrible. Jack tried to ignore them.
His house was only a mile or so from the school, so he always walked home. The afternoon breeze played at his hair with a gentle touch. The sun was shining among a few wispy clouds, warming Jack’s skin. Summer was right around the corner, and the whole city seemed unable to wait.
After fifteen minutes of walking, Jack found himself at his house. The stone path that led up to the front porch was lined with small, neatly trimmed shrubs. The rest of the yard was equally perfect; Jack’s mother had been a florist and loved working on the landscaping.
Jack jumped up the steps and entered, greeted by the cool aroma of home. He kicked his shoes off next to the door and made his way into the kitchen. No one was there, so he continued up the stairs and into the first room on the left. Jack tossed his book bag down at the foot of his bed and stopped.
A small creature sat on his bed. It was about two feet tall and had fine yellow fur, accented with two black stripes around its torso and a black lightning bolt on its chest. Two prongs jutted out from his head, each with a hole in the middle. Its narrow black eyes stared at the television screen on the dresser, and in its thick arms was a Playstation3 controller. Tiny claws darted back and forth over the buttons.
“Static.” Jack stared at the Elekid.
<Just a minute,> the Pokémon replied. Jack scowled. He had been taking classes in Pokespeech for two years, and since he had had Static for that long, he could easily understand Static’s speech.
“How long have you been playing that?” Jack asked, throwing himself onto the bed.
<Since lunch time.> Static was focused on the first-person shooter game.
“Watch your left,” Jack warned, eying the screen. Static turned the on-screen gun just in time to take out the threat.
<Piece o’ cake,> Static murmured, his attention still a hundred percent on the game.
Jack sighed and grabbed his bag to retrieve a sheet of paper. He took out a pencil and took out his crumpled notes he had written in class. Jack already had the top twenty fastest Pokémon memorized, so he didn’t need to do any research. After a moment of thinking, he put his pencil to the paper and began his essay.
Speed is one of the most important aspects of battle.
It often dictates the final outcome when Pokémon are weakened. . .
Half an hour later, Jack set down his pencil and reread his work. Satisfied, he stuffed it into a folder in his backpack. “Alright Static, multiplayer time.” Jack picked up his second controller from the dresser and sat down next to Static.
<Think you can take me?> Static taunted, a grin on his small, fanged mouth.
“No, I know I can take you,” Jack retorted, his own face breaking into a grin.
Their campaign was ended when Jack’s mom, Jessica, called them down for dinner. They shut off the console and ambled downstairs, still discussing the high points of the battles. Jack and Static sat down at the square table, which was laden with a steaming honey-glazed ham, a bowl of mashed potatoes, and a basket of rolls. Jack’s mother was washing her hands in the sink when Mr. Surge came in from the living room.
“Hey Dad,” Jack muttered, meeting his father’s eyes briefly. It was clear to everyone that Jack had inherited his looks from his mother rather than his father. While Jack had brown hair and a thin frame, his father was heavyset and had short blond hair. He was ripped with muscles and always kept a stern look on his face.
Mr. Surge returned the greeting with a grunt and a nod. He sat down across from Jack, giving him a disapproving look. “You need a haircut,” he said gruffly. “It looks like a girl’s.”
Jack scowled and looked down at his plate. Jessica joined them, sitting across from Static.
“So, Elliot how was work?” she asked Mr. Surge, who was slicing the ham.
“Same as always, nothing special,” he answered bluntly. They served themselves in silence and began eating. Static was being very quiet as he chewed on a roll. Elliot said he allowed Static to eat with them because the Elekid family’s digestive system was similar to a human’s, and therefore could eat the same food. Jessica’s two Pokémon both had different diets, so they ate by themselves. Though this is the reason Elliot gave, Jack was pretty sure Static was allowed to eat with them only to fill the empty fourth seat at the table, once belonging to Jack’s older brother, before he left. Elliot hadn’t taken it well, so as soon as Static had matured enough to eat by himself, Elliot had went out and bought a booster seat so Static could reach.
The silence was becoming uncomfortable, so Elliot broke it. “How was school?” he asked stiffly.
“Same as always, nothing special,” Jack muttered, not looking up from his meal.
“Your tournament is coming up soon. Do you think you’re ready?” Jessica asked.
“Yeah,” Jack answered. “I’ve been ready since last tournament.”
<Jack’s gonna win it for sure,> Static said confidently. <He’s the best in the school.>
“Not as good as Mike though,” Jack said quietly.
Jessica smiled. “You’re still my little champion though,” she told him.
“Your brother was the best in his class,” Elliot said in a low voice.
“And so is Jack,” Jessica replied, the faintest bit of an edge in her voice.
“Mike was better than him. V—”
“He didn’t have to compete against Mike.” Jack stared coldly at his father. “No matter how great you think he was, he’d stand no chance against Mike.”
The air was thick with tension as Jack and Elliot stared each other down.
“We’ll see how well you do next year in Advanced Tactics. You’ll be studying with the best in this area of Johto.”
Jack clenched his teeth. “Dad, I’m not going to school next year. I’m applying for a Training License after I finish the term. I’ve already completed the required courses for becoming an underage trainer. Besides, I’ve said it before; I don’t think I want to go into professional battling!”
Elliot slammed his fist to the table, making Jessica jump. “We’ve been over this before! You’re the top of your class in Battle Tactics! Why wouldn’t you want to go into professional battling?”
“I’m top of my class in Pokémon Bio as well. I could always go into Pokémon study or breeding or something!” Jack said, raising his voice.
Elliot jumped to his feet, his chair tumbling down behind him. Static tensed, his narrow eyes watching Elliot warily.
“Breeding!” Elliot spat the word. “Ridiculous. Breeding is a pathetic job for women and old men. No, you, son, are going to be a professional battler. You will bring honor to the name of Surge, like I have, like my brother has. You will not demean the name of Surge by becoming a breeder!” There was a crazed look in his eyes.
“I don’t want to be a Gym Leader like Uncle Erik, it’s too constricting! And if I become a breeder, I can always choose to battle in tournaments like you if I want!” Jack found himself on his feet. “It’s my future, and I can decide what I want to do with it! Just because you couldn’t have your way with your first son doesn’t mean you have to force it on your second!” Jack could feel himself shaking.
“You have the same talent as—”
“I’m not the same person!” Jack shouted. Elliot’s eyes were wide, his mouth hanging open, words lost to him. Jack glanced at him mother, a flicker of regret in his eyes, before turning to go upstairs. Static hopped off his chair and followed, throwing a nervous look over his shoulder.
Jack threw open his door and Static scampered in before it was slammed closed. Jack was breathing heavily, his fists clenched tight. “I’ve had enough,” he whispered. He inhaled deeply, clearing his head. “Static, we’re leaving. Tomorrow, before sunrise.”
Static, who had jumped up onto the bed, looked at him. <Leaving?>
“Yes,” Jack said, beginning to pace around his room. “We’ll leave. I’ll pack some stuff, and we’ll set out tomorrow morning. We’ll begin our lives as trainer and partner.”
A small grin formed on Static’s face. <In Johto?>
Jack frowned. “Johto won’t work. We’d be too close to home, we could get caught. We’ll…we’ll go to Kanto. We can take a bus to Cherrygrove, board a ferry, and cross the border to Kanto. From there we can go to Viridian and I can officially register.”
<Don’t you need a parent or guardian to register?> Static asked.
“Only if you’re under sixteen, which I’m not,” Jack answered. “I have my certificates for passing General Pokémon Studies and Preliminary Strategy from last year and we had exams last week, so I’ve got my certificates for passing Battle Tactics and Poké-Bio from this year…I have a valid ID…that’s it.” He stopped and grinned slightly. “It all fits.”
Static grinned. <An adventure then, eh?>
<Well, we’ll have to prepare then, right?> Static said, bouncing on the mattress.
Jack nodded and grabbed his backpack off the floor. He emptied its contents onto his bed and laid the empty bag on his pillow. Searching around his room, he found three outfits, one to wear and two to pack. Then he went looking for miscellaneous items. His cellular phone was sitting on his nightstand, along with his wallet. He grabbed his iPod and the certificates and placed them on the nightstand. Finally, Static’s Luxury Ball, which had seen hardly any use, was placed alongside the rest of the items.
After a brief examination of his school supplies, Jack decided that he wouldn’t need any of them. The Biology book was written for educational purposes, not field work. As for the Battle Tactics textbook, Jack concluded that since he had already memorized all of its contents, there would be no need to bring it along. The only things left were his bathroom supplies and food. Camping supplies and other trainer necessities would have to be purchased in Viridian.
After stowing the school supplies in his closet and hiding the backpack under his bed, Jack lied down next to Static. “You think you’re ready for the big world?” he asked his Pokémon quietly.
<Do you think you’re ready?> Static retorted. Jack laughed.
“I think so.”
<What’s the plan after you get registered?> Static asked, his voice etched with curiosity.
“Hmm.” Jack thought about it. “What would you want to do?”
<We could always try Gym Battles,> Static answered. <Just for fun,> he added quickly.
Jack pushed himself up into a sitting position. “We could try that. I know you like to battle.”
A wide smile broke across Static’s face. <Awesome.>
A knocking on the door made both of them jump. “Jack, can I come in?” Jessica asked from the other side.
Jack glanced at Static, who met the look. Jack’s eyes flitted to the television on the dresser before he stood up. Static bounced off the bed and landed on top of the dresser, hastily turning on the Playstation3 and television to make it seem as if they were playing. Jack took his time, waiting for Static to toss the two controllers onto the bed and jump back down. As soon as Static had the controller in hand, Jack cracked open the door.
“Can I come in?” Jessica repeated in her soft voice. Jack couldn’t say no to her, so he reluctantly let her in, already knowing what she would say. She sat on his bed and he sat next to her.
“Jack,” Jessica started, “you know your father only wants the best for you.”
“Bull.” Jack was staring at the ground. “He just wants to use me as a replacement.”
“Jack, he does not!” Jessica said, putting a hand on Jack’s shoulder. “He knows you’re the most talented in this family, and he doesn’t want to see you waste it.”
“Just because I’m good at something doesn’t mean I like it,” Jack muttered.
Jessica sighed. “I know you want to be a breeder, and do your own thing. But that path won’t disappear if you spend two more years in advanced studies. You could finish school for your dad and then see where it takes you.”
Jack didn’t answer. Jessica squeezed his shoulder. “We love you, Jack.” She stood up and walked to the door, casting one last glance at her son before quietly closing the door. Jack glanced up at the door before lying back on the bed.
Maybe his brother was right. Maybe his mother was too soft.
He reached over and grabbed the second Playstation3 controller, looking dejectedly at the television screen. “Alright, let’s go,” he mumbled to Static. They set up a multiplayer game and played for a while. Jack felt a little better afterwards, and decided that he and Static should go to sleep so they wouldn’t be so tired in the morning. Static put away the controllers while Jack went to brush his teeth. He washed his face and gathered up his toiletries and packed them into the backpack. After setting his alarm clock for 4:00 A.M., he took off his shirt and shut off the light.
“Good night, Static,” Jack said as he climbed into his bed.
<Night,> Static answered, under the blanket next to Jack.
Jack could soon hear Static’s steady breathing, and he knew his friend was asleep. But the minutes slipped by and Jack remained awake. He was full of apprehension. His plan seemed sound, but he was unsure of what he would do. Assuming all went well, he’d be facing weeks, months, maybe even years of life by himself and Static, and hopefully a few more companions. He thought about how he would like to settle after a while and live a quiet life with his Pokémon, training them to be the absolute best they could be.
And just as silently as the minutes slipped by, so too did Jack slip into sleep, dreaming of himself standing on a lone cliff overlooking the ocean, a breeze whipping through his long brown hair, and a large, muscular Electric-type Pokémon stood next to him, covered in coarse, shaggy yellow fur with black patches.
Here’s a list of everything that was changed.
The scene with Jack in school was added. This was to expand on Jack’s past, making him an even more dynamic character. It shows that while he is tremendously skilled in battling, it isn’t his favorite thing to do.
Rather than a simple chess game, Static is shown playing a Playstation3, portraying him as very human-like. It also helps show that Jack is quite an ordinary teenager who plays video games in his free time.
The discussion between Jack and Elliot is expanded to allow for more foreshadowing and backstory. It introduces the existence of Jack’s older brother and some of the motivation behind Elliot’s stubbornness.
There is some more detail added to the packing scene which serves to explain some of how the Pokémon Training sport is practiced. To make it more realistic, in order to become an underage trainer, you have to have some classes taken, hence the certificates.
Probably the biggest change is Jack’s age. While he was originally 15, I bumped him up a year. This is both for making his registration alone more believable and for making him seem a little more capable of handling what is to come. I was 15 when I began writing, and at the time is seemed like a pretty mature age. But now I’m nearing 18 and I can see that 15 is still a bit young.
So there's the new chapter, hope you enjoyed it.
Last edited by Pkmn Breeder Jack; 15th December 2009 at 2:26 AM.
Interesting. I like your writing style; it's simple, with no pointless flambouyance to anything. Easy to read.
Hee hee, I can understand why ol' Surge would be mad that his son wants to be a Breeder. But really, he just needs to learn to take his head out of his butt once in awhile and give it some air to think with.
About Surge, I was going for a father who wants his son to be like him. Problem is, Jack doesn't want to. While Elliot Surge, who is Lt. Surge's younger brother, is strict, appropriate, and tough, Jack is more layed back and softer. And yes, he does need to get his head out of his butt. XD
Anyways, although this chapter wasn't action packed, it serves as an introductory to the story. And also, Jack, who's 15, has had this arguement with his dad for a few years.
Enough with my talk, chapter two should be here within the week, and that's when some cool stuff happens.
One last note-- Even though this story seems to be leading to a journey across Kanto, it doesn't. You'll have to find out why, but just know that. Thanks!
*sniff* Wow, so many people have read it... Thank you all for reading it, I assure you chapter two will be better. I started typing it last night, since by computer problems were sorted out, but I was gone all today, so maybe I'll stay up and work some more. Now that so many people have seen chap one, I've got some pressure...
Chapter Two - Escape
Jack massaged his hand, groaning at the alarm clock he had just assaulted. He noticed the time and groaned again, wishing he could sleep in.
<Jack, let’s go!> Static said, pulling off the blanket. He bounced on the bed, trying to wake Jack up.
Stifling a yawn, Jack pushed himself into a sitting position and switched on the lamp on his nightstand. “I hate mornings. . .” he grumbled.
Static hopped off the bed and looked at him expectantly. Jack glanced up at him. “Alright, alright.” He stood up and stretched before going into the bathroom. He stared at his sleepy expression in the mirror and splashed water in his face to wake himself up. After relieving himself, he went back into his room to change into his jeans and t-shirt. Static was waiting with his backpack. Jack took it and gathered the items he had left on his nightstand. He tied on his shoes and stood up. Everything prepared, he threw a fleeting look around his room, thinking it would be a very long time before he ever saw it again, if he did decide to come back.
Together, Jack and Static crept out of their room and down the stairs, skirting alongside the walls to prevent the floor from squeaking. Now in the kitchen, Jack laid his pack on the island counter and went to the pantry. He salvaged a few stacks of crackers and four bottles of water. He jammed them into his pack.
“We’ll have to buy more later,” he whispered to Static, who was looking disdainfully at the meager rations.
Suddenly, they heard a creak from the ceiling. Frantically, they pulled the pack off the island and ducked behind it. Jack could hear his heart pounding in his chest, and he struggled to breathe slowly. After two painful minutes, they heard the toilet upstairs flush. A few more creaks, and then all was quiet.
<That was close,> Static whispered, letting his muscles relax. Jack breathed a sigh of relief, but his breath caught in his throat as he heard another voice.
<Yes it was, though I had already known it would not affect you.> A green creature was standing next to them, staying unnaturally still. It was about five feet tall and had a round head perched on a column-like body. Two white wings were folded around it, and two red eye-shaped patterns stared blankly out from its chest. The bird-creature was one of Jessica’s Pokémon; a Xatu.
“Totem!” Jack hissed. “What’re you doing?”
The rigid Pokémon spoke without moving his beak. <I was meditating when I felt your disruption. Do not worry, I will not tell my master about you.> Totem, being able to see the future, had known what Jack would ask before Jack could even open his mouth.
“Well, um, thanks,” Jack murmured, feeling slightly awkward.
The Xatu made no sign of hearing Jack. After a few uncomfortable seconds, Jack turned to leave.
<There is a storm coming.> Jack glanced back at Totem.
<There is a storm coming. It does not seem as if you will stay dry.>
Jack frowned. The weathermen had predicted sun all week. “Literally or figuratively?” Jack asked. Totem just stared blankly into space, showing no more signs of life than a rock.
Puzzled Jack turned again to leave. He quietly opens the front door and he and Static walk out into the cool morning air.
The sun was just beginning to rise, and just over the trees and houses Jack could see its light. As the two walked in silence along the road, Jack absorbed all the beauty and majestic quiet of the morning. A few cars drove by, and Jack saw a couple of the drivers look at him. Must be odd, he thought, to see a teenager and a Pokémon walking around on the side of the road at this hour.
They arrived at the closest bus stop and sat down on a bench to wait. Jack took out his iPod and listened to music while Static fell asleep at his side. The bus finally came half an hour later, and gently waking Static, Jack boarded. He paid the fare, found a seat in the back, and settled down, again put the buds in his ears and let the music absorb him. Static fell asleep again, and with a jolt the bus began driving, stopping at a few intervals before finding the highway that led to Cherrygrove. Jack rested his head on the glass window, gazing out at the bleak stretch of forest that continued on for miles.
It was about an hour later when the bus jumbled into the small city of Cherrygrove. Known primarily for it’s abundance of cherry trees, it was also the second largest port city in Johto. However, unlike the boisterous city of Olivine, Cherrygrove wasn’t much of a tourist magnet. Most of the ships that docked there were cargo ships or ferries providing cheap transportation across the border.
The bus slowed and jolted to a stop at the first stop in the city. Jack woke Static again and put his iPod away. He stood up, taking Static and setting him on his shoulders to keep him from the many feet that were now making their way off the bus. Jack stepped out onto the pavement and stretched, his muscles stiff from the long ride. The other departing passengers dispersed, going their own way. The bus closed its doors and slowly pulled away, leaving Jack and Static alone.
“Alright, we should find the nearest Pokémon Center and pick up a map,” Jack said to Static. He set off down the sidewalk, passing the occasional commuter or jogger. After a few minutes of walking, he stopped and asked for directions from a man in a business suit.
“Excuse me, sir. Do you know where the Pokémon Center is?”
The man frowned and studied him disapprovingly. “Do I look like I should know?” Jack mumbled something and turned to go, but the man spoke in an exasperated tone. “Go down three blocks and turn left. It should be at the end of the street.”
“Thanks,” Jack said gratefully, and the man nodded and continued on. Jack followed the directions and soon found himself standing in front of the cement building. It was two stories high and displayed a large neon Pokéball above its sliding glass doors. Windows lined the walls on both stories. Jack passed through the doors and surveyed the lobby. As it was only around 7:00, there were few people up and about.
Pokémon Centers were facilities paid for by the Pokémon League Association, the highest authority in any Pokémon related activity. The Centers served dual purposes; they were both infirmaries for injured Pokémon and hotels for registered trainers. Since the Centers were paid for by the PLA, anyone with a valid trainer ID received free services from the Center. If you did not have a valid ID, the services required payment.
Jack wasn’t in need of any services other than finding a map of the city, so after scanning the lobby he located what he was looking for. Among stacks of brochures advertising vacations or upcoming tournaments was a stack of foldable maps. Jack picked one up and unfolded it. He found the Pokémon Center and traced a path to the docks where a ferry could pick them up.
Before leaving, he stopped at a vending machine and bought two candy bars. He gave one to Static, who now opted to walk by himself. Static hungrily tore open the wrapper and gnawed on the chocolate.
Following the map wasn’t too hard, and after fifteen minutes of walking, the dock was in sight. A small square building guarded the wooden dock where the ferry would stop. Much to Jack’s dismay, he saw a boat sailing off to the east, only 200 yards or so from the dock.
“Aw crap, we just missed a ferry,” Jack moaned. He and Static walked the rest of the way to the building. They entered the small space, occupied by only one man, standing behind the counter, looking slightly apprehensive.
“Can I help you?” he asked gruffly, looking Jack up and down.
“Yeah, uh, do you have a list of times for the ferries?” Jack asked.
The man’s eyes flitted nervously over the opposite wall for a brief second. “Naw, we had to take it down ’cause we’re changin’ the times.” He licked his lips. “The next ferry should be in at about 10:00.”
“Okay,” Jack said. “I’ll take a ticket for that one.”
The man gave him the price and Jack fished through his wallet for the necessary cash. He exchanged it for the ticket and thanked the man, and then walked back outside to wait on a bench.
Static hopped up next to Jack and looked at Jack expectantly.
<Jack, I’m still hungry.>
Jack looked down at Static. “Fine, you can have some crackers.” He pulled out a stack of crackers from his backpack and opened it, grabbing a few crackers before giving the rest to Static.
Static gratefully accepted the food and wolfed down the crackers as fast as he could. After only several seconds, the crackers were gone and Static felt satisfied.
<Water, please,> Static demanded, holding out his hand. Jack rolled his eyes and fished out a plastic water bottle from his pack. He chucked it at Static, who tore off the top and gulped it down.
Jack leaned back and gazed into the sky, his mind feeling restless. His plan seemed simple and flawless, and chances were he would be in Viridian sometime tomorrow. From there he could do what he pleased. . . . Jack knew that he wouldn’t have a very hard time making money. Trainers would always bet on matches, and the prize money from tournaments and official matches was always a lot. He was an excellent strategist and Static was very skilled, despite his small stature.
Jack was woken from his thoughts when Static hurled the empty bottle at his head.
<Finished.> Static grinned mischievously.
“Static, why don’t you work on your Elemental Punches?” Jack suggested, trying to ignore Static’s little cry for attention.
Static’s expression changed to one of surprise. <Good idea. I’ve already mastered Thunder Punch.> Static held out one arm and clenched it. Crackling yellow electricity crawled around his thick forearm. Static held the position for a minute before he let the light disperse.
“That’s excellent, Static,” Jack said, a small smile of pride playing at the corners of his mouth. “How about Ice Punch?”
Static frowned and concentrated hard. Around his outstretched arm, the air turned cold, and small ice crystals formed on his fur. The frosty air disappeared after ten seconds. Static groaned with disappointment as he brushed the ice off his arm.
<I can’t hold that for nearly as long as I should be able to. . .> He looked dejectedly at the ground.
“Well, keep practicing. You’ll get there,” Jack said, giving Static a brief smile.
The next few hours were passed with Static practicing his Punches. A few people settled down on the other benches, themselves waiting for the ferry. At 9:45, the boat arrived at the dock. It was rusted in places and looked rather old. A gangplank was lowered, and Jack, Static, and the other people made their way onto the boat. The upper deck had rows of hard plastic benches for passengers, covered by a shoddy roof. Jack and Static shuffled along towards the back. They picked a bench on the left, two rows from the back. They settled down into the seat and looked around.
“Not exactly a luxury cruise ship, is it?” Jack said dryly. Static chuckled a bit. At 10:00, the gangplank was raised and the boat’s engine revved, propelling them away from the dock. A couple of people settling into a seat a few rows up caught Jack’s eye. He could see the backs of their heads. The taller one had a flaming red afro, and the smaller one had silky green hair, hanging straight around his head. Jack wondered who the odd people could be, but as it would be rude to get up and look at them, he dismissed his curiosity.
Jack looked out the window and gazed at the ocean stretching out to the horizon. The sun was well up into the sky and its light reflected off the water, giving it a smooth, glossy look. The weather was very fine, and the waves were gentle. As he was admiring the view, Jack became aware of a noise near the side of the ferry. His window was glass, so he couldn’t get a good angle, but he caught sight of a couple small dinghies floating beside the ferry. From what he could see there were crates that were being moved into an opening to a lower level of the boat. Jack frowned. What could they possibly need to load into the ship in such an odd manner? He dismissed the thought, reminding himself he didn’t know very much of boats or sailing. Pretty soon, the dinghies moved away from the ferry and out of Jack’s line of sight. The engine of the ferry started the gangplank was raised. Jack felt a stab of excitement; there was no turning back.
As the boat pulled away from Cherrygrove, Jack stared out the window at the rolling waves and let his thoughts wander. I’m on my way to Kanto, he thought. In an hour of two, I’ll be in Pallet. From there, I’ll move on to Viridian and begin my journey. . .
Without warning, Jack felt his vision go black and flash into a scene, but everything looked as if he was wearing violet lenses. A horrid screeching rang in his ears, blocking out the sound of the ocean. He realized he was looking at his kitchen. His parents were standing there, talking to a police officer. The image blurred and morphed into one of the same officer in his patrol car. He was speaking into his radio. Jack’s vision blurred again, and he found himself staring out at a town from the window of the boat. It wasn’t Cherrygrove. His vision blurred again, and he saw himself sitting on a park bench, watching as a girl talked with three tall shady looking men. Again it blurred, and he saw himself in a dark cave, with the daylight shining in from an entrance in the distance. It faded, and his vision was black again. The screeching had stopped, and he became aware of his surroundings. He was on the floor, and his eyes were closed.
<Jack, get up,> Static’s voice said. Jack opened his eyes and saw Static crouched in front of his face, a worried look on his face. Jack then realized that there were other people staring at him. He scrambled to his feet and sat back down, trying to ignore the eyes on him.
“What happened?” he muttered to Static.
“Fell out of your seat, bro,” someone said. Jack looked around and saw the man with the red afro sitting next to him. On the other side of the man was the teenager with green hair.
Jack frowned. He knew this person. He had seen him before. And then it hit him.
“Shh!” Flint said franticly, glancing around. “I don’t need to be found out.”
Jack was astonished. This was Flint Ooba, one of the Sinnoh region’s Elite Four. He was one of the most accomplished trainers in the region.
“So you must be Aaron,” Jack whispered to the green-haired teen. Aaron was another Elite from Sinnoh, almost as famous as Flint.
“Yep,” Aaron said, giving a small smile.
“What exactly are you doing here?” Jack asked, still thoroughly stunned.
“Can’t say, top secret and stuff,” Flint replied with a grin. “So you know our names. What’s yours?”
“Oh, sorry, my name’s Jack,” Jack stuttered. “Jack Surge.”
Flint paused for a brief second, and then leaned forward to look at Static. “And is this your Elekid?”
<My name’s Static, and I’m the strongest Elekid in the world!> Static boasted, puffing out his chest.
“Are you now?” Flint said, an amused smirk on his face. “Can you use Fire Punch?”
<. . .What?>
“Well, I would think the greatest Elekid could use my favorite type, but oh well.” Flint put his arms behind his head.
<I wasn’t born with the move, so I can’t use it, alright?> Static muttered darkly.
Flint looked sideways at Static. “Would you like to learn?”
“You can do that?” Jack asked, frowning.
Flint grinned. “I happen to have a special item that should allow you to learn it, Static.” He rolled up the sleeve of his overcoat and revealed two black bands on his wrist. They began to expand, like molten lava, covering his hand. When it had formed into the shape of a glove, it became still.
Aaron leaned forward, looking apprehensively at the other passengers. “Flint, what are you doing?”
“Chill out, Aaron. It’s cool, nobody can see us.”
“You shouldn’t be doing this. You don’t even know this guy,” he muttered, crossing his arms and sitting back against the seat.
“It’s alright, he’s cool. Isn’t that right, Jack Surge?” Flint gave a sly smile to Aaron before turning to Jack. Aaron furrowed his eyebrows, as if he had suddenly realized something.
“So Static, come here for a second,” Flint said. Static hopped over and stood on the seat next to Flint. Slowly, Flint put the coated hand on Static’s head. The material began to glow a faint red, and Static shivered. After several seconds of contact, Flint removed his hand and pushed down his sleeve.
“Did that teach him Fire Punch?” Jack asked quietly.
Static held up a fist. He closed his eyes and concentrated hard. And then, a flame appeared around his fist. Shocked, Static gave a start and the flame dissipated. He stared at his hand, his fanged mouth hanging open in disbelief. <I can use Fire Punch.>
“Incredible . . .” Jack said, amazed at Static’s new power.
“Anything for a friend.” He grinned and leaned back in his seat, apparently pleased with himself.
“Flint, exactly what was that?” Jack asked, nodding towards Flint’s arm.
“Sorry bro, can’t tell you. It’s a one-of-a-kind item, and I’d rather not say. I’d appreciate it if you’d keep it secret too.” He winked at Jack.
Jack nodded and leaned back against the seat. “So Static, looks like you’ve got something new to practice,” he remarked, giving Static a grin.
<Yeah,> Static murmured. He stared hard at his hand, trying to make the flames stay.
“So Jack,” Flint said, leaning back in his seat, “what brings you to this ferry on such a fine day?”
Jack bit his lip and averted his eyes. “I left home.”
Flint sat up, clearly interested. “Oh? And for what reason?”
Jack stared at the floor. “I want to prove to my dad that I can be successful doing things my way instead of his.”
Flint gave him a mischievous grin. “Breaking the mold, then, eh?”
“What interests you the most in the field of Pokémon then?” Flint asked.
Jack stared at the floor. “I’d like to be a breeder, but I wouldn’t get paid very much,” he mumbled. “I’m decent at battling, but it’s not exactly my thing.”
“I can understand. There’re a lot of complex strategies and details you have to have memorized in order to survive as a pro battler,” Flint said knowingly.
“It isn’t the strategies that get me,” Jack explained. “I, well, actually. . .I was the top of my class in Battle Tactics this year.”
Flint’s eyes widened in surprise and Aaron turned to look at Jack, clearly impressed. “That’s quite a feat, considering the difficulty of even getting into a Pokémon Academy,” Aaron remarked.
“So you know your stuff then,” Flint said. “You understand the concept of lures, right?”
“Of course,” Jack answered. “In order to execute the strategy of your team, you train a Pokémon that would attract the kinds of Pokémon that would give your team trouble. However, you train that Pokémon in a way that lets it overcome or incapacitate the problematic Pokémon, effectively clearing the path for the other members of your team.”
“Very good, you’ve been taught well,” Flint said with a grin.
After nearly an hour of discussion over various strategies, the town of Pallet could be seen off in the distance. Aaron was still gazing out the window, looking slightly puzzled. After a few minutes, he got to his feet, now looking worried.
“Flint, the boat’s not turning towards Pallet.”
Flint stopped and looked out the window. His smile disappeared and his face became expressionless. “I knew it. Jack, Static; stay here.” He walked out into the isle, with Aaron right behind him. Curious, Jack followed them with his eyes as they made their way to the cabin. Right as they reached it, the door swung open and a man stood in its frame, a handgun pointed directly at Flint’s forehead.
Jack’s heart skipped a beat. He watched in horror as four men walked out into the isle from the behind the man with gun. Each held an AK-47 assault rifle. Jack recognized one of the men as the jumpy man who had sold him his ticket.
“Hands on your heads, all of you,” the man with the handgun growled, advancing on Flint, who started backpedaling. The men carrying the AK-47s began inspecting the frightened passengers, looking for anything that could be a threat.
Jack sat frozen in his seat. He could hardly believe what was happening. Why would there be a group of thugs with guns running a ferry service? What could they be hoping to accomplish?
“We don’t need any heroes today,” the man with the handgun told the passengers. “We would appreciate your full cooperation. Nobody has to get hurt.”
Static crouched beside Jack, his narrow black eyes darting around, his muscles ready to react to whatever might happen. One of the men approached him, his grip tight around the gun.
“Put the Pokémon in its Ball and hand it over.” His eyes moved back and forth between Jack and Static. “If you cooperate, you’ll get him back when we’re done.”
Jack felt himself shaking. He couldn’t turn Static over, but he couldn’t think of anything else to do.
<Jack, let me handle this,> Static murmured, not taking his eyes off the man. <Just hand me to him.>
The man aimed his gun at Static. “What did it say?” he demanded.
Jack realized the man couldn’t understand Pokéspeech. “He uh, he said he has to pee,” Jack stuttered, his heart pounding in his chest.
A toothy grin broke across the man’s face, and he lowered his gun a bit. “Well, that’s just too bad. Now hand it over.”
Jack picked up Static and held him out for the man. As the man reached for Static, Static murmured, <Grab the gun.> Confused, Jack glanced at the AK-47. The man grabbed Static, and at the same moment, he let out a cry of shock. Both Static and the gun dropped to the floor as the man stumbled back, his face contorted into a grimace. At the moment Static touched the floor, he sprung forward with lightning speed, slamming into the man and spending him sprawling out on the floor, completely unconscious. Jack realized what Static had meant and scrambled to pick up the AK-47 that had been dropped. He heard the other men shout and he clutched the grip and muzzle of the rifle, not completely processing that he could very well be forced to use it to defend himself. He looked out from around the side of the seat and saw Static attack a second man as a yellow blur, sending the man to the ground.
Jack heard a cry of shock from near Flint and swiveled his head to see what had happened. Flint had trapped the arm of the leader and aimed the gun at the two remaining men. Two shots rang out and the men crumpled, dead before they hit the ground. Flint then swung his elbow back into the man’s face, smashing his nose and knocking him out. He kicked the gun out of the unconscious man’s hand and drew his own handgun from within his coat. Aaron had also drawn a gun from inside his jacket.
Panicked whispered rushed through the passengers, and Jack stared in disbelief. Three men unconscious and two dead, all in a matter of seconds. He realized he was still crouched behind the seat. He pushed himself up, his legs feeling jelly. Static walked over, still alert and ready to attack.
<Are you okay?> Static asked, looking up at Jack.
“Um, wha—yeah, are you okay?” Jack said, stumbling over the words. “You just attacked two guys with guns!”
Static gave Jack a grin, his yellow fangs glinting. <I know. That was Quick Attack. It makes me feel like a ninja.>
Jack laughed weakly. They had almost died, and Static was thinking about being a ninja. Shaking the thought, Jack approached Flint and Aaron.
“Jack, are you okay?” Flint asked, looking Jack up and down.
“I’m fine, Flint,” Jack said, trying to keep his voice calm. “What’s happening?”
“We suspected this vessel would be used to transport weapons to a small terrorist group located in Kanto. That’s why Aaron and I are here. To ensure that the weapons don’t reach them.”
Jack stared at Flint. “I thought you were a Pokémon trainer? How do you know how to disarm a guy like that?”
Flint closed his eyes and exhaled slowly. “Jack, Aaron and I aren’t just trainers. I can’t give you the details, but I assure you we’re here to help,” Flint said in a hushed voice. “I’ve had training, and that’s how I could do that. Now we’re still in danger, and I need to speak to the passengers.” He turned to Aaron. “Alert HQ.”
“Already have,” Aaron answered. He watched the door to the cabin with wary eyes.
“Okay, I need everybody’s attention!” Flint called out to the passengers. The whispers stopped and the people gave Flint their undivided attention. “This boat is currently being held by a group of terrorists. I’m here with my partner to prevent anything bad from happening to you, but in order for that to happen, I need you all to stay calm.” He looked at a frightened woman sitting with her son, who couldn’t be more than six. Flint gave them a comforting smile. “Ma’am, do you have a cell phone?”
“Y-yes,” she whispered, her eyes still wide with fear.
“Everything will be okay,” Flint said. “I need you to contact the police. Let them know we are a few miles off the coast of Pallet, heading due east. Can you do that for me?”
The woman nodded and fumbled around in her purse to find her phone.
“Now, by a show of hands, how many of you have any experience with a gun?” Two men, one in his early thirties and the other looking to be over forty, raised their hands. “I am not forcing you into this, but if you are willing, take two of the AKs. If something were to happen, you could help save lives.” The men nodded and picked up the guns off the floor.
Flint turned to Jack and Static. “I need you two to stay here and help defend the passengers. I know how hard this may seem, but if you have Surge blood in you, I’m sure you’ll be able to do what you have to.”
Jack nodded and gripped his rifle harder.
“Alright Aaron, let’s go.” Flint and Aaron turned and crept into the cabin, their guns raised and ready.
As the two disappeared, the passengers resumed whispering with panicked voices. The two other men with guns drifted over to Jack and Static.
“Alright, son?” the older one asked Jack, giving him an encouraging smile.
“Y-yeah, I think so,” Jack replied, desperately trying to keep his voice steady.
“Those guys,” said the younger man, “they really seem to know how to handle this.”
Jack nodded in agreement, deciding it was best not to try and talk. He looked at the open doorway that led into the cabin. Were Flint and Aaron still alive? Or could they have killed the rest of the crew? Jack gave a start when he heard gunshots from below the deck. The passengers grew silent as the fight below ensued. Jack could only hope that the two Elites would survive.
He heard a creaking sound and he looked behind him. For a second he didn’t understand what was happening, but horror soon spread throughout his body. There had been a trapdoor in the floor of the upper deck, and from it came a man with an AK-47. One of the passengers gave a shout and the two men turned around, lifting their guns. The crew member squeezed the trigger and shot off a short burst of bullets, and Jack stared in shock as the younger man collapsed. The older man took advantage of the situation and shot his own rifle, catching the man in the chest. He gave a strangled cry as he fell back, landing with a muffled thud on the floor. The older man bent to examine his younger comrade. Jack couldn’t move. He stared at the body of the younger man and realized that the rises and falls of his chest meant he was still alive. There were two wounds in his lower abdomen, but from what Jack had learned in school, he wasn’t in mortal danger.
“Don’t anybody move, or I’ll shoot.” The voice caught Jack in the chest like a knife. He turned his own gun around and aimed it at the man who now stood over the dead crew member’s body. He held a handgun, aimed straight at the old man. “Get on your feet and put your hands where I can see them.” The old man slowly stood up, holding his hands up in surrender. The crew member glanced at Jack. “Drop the gun, or I’ll shoot.”
“Don’t,” whispered the old man. Jack stared with frightened eyes at the crew member. He wanted to drop the gun so the old man wouldn’t get shot, but he couldn’t feel his own fingers.
“I said drop it!” growled the man, glaring at Jack.
Jack remained frozen, unable to move, even as his head screamed to drop the gun.
The handgun swung towards Jack. “I said drop—!” Five shots rang out, instantly followed by the shattering of glass and the crunch of holes being torn through the wall. Jack stared in utter horror as the crew member with the handgun slumped backwards. With dreadful realization, Jack understood that it was he who shot the bullets and killed the man. Without realizing it, he had pulled the trigger and released the lethal pieces of metal that burrowed themselves into the flesh of the enemy and stole the very life from him.
Everyone was silent, but even if they had been screaming, the pounding in Jack’s head would have blocked it out. All he could hear was the fast thumping of his heart as it pounded the blood into Jack’s head. He tasted bile in his mouth and turned away from the old man and Static and vomited on the floor. The very thought of what he had done repulsed him. He felt like he was stained, tainted by the blood that oozed out of the man he had shot. Surely he would die, because how could he live with this on his conscience? He was marked, maybe not visibly, but he was a killer now.
<Jack. . .> Static mumbled, looking worriedly at his trainer.
The old man put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “It’s okay, son. You’ll be alright.” Jack looked up at him, searching the aging face. He nodded stiffly, not altogether in agreement, but thankful for the comment nonetheless. “Go ahead and sit down.” Jack sat, resting his forearms on his thighs and hanging his head. He tried to steady his breathing and calm himself.
He heard footsteps coming from inside and glanced up as Flint and Aaron jogged in. Flint’s eyes swept the seats, assessing the situation. “Is everyone alright?”
“We have one man down, two shots to the gut, but they shouldn’t be lethal,” the older man said. He was now holding a shirt against the man’s stomach to staunch the blood flow. Flint nodded and walked over to the lady who had called the authorities.
“Ma’am, are you still with the police?”
“Yes,” she answered, looking up hesitantly.
“Tell them to send out the Coast Guard with a medical team. We have one civilian with two bullet wounds to the abdomen.” The women nodded and gave the dispatcher the information.
Flint strode over to Jack and sat down beside him. “Hanging in there?”
Flint frowned and cocked his head. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something.”
“I-I shot—” Jack couldn’t finish his sentence. Flint glanced at the old man on the floor, who nodded at the dead crew member Jack had shot.
Flint smiled grimly. “It’s alright. You did it naturally. Almost anyone would have done the same thing in your position.”
Jack looked at Flint quizzically.
“It’s for the same reason an ordinary person can kill on the battlefield without it killing him inside. When you see your comrade get shot,” Flint indicated the younger man, “and the gun turns to you, you will do whatever you can to avoid the same situation, even if it means taking a life.” Jack gave a small nod.
“You aren’t a bad person Jack, and protecting yourself isn’t something you should be ashamed of. I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel anything, but don’t think badly of yourself because you shot him, alright?” Flint clapped Jack on the shoulder. Jack looked at Flint’s fiery brown eyes and the red afro that framed his face. He felt a wave of gratitude towards Flint and managed a smile.
Flint grinned wide and stood up. Aaron approached him, giving Jack a weary smile before focusing on Flint. “HQ has a chopper dispatched for us. It should arrive outside of Pallet in approximately thirty minutes.”
“Great news. Let’s get this boat turned around. Aaron, you drive, and I’ll handle the authorities when they come.”
An hour later, Jack walked down the gangplank onto the dock at Pallet. Static trailed after him, uncharacteristically silent after the events on the ferry. Flint and Aaron were speaking with the local police, sorting out all the details. From what Flint had explained, until the crew was proven to be the source of the violence, Flint and Aaron were responsible for the deaths of several people. But after the officials saw the large shipment of firearms and explosives in the lower deck and listening to the passengers give testimonies to prove Flint and Aaron were only protecting them, the police were okay with letting them go.
Jack stood on the edge of the dock, staring at the water below. It rose and fell with each gentle wave, breaking against the pillars that held up the dock. He had been gone from home less than twenty-four hours and already he had more than enough adventure. Jack wondered what would have happened if he had missed this ferry. He wouldn’t have had to kill that crew member, but then again, he did meet Flint Ooba and Aaron Ryou. Not everyone could say they’ve met two of the greatest trainers in Sinnoh, so he guessed he should be thankful for that. But if he could have chosen, he would rather have been on a different ferry. The thought of taking that man’s life made him feel sick.
Someone walked up next to him, and the flaming red hair let Jack know it was Flint. “Well Jack, it’s been quite a day.”
Jack smiled slightly. “Yeah.”
Flint put his hands behind his head and looked up at the sky. The sun was now well on it’s way through the afternoon, and it was currently resting among a few wispy clouds. “You’ll be alright, I know you will. You’ve just got to listen to some wise words from an American band.”
“‘Even when your hope is gone, move along; move along, just to make it through.’” Flint looked down at Jack with a smile. “Life’s to short to live in the past. You only get one shot, so make it a good one.” Flint clapped Jack on the shoulder. “Yes?”
Jack grinned. “Yes.”
“’Atta boy. Well, Aaron and I have to leave.” Flint held out his hand. “See you around, bro.”
Jack clasped Flint’s hand. “See you around.” Flint crouched down and stuck his fist out at Static.
“Bump it,” he said, and Static bumped his own knuckles against Flint’s. Flint grinned and stood up. “Later Jack.”
Jack watched as Flint found Aaron and strode off down the dock, away from the boat, and away from Jack. Though he had only known Flint for a few hours, Jack already felt as if he was a close friend. Jack brushed his brown hair off his face and turned to Pallet. “Let’s go, Static. We need to find a place to stay.”
The pair walked up the dock and into Pallet. The town was very small indeed; it held only one supermarket and very few office buildings rose more than two stories. The houses were intermixed among the city, with a few small neighborhoods branching off on the outskirts. From what Jack knew from his studies, Pallet really only had one reason for existence; Samuel Oak, one of the highest authorities on Pokémon and a genius Pokémon Biologist, specializing in Pokémon behavior. Other than Oak’s lab, the only other notable detail being that it was the hometown of Oak’s grandson, Green Oak, who at fifteen became the youngest Champion of the Kanto/Johto Pokémon League ever.
After meandering through the town, Jack located the only hotel. Much to his dismay, however, the price of a room was more than he was willing to pay. “Looks like we’ll be camping for the night,” Jack mumbled to Static as they exited the hotel.
<That shouldn’t be too bad. It’ll be our first time camping like real trainers!> Static said excitedly.
Jack didn’t feel quite as thrilled and gave Static a pained smile. “Well, we need some supplies from the supermarket first.”
Locating the supermarket wasn’t very difficult; it was the largest building in the town. Upon approaching the automatic doors, Jack saw a sign with an ‘X’ over a Pokéball, indicating that Pokémon weren’t allowed. “Sorry Static, looks like you’re gonna have to wait in you Pokéball.” Jack took out the black, red, and gold Luxury Ball.
<I hate you,> Static grumbled, giving Jack an annoyed look.
Jack knew Static was only annoyed at the store, so he gave him a grin and pushed the button on the Pokéball, causing it to open and turn Static into pure energy form and contain him inside.
Jack shrunk the Luxury Ball and stuffed it into his pocket as he entered the supermarket. He took a few steps forward and stopped, reading the signs above the isles. With a sinking feeling, Jack realized that he hadn’t prepared for this at all, and was at a loss as to what he needed. He had expected to make have a place to stay in Pallet and visit the Pokémart in Viridian for all his equipment. Looking very unsure of himself, he made his way to the dry foods isle. He grabbed a box of crackers and continued through the store until he found the bottled water. He grabbed a few bottles and headed for the registers, hoping that the food would suffice until he reached Viridian.
As he purchased his items, he wondered if he would have enough of an income to last his journey. The Kanto and Johto regions, along with Hoenn and Sinnoh, used a currency very close to the American currency of dollars. Like America, each note was called a dollar, but they were represented by the symbol “§.” Jack had saved §500 when he decided to leave, and he figured, factoring in the registration fee for his license, he would be able to last a month. With Pokémon Centers, he’d have free lodging and meals, but he’d have to buy food for the road, along with supplies for training Pokémon. Trainers usually bet on matches, but only the very serious ones bet enough to make a decent profit, and some sore losers refuse to pay up if they lose. Other than betting on matches, you could enter tournaments, which were held often in the various towns across the region. They ranged from official PLA tournaments to unofficial tournaments sponsored by various corporations such as the Silph Company, the largest manufacturer of trainer equipment in the regions. They had invented the molecular conversion technology that was used in Pokéballs, making them one of the most revolutionary organizations of the modern world.
Jack carried the bag out of the store and extracted the Luxury Ball from his pocket. He pushed the button in the center and Static materialized in front of him.
<Stupid store,> Static grumbled, scratching one of his yellow prongs. <So what’d you get?>
“Crackers and water,” Jack answered pathetically. “I don’t want to waste too much money.”
Static muttered something Jack didn’t hear and followed his master away from the supermarket.
“We’ll have to find some place to camp for the night,” Jack muttered as he passed cars in the parking lot. “I wish there was a cheap place to stay.”
“Excuse me,” a voice said from behind Jack. He turned to see a lady putting groceries into the trunk of her car. “Are you looking for a place to stay?”
Jack opened his mouth, trying to untie his tongue. The sudden conversation with a stranger surprised him, and he tried to find the words. “Um, we were just—camping,” he stuttered awkwardly.
The lady smiled kindly. “Are you a Pokémon Trainer?”
“Um, yeah. Well, actually not yet. I was going to go to Viridian to get my license,” Jack explained. “Static was given to me by my father.”
“If you need a place to stay, you can stay at my house. We have a guest room that never gets used.”
Jack bit his lip. Stay with a complete stranger? The woman had just met him. Although, she didn’t look like she meant ill. “I really don’t want to intrude. I’ll be fine just camping. . .”
“No, you’ll come stay with us,” she said resolutely. “There’s no need for you to stay out in the elements when I have a guest room that hasn’t been used in forever.”
“Are you sure?” Jack asked, feeling trapped.
“Positive. Go ahead and get in the car, dear.”
Defeated, Jack walked around to the passenger seat and climbed in. Static hopped up and sat on his lap. <Are you sure about this?> Static whispered, looking warily at the woman putting the remaining groceries into the trunk.
“No, but I don’t think we have a choice,” Jack admitted. He fastened his seatbelt as the woman sat down in the driver’s seat. She started up the car and pulled out of the lot and onto the street, apparently headed for home.
As they passed through the town, Jack examined the lady. She had wavy, copper brown hair, reaching past her shoulders. Her face was relatively tan, most likely due to days at the beach. He could tell she was closer to forty than thirty, yet she looked very young. Bizarre thoughts swirling inside Jack’s head were calmed slightly at the sight of a ring on her left ring finger. At least she was married. Jack had thought at first that she might have only wanted to take him home to sleep with him. Disgusting and horribly provocative as it was, Jack shook the thought from his head. No, she didn’t seem like the type. He prayed she was taking him into her home just out of the kindness of her heart.
