(chapter in the process of being edited)
Chapter 2: Hide-and-Seek With the Pokémon Professors
"Way down by the stream, how sweet it will seem
once more just to dream in the moonlight.
My honey, I know with the dawn that you will be gone,
but tonight you belong to me."
→ Tonight You Belong To Me, by Patience and Prudence
When they were inside Cole's new house, Kira was calm, polite, and took her time saying goodbye to Cole's mother, Gwen. But once the front door closed, Kira grabbed Cole's arm and practically dragged him over to her house, running as fast as she could.
“I only need my backpack with all my supplies in it in case we run into any Pokémon or if one of us gets hurt, so it shouldn’t take long,” she said as they crossed her from yard. Kira nearly ran face-first into the door, but she had just enough time to open it and burst inside. The warmth from her mother’s baking still enveloped anything that walked inside. There was also the scent of fresh bread still lingering in the air.
Kira dropped Cole’s hand once they were inside. She left him at the door as she barreled through the living room and up the stairs. Cole heard her voice yell something, and then another voice from upstairs replied. A couple more mumbled shouts went back and forth, and then a figure appeared on the stairs.
Her brown hair matched Kira's, only it was pulled back. She smiled at him and crossed the room. Everything about her looked kind and inviting. She had on jeans, a salmon-colored shirt, and white apron, all of which made her look like a warm and naturally nice person.
“I’m Carly, Kira’s mom,” she said in one of the most soothing voices Cole had ever heard, “and you must be Gwen’s son. I’m happy to finally meet you.”
They shook hands. Cole’s felt cold and harsh against hers, like their hands were polar opposites. Cole never thought about his hand having some kind of hand nemesis.
He mumbled a mixture of a “Hi” and “Nice to meet you too,” which basically came out as “Mhmhigoodmeetyoutoo” and made him feel like a complete idiot. Carly smiled and crossed into the kitchen. She offered him a drink, which he kindly rejected in a less stupid jumble of words, and took one for herself.
“The last time I saw Gwen was right after she found out she was pregnant,” Carly said, “I always wondered what you’d be like. I found out I was pregnant with Kira around the same time she found out about you. Our other friends were pregnant too, which was a bit odd.”
Cole wasn’t sure what to say back, and he just gave a polite laugh and nodded. While Carly sipped from her drink, Cole took the time to look around the first floor of the house.
Nothing about it made it look like his new house, which made him figure it didn’t look like any of the others in the neighborhood. The most similar thing was just the fact that it was a living room with a connected kitchen. Only that was hardly true, because there was actually a small addition near the kitchen that made room for a dark mahogany dining table with six matching chairs around it. A half-wall was constructed between the dining area and the kitchen, and formed a small counter area. There were two stools to sit on while eating at there, and somehow they managed to match the chairs at the table.
The kitchen was a calming white color, with shiny black appliances and seemingly handmade counters and cabinets. The tiles were a soft shade of orange, and looked peachy. They did a great job making the checkerboard tiles in Cole’s kitchen look like the ugliest kitchen flooring in all of Hoenn. However they did manage to transition nicely into the living room area, which had similarly colored walls. The floor was all wood and a large area rug, with two snug looking couches and a modern television set.
Cole couldn’t help looking all around at the beautiful artwork hanging everywhere. They all showed some kind of Pokémon in a natural and wild setting. Cole didn’t recognize most of them since he really only knew Kanto and Johto Pokémon, but they all looked very well done. Once showed a great sunset in Littleroot as a flock of some kind of bird Pokémon flew into the distance. It would surely sell for a ton of money in a gallery
Kira darted down the stairs before he could look and many of the other paintings.
“Okay, I’m ready!” she shouted, jumping over the last couple steps. She ran over to Carly, kissed her on the cheek, and rushed over to Cole.
“Have fun!” Carly shouted as Kira flung the door open. She grabbed Cole’s hand and started pulling him away as Carly finished with, “Stay out of the storm! I love you!”
Once again outside, they were running hand-in-hand to the exit of the town. As they neared the sign Cole read earlier, he noticed that the spiky-haired boy – Dominik – wasn’t standing there anymore. Kira slowed and let go of his hand when they reached the sign. Suddenly things became very ominous as they stood there and looked out into the route.
The gray cloud still looked a good bit away from catching them in a storm, though they would have to move without really stopping if they wanted to get to the next town and not get stuck in the rain. Kira pulled out a booklet from her bag and flipped through it in silence. Cole just kept looking ahead.
The route was filled with trees and overgrown grass. No doubt it was left alone most of the time. It was an odd route, though, with so many trees and untended shrubbery, yet a clearly carved path over to the next town. It would look very natural if there weren’t large gaps between trees or random stumps here and there, their tops cleaning sawed off with something manmade.
“Okay,” Kira spoke up, “My guide says that the path goes straight to Oldale. We shouldn’t have any trouble getting there as long as we don’t go into the forest areas.”
Cole nodded in agreement. It was simple enough.
Kira slipped the book into the bag and went on ahead. This was the first time Cole got to see exactly what she was wearing. She changed into nicer jeans with fewer holes, which was a plus, though she wasn’t wearing her sweatshirt anymore. Instead she just had a long-sleeved yellow shirt, which made the purple bag on her back very noticeable.
She was a few paces ahead of him before he started moving, and he quickened to catch up. “Hey, aren’t you cold?”
Kira looked at him and shrugged. “A little, but I’m fine.”
Somehow her overly excited mood from before had toned down almost completely. It was a bit depressing to see her hardly excited anymore.
“Here, take my jacket,” Cole offered. He started to slip his arm out, but she stopped him.
“No, really, I’m okay. I have a jacket in my bag.” She smiled at him, obviously thanking him for the gesture, so he quietly put his jacket all the way back on.
They silently made their way through Route 101, undisturbed by wild Pokémon. The route consisted of many turns and more overgrown grass. All along the edges of the route were rather large trees that allowed no indication of anything on the other side. Kira and Cole continued to walk around, waiting to see some sort of entrance that welcomed them to Oldale Town. It shouldn’t have been much longer, since Route 101 was one of the shortest routes in all of Hoenn, but there was no indication of the next town yet.
The vacancy of Pokémon and conversation gave the two teens time to think.
I wonder where his dad is… Kira thought inside her head.
For some annoying reason, she could not get the question out of her mind. Neither of them had a dad, and she knew why she didn’t, but she was curious as to why Cole didn’t. Both her mom and his knew each other from a long time ago, and they had to have known each other’s husbands, though Kira was sure Cole knew just as much about her dad as she did his. He and Gwen didn’t seem like the kind of people to discuss his mother’s old friend’s husband whom she had not spoken to in almost sixteen years.
Kira decided to try and drop the thought, though it was hard. Instead she thought about her own dad.
Kevin Harte had been the best father Kira had ever seen. If he was still around today, Kira was sure he would be working with Professor Birch, and probably would be next in line to take over the lab. Kevin worked for some international wild Pokémon studying group, and he knew so much about different habits and behaviors of a lot of wild Pokémon. He studied them so much that he started painting the pictures in Kira’s house to remember the different beauties each one had.
Sometimes he would take Kira out early in the morning to watch wild Wurmple wake up and inch their way around trees and under bushes. They were always her favorite to watch. She loved their round mouths and large eyes that always looked so innocent. It made her cry for an hour the one time she saw a wild Tailow snatch one of the Wurmple from the ground and eat it. Her dad had cheered her up by eating a bluk berry and sticking his tongue out at her until she couldn’t stop laughing.
Just thinking about her dad making funny faces and his completely black tongue poking out of his mouth made her giggle right in the middle of Route 101. Cole looked at her, probably wanting in on whatever was funny – the traveling so far was clearly not amusing in the slightest – but she shook her head and mumbled, “It’s nothing.”
The two remained quiet from there. Kira felt bad, but the memories of her father were too precious to share. A few minutes passed. Some twigs broke in the distant and bushes rustled. The wild Pokémon were probably scurrying around to find shelter from the oncoming storm. The breeze was a little stronger now, and Kira pulled out a plain black jacket.
Figuring nothing was going to naturally lighten the mood, Cole decided to try and make things more fun on his own.
“Do you want to race me to Oldale?” he asked slyly.
“Uh…” Kira looked at him with a creased brow. “What?”
“A race… you know, like, um, running?”
“Oh… uh, honestly, I’m not big on the whole, um, running thing. Well, I don’t mind running, I just don’t particularly enjoy racing. Like, um…”
“It’s fine,” Cole quickly interrupted, “I was just trying to lighten the mood… gray clouds and an impending storm don’t really scream excitement and joy.”
He gave her a half smile and stuck out his tongue, which made Kira struggle not to burst out laughing. They returned to silence for a moment, until Kira started to feel really bad for ruining the moment. Cole was only trying to cheer things up. She thought for a second on how to fix it, and then with a coy smile and light tap on Cole’s shoulder, she said, “Tag. You’re it.”
Then she was off running through the route. Cole stopped for a second, startled, and then smile and chased after her. She wasn’t easy to chase down, and Cole could see the entrance to Oldale by the time he was near her. He reached out and managed to touch her back, then sped past her and towards the town. Grass rustled underneath his feet and he could hear her not that far behind him. He was nearly past the welcoming sign when there was a sudden increase in weight on his back.
Kira wrapped her arms around his neck and her feet around his waist. They went down in a completely ungraceful way, with a sure sounding thud when they crashed on the ground. They rolled together for about a foot and then Kira unlatched herself and they were on their backs.
“That was awesome!” she yelled through her laughing. Cole found himself smiling and laughing more than he had probably ever in his life.
“If my back could break a second time, I’d be up for it,” he joked. They laughed for another minute before they calmed down, however the only reason they calmed down was because a drizzle had started. Before they were up on their feet, the drizzle had turned into normal rain, no doubt with the intention of increasing to a downpour.
“Mission status, Maxie?” a calm voice asked through the telephone receiver, slightly distorted through the old phone.
“I’ve located the professors,” Maxie replied, “They seem to be stranded in the middle of Route 103. I can easily get to them and steal the egg.”
“All right, good enough,” the man on the other end answered. Maxie could sense that Kalmin was about to hang up the phone.
“Um, sir?” he said quickly. “What exactly is the egg for?”
“That information remains between me and the other administrators of Team Aqua.” Kalmin spoke slowly and probably calmer than anyone Maxie had ever heard. “You haven’t been a member of the team long enough to gain my trust with such important information. Archie had had my trust and he misused it, and that only got him a quick and painful death.”
Kalmin hung up his phone without another word. Maxie clutched his for another moment and then slammed it down on the receiver. One of the old buttons fell off and skittered across the tiled flooring. Maxie angrily scooped up his bag from the ground and walked back to his room.
It had only been about a month since both Team Aqua and Team Magma received new leaders. It happened first to Team Aqua. Some man named Kalmin swooped in and became the leader in the blink of an eye. Archie was demoted. Maxie could hardly believe someone could take over that quickly, but it happened to him too.
Not more than a week later, Maxie found himself demoted as well. In his case, it was a man named Okmis that had been with Team Magma for the past year and a half. Maxie never knew how many people liked Okmis over himself, but he found out just as fast as it took Kalmin to become the leader of Aqua.
It was ridiculous and humiliating. Maxie wasn’t about to sit back and watch someone just take control of his team and use it whichever way he wanted. So Maxie went and joined Team Aqua. It took some convincing, but the prospect of having a double agent pleased Kalmin enough. All Maxie had to do was tell Okmis that he was still loyal to Magma, and he was safe from either of them. In reality, Maxie was out for himself.
Over the course of a month, Maxie gathered information from both teams. He continued to give false reports to each new leader, and so far he was safe. For a week and a half he was even slight friends with Archie.
Until he was killed. Maxie never knew the exact reasons. Apparently he had been given the task to steal some egg from Professor Elm, who was visiting Professor Birch in Littleroot. Archie wasn’t told what the egg was for, and it enraged him more than it did Maxie. Once Archie got near the professors, he knocked them out, stranded them somewhere without telling anyone, and tried to leave Team Aqua.
Kalmin was fast, and before Archie knew it he was caught before he got into Petalburg Woods. Kalmin did an excellent job choosing the admins for Team Aqua when he was appointed. There were six of them, and they all gave him their absolute loyalty. Two had been tracking Archie already, and a third was sent as soon as Archie began to go off his mission. Somehow he managed to avoid being seen when he stranded the professors, but he didn’t manage getting away.
The last Maxie heard, he was caught, tortured for information, and then tied up and thrown into the ocean when he wouldn’t speak.
Thankfully Maxie knew all of this, and was able to ponder over how he might be able to escape if need be. There was no doubt at least one Team Aqua admin following him already. He was given the job two days ago to look around and find the professors. Once he found them he was supposed to report back to Kalmin, which he just did. Now it was a matter of getting the egg, which had a purpose still unknown to him.
He made it back to his room in the Oldale Pokémon Center and checked his disguise. A wig a dark, curly hair covered each strand of his usual fiery red hair, and fake glasses did a near perfect job keeping his face unrecognizable. His brown coat and dark pants and briefcase made him look like a business man just passing through.
It would have to hold out for just a little longer, however. Rain was already falling outside, and soon enough it should become enough of a storm to make tracking him almost impossible. If he could get to the professors, steal the egg, and make his getaway off the other side of the route, it might just work…
Maxie entered his room that he paid for in the Oldale Pokémon Center. He paced around the room angrily, throwing his hands in the air and slamming his fist onto the wooden desk in the room a few times. He wore a dark suit and thick, rectangular glasses. A wig of black hair covered his natural hair to prevent people from recognizing the Team Magma leader.
He wanted so badly to escape Kalmin. He needed to escape. The man that had murdered Maxie’s former rival Archie and subsequently took over Team Aqua made him so enraged. From his research Maxie figured out that Kalmin had charmed his way into Team Aqua, and after getting close to Archie he killed him. Kalmin took over Team Aqua, which most people thought wasn’t very smart of him, but after he began putting his plan into motion everyone listened to him.
Luckily for Maxie, Archie was the only one who knew Maxie was the leader of the villainous Team Magma. Maxie used this and secretly joined Team Aqua to get information on Kalmin’s secret plan. What enraged him so much was that it was five months since he joined and he still didn’t know what Kalmin was plotting. Maxie started doing meager missions with everyone else, but once he proved himself Kalmin took notice in him and gave him harder missions. These took longer and required Maxie to temporarily put one of his newest - but best - Admins in charge of the team.
It was a blessing for Maxie honestly. Ever since Okmis showed up Team Magma had been doing so much better in their efforts to expand the land of Hoenn. Okmis succeeded in numerous jailbreaks with the accomplices on the team, and they had hundreds of thousands of dollars to show for it. No police force could hold Team Magma with Okmis leading the crime – not for long anyways.
Maxie could feel his efforts beginning to pay off though. Kalmin seemed to be somewhat happier lately - if that was even possible. Now instead of giving Maxie a mission and waiting for him to finish it, Kalmin checked in on him and sometimes left little bits of his master plan to slip through in conversations. So far Maxie figured it had something to do with the new - and slightly strange - weather patterns arising all around Hoenn; Kalmin once said something about the bizarre weather indicating something was coming. Maxie had no idea what it exactly was, but it seemed to be the thing that could really kick-start everything.
He started to think of how much Kalmin was annoying him again, and decided he should go out for a walk to clam himself. He left his Pokémon Center room that he’d booked a few days ago – he silently thanked himself, seeing as how the Pokémon Center had quickly filled with trainers as the approaching storm progressed - and walked into the lobby.
In the five minutes he had spent in his room the lobby of the Pokémon Center had filled a whole lot. At least thirty or more new kids were filling the old red couches that were around the large lobby. Behind a dull yellow counter, a woman with bright pink hair that looped down like large earrings was spazzing out trying to settle some of the upset trainers; most of them had just come in and needed their Pokémon healed, but with the number of Pokémon being healed already over the maximum capacity, she could not help them. Maxie smirked at her crazed, overworked expression.
The other trainers huddled around some of the single chairs around the Center, waiting for their Pokémon to finish being healed and for the storm to pass. Rain pelted against the roof of the Center, letting everyone know that the worst of the storm was proceeding outside.
Maxie walked passed the electronic glass doors in the front of the Pokémon Center. He glanced outside to see how bad the storm was. He only caught a slight glimpse of it, however, as two trainers came crashing inside, right into him. They all toppled over onto the tiled flooring. Luckily, Maxie’s disguise remained in tact.
“Yo, watch where you’re going,” one of the trainers said, standing up. His hand was against his head, probably from when it collided with Maxie’s. He helped the other trainer up and brushed off his pants, which were an unusual purple color, and almost skin tight.
“Dominik, you’re such a gentleman, helping me up like that,” the girl said seductively.
“Yeah, yeah,” he responded nonchalantly.
In a matter of seconds, two more trainers burst through the doors, knocking Maxie, Dominik, and Blair into one large heap on the floor. A few chatting trainers turned to see what was going on, but just went back to what they were doing.
“What the- GET OFF OF ME, YOU FREAK!” Dominik shouted, shoving Cole of him. A few trainers looked over again, but this time they watched what was unfolding.
Cole rolled over, a bi t dazed at what was going on. He looked up and saw Kira on he feet holding out a hand to help him up. He grabbed it and was pulled upwards. Dominik and Blair stood with Maxie, facing Kira and Cole. They were all now covered with a thin layer of water, though Cole and Kira had a lot more pepper-patterned dots on their clothing than the others.
