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Thread: Pokemon Blak:The True Tale of Kanto[PG-13]

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    Default Pokemon Blak:The True Tale of Kanto[PG-13]CHAPTER 4 IS UP

    So, here's the deal. I'm big on writing and I love me some Pokemans, but I write more serious stories. I don't usually get into fanfic, but I was bored one evening and came up with this. It's essentially a Pokemon Red Blue story retelling with element from the anime and the games.

    But, I'm a pretty picky guy. I only write stories I'm motivated to write, and by that I mean I have support, and people asking for deadlines. This is a condensed prologue, which will be expanded upon -if- you guys want more. Then I'll continue on the story til the end. I have an outline setup so there is no sudden story changes or anything--I know what I'm doing. So, if you like what you see, post here and let me know. Inspire me. Thanks.

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    PROLOGUE

    The sun was setting on a small town in the southern Kanto region. The rustling of the grass slowed with the falling light, making way for glowing bright eyes beyond the trees and the more sinister whispers of the wind. The only light remaining as the sun finally left the sky came from the windows of a home solely occupied by a single mother and her son. Inside, the busy woman worked hastily at the dishes, eager to sleep after her long, exhausting day. Her long black hair complimented her darker skin complexion, and her sleeveless blouse and jeans implied a somewhat laid back woman. Her green eyes were deep pools, reaching down as far as her years. Her eyes reflected in the full sinks created a mirror image of depth. Dishes piled on forever, but eventually the stacks lessened and she slumped into a chair, exhausted. A rag in one hand and glass of water in the other, she sighed exasperatedly and tossed the rag back, taking a deep gulp of water. As she leaned forward onto the wooden table, her eyes turned to a ball on the smooth surface. The ball, red and white, was split in the middle with some sort of button for triggering the device. It was a Poké Ball, used to capture and contain Pokémon.

    I shouldn't have dragged that out...but with Red going...I just had to think things through she thought as she frowned down at the amazing contraption in her hands. She pressed the button, knowing what to expect. Nothing. The ball did nothing, same as always, locked up for whatever reason. She had even had Oak examine it, but all he could do was try to scan it. The test results simply said that it contained no known Pokémon and was apparently empty. But...since it was a gift from him, his last gift to their family, she had kept it.

    The mother closed her eyes sadly. Her son was leaving and she would be all alone...but more importantly, Red would be all alone. Now that he was leaving, she had no control. I've always tried to protect him, but now... she thinks, remembering a handsome face.

    She smiled, not noticing the hair-thin tear sliding down her face.

    Suddenly, a sound from the room above caught her ear. A small crash and the barely audible echo of a very enthusiastic announcer told her two things. One, he had fixed the television. Two, Red had finally crossed over her boundaries. I told him to go to bed early tonight. Birthday or not, he needs to get up early tomorrow...ooooohhh...he thinks just because he's sixteen now he doesn't have to listen to his mother! she thought angrily. She scooted up her chair quickly as she stood up, marching up the stairs with deliberate noise. She heard a panicked intake of air as he quickly tried to turn off everything and get in bed. Does he think I'm that stupid?

    When she got to the top of the stairs, she opened the door with a resounding thwack! and pointed at her son, who had his finger on the power button, stopping cold.

    "Oh, mom, um...what are you still doing up?" he asked, trying to play innocent feebly. Her son sat up with his legs tucked in, black hair falling over his eyes a bit. His clothes were wrinkled badly, a black t-shirt with a red and white vest, while his jeans were torn and frayed, giving the impression of every rebellious teenage kid.

    "What am I doing up!? Look at you! You're up late before the big day watching TV with no clothes washed, and all your belongings unpacked! What are you thinking, Red...?" she countered exasperatedly, rubbing her temples. "Oh...I guess it's okay.” she said, calming down. “This time.”

    Red let out a sigh of relief and straightened his hat.

    “Just, go to sleep. I'll take your clothes and wash them tonight, you just throw your stuff together and go to bed," she sighed, grabbing some of the clothes on the floor and making her way out of the room.

    "Mom..."

    "Yes, Red?" she questioned, starting and turning her head around to answer him.