It didn’t take long to reach her house, located in one of the small neighborhoods on the edge of town. She pulled up the driveway and turned the car off. They exited and Jack walked with her around to the back, Static trailing behind him.
“Lemme help you with the groceries,” Jack offered, feeling he should do as much as he could to make up for her allowing him to stay at her house.
“That would be wonderful, dear,” the lady replied, handing Jack a few bags.
<I can help too,> Static said. The lady looked down.
“I’m sorry, I’m not too good with Pokéspeech,” she said apologetically.
“He wants to help,” Jack translated.
“How sweet,” the lady said. She picked up a gallon of milk and handed it to him. “Think you can carry this?”
Static nodded and accepted the milk. Jack could tell he was struggling; the milk jug was half as big as Static. Nevertheless, Static was determined to show no signs of weakness and stood firm.
The woman closed the trunk and walked up to the front door. Jack and Static followed, and as she opened the door, she called into the house, “James, we have guests!”
“Thanks for the heads up, I’ll definitely have to get ready,” a voice came from another room.
Jack and Static followed their host to the kitchen where they put their groceries on the counter.
“I didn’t get your names, by the way,” the lady said, taking the milk from Static.
“Oh, I’m Jack. And this is Static,” he said.
“I’m Carey Migoto,” the woman said. “My husband’s name is James.”
“Well hello there!” the voice of James said from behind Jack. He looked around and was surprised at the man’s appearance.
While Carey seemed very young, James was the exact opposite. His hair was gray and receding, and he looked to be over fifty. He wore black-framed glasses with rectangular lenses and had a warm smile on his face.
“I’m James,” he said, holding out his hand. His voice was a little raspy and had a tone of relaxed content in it.
Jack took his hand. “I’m Jack, and this is Static.”
“Pleasure,” James said, smiling. “So, what brings you here? I didn’t agree to taking on a foster kid,” he said jokingly.
“Jack is going to get his trainer’s license in Viridian, but he needed a place to stay. We have an extra room. Why not?” Carey busied herself by putting the groceries away.
“Yes, why not?” James said in agreement, looking bemused. “So Jack, come, let’s sit down,” James said, motioning Jack into the sitting room adjacent to the kitchen. Jack and Static followed, sitting down on the brown leather couch across from James, who rested in a matching armchair.
Jack looked around the room, taking in his surroundings. It was a modest home, not very large, but very well decorated and completely immaculate. It could have been a model home, save one not-so-small detail; on the shelves, on the walls, and on tables, there were dozens of photographs. Some displayed serene settings; sunsets on the beach, grassy meadows with blooming wildflowers, and lush green forests, while others captured various species of Pokémon, whether in battle or in the wild. And among these were pictures of a family. The same three people, sometimes separate, sometimes together, at varying ages. Jack recognized Carey first, as she hardly looked different in every picture. Jack recognized James as the only male in the photos. Some showed him at a much younger age, with blond-brown hair styled in a windswept fashion. The third person was unfamiliar to Jack, but he assumed it was the daughter of James and Carey. She had hair like her father, a light brown, with just a hint of the copper shine her mother had. She had a smooth complexion, lightly tanned, but not as dark as her mother. Jack flushed as he thought that she looked quite attractive.
James watched Jack gaze at the pictures, and finally broke the silence. “I’m a photographer,” he explained, waving his hand across the room. I tried my luck as a trainer, but I found that I preferred to capture the beauty of nature, rather than use it for sport. Don’t get me wrong,” he said hastily, seeing the look on Jack’s face. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Pokémon training. It just wasn’t my thing.”
“You’re very good,” Jack said, trying to keep the conversation going.
“Thank you.” James followed Jack’s eyes to a picture of the young girl, kneeling in the sand on the beach, holding a shell. “That’s my daughter, Megan. She’s about your age, I would say, maybe a year younger or so. She’s a new Pokémon trainer as well.”
Jack looked at James with interest. “Really?”
“Uh-huh. We actually took her to Viridian just yesterday to begin her journey. She’s planning to travel with her cousin from Saffron. Megan’s a little. . .too trusting, if you know what I mean. We wanted her to be with someone a little older.”
Jack nodded. “That makes sense.” He tried to think of something more to add, but came up blank.
“So, what’s your story? If you don’t mind me asking,” James added.
Jack shifted in his seat. He wanted to tell the truth, but he didn’t want to risk them trying to contact his parents. Franticly, he invented a story that would seem plausible. “Well, Static and I came from Violet, and we decided to register in Kanto rather than Johto. I’m originally from here, and my uncle lives in Vermillion.”
“I see. Are you planning on travelling by yourself?”
Jack looked down at Static. “Well, Static is old enough to help defend us if the need were to arise, so I think we’ll manage.”
James smiled. “I could tell your Elekid was pretty strong from when I first saw him. You’re lucky to have such a good companion.”
Jack put an arm around Static. “I am lucky.”
After a filling dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, Jack, James, and Carey talked for a while before showing Jack and Static up to the guest room. Once alone, Jack was left again to his thoughts. The memory of him killing the man on the boat came back in a gut-wrenching pang, and Jack threw himself into the bed, trying to breathe under the crushing weight of guilt he felt. He was a killer, and he hated himself for it. The soft bed and clean sheets he had hoped for were little comfort when he kept reliving that single moment on the boat when he squeezed the trigger, that single moment when he squeezed the life out of a living, breathing human being.
Here are the changes;
There is a brief explanation on how Pokémon Centers are able to support themselves while providing free services to trainers.
Lorelei is written out of the chapter. She served only to introduce a side plot that saw no development and contributed nothing to the overall plot.
Flint is joined by Aaron on the ferry. This was to introduce Aaron’s character a bit earlier, but it also makes sense for Flint to have a partner during such an important mission.
The boat is given a more distinct purpose; whereas in the original it was merely under the control of the shady people and never really explained, it’s now clear that it was being used as a weapons transport.
Rather than being tackled out of a window and being forced to kill a man underwater, Jack instead uses an AK-47 to kill the man. This scene helps develop Jack more than the original. In the first scene, it would be more realistic for Jack to freak out and squirm rather than grab the gun and shoot the man. This one helps to portray Jack’s innocence; he didn’t consciously make the choice to kill.
Flint doesn’t use any Pokémon. While it may seem odd to remove the presence of Pokémon in a Pokémon fanfic, it gives a more serious tone to the chapter. It also builds Flint’s character. The act of him doing all the fighting with another human shows that there’s more to him than just Pokémon training.
In the Migotos' house, Burrow the Sandslash doesn’t make an appearance. His absence helps reinforce that James isn't absorbed in Pokémon anymore.
Thanks for reading!
Last edited by Pkmn Breeder Jack; 15th December 2009 at 2:43 AM.
Slightly odd chapter for some reason I can't explain, but the grammar and spelling was great I don't remember any errors, and, again, this was simple but interesting enough to read at any time I was going to get around to checking my PMs and actually finish it.
Alright, here it is. New characters, new Pokémon, and a new plot twist. Took me a while, but I think I got it right.
Chapter Three: Reporters and Thugs
“No Jack! Please, don’t kill me! I have done nothing!” A man in a dark uniform knelt in front of Jack.
“You don’t deserve to live,” Jack said, raising a gun and pointing it at the man.
The man leapt forward and grasped Jack’s legs. “Please! Don’t kill meeee!”
Suddenly they were underwater. Jack could hardly breathe, and the man was still pleading, but none of his words were comprehendible; all that came out were bubbles. Jack lowered the gun and pulled the trigger. Bubbles streamed out and the man screamed. The scream was heard by Jack, even underwater. Jack broke the surface of the water and laughed a cruel laugh, as if rejoicing in the man’s death.
He kept laughing, but now he was in a chair in a courtroom.
He just laughed his head off, despite the congregation in the courtroom, many of whom were crying.
“You didn’t have to kill him! He’s done nothing to you!” A lady was shouting.
“Why’d you shoot my daddy mister? He didn’t hurt you,” a little boy was saying.
“NO!!!” Jack sat up, breathing heavily and covered in sweat.
<Jack, what’s wrong?> Static asked. He was sitting on the footboard of the bed.
“I didn’t mean to, Static. I didn’t mean to shoot him. I’m sorry,” Jack choked, tears running down his face. “I didn’t mean to… I’m sorry… I d-didn’t… I’m s-sorry…”
Static crawled over to Jack and wrapped his thick arms around his trainer. <I know Jack, it was an accident. You didn’t mean it.> He knew what Jack was upset about.
“I was l-laughing at him, and his w-wife and son were there, and they were upset, a-and I was laughing,” Jack cried, holding Static close.
<It was just a nightmare, Jack. Just a dream.>
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Did you sleep well, dear?” Carey asked as she put a plate of eggs and sausage in front of Jack. They were in the kitchen, James sitting across from Jack and Carey sitting down in her place to Jack’s right.
“Not really.” He picked up his fork and speared a sausage moodily.
He looked up to see James and Carey with their heads bowed and their hands folded.
“Dear Lord, we thank you for this food we have this morning, this beautiful day you have given us, and this wonderful young man we could help. We praise you with all our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Jack had hastily put his fork down and folded his hands as well, his face red with embarrassment. Religious things always made him uneasy. As James finished the blessing, Carey said ‘Amen”, and Jack said it as well.
“Forgive us if we made you uncomfortable, Jack. It’s just a tradition of ours to say the blessing before we eat,” James said in his slow voice.
Jack mumbled a response, not meeting the man’s eyes. The three began eating in silence while Static and Burrow the Sandslash ate in the kitchen.
“Jack, are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look well.” Carey was looking at him with concern.
“Had a bad dream,” Jack said hollowly. A lump formed in his throat and he swallowed hard.
“It didn’t have anything to do with yesterday, did it?” James asked.
Jack nodded and took a bite of eggs. The fluffy scrambled eggs tasted dry. With difficulty, he swallowed them and took a drink of orange juice.
The laughing began in his head and he could hear the man screaming.
“It was about a man,” Jack mumbled. He fought back tears and looked at his plate of half-eaten food. Even though they looked concerned, the two adults had been respectful enough not ask what happened.
They finished their meal in silence, then Jack went to prepare his stuff for the trip to Viridian.
Jack and Static were standing in the foyer of the house. James and Carey were shaking Jack’s hand and Burrow was talking to Static.
“This is our phone number, call if anything happens,” Carey said. She handed Jack a piece of paper. Jack looked at it. It said the number, then under it, “James and Carey Migoto.”
Jack thanked them, and then opened the door. They all walked out on the porch and Jack walked down the steps. He turned. “Thanks again, Mr. and Mrs. Migoto!” he said. Static said goodbye to Burrow, then jumped down and caught up to Jack. The two walked down the driveway and onto the road.
“He’s a fine young man,” James said to his wife.
She nodded. “I bet Megan would like him.”
“Maybe. There’s a chance that they will meet in Viridian.”
“I hope Megan’s safe. I would be glad if the two of them traveled together. That Elekid is strong.”
Jack and Static walked up the path, Viridian City in clear sight. It was noon and Static had been practicing Fire Punch the entire time. At the sight of the city, Static had stopped practicing and charged ahead, leaving Jack in a cloud of dust. Jack had hardly noticed; his mind was still on the previous day. Something seemed odd, or out of place, and Jack wanted to find out.
There were two Elite Four members in Cherrygrove yesterday. Lorelei by the bus stop and Flint on the ferry. Then there were those visions. Where did they come from? Jack thought to himself.
<Jack! Hurry up!> Static yelled from far ahead.
Jack ignored him. Then there were those goons on the boat.
You shot one of them.
They were obviously bad men, but why would they try stealing Pokémon for no reason? They couldn’t be Team Rocket; they were defeated about 20 years ago and Giovanni is said to be dead. Why then would they want to steal them out of the blue? Surely if some evil organization had formed, the government would know. I wonder—
<Jack! Get your butt up here!> Static was standing on top of a welcome sign.
“Static, get down from there!” Jack called and started jogging to catch up. When Jack had reached the sign, Static jumped down onto Jack’s shoulders.
<Let’s get a move on, we are almost there!>
Jack began walking into the city, taking note of the surroundings. It wasn’t much different then Violet. Both were about the same size, same traffic, the Pokémon around the town were pretty common—it had a gym and it led to the Pokémon League entrance—and the environment seemed the same.
After asking directions from passing people, Jack found his way to the Pokémon League registration building. It was two stories and looked almost like a regular office building. The boy and his Elekid crossed the parking lot and entered the building. Cool air greeted them, and a secretary at the front desk addressed them.
“Sir, are you here to register in the Indigo League as an official trainer?” She asked without looking over.
“Uh, yes ma’am.” Duh. Why else would I be here?
The lady turned to face Jack. She stared at him through thin square glasses before saying, “Please take a seat, and you will be called back momentarily. There is a newscast here doing a little thing on beginning trainers. It’s a common time for them to start new journeys.”
Jack nodded and took his seat, Static sitting on his lap. Great. This place will be filled with a bunch of 13 year olds thinking they’re all that. This will be a bit unpleasant. Suddenly, Jack’s mind pulsed again, just as it had on the boat, his vision turning a shade of purple, only this time he didn’t see any visions. He shuddered after the feeling passed.
<What just happened?> asked Static. He had felt Jack shiver.
“N-nothing. I’m fine.” Jack shook the feeling off.
A lady opened up a door and looked at Jack. “Jack Surge? Would you please come this way?”
Jack picked up Static and put him on his shoulders and followed the lady into the back room. As he passed through the door, he was greeted by a large room with desks lining the walls, each desk with a computer. At each desk there was an employee with a young teenager behind them. At the far side was a long counter with employees behind it.
“Right this way, please.” The lady led Jack to a computer along a wall and she sat down at it.
The lady made a few clicks and then spoke to Jack. “Full name?”
“Jack Allen Surge.”
“Date of birth?”
Jack sighed. “This will take a while?”
After giving the lady all the required info, she asked for ID. Jack gave her his driver’s permit. Ten minutes later, she was done asking questions. A few more clicks and then she stood up. “Your registration is complete.” Then she led Jack to a wall with a white sheet draped on it and a camera in front. Jack stood in front of the camera and the lady snapped a photo. Then she led him back to the desk. Please wait here while I print your license. She walked across the room into another back room that read, ‘Employees only.’
Jack stood waiting, and Static hopped off his shoulders. <Have you decided which starter to choose yet?>
“Gah! I forgot! Let’s see, Squirtle, Charmander, or Bulbasaur. Which do you think is best?”
<I say Charmander, because fire is really cool!> Static ignited a flame in his hand as if to do Fire Punch.
A couple young teenagers took notice and pointed.
“What Pokémon is that?”
“I don’t know, but it looks like it is using a fire type move.”
“It looks like an electric type.”
Soon a small crowd of 13 year olds had gathered around Static and were watching him use the three different Element Punches. Static seemed to enjoy this, as he began doing two punches at a time.
“Static, would you stop showing off?” Jack said to the Elekid, acting as if what Static was doing wasn’t all that.
“Hey you! Are you this Pokémon’s trainer?” a kid with black hair asked.
“Uh, yeah,” Jack said.
“Wow, you must be really strong. Are you here to see new trainers start?”
“Are you from the Pokémon League?”
“Of course he isn’t.” A boy with long blond hair said, walking over to the group. The boy didn’t look any older then 14. He swept his bangs out of his eyes and pointed at Static. “That is an Elekid. It is the pre-evolved form of Electabuzz. That means that it hasn’t matured and gained enough experience to evolve, unless the trainer won’t let it evolve, which I doubt.” His voice had an air of confidence in it, as if the boy knew he was better than everyone else. “Furthermore,” he said, looking at Jack with a sneer, “the trainer is just now registering. He is not a League member and is as inexperienced as the rest of you.”
Jack had been growing angrier with every word the blond kid said. The boy had blatantly insulted Static as a Pokémon and Jack as a trainer.
“Hey kid, what makes you the expert? Have any Pokémon? ” Jack asked with a half-confident voice.
“As a matter of fact, I do happen to have a Pokémon. After you get a license, we’ll battle in the park. 3:00. You’d better be there, loser.” The blond kid turned and walked to the door.
Then, without warning, Static moved with Quick Attack speed in front of the blond kid.
<Excuse me, sir. My name is Static.> Static said, holding out a hand to shake. The blond kid squatted down to be level with Static then said,
“My name’s Chris. Not nice to meet you.” He pushed Static’s hand away, and then began to stand up. But as he did so, Static grabbed his hand and pulled it forward, then slammed his other clenched yellow hand into Chris’s face. The blond kid fell back in surprise, clutching his face. Jack had been frozen in place the entire time, watching with disbelief.
The blond kid stood up again and tried kicking Static, only to get his foot shocked on contact. Static took the blow but stayed on his feet. Chris, however, stumbled and fell on his butt. Angry and embarrassed, the boy leapt to his feet and ran to the door, yelling back, “I’ll beat you, you fat *** Pokémon! I’ll pulverize you in battle!” He pushed the door open and sprinted out, leaving a stunned crowd of kids, employees, and Jack, looking at the door. Static shrugged his tiny shoulders, and then turned to Jack.
<Pretty great, eh?> Glee was obvious on the Pokémon’s face.
“Static, don’t do that again. We could get our license suspended for attacking trainers.”
<Hey, if someone plays dirty, you play dirty back. You can’t let someone trash talk you like that.>
“Yeah, whatever,” Jack mumbled, turning to the crowd. “Uh, there isn’t anything to see here so, just, just go back to whatever you were doing.”
The group of people slowly cleared, leaving Jack and Static alone by the computer desk. The lady that had been printing Jack’s license then came walking out with an envelope. She handed it to Jack.
“In it are your trainer card and certificate of registration. The certificate is just an extra document you keep in case you lose your card. Then you show the certificate to an employee at any registration office and we can give you another license, but that will cost quite a lot of money.”
Jack took the envelope and opened it up. He pulled out the card and looked at it. It was red, with his picture on the right and his personal information on the left. He stuck it in his wallet and looked at the certificate. It had the same basic stuff written on it. He put the certificate back in the envelope, and then put it in his backpack.
“If you’re ready, you can get your starter now,” the lady said. As they walked over to the counter, a TV crew came out of a back room and walked over to the counter. A man in a suit holding a microphone began speaking to the camera about how trainers began their journeys here.
Jack tried to ignore them, but the camera equipment was distracting. He looked over to the other side of the white counter at another employee. The employee was pressing a few buttons on the back wall. He turned to face Jack. Three Pokéballs rose from holes in the counter and sat in front of Jack.
“These here are da startin’ pogeys. Bulbasaur, Charmander, an’ Squirtle. Which do you want, kid?” The man asked. He had an unshaven face and crooked teeth. He didn’t look as if he cared for his job much.
Jack looked down at Static, who was climbing up Jack’s leg to see well. “Which do you want again?” Jack asked his Pokémon as it sat on Jack’s shoulders.
<Charmander would be cool. I don’t know any moves that have an advantage on him, so we’d be equal.>
Jack seemed to be hit by a revelation. Instead of choosing one that he would be better than, Static had chosen the Pokémon that would be equal to him, one that would be a challenge to battle. Static really did want to become strong. What and incredible thought for a three year old Pokémon.
“I’ll take Charmander,” Jack said at once, grabbing the middle Pokéball. He turned and released the Charmander on the navy carpet in front of him. Red light emitted from the Pokéball, then materialized into a small lizard shaped creature. As the Charmander stopped glowing, Jack gasped at what he saw.
The Charmander flashed sparkly light, and then looked up at Jack. In stead of ordinary orange, Charmander’s leathery skin was a brilliant gold.
A few others gasped as well. “Is that Charmander…?”
“Shining.” Jack said in a hoarse voice. This wasn’t real. He couldn’t believe it.
“Hey, look over here,” the reporter said in a fast voice. “Could it be? Why, it is! This young man has chosen a shining starter! As many of you know, shining Pokémon are incredibly rare and are hardly ever seen. Shining Pokémon, or alternate-colored Pokémon, are Pokémon with altered genetic coding that results in an off colored appearance. Some species have few differences, while others, such as the Charmander family, are drastically different from their ordinary species. Also, they radiate an immense amount of energy during evolution. Ten times more than ordinary Pokémon. Let’s find out what the new owner of this shining Pokémon has to say.” The reporter took his camera crew over to Jack.
“Well, young man. How do you feel about obtaining this incredibly rare Pokémon?”
Jack hadn’t listened to the question. He had bent down and rescued the little Charmander from the crowd. With the little lizard in his arms, he looked at the reporter and asked, “What was the question,” while every second his face grew hotter. He was on national television.
“I said how do you feel about obtaining this incredibly rare Pokémon?”
“Um, well, er, it is good, I guess. I mean, even if Charmander’s shining, he is still a Pokémon, right?”
“Well, uh, I suppose, but this is not something that happens every day. In the history of the Pokémon League, only seventeen other shining starters have been given. It has been over half a century and only seventeen. Six were Charmanders. How do you suppose your friends and family will feel about this?”
That question hit Jack hard. How would your family and friends feel about this? I have no friends. Mike moved, never made any others. My family doesn’t care. Dad’s too stuck up, Mom might, but my brother…… he never cared about any of us, Jack thought. He looked at the reporter.
“No further comment.” And he snatched the Pokédex that the employee with crooked teeth had placed on the counter, and then proceeded out of the room. Some people tried to follow him, but Jack started running. Across the parking lot and onto the sidewalk, all the while holding his Charmander in his arms.
When he felt he was far away enough from the building, Jack slowed and looked at the Charmander. “You doing alright, buddy?” he asked it.
The Charmander looked at him with tired yet annoyed eyes. <Those people back there were annoying.> the Charmander spoke in a young male voice.
Jack laughed a bit. “They sure were. Do you have a name, little guy?”
The shining Charmander was silent for a bit, then spoke. <…… My name is Sceadon.>
Jack frowned a bit. “Sceadon? Does that have a meaning or anything?”
<…Yes. My mother told me it had to do with my hide color.> Sceadon looked at his leathery arm. <She said that I would know why I was named that when I was ready.>
Odd. I wonder what it means. Jack thought. “Where do you want to go, Sceadon? We could go to the park and train. I have to be there anyway to battle some kid. Do you want to go there?”
<Sure.> Sceadon said, but then his stomach grumbled. <After I have something to eat. I haven’t eaten all day.>
“They didn’t feed you at the registration building?” Jack asked incredulously.
<No. They only feed us at night to keep our activity and growth rates to a minimum. That’s what one of the handlers said.>
<Jack. Don’t forget about me.> Static said, thumping Jack’s head as if playing the drums. <You really need to cut your hair. Your head is shaggier than an Arcanine’s.>
Jack shook his head, causing his shaggy brown hair to smack Static in the face. “My hair is fine,” Jack said as he turned a corner on the sidewalk and noticed the park up ahead. “Long hair is cool.”
<Cool? As in cold? I don’t see how long hair could make you ‘cooler.’> Sceadon looked at Jack skeptically.
<Not like that. When humans say they look cool, they mean that they look attractive.>
“It does not mean that!” Jack said indignantly. A man in a business suit passing by jumped as Jack said that and hurriedly walked away, shooting glances back at Jack. Jack sighed. Sometimes he would forget where he was when he was talking to his Pokémon.
<Then what does it mean, master?> Sceadon asked.
“It means that we look acceptable to other humans. That they think we look normal.”
<I guess I’m not cool then…> Sceadon said sadly, looking at his tiny gold hand.
“Oh—no, that doesn’t mean that! You're being a different color is unique. Sometimes it’s better to be different.”
<So you mean, you don’t think badly of me because I’m gold?>
“Of course not. I couldn’t have asked for a better starter Pokémon,” Jack said, smiling down at the lizard in his arms.
<Thank you, master.> Sceadon snuggled against Jack, tears forming at the edges of the Charmander’s eyes.
“Sceadon? You don’t need to call me master. Just call me Jack.”
<J-Jack? Is that your name? What does it mean?>
“Oh, um, I don’t really know. Is it important?”
<Your name is what you are. I am a Charmander, but Sceadon is my name. Sceadon is what I am. Sceadon is who I am. It is what defines me. Names are of great importance.>
“I see. I’ve never thought of it that way.” Jack looked up. They were at the entrance to the park. “We’re here. Static, time to get down; my shoulders are hurting.”
Static hopped down and landed softly on the ground next to Jack. They proceeded into the park and looked around. A playground sat on the left, complete with slides, monkey bars, teeter totter, and a jungle gym. To the right was a wide open grass field with two large soccer goals at the end. Straight ahead were some picnic tables in the shade of two large oak trees. The three made their way to a picnic table, where Jack sat Sceadon on the table. Static jumped up to sit next to Sceadon while Jack took off his backpack and rummaged around for food.
<Hello. I’m Sceadon, the Charmander. Nice to meet you.> the little gold lizard said back.
Jack pulled out two apples and a small bag of pretzels the Migotos had given him. He gave the two apples to his Pokémon and opened the pretzels for himself.
Static eagerly bit his apple, chewing the piece and biting off another before he swallowed the first bite. Sceadon, however, ate his slowly, chewing and swallowing before taking another bite. This surprised Jack, since Sceadon was obviously starving. With a smile, Jack ate a few pretzels, looking at the sky through the leaves. He sat back against the table.
“It sure is a nice day here in Viridian,” Jack said to no one in particular. Static tossed his apple core away and sat next to Jack.
<It is a nice day. Great for training!> Static hopped off the bench and sprinted for the soccer field. The two-foot-tall Pokémon then proceeded to run around the entire soccer field, and then return to Jack. The Pokémon’s trainer’s mouth hung open.
<You have a lot of energy, Static. You would be good in battles.> Sceadon commented.
<Definitely right about that. Say, Jack. How much longer until that battle with the blond kid?> Static asked, panting from his run.
“About an hour. It’s two right now, so at three we’ll find that kid.”
<Who is this kid you speak of?> Sceadon asked. Jack looked at the Charmander, then smiled and patted its head. Sceadon was young but had incredible manners.
Static explained to Sceadon what had happened, and Sceadon nodded at the end. <He seems like a person who has much confidence. Confidence clouds your judgment. That will be the boy’s weak spot.>
Both Jack and Static looked at Sceadon. “Where did you learn that?” Jack asked, blown away at the knowledge Sceadon had.
<Observation. There were some other Pokémon that I lived with that acted the same way.> Sceadon replied, finishing the last of his apple.
“Mmhmm, wow. That’s very smart. Alright. We’ll blow this kid away,” Jack said.
<You do not look very excited, Jack. Do you not want to battle this trainer?> Sceadon asked, looking inquisitively at Jack with big eyes.
“No, I’m excited. I just don’t think it is worth jumping around for,” Jack answered. It was true; he never did show excitement or enthusiasm very well. Most people passed him off as boring, but Static knew this about him and hardly ever complained.
<Anyway, I’m going to practice Fire Punch.> Static said, walking on short legs to a tree. He sat against the trunk and held out his hand and fire ignited in it for a few seconds, and then died down. Static continued this, each time holding it a fraction of a second longer.
<He is very dedicated,> Sceadon remarked. <He will do well in this upcoming battle.>
“I suppose he will,” Jack said, picking up the little Charmander and sitting it in his lap, careful to not get hit by the flaming tail. “What about you, Sceadon? What do you want to do during a Pokémon journey?”
<Why are asking me? You are my trainer, and I follow your orders. That is the way of Pokémon trainers, is it not?> Sceadon leaned against Jack and looked up at him.
“It may be for some, but not for me. You have your own dreams and you can choose for yourself what you want to do.”
<Jack…Thank you…> Sceadon said, hugging Jack with small arms.
“Your welcome,” Jack said, smiling and hugging Sceadon back.
<I think battling in gyms would be fun,> Sceadon said thoughtfully. <I want to do something that can improve my skills.> Sceadon looked away embarrassedly as he said that.
“Hey, buddy, don’t worry. I’ll help you improve your skills and become the best Charmander there is. Unless of course you want to evolve, then you can be the greatest Charizard. Put your skills together with you being shining and everyone will admire you.” Jack looked to the sky. Everyone will admire you… I wish that could be me as well.
<I think I would like that.> Sceadon said, nuzzling its head against Jack’s chest. <Then I can be noticed for who I am, not what I am.> He looked at his golden arms again.
“You know that humans admire shining Pokémon. It isn’t a bad thing that you are a different color.”
<Really? All the Pokémon I see says I am a disgrace.>
“Don’t listen to them anymore. Be proud of your coloring. It makes you unique,” Jack said, smiling at his Charmander. He had chosen a good partner.
The two talked for a while, getting to know each other and enjoying the shady spot under the oak tree. Static joined the conversation, and they hovered over certain battle tactics, which Sceadon picked up easily despite his young age. When it was 2:55, Jack, Static, and Sceadon started walking to the park entrance to find the kid Chris. As they were passing the playground, Jack noticed something on the other side of it. A girl was talking to three men, taking a few steps back from them. One of the men shouted something and the girl cringed. Another man raised his fist.
“HEY!” Jack called to the men. He turned and ran across the playground, his Pokémon close behind. “What is the problem here?” He said as he reached them.
“Hey Joey, dis kid is talkin’ to us,” One man said in a gangster voice.
“Yeah, kid, don’ bodder us.”
Jack stepped back from the men. They looked dangerous. He glanced at the girl. She looked about the same age as Jack, with long, light-brown hair and bangs hanging to her eyes, which were also brown. She was wearing a tight blue tank top and a red skirt. She looked a bit scared, but her face was blushed. She glanced at Jack and suddenly he knew who it was. It was Megan Migoto, the daughter of James and Carey.
“Go away, kid, if you knows what’s good fer ya.”
Jack tried to think of something brave to say, but he couldn’t. “Get behind me,” he said to Megan, desperately trying to think of something.
“Look at da boy, he’s tryin’ to protect tha’ girl.” One of the men advanced.
<Get away, fathead!> Static said, stepping up in front of Jack.
“What’s dat thing? Thinks it can protect the kids? I’ve seen cereal boxes bigger than it.” The man laughed and the other two joined in.
<Don’t underestimate me!> Static yelled angrily, jumping up and slamming a Thunder Punch into the man’s face. The man gave a cry and stumbled back, then looked down at Static.
“You God damn midget!” He aimed a kick at the Elekid, who dodged it and slammed a Fire Punch into the man’s planted leg. The big man howled in pain, falling down and clutching the burnt spot on his calf. During this, Megan had grabbed Jack’s arm and squeezed it in fright. Jack glanced at her, and then addressed the three men.
“Leave us alone,” he said without much confidence.
“Like hell we won’t!” Another man yelled and charged at Jack. Suddenly, Sceadon climbed up Jack and stood on his head. He inhaled deeply, and then blew fire right at the man.
“Graahhhh!” screamed the man as he caught fire. He dropped to the ground and started rolling around on the rubber tire shavings that covered the playground. Jack was stunned. The third man looked at Jack, then the Pokémon, then turned and ran away. The two others got up and followed him, screaming curses back at Jack and his Pokémon. When they had passed out of the park through the gate, Jack realized he had been holding his breath. He exhaled deeply, then sat on the ground and put his head in his hands.
“Thank you,” Megan said, and Jack looked up. “They asked for some money, and I thought they were charity collectors or something. They laughed when I said that, and kept asking me for my money. I told them that I didn’t have much, but they kept asking. That’s when you came.”
Jack stared at her with his jaw hanging open slightly. She thought they were charity collectors? She was getting mugged, but she didn’t realize it?
“I’m Megan Migoto, beginning Pokémon trainer. What’s your name?” she asked kindly.
“I’m Jack. Jack Surge. Also beginning Pokémon trainer,” Jack answered, shaking Megan’s hand.
“So where are you from, Jack?” Megan asked, sitting down next to him. This made Jack a bit uncomfortable. She was kind of close. Jack stood up and offered her his hand.
“Let’s sit over by that bench instead of on the ground. The burnt rubber smells bad.” It was true; the tire shavings the man had rolled in had burnt and smelled. Megan took his hand and stood up.
“Are these your Pokémon?” she asked, nodding at Static and Sceadon. The two Pokémon walked over to their trainer. Jack picked up Sceadon, cautious of his tail, and Static walked by his side.
“Yeah, they are. I’ve had Static, my Elekid, for about three years. I just got Sceadon today,” Jack said, nodding to the Charmander, who was shaking a bit from the large Ember it had just used.
The two trainers sat on the bench, and Jack looked at Megan. “I’m from Violet City in Johto.”
“Wow, that's far away. Why did you come here?” she asked, her soft brown eyes looking at him curiously. Jack blushed and pretended to look at the sky. She’s pretty.
“Uh, well, I didn’t want to be in Johto, so I thought I’d come here.” He hated to lie to her, but he didn’t want to tell the truth.
“I’m from Pallet Town. I got my license there, and I was supposed to meet my cousin here, but she is sick and won’t be coming for another week or so.”
“I met your parents in Pallet,” Jack said slowly. “They were really nice people.”
“Oh, you met my parents?”
“Yeah. It’s a long story, but when I got to Pallet, all the hotels were full or too expensive, and there wasn’t a Pokémon Center, but I met your mom and she let me stay the night at your house.”
Megan suddenly blushed. “Did you see my room?” she asked.
“No, I never looked in,” Jack said honestly.
<I did though. Burrow showed me. It was white and pink, with posters of some girl singing—> Static began, but Megan gave a yelp and Jack cut him off.
“What were you doing in there?! You shouldn’t go snooping around someone’s house,” Jack said as sternly as he could.
“Will you look at that? The guy has a girlfriend, how sweet. I’m sorry to say that you will be humiliated in front of her.”
Jack’s snapped to his right. Chris was standing there, looking at him with a smug expression. Static hopped off the bench and faced the blond kid. <Come on, Jack. Let’s beat this guy.>
Jack stood up as well. “S-she’s not my girlfriend. We just met.” Chris laughed at that.
“Whatever. Let’s go over here and battle.” Chris jerked his thumb to the empty soccer field. He turned and walked toward it.
Megan stood up and said, “Why does he think I’m your girlfriend?”
Jack looked back at her. “Well, we were talking together, so I guess he assumed… Whatever. Do you want to watch the battle?” Wow, she’s pretty naďve to not understand that…
Megan nodded and followed Jack to the field. Jack, Megan, Static, and Sceadon stood half way between center field and the penalty box. Chris took the same position on the other side of the field.
“Alright, loser! One on one battle!” Chris yelled, holding up one finger. Jack nodded, then pointed.
“Static! Let’s do this!”
Static ran out and stood at center field.
Chris held out a Pokéball. “Pulverize that wimp, Macho!” He threw the Pokéball and a Machoke materialized. Jack clenched his fist. This might be harder then he thought.
“Static, Machoke will use close combat moves. Try to avoid getting close!” Jack called. Static nodded in agreement. The Elekid started bouncing on its toes, ready for anything.
Chris laughed. “Earthquake,” he directed his Machoke. The blue Pokémon raised its massive arms in preparation to slam them into the ground.
Jack hesitated for a moment in surprise, the yelled, “Gonna have to get close! Stun it with a Quick Attack!”
Static dashed forward in a blur and slammed into Machoke before it could hit the ground.
“Vital Throw.” Chris said calmly.
Machoke rolled back after impact, then lunged forward and grabbed Static. He raised the Elekid in the air and spun once before throwing him to the ground. Jack winced when Static hit the ground and Megan gasped.
Jack called out, “Static! Hang in there! Hit it with Swift!” Static quickly recovered and jumped back, then thrust his hands out. Glowing stars shot from his hands and collided with Machoke, who tried blocking with his arms.
“Foresight,” Chris commanded. When the stream of stars stopped, Machoke’s eyes glinted, and then it roared at Static.
“Give it up, Jack. This next move will end it. DYNAMIC PUNCH!” Chris shouted.
Machoke sprinted forward towards Static, its fist raised and glowing.
Jack thought fast. With Foresight, the punch would hit. Unless…
“Static! Thunder Punch his Dynamic Punch!”
Static smiled, even though Jack couldn’t see him. The small electric Pokémon ran toward its opponent, his fist crackling with electricity. The two Pokémon threw their fists together. At the last second, Static opened his small hand and grabbed Machoke’s. Static knew what to do before Jack said it.
“Now, Ice Punch!” Jack called. Static pulled himself forward using Machoke’s hand, and then with his free hand, nailed an Ice Punch right in the muscle Pokémon’s face. The Machoke fell back and Static was falling toward him. With the hand Static used to grab the Dynamic Punch, he slammed a Fire Punch into the falling Machoke’s face. Machoke hit the ground and Static landed on the Pokémon’s chest. Then Static leapt up as high as he could, and both Jack and Static yelled at the same time, “SHOCK WAVE!” A huge electric pulse emitted from Static’s prongs, hitting the Machoke before it could stand up. Static flipped backwards in the air and landed in front of Jack in a crouch position. The Elekid slowly stood up. He was breathing hard from using four techniques in a row.
Machoke tried to get up, shuddered, then collapsed, unconscious. They had won the battle.
Static turned to Jack and gave a thumbs up with his small clawed finger, then ran over and leapt into Jack’s arms. <I did it! I won!> Static said happily.
Chris was standing in disbelief. Jack hugged Static, and then put him on the ground. He walked over to shake hands with Chris. “Nice match. It’s a good thing we didn’t bet money on this match.”
Chris returned Machoke to its Pokéball and turned away. “I got unlucky. That’s all.” Then he walked away, ignoring Jack’s hand. Jack looked at him, and then turned to Megan, who was walking over to him.
“That was very impressive. You trained Static well,” she said to him. Jack blushed a bit and said,
“He learned that move off an anime that he liked to watch. I just made sure he was doing it right.”
Megan laughed. “You’re so modest.”
Jack turned away and blushed more, swallowing hard and trying to compose himself. Talking to girls was always hard for him. Sceadon, who was standing next to Jack, took notice of this and was about to say something, but thought better. Static was too busy doing a victory dance that looked completely ridiculous to notice. Jack turned around and smiled. “Thanks, Megan.”
It was seven o’clock and Jack and Megan were sitting in the Pokémon Center eating dinner. Megan had sent out her Pokémon, a Chikorita named Chlora, to play with Jack’s Pokémon. The three Pokémon were eating poke food on the floor while Jack and Megan finished their pizza.
“Do you have a room?” Jack asked Megan, taking a bite of his pizza crust.
“I did, but I checked out this morning because I thought my cousin would be here and we’d leave for Pewter.”
Jack nodded. “That’s a bummer that your cousin can’t go with you.” He was surprised how fast he had gotten used to talking to her without blushing.
“Yeah, it is. Hey, aren’t you going to Pewter tomorrow?” Megan asked.
“Uh, yeah, I am. Why do you ask?” Jack said.
“Well, I was thinking,” Megan said, looking down at her plate. “Maybe you and I could travel together!”
Jack choked on his crust. “Wait. Travel with me?”
“Yes! I would have to wait until my cousin got better before I could go anywhere because my mom and dad don’t want me travelling alone. Stuff happens, like what happened in the park. So if I traveled with you, I wouldn’t be alone! I could meet up with my cousin in Pewter or Cerulean.” She looked at Jack, who was looking at her with a weird expression. Megan blushed. “I mean, if you don’t want to…”
Jack swallowed hard and said, “No no, I don’t mind. It was just a bit unexpected. We could travel together. It would be alright.” He looked out the window. Even though the afternoon had been pleasant, by 5:30 it began to rain, and now it was a heavy downpour.
“Alright. We can go together.”
The two finished their meal, cleaned up their mess, then walked to the counter to get rooms.
“Excuse me,” Jack said to the woman behind the counter. “We’d like to rooms please.”
The lady turned around and looked sadly at them. “I’m sorry, but we are renovating in the west wing, so we don’t have as many rooms as usual. I don’t know why they manager wanted to renovate now; it’s the beginning of summer. Newly graduated students become trainers and we always get filled up. Anyways, we have one room left in the east wing, unless you want a room in the construction area. Don’t worry. It has two beds.”
Jack’s face turned red. He would have to sleep in the same room as Megan. Megan, however, wasn’t blushing at all, not seeming to fully realize the situation. She is naďve…
“We’ll take it,” she said. Jack and Megan split the cost of the room, then took their Pokémon and walked off with the card key. They found the room.
“Number 57. Here it is,” Jack said. He put the card in and opened the door. The room was small, with a bed on each side and a TV on a cabinet across from the door. Jack took off his backpack and set it on his bed. Static jumped up on the bed and started bouncing.
<Come on up Sceadon. This is fun!> Static said, doing a front flip and landing on his butt.
<My tail will catch the bed on fire. I’d rather not do that.> Sceadon said, looking at Static skeptically.
Megan put her side bag on her bed and took looked around. They had a small bathroom with sink, toilet, and shower in the corner. Chlora the Chikorita jumped up onto her trainer’s bed and started jumping. Megan picked up her bag and walked into the bathroom. “I’m going to brush my teeth and change,” she told Jack, closing the bathroom door.
Jack grunted a response and turned on the TV. He sat on the end of his bed and pulled his socks and shoes off. He began flipping through channels and noticed that the news channel was doing a report on beginning trainers. The camera was scanning the room Jack had been in earlier that day, and the reporter was talking about the systems used in the registration office.
“Megan, come here! I’m going to be on TV!” Jack called. He turned the volume up so he could here it better over the pouring rain outside. Jack heard the sink run, and then turn off. Megan came out of the bathroom with her pajama pants on and a t-shirt. She sat on her bed and put her bag on the floor at the foot of the bed.
Here I am,” Jack said. The camera moved to face Jack.
“Hey, look over here. Could it be? Why, it is! This young man has chosen a shining starter! As many of you know, shining Pokémon are incredibly rare and are hardly ever seen. Shining Pokémon, or alternate-colored Pokémon, are Pokémon with altered genetic coding that results in an off-colored appearance. Some species have few differences, while others, such as the Charmander family, are drastically different from their ordinary species. Also, they radiate an immense amount of energy during evolution. Ten times more than ordinary Pokémon. Let’s find out what the new owner of this shining Pokémon has to say.” The reporter took his camera crew over to Jack.
“Well, young man. How do you feel about obtaining this incredibly rare Pokémon?”
Jack picked up Sceadon from the floor. “What is the question?”
“I said how do you feel about obtaining this incredibly rare Pokémon?”
“Um, well, er, it is good, I guess. I mean, even if Charmander’s shining, he is still a Pokémon, right?”
“Well, uh, I suppose, but this is not something that happens every day. In the history of the Pokémon league, only seventeen other shining starters have been given. It has been over half a century and only seventeen. Six were Charmanders. How do you suppose your friends and family will feel about this?”
“No further comment.” Jack said suddenly. He snatched the Pokédex that the employee with crooked teeth had placed on the counter, and then proceeded out of the room.
“Well, the boy doesn’t seem to like being in the spotlight. Oh well. Not everyone is outgoing.” The reporter turned to the lady that had registered Jack. “Excuse me, ma’am. Did you happen to get that boy’s name?”
“Oh, um, yes, as a matter of fact I did,” she said, looking flustered and making sure her hair was in place. “His name was Jack Allen Surge.”
Jack abruptly stood up and turned off the TV.
“What’s wrong?” Megan asked sweetly.
“National television. Now my parents know where I am.”
“What’s wrong with your parents knowing where you are?” Megan asked, looking confused.
Jack swallowed. He would have to tell her. “Megan,” he started, sitting on his bed again. “I ran away from home. My parents didn’t know where I went.”
Megan gasped. “You ran away? Why?”
“My father is a jerk. He… wouldn’t let me follow my dream. He doesn’t understand. I never fit in with other people. You have to understand me Megan. I have only had one human friend in my entire life, and he moved a long time ago. After that, I felt lost. But then, I found my dream. To become a Pokémon breeder. To raise Pokémon to their full potential; that is my dream. If I must do gym battles, so be it. If I must capture every single Pokémon known, I will do it. Whatever it takes to gain the title of a famous Breeder, I will do it.” Jack realized he was shaking a bit when he finished.
Megan came over and sat down next to him. “I’ll help you. To achieve your goal.”
Jack looked at her. “Thank you.” She gave him a hug, then let go and blushed a bit. Static and Chlora had stopped bouncing and Sceadon had been watching quietly. The scene felt a bit sad, with everyone quiet and the rain pouring down outside.
Jack stood up and grabbed his backpack. “I’m going to change.” He walked into the bathroom and closed the door. He changed into his plaid pajama bottoms and took out his toothbrush. While he was brushing his teeth, Megan called from outside.
“Jack! I found a fire resistant blanket in the cabinet for Scea—“
Megan was cut off by the thunder. “Megan? Are you alright?” Jack said when he didn’t hear anything.
“…Yeah, I-I’m fine,” Megan said in an odd voice. Jack stuffed his tooth brush and tooth paste back in his pack, then opened the door. Megan sat in her bed with the covers pulled up to her chin.
Jack dropped his bag and switched the bed lamp on and the main light off. Then he climbed into bed. Static lay next to him, already asleep. Sceadon lay on the fire resistant blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed. Chlora was asleep next to Megan. Jack looked out the window above the TV as the lighting flashed, then thunder roared.
“Lightning is amazing, isn’t it?” he said to Megan, not taking his eyes off the window. Another flash lit the entire room, and then thunder followed. “It is a bit intimidating, but it is neat to see it at night, lighting up the entire sky. I’ve always enjoyed watching thunderstorms. How about you?” Jack looked over to Megan. She was trembling a bit and he eyes were puffy.
The lightning flashed again and Megan flinched, tears dripping down her cheeks.
“Megan…” Jack started, but was cut off by a loud boom. Megan yelped and pulled the blanket over her head.
“Megan, what’s wrong?” Jack asked, getting out of bed. He put his hand on Megan’s covered head and said, “Is it the storm?”
The lightning flashed again, and thunder followed. As soon as the thunder roared, Megan leapt out of the bed and hugged Jack close, shaking and crying. Jack awkwardly hugged her back, but she just cried into his chest. “It’s scary. It’s scary,” she cried. Jack sat down on her bed and Megan sat in his lap, still holding him.
“It’s alright, Megan. We’re safe,” he comforted, stroking her hair. He had only known her for less than a day but already felt protective of her. She was shaking with terror. Jack realized what was wrong. She must have astraphobia. Fear of lightning. He held he in his arms as she cried, shaking like a scared puppy.
She stayed in his arms until the storm passed, which wasn’t for another two hours. She fell asleep in Jack’s arms when it had started to die down, and Jack gently lay her down in her bed. He pulled the blanket over her and stood up straight.
“Good night, Megan,” he said softly, then lay down in his own bed, falling asleep within seconds.
At three in the morning, Jack was woken by a buzzing sound coming from his backpack. Groggily, he reached for the zipper and opened it up. Propping himself up on his arm, Jack flipped open his cell phone and answered.
“Hello? Who his it?” he asked in a tired voice.
“Jack? Are you safe?” Flint’s voice asked. He sounded worried.
“Yes, why?” Jack said.
“You still have that Charmander?”
“If you value your life, you have to get away from Viridian. Now.”
End Chapter Three.
Well, I have to say I am pleased with how this one turned out. A lot longer than I expected, but nevertheless pretty good. In my opinion at least.
Please review on characters, description, plot, and what not. Ratings would be appreciated.
Also, I need to make an update. I start back in school Monday. This means that I’ll be bogged down with Algebra, Chemistry, Spanish, and other subjects high schoolers know about. Don’t worry, I’ll try and keep chapters coming at a steady rate, most likely every other week.
One last thing. I’ve been working on some art for the characters, which I will try and put on the front page of the thread within the next few weeks, so watch for that. Oh, and all characters in this chapter are mine, except Flint of course.
On names, Sceadon is pronounced SKEE-don or SKAY-don. Whichever you prefer. I kind of meld the two together, but... Chlora's name is pronounced KLOR-a, it rhymes with "flora".
Last edited by Pkmn Breeder Jack; 8th January 2008 at 8:33 PM.
I really liked this chapter. There were a few minor spelling errors, but we're all human, aren't we? My favorite character so far is Sceadon. Personally I don't like Team Rocket-esque villains in fanfics but I use them briefly myself, so I can get past it as long as its not excessive...thats just my personal taste though. Keep up the good work!
Griff -- Thanks for the review! I think I did a good job with Sceadon, and he is also my favorite pokemon in the story so far. Also, I don't want to reveil too much plot, but the villians are not like team rocket, even though the beginning of the fic seems to imply that. Don't worry; these team rocket bad guys won't be around long.
Thanks for reading, Xavier.
Just so all you guys know, Xavier Goushiki is a close friend of mine in real life and his username is the same as a character introduced in chapter 5.