“Nice going,” Blair sneered, “I could’ve been really hurt.”
“Aw, I know what you mean,” Kira abruptly, “your mouth could’ve actually stopped working. I know that no one would want that.”
Blair turned her head away from the other girl, her amber hair flowing in the air. Everyone waited in silence for someone to ask the question that lingered on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Eyes flickered between Maxie, the three soon-to-be trainers, and Blair.
“Well, this is certainly uncomfortable,” Maxie said, stating the obvious.
“No sh*t,” mumbled Dominik.
“Nothing,” Dominik mumbled again.
“Um, not to be rude or anything, but who are you?” Kira asked carefully, not wanting to annoy their guest.
“I’m terribly sorry, where are my manners?” Maxie stifled a laugh and acted as if he wasn’t angry and was a businessman, “I am Max-” he stopped quickly, realizing he almost used his real name “…I’m Maxwell.”
“Oh. Well, I’m Kira, and this is Cole,” Kira said, motioning to the boy beside her. Cole gave a friendly wave, which made him feel uncomfortably awkward. “We’re from Littleroot,” Kira added.
“You don’t say.” Maxie sounded surprised. “Well, I’m from Lilycove and I came here to see Professor Birch. I had a few things I needed to ask him.”
“Really?” Kira rushed in front of him and grabbed the man’s hands without even realizing it. “Do you know where he is? I really need to talk to him – he was supposed to give me my Starter Pokémon a while ago, but never did.”
Maxie contemplated at this. These trainers needed their beginning Pokémon, which meant them having to search for the Professor. He already knew that the girl named Blair owned a Swellow – he saw it leave after he stranded the Professors out in the lake – and that would only make them find them faster.
“I know where they are,” he told them finally. He thought of the consequences Kalmin could possibly have if he failed this mission, but realized the man wouldn’t find out unless Maxie actually told him he took a few kids to the Professor, and that was something he definitely didn’t plan on doing. Besides, if these kids didn’t find the man they could possibly call the police and tell them of Birch’s disappearance. That meant more of a chance of Maxie being figured out.
“You do?! You have to take us to them!” Kira pleaded.
“Uh, sure. I’d be glad to,” Maxie said nonchalantly.
“THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!” Kira shouted. She wrapped her arms around Maxie. “When can you take us to them, Maxwell?”
“Anytime after the storm lets up,” he said coolly, walking over to one of the white couches to sit down and relax. He needed some time to think about what he would do when they went to see the Professors.
Kalmin’s plan seemed so pointless and not even worth the trip to Oldale.
Do these kids have anything to do with Kalmin’s plans? Maxie thought for a minute. He then decided that was probably the most dumbest thing he could assume at this point. Maxie laughed at himself silently. Yeah right it would matter if these kids got a few Pokémon from Professor Birch.
But he couldn’t be more wrong.
[THREE DAYS AGO – Magma HQ; Commander Kalmin’s Office]
Maxie walked across the metallic-like flooring in his commander’s office of the Team Aqua Headquarters. He wore a black shirt with red trim around the edges. His pants were the same style and they made quiet noises as they rubbed together while he walked. Both of his shoes clacked against the hard floor, making his presence obvious to Kalmin.
The leader of Team Aqua sat at his desk that was situated straight across from the metal door leading into the room. He was in a large, black leather chair that was behind the desk. His face was down while he wrote something on a piece of paper, though he managed to mutter, “What is it Maxie?”
Despite his calm and somewhat-professional attitude, Maxie actually felt slightly cowardly walking up to Kalmin. He swallowed hard and stammered, “Well I actually, um, I finished the mission you gave me yester- er, other day.”
“Ah, so you finally located the man I‘ve been looking for.” Kalmin’s tone was harsh but his voice remained to sound melodic at the same time.
“Y-y-yes, I did,” Maxie spit out. His voice didn’t seem to be calmed enough to talk right yet.
The chair Kalmin was in swooped around to the side in one, swift motion. Kalmin swiped his fingers along the side of his head, brushing them against his navy blue hair; not too long ago his hair had been down to his shoulders, and now that he cut it short he still made motions to run his hands through it despite there being nothing there to run his hands through.
“Well, where is he?”
“Er- what?” Maxie was actually startled by this since he was entranced by how stern Kalmin was at the moment.
“Okmis!” the commander shouted, “Where is he?!”
“Oh, um, sorry,” Maxie quickly through out, “he was in Lavaridge, then I followed him to Meteor Falls. I stationed two of our grunts there and came back to report to you.”
Kalmin sighed and responded, “Figures… he knows just as much as I do.” Kalmin paused and seemed to think about something. He shook his head in frustration and then continued. “Anyway, I’ve got a new mission for you.”
Great, Maxie thought, what’s his Stupid Pointless Annoying Mission now?
“Of course, Commander,” Maxie said, awaiting his boss’s command.
“I want you to go to Littleroot,” the commander said in a chilling voice. “Professor Elm from the Johto region is visiting the Professor of this region. I need you to temporarily kidnap them and put them somewhere.”
“Wait, why?” Maxie asked. “Don’t you want me to follow this… Okmis-” Maxie hoped he heard the name correctly when Kalmin had shouted it before “-guy to his next hiding place?”
“No no, I can handle that for now.”
“Stall the Professors for as long as possible. There are some kids that will be going to his Lab soon looking for Pokémon, and the longer it takes them to receive what they want the more successful our plans will be.”
Maxie tried to think of what these kids could possibly have to do with Kalmin’s plan.
“But that doesn’t make any sense-”
“Just do it.”
And with that, Kalmin gave Maxie one last stern glare and left the room.
“We’re off! We’re off! We’re off to get Pokémon! We’re off! We’re off! We’re off to get Pokémon!” Kira sang into the breezy air.
She and the others – Cole, Dominik, and Blair – we’re following Maxie, who was content with what he was doing. He knew that Kalmin would have a hissy fit when he returned to their base off the coast of Lilycove, but he figured he could find a way around the situation.
“Someone’s a little excited,” Maxie forced a laugh.
“Of course I am! I’ve been waiting for this day forever!” Kira nearly screamed into the misty air. Then she started to make up a thank you song for Maxie: “THAAAANK YOOUUUU, MAXWELLL! FOREVER AM I IN YOUR DEBT! THAAANK YOUU-”
“Shut up!” yelled Blair.
“Or what?!” Kira yelled back. “Why don’t you get your bubby-wubby to make me?”
“Why don‘t you get your bubby-wubby to make me,” mimicked Blair. “Just SHUT UP.”
Kira simply stuck her tongue out and waved a sweat-jacket sleeve at her. Once again, Cole managed to get Kira to put on his hoodie, which was a few sizes too big. It didn’t take very long for Kira to put it on once Dominik offered his, which was immediately snatched away from his hands by Blair when Kira slipped into Cole’s.
Dominik shivered as they walked through Route 103. A little layer of mist lingered around them as a reminiscent of the storm; a breeze had also stayed around. It made the blades of grass wave around and dance with the trees. Kira giggled and began dancing with them. She put both arms above her head and waved around.
“What the hell are you doing?” Blair asked, annoyed already. She felt like tackling her.
“I’m dancing with nature!” Kira began to sing merrily.
“Well, it looks like you’re trying to be a sperm,” Blair grumbled, shrinking further into the jacket. The skater jacket was (of course) huge, like all other skater jackets. White and black stripes went under the “Rebel Sneasel” logo printed in gray on the chest area. Cole remembered seeing the popular skater brand’s logo printed everywhere in Johto - the company that made the brand was in Goldenrod City. It didn’t take long for Cole to already dislike the Sneasel posing on the sweatshirt, one long S-shaped scar under its eye as the trademark for the brand.
“Hey, I’d rather be a joyful sperm cell than a cold-hearted Es-ki-mo!” Kira’s voice rang, happy as can be, breaking apart the work ‘Eskimo’ to make it sound like she was singing it.
“That’s IT!” Blair shouted. She madly ran up to Kira, fists waving through the air. Chivalrous as could be, Dominik stepped into Blair’s pathway. He tried to act tough as he took a few blows to the chest from the screaming girl.
“OK!” Kira shouted. “BRING IT!”
She also raised two fists into the air. She tried to get around Dominik, who was now trying to stop both girls from reaching each other.
“OH, I’LL BRING IT ALRIGHT!” Blair lunged at her opponent, only to be held back by Dominik.
“Your mom can bring it better than that!” Kira tried to instigate as Blair forced Dominik out of the way.
“Shouldn’t we do something?” Maxie asked, looking frightfully towards Cole.
“I‘d really rather not,” Cole said. He shrugged and sat down to watch the ongoing fight with sardonic amusement.
“OH, YEAH?” Blair’s voice shrieked across the area, causing Taillow and other bird-like Pokémon to flee into the sky. “Well your mom‘s so fat that when she sat on the rainbow she made Skittles come out!”
“What the? That’s not even part of our argument!”
And with that, the two had at it.
[ABOUT FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER]
The group began walking again when Dominik had given up when Kira managed to get Blair’s hands behind her back and Blair’s face into a puddle of mud. When that had been done, Kira let go of Blair walked next to Cole, ducking behind him every few minutes in case of a Blair-attack. But every time Kira looked in her direction, she merely saw her trying to ring the mud out of her amber-colored hair. She tried to avoid it from touching her clothing, but got tired of holding her hair and let the mud smear on the back of her shirt and shoulders.
“This is so exciting! My heart won’t stop pounding, I’m so nervous,” Kira said to Cole. He nodded and kept on walking. He didn’t really feel like talking, or much less know what to say.
“I want a Mudkip!” Kira piped up shortly after. “They’re so cute and adorable!”
“Don’t act all happy-go-lucky,” Blair sneered, “the Professor doesn’t always have the Pokémon you want. Plus, if he did, I know I would get the Mudkip.”
“YOU?” Kira repeated, befuddled.
“Of course,” Blair said, flinging a strand of hair over her shoulder, “Mudkip and I are perfect for each other.”
“Too bad the Professor won’t give a Pokémon to somebody who already has one. But still, I guess it would fit you, seeing as how you’re covered in mud,” Kira jeered.
“What did you say?!”
“Oh you heard me!”
“Not again…” Dominik moaned. Although, this time he had an idea.
“Now we can answer finally the question ‘How much mud does it take to cover a prostitute?’” Kira interjected.
Before Blair had a chance to make a move towards her, Dominik’s idea came into play.
“Hey Blair, I’m getting kind of cold,” he said, making the best puppy dog face he could muster, “Can you stay close to me and keep me warm?”
“THE HELL I WOU- wou- …would love to!” she screeched, latching herself to his arm and snuggling up next to him. “I’ll keep you nice and warm, baby, don’t worry.”
Kira made a loud gagging noise.
“Oh look, she finally choked on her ego,” Blair snickered. She squeezed Dominik’s arm tighter.
“We’re here!” Maxie half-cheered.
“Finally!” Cole grunted. He was getting tired of the bickering and fighting, no matter how much it somewhat amused him.
The new scenery captivated all five of them, even though Maxie had seen it all before.
“Maxwell…this is BEAUTIFUL!” Kira hesitantly took a step forward. She couldn’t believe what was in front of her eyes.
The grass that had once brushed against her legs now barely reached a few inches above the bottom of her shoe. But it wasn’t the length of the grass that made her hesitant to walk on it – it was its color. Vibrant shades of green burst over the cleared area, smoothly covering the ground and not letting any dirt show through. To the left was a lake that looked like it went on for miles, sparkling with beauty the whole way.
“Where are the Professors?” Blair complained, “We don’t have all day for Dommy to get a Pokémon.”
“Yeah, where are they?” Cole didn’t care as much, but he figured if they came all this way, he might as well get something out of it.
“Oh, out there.” Maxie pointed towards the center of the captivating lake.
“How are we supposed to-” Kira began, but was stopped by Maxie’s when he lifted two Pokéballs from the inside of his coat pocket and threw them into the chilly air.
The Pokéballs each snapped open, surges of flashing light bursting into the scene. As quickly as they came out of the Pokéballs, the bright energy began to form themselves. The energy elongated, growing much larger than any of the humans watching in awe. As fins and other bodily part protruded from the flashing light, two twin serpentine Pokémon appeared in the lake. It only took a few seconds for the Pokémon to form, but no one spoke for at least a few minutes.
The Pokémon waited for their trainer to order them. Their blue bodies glistened with water while they swam in the pristine lake. Kira studied their faces – one large fin protruded from each side of both Pokémon’s faces and a three-pronged “crown” sat above the intimidating eyes on both, as well. She noticed while both Pokémon swam around that they both had a long whisker dangling on either side of the mouths. The fact of the matter was that one of them had pure white whiskers while the other had whiskers the color of its cerulean skin.
“Gyarados,” Maxie said, knowing he answered the main question of what type of Pokémon he had sent out.
“Nice,” Cole managed to say. The image of the two deathly-terrifying Gyarados swimming in front of him gave him the chills. If both of these Gyarados could easily swim in this lake, who knew what other kinds of Pokémon lingered around the bottom, waiting for some unlucky person to slip underwater.
“Humpf, I’ve seen better,” huffed Dominik.
“Like when?” Kira asked him. “How could you have seen better when we’re going to get out first Pokémon right this minute?”
“Well…” Dominik had no idea what to say, “…I…I, um…you know…on TV and stuff.”
“Riiiiight,” Kira smirked, pleased with herself.
“Can we go already?” Blair complained, “I’m freezing my *** of waiting for you guys to get over the shock of seeing such a lame Pokémon.”
“Yes, we should get going,” agreed Maxie, looking toward the sky. More clouds covered the sky above them. It didn’t make much difference – when there weren’t any clouds above them the sky just looked a dull gray anyway. “I don’t want to get caught in another storm.”
Maxie ushered for the trainers to follow him. He held up a hand towards his Pokémon and they immediately stopped what they were doing. When Maxie and the others stood at the waters edge the Gyarados turned the opposite way and lowered themselves so that the soon-to-be-trainers – and Maxie – could climb onto their backs.
“We have to ride them?!” Blair shrieked in disgust.
“No,” said Kira happily, “We get to ride them!”
[A FEW MINUTES LATER]
Blair had refused to ride on either Gyarados, saying that she should not have to travel on an oversized snake through a lake. So, she decided to use her Swellow instead and now traveled through the air, having Swellow follow the Gyarados.
Before everyone – except for Blair – boarded the Pokémon, Kira made sure to ask why one Gyarados had blue whiskers and why the other had white. At first he just stared at her like she was joking, but told her that some Pokémon have what’s known as Gender Differences, and that all female Gyarados have white whiskers while the male have blue. Once the difference was distinguished, Kira gladly chose to travel on Maxie’s female Gyarados. Cole was also quick to decide to ride on the female, making Dominik go with Maxie on the male.
The female Gyarados gracefully swam behind her male counterpart despite her large size and intimidating look. Kira looked around the whole entire lake, gasping when she would spot a Pokémon in the water or jumping off of the large rock formations that lined the edges of the lake. Cole didn’t recognize very many of them, as he really only knew Pokémon that lived in Johto. But still, his mother was always so cautious about everything that he didn’t know very many Johto Pokémon either.
“This is so nice,” Kira sighed. She lay on her back, hands behind her head, looking at the sky. Her amber hair slowly swayed from side to side in the blowing breeze.
Cole just stared at her, his own hair blowing around in the breeze. He had his back towards the Gyarados’s neck, or what you call a neck. He could see everything that they passed. The spot at which they’d started was off in the distance, the only land Cole knew of for miles. Kira smiled at a flock of passing Taillow. The meager black birds flew with ease in the sky. They knew the rain was coming and they did not want to be caught in it. They squawked and flapped their wings madly, trying to fly far enough away. Cole smiled too, watching the flock of Taillows’ white underbelly flying away.
Kira’s head fell to the side. Cole saw her move in his peripheral vision as he stared at the Pokémon that were now tiny dots in the cloudy sky.
“I dunno why, but I love the weather right now,” Kira said to him when he shifted his gaze into hers. “Everything seems peaceful, if that even makes sense.”
“Actually…it kind of does. Like before it rains, it seems like all the wild Pokémon just disappear and all the tension between them goes away. Same with people – when we know that it’s going to rain we focus on avoiding it.” Cole smiled again. He liked it when he could just sit and talk to Kira, without any distractions like Blair to interfere. Kira noticed that Cole wasn’t really smiling because of the peaceful moment – he was smiling because he was looking at her. She blushed and shifted her gaze into the sky again.
Cole did the same, but he wasn’t really focusing on what he was looking at. Kira did the same, just letting her eyes roam from one thing to another. Oddly enough, they both began to hear a noise – a faint, distinct noise, almost like echoing. As the next couple of minutes passed, the noise grew louder and both teenagers started to look for the source from which it came. Both could barely make out what it was saying: “Help.”
“There they are!” Maxie shouted from the other Gyarados.
Kira and Cole both hesitantly stood up and looked around. Just off to the side, on a piece of land no bigger than a full bathroom, were two men in lab coats.
One of them had spiky brown hair and a pair of long, oval glasses. His lab coat was short, only coming down to his waist. His khaki pants were soaked, as were his navy shirt and lab coat, all of which had splotches of mud on them. He looked scrawny, and young too.
The other was not scrawny at all. His large and bulky body stood out much better than the man beside him did. His hair color was the same, but it was longer and almost formed a mullet of the back of his head.