Friend, or Foe? Rival Teams!
“Berries?” Tristan asked as he stared blankly down at the contents in his hands. What was he supposed to do with a bunch of berries?
“I know it’s not much,” Plusle said, looking down in shame. “This was all I could find in the short time I had when trying to find a rescue team… But I hope you’ll accept it.”
Tristan looked between Plusle and the berries in his hand. Shortly after Minun and Plusle were reunited, Plusle had reached for a small cloth bag on the ground nearby. From it he pulled out the berries and they both insisted he should take them. There were eight in total; some of which were round and blue in colour, while the others were heart-shaped and pink. What did they call them again? Oran berries and… pecha berries?
He wasn’t even expecting a reward to come from this to begin with. He was just happy that Minun was safe with his friend again.
“It’s not enough… is it?” Plusle asked sadly. “I tried my best I really did!”
“No wait! This is perfect!” Tristan answered hurriedly, trying to calm the electric mouse down. “Thank you, I really appreciate the gift. I’ll be sure to put them to good use!”
“See?” Minun said, clapping Plusle over the back. “Isn’t he the best?”
Plusle had to take a few seconds to wipe away the tears he had worked up, but the instant after he had done that, his emotions seemed to flip like a coin. “Absolutely! Thank you Tristan!”
Tristan had to make an effort to mask his discomfort. Was he the only one who thought it was strange to be thanked for accepting a reward?
“Oh crap!” Plusle cried. “I completely forgot!”
“Forgot what?” Minun asked.
“Caterpie is waiting for us! That was why we were heading this way, remember?”
“Oh right! You think he’s mad?”
“I dunno, but if he is we’ll just make it worse the later we are!” Plusle said. He then turned towards Tristan, then the Pokemon who had accompanied him here. “We gotta run! Thanks for helping us!”
Minun gave extra attention to Tristan before leaving. “Y-you’re so cool! I won’t forget you! You know, ever!”
With that the tiny duo left the scene. Tristan watched as they vanished behind a bush at the edge of the clearing. Well, now that that was over… what was he going to do now? As he wondered this, several of the berries slipped out from their precarious position in his hands and fell to the ground.
“Need help with those?” a voice asked. “We can hold on to those for you." The voice belonged to one of the creatures that had accompanied Plusle. There were three of them, each one looking vastly different from the next. Up until now Tristan hadn’t gotten the chance to pay much attention to them. Now that he had time, he took a moment to examine the newcomers.
The one who spoke was in the middle, standing further forward than the rest. He was a muscular creature, with bluish gray skin. He walked on two legs, giving him an almost humanlike appearance if it weren't for his short tail. The most distinctive feature was his three metallic formations protruding from the top of his head.
On his left the second of the three creatures hovered close to the ground, with what seemed to be thick, flowing black hair with pink tips. She wore a necklace of large blood- red pearls around her neck. To the right was the third creature, which appeared to be a purple monkey with what looked like a giant third hand on the end of his tail. He had large round ears, as well as a wide mischievous grin spread across his face.
“They’ll be safe in our toolbox,” the middle creature spoke again, motioning towards a blue and black box on the ground behind them.
“Oh that’s alright,” answered Tristan waving it off. “Don’t worry I’ll figure something out. Thanks anyway.”
The blue-grey creature watched with skepticism as another berry fell from his grip. “You sure you’re all right? You know it is quite a while getting back to the village. At least let us help you get your stuff there. I insist.”
“What village?” Tristan asked in confusion.
“You’re not from around here are you?” the hovering creature asked with a giggle. “There is a village not far from here. It was originally named Clifftop Town. But nobody calls it that.”
“Ohh, ohh! Ah, ah! Everyone just calls it the Rescue Village!” the purple monkey chimed in. “Cause its where all the Pokemon rescue teams go!”
Pokemon? Rescue teams? What was all this? He’d never heard of any of this before. It all was hard for him to follow.
“So how about it?” the muscular creature asked.
Tristan looked down in his hands. Half of them had fallen to the ground. He really didn’t know how else he was going to carry them. “All right,” he answered with a sigh. “Thanks for the help.”
The muscular creature assisted in picking up the berries on the ground as the purple monkey opened the toolbox for them to put the items inside. Once they were finished the box was snapped shut and several looks were exchanged between the three creatures.
“Now I think it is my turn to thank you,” the blue-grey creature said with a grin. “Sucker!”
It took a moment before Tristan realized what just happened. “What’d you say?”
“You heard me! That reward doesn’t belong to you! It should’ve been ours!”
Tristan was taken aback, there was no way they deserved the reward. “What do you mean?” he asked angrily. “I’m the one that saved that Minun! Who do you think you are?”
“Hehe,” the creature chuckled. He cleared his throat and stated, “The name’s Machop! Know it! Fear it!”
“Ooh, ooh! Ah, ah!” The monkey chanted, bouncing up and down on his hand shaped tail. “I’m Aipom!”
“And I…” the third member of the trio stated in her airy voice, “am Misdreavus!”
“And together,” the three announced in unison, pulling out small blue and black badges featuring small white wings. “We’re known as Team Supreme!”
“So,” Tristan growled, pointing his bone at the three of them, his anger rising. “You’re a bunch of thieves?”
“Now, now.” Machop replied calmly, hands on his hips; “I wouldn’t be the one pointing fingers if I were you.”
“Ooh, ooh! Ah, ah! After all, you’re the one who stole our mission in the first place!”
“And we would have received that reward and taken the credit if it weren’t for you!” Misdreavus finished.
“Well excuse me for living! Its not like I chose to fall into that hole!” Tristan yelled. “And what else was I supposed to do when I saw Minun in danger? Just stand and watch?”
“We all make mistakes,” Machop said with a shrug. “So, to make up for your little blunder, I’d say this is a fair trade.”
“That’s hardly fair!” Tristan shouted. “You should be paying me for doing your rescue!”
Misdreavus gave Tristan a threatening look; “You’re in no position to negotiate with us.”
“Ooh, ooh! Ah, ah! After all, there are three of us, and only one of you!”
“Now back off you damn faker!” Machop finished pointing accusingly at Tristan.
“Faker?” Tristan yelled back. They had some nerve to steal from him, then call him names. “And how am I a faker?”
Machop pointed at Tristan again. “I saw you in the forest! When you were talking to that idiot of a team leader, Totodile! You think you can become some great hero if you go around telling people you’re a human?”
Tristan had no idea where to begin. What was he talking about? “B-but it’s tru–“ he began.
“Yeah right!” Machop cut in.
“Ooh, ooh! Ah, ah! Don’t think we don’t know what you’re up to! You’re trying to take the credit of saving the world away from Team Blue!”
Now Tristan was even more confused. “Team Blue?” he asked, tilting his head.
“Don’t play dumb with us!” Misdreavus snapped. “You know exactly what we’re talking about!”
“And to think someone would go so low as to mock Team Blue,” Machop said as he shook his head shamefully. “I’ll bet you don't know the hardships they went through! Have you no respect for their leader? If only he were here now, he’d give you a shocking time that’s for sure!”
“But… I still don’t know what’s going on.” Tristan said again hopelessly, trying to get through to them. “I haven’t done anything wrong!”
“You keep this up.” Machop growled, cracking his knuckles. “And we might just have to shut that little mouth of yours for good.”
“Ooh, ooh! Ah, ah! Which brings us back to three against one!”
“Make that three against two!” a female voice called out from the surrounding forest. Tristan spun around to see where the voice had come from, or more importantly, who had spoken. The trees and bushes, however, provided many places to hide. It was impossible to see her.
Another voice called out from somewhere else. “Now make that three against three!” Tristan recognized this voice as the blue reptile from before.
“Hey!” Machop shouted. Team Supreme was apparently having just as much trouble locating the voices as Tristan was. “Come on out and show yourselves!”
Suddenly, a jet of water came from a nearby bush, striking all three members of Team Supreme. Caught off guard, all three were sent tumbling to the ground. Machop skidded back onto his feet where he took a defensive stance. Aipom bounced on the ground with his giant hand and landed somewhat smoothly back on his feet. Misdreavus quickly did a midair spin to maintain her balance before joining her teammates. Soaking wet, they fixed their eyes on the bush from where the attack had come.
The reptile Tristan had met earlier stepped into view accompanied by another creature. This time she had the appearance of a small orange bird with tiny yellow wings and a small yellow beak. She also had three large yellow feathers that stuck out of the top of her head.
“Machop,” Totodile began in a surprised tone. “I’m shocked that you of all people would go as low as theft.”
This time it was Machop's turn to get angry. “What do you know? Butting in like this! You don’t understand a thing!”
“Oh we know!” The bird exclaimed. “We know all right! We saw the whole thing! Tristan totally deserves those berries! Don’t give us this ‘we don’t know what we’re talking about’ stuff!”
All of this was just over a handful of berries? Tristan glanced over at Team Supreme's toolbox. They couldn’t be this important could they?
“Totodile!” Machop yelled, “You of all people should see him for the disgrace of a Pokemon he is! After all, you heard his lies first hand!”
“We’re willing to back him up,” Totodile said glancing over at the bird for support. “Isn’t that right Torchic?”
“You bet!” the bird replied confidently.
“You can’t be serious…” Misdreavus said.
Tristan, too, was stunned. Just a short while ago it seemed that Totodile hadn't believed him either. So they did believe him now? He felt a slight twinge of guilt as he remembered how rude he’d been. Why would he come to Tristan’s aid?
Machop was the only one who didn’t seem fazed. “Heh.” he snickered, placing the tips of his fingers to his temple then removing them as he spoke. “So, you’re going to side with the faker!”
“It’s still not right to steal!” Totodile replied.
“You’re just using this ‘faker’ thing as an excuse to change the subject!” Torchic stated.
“Ooh, ooh! Ah, ah! Maybe it’s you guys who are changing the subject!” Aipom accused, his grin as wide as ever.
“Are you just going to blindly believe this guy’s pathetic story?” Misdreavus asked. "I mean you don't even know the guy!"
“… Well-” Totodile began, trying to find his words.
“Is that hesitation?” Machop interrupted, excitedly. “Figures. It’s a shame, too. I thought you would make a satisfactory rival." He shrugged. "I guess I was wrong." He turned back to his team. "Come on, we’re finished here!” With that, Machop picked up the toolbox and the three members of Team Supreme departed, leaving Tristan, Totodile and Torchic behind in the clearing.
“Sheesh!” Totodile exclaimed. “Some people!”
“Tell me about it!” Torchic replied.
“What about the berries?” Tristan asked.
“Well… we’ll get back at them for it,” Totodile said hopefully. “They'll see!”
“No doubt!” Torchic agreed.
“Anyway, your name’s Tristan, right?” Totodile asked. Tristan nodded slowly. Totodiled grinned back at him. “You should have said so back when we met in the forest. I wouldn’t have called you Cubone.”
Tristan wondered whether he should have corrected Totodile on that. He didn’t run away because this creature called him the wrong name, he ran because he was scared and confused. He still was, he had so many questions. He looked down at his hands, then back at Totodile. “So that is what I am? A Cubone?”
“You honestly don’t know?” Torchic asked.
“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Totodile said to Torchic. “Yeah, you’re a Cubone. And I’m Totodile, but you probably already knew that.”
“My name’s Torchic," the bird chirped.
“And together,” they announced, just as Team Supreme had. “We’re known as Team Supernova!”
“Well,” Totodile added to the side. “We’re not actually known by many Pokemon yet. Make that nobody knows about us… But we’ll be great one day!”
“So you’re a rescue team, too?” Tristan asked. "What’s up with all these rescue teams anyway? And what’s a Pokemon?"
“Seriously?” Torchic asked.
“Ahem!” Totodile coughed, while giving Torchic a rough nudge. “Well, you’re a Pokemon of course! And so are we. In fact, everyone you met so far and every creature that lives in this world is a Pokemon. That’s really the simplest way to put it. As for the rescue team thing, we’ve actually only just started. We haven’t really done any missions yet. Many teams like us are springing up in response to the natural disasters that have been happening lately. There are many Pokemon that need help now, and we want to do what we can to help too!”
“Say!” Torchic said. “You saved Minun all by yourself, right?”
“So, our team is short a member. How about it? Join Team Supernova! You could help us rescue other Pokemon from natural disasters! You don't seem to have much to do anyway."
“Hey! I was just thinking that too!” Totodile exclaimed. “I guess great team members, think alike!”
“Um… yeah… whatever you say. Anyway, what do you think?” She asked.
She had a point. He really had nothing to do and no place to go, and it really wouldn’t hurt if he joined a group that dedicated themselves to rescuing others, in fact, he would probably enjoy it. After all, it felt pretty good saving Minun like that. Why not?
“Sure,” Tristan said with a grin. “I’ll join your team.”
“Great!” Totodile exclaimed. “Welcome to Team Supernova!”
“Here you go!” Torchic added handing Tristan a badge. “It’s to show that you’re a part of a rescue team.”
“Cool,” Tristan replied. It was similar to that of Team Supreme’s in that it featured small white wings, but this badge was red and yellow. All three of them stood there for a moment. “Um… now what?”
“Well… why not go to the village.” Totodile suggested. “No wait! First, let’s show you out team base!”
“So you really do believe me, that I am a human?” Tristan asked, as he began to follow Totodile's lead.
“Well... sorta.” Totodile explained. "I mean, with the way you were acting when we first met.”
“And the way you were defending yourself against Team Supreme,” added Torchic. “You either were telling the truth, or you got knocked around a little while you were in your egg.”
“Oh yeah, and which one do you believe right now?” asked Tristan.
“I’d say I’m leaning towards choice number two right now!” Totodile teased.
“Yep, me too,” Torchic agreed.
“Hey!” Tristan yelled, offended.
“Relax, relax we’re joking," Totodile said, still laughing.
Tristan wasn't amused. “Not funny!" he said crossing his arms, and looking the other way. A moment later he realized that Torchic and Totodile were leaving him behind, "H-hey don’t leave without me! Hey!”
“Keep up with us if you can!" Totodile called back.
“Okay then here I come…” Tristan shouted back taking up the challenge.
And so, the newly completed rescue team, Team Supernova, with Tristan as their newest member, departed the clearing. All three of them blissfully unaware of what fate held in store for them, and the inevitable destiny to which they were now bound. Though they didn’t realize it, it was within these moments that their tale truly began. Many challenges would await them, challenges that would test their strength, willpower and friendship. Will they be able to overcome the trials that are to come? It is an answer that only Arceus knows…
“Here we are!" Totodile stated proudly, now on the outskirts of the village. "Our team base!”
“What do you think?” Asked Torchic.
Tristan gazed in awe. He couldn't help but think that this base was made just for him. It wasn’t fancy or anything; in fact it was quite modest, being a dome shape made up of many smaller rocks with spaces for two windows and a door. The front yard was fenced off with boulders that stuck up from the ground, and at the entrance to the yard, where the cobblestone walkway met the dirt path; there was a simple beige mailbox. There was something about it that made Tristan feel as if he could live in it in an instant.
"It's... it's..." Tristan said trying to find his words. “It's perfect.”
To be continued…