    "Hey, I'm sorry. Thanks for helping," he began, looking at her seriously, "I'm just really psyched, you know? I want to be really good...the best. And I'm really glad you're not complaining about letting me go. "

    Smiling, his mother turned around just outside the door.
    "I was kind of hoping you'd go for..." she said jokingly, "but I... sixteen years old-- just, go to sleep, okay?" With an tiny squint and a sparkle of her emerald eyes, she closed the door just as a piece of clothing drops.

    Red smiled back and sighed as she shut it, grabbing his things lazily. He laid back in bed, pulling his baseball cap over his smiling face.

    The mother sighed, making her way down the stairs. She weaved through the kitchen, picking up the red-white ball on the table and going out to the deck, leaning on the rail. She looked up at the moon, closed her eyes and smiled to herself.

    He's grown up so fast, and he's so like you...would you be proud? Or would you be...?

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    Light slid across the foot of Red's bed, streaming from the moonlight peeking through his windows. He laid back on his bed, thinking.

    I know that a new trainer gets a rare Pokémon from far away...but I've never seen them before. I hope the one I get is a good one.

    His mother opened the door downstairs, and Red heard her make her way to her bedroom. A frown twitched onto his lips.

    She's been acting kind of odd lately. I guess she's upset that I'm leaving here. But I can't stay here forever...nah. Think about it later. Time for sleep.

    Red tugs his hat further down.

    I'm going to be even better than my old man.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------{END PROLOGUE}-


    CHAPTER 1

    Red awoke to booming thunderclaps and the hard sound of raindrops pelting the house with soft strokes to the roof. He almost decided on going back to sleep, too dazed to remember the prospects of the coming day. Fevered dreams chased him through his half-sleep, until eventually, he remembered the previous evening, and jerked upwards, taking a deep waking breath and running a hand across his face and through his untidy black hair. Rubbing his eyes, he turned to the clock sleepily. Six o' clock. Pushing it, but just fine considering his history. The house was strangely quiet for this morning, as normally he could already hear his mother bustling about downstairs. Red got up sloppily, palms hitting either side of his thin frame onto the mattress.

    Time to get up. No procrastinating he thought determinedly. I've been waiting for this day a long time, when I finally become a licensed battler. He swung his legs over the bed, hopping up and beginning to get dressed, going over his attire like a checklist. Black shirt, check. Red jacket, check...

    A knock on the door.

    Red finished buckling his belt and opened the door for his mother, who leaned into the room, turning to him and said, “Red, I don't know if you should be going out in this weather, maybe you should-”

    “No Mom, it'll be fine. I planned to leave today, and that's what I'm going to do,” stated Red firmly, cutting her off. He loads a last few things into his large pack, jerking it into place on his back. He opened the door, walking down the familiar carpeted staircase right past his mother, not looking back once. The living room where he played as a child, now bare of the random playthings and mess strewn about, is ignored. His parents' bedroom where he used to sleep when he was scared received no extra thought. His mother followed behind him quickly, concerned, but most of all, unwilling to let go.

    “Red, don't you want to stay for breakfast?” she asks, keeping with his quick pace as they entered the kitchen, a brightly lit room with a single wooden table and a few chairs. A refrigerator stood next to the stove and oven, where there was food sizzling unattended.

    “Not hungry.” he said. She hastened her pace and shot her hand forward to grab his.

    "Stay a bit? Before heading out?" They stopped at the entry, his mother looking at him thoughtfully with strained eyes.

    Sighing, Red dropped his backpack to the floor, at his feet. “Fine. Fine, Mom. We'll sit down and have breakfast.” he snapped. His mother stared at him, hurt. “No, no. Let's do it,” he said, his eyes lost below the shadow of his hat's rim. He pulled up a chair with a screech and sat with both his arms down in front of him, overlapped.

    Nervously, his mother went to to the stove where she had been cooking eggs on a skillet with some toast and bacon. She kept looking back at Red, as if to make sure he hadn't disappeared. As she finished, she loaded her labor onto a plate for him, and laid it in front of him. He stared at her in total silence, and as soon as she opened her mouth, he knew what it was about.

    “Maybe you shouldn't-”

    “I knew you would try this. I just, well, I should have known. I tried, really tried to be nice last night, but this is the last I'm gonna hear of it. I am sixteen now. You can't stop me just because you're worried. This is my life.”

    “You'll be all on your own! But you could be hurt! You could get killed!”

    “I DON'T CARE!” Red yelled back at his mother, locking eyes with her. “I can take care of myself.”

    “Red, I-”

    No. No. You can't keep me here because of Rocket. You can't keep me here because of him. Or because of you.”

    She lurched to grab his shoulder, salted streams starting to trail from her eyes, and grasped him firmly.

    “Red...the news today. The Rocket syndicate attacked Saffron, it's been completely run over. You're still young, it's too dangerous! I've been keeping you here for a reason!”

    Red stopped, looking down, not facing her. “I've been trapped here, for most of my life. Trapped. And wasted. I don't want to stay here, I want to go out and make my own life.”

    He turned, put an arm on her shoulder. “Please see reason,” said Red, trying to be calm, “I want my own life, out in the world. I know that dad is gone. And I miss him too. But I'll come back. I promise.”

    “Well the thing is, Red...he said that too. I don't want you to go.”

    Red turned from her. He grabbed a piece of toast and bit down on it as he moved, ignoring any recollection of the time spent here. He looked back, and said with a touch of venom, “I've had enough. I'm not staying here anymore.” He refused even to look her in the eye. Quickly, he hoisted up his bags again, and opened the door to a symphony of rain.

    In the living room, the television was showing a movie, as four boys began a walk along a winding railroad...

    He took a few steps outside, standing in the torrent for just a moment, raindrops flowing down his face and off of his protruding hat rim. The town was surrounded by wooded area, and little houses littered the hilltops, even some hanging off the slopes. The grass was not too long, but long enough to Bushes littered the ground as they pleased, rounding out the humble landscape. It was quite picturesque, but Red had long since stopped seeing the beauty in it. He needed a holiday. Far away, he could see his destination, wide and tall, the monolith of his ambition. Professor Oak's place of work, and the key to his departure. He closed his eyes and grinned, overwhelming ambition forcing him through it all, then stepped forward and began his long walk to the Oak Research and Development Center.

    His mother walked lightly to the door, with a face full of fresh new sorrow and a flood of tears to match the rain, yelling his name in desperate agony, standing just before the darkness and watching him as he walks away from his lifelong home, for the penultimate time.

    Red walked onward, now blind to the life behind him. The rain came down hard, splashing weight onto his shoulders. The soaking, however, did not bother him, as his foresight extended at least enough to get a water proof pack. The sun had only barely risen and even then, there wasn't much visible through the various clouds towering over the empty grass fields.

    A small disturbance to the right, a rusting of grass and an extra splattering of rain alerted him to the arrival of a friend. He turned around, walking backwards and scoping the area for his visitor...

    “Blue! I was wondering if we'd meet up!” Red yelled to him, waving enthusiastically.

    A young man began sprinting towards him, his black shirt and cargo pants completely soaked as well. His spiked brown hair drooped under the pressure of the downpour, despite the large umbrella in his hand. He caught up to Red, putting the umbrella over the both of them.

    “You idiot! You don't just go out in the rain like this without some cover, or at least a jacket!” he said, grinning widely at him as they continued their walk to the lab.

    “Look at you!” Red retorted, slapping his wet back with a thud.

    “Hey hey hey, it's been kinda windy...” he said, taking a faux defensive tone.

    “Nah, chill. It's good to see you,” joked Red as they began climbing a steep incline, “but, hey, did you check on your Gramps to see what kind of Pokémon we were gonna get?”

    Blue rummaged through one of his pockets for a laminated page, handing it to Red. “Be careful,” he said as he pushed it into his hands, “It's my only copy.”

    Red nodded, opening up the page to see what his first Pokémon may be. Three Pokémon appeared on the page: a Bulbasaur, a green dinosaur with red eyes and a giant green bulb on his back, Squirtle, a blue turtle Pokémon with a curled tail, and a Charmander, an orange lizard-like creature with a fiery tail. “These are pretty cool,” he said excitedly, handing the paper back to Blue, who unceremoniously shoved it into a different pocket. “Have you thought about which one you want?”

    “Squirtle, that's what I'm asking for. I read up on his evolution. He has giant cannons on his back.” he said, grinning.

    “That's just...awesome.” Red replied, laughing and grinning back. ”I want a Charmander, I think.”

    “Ha! You better hope you never battle me then. I'll put out his light before you even know we moved,” he taunted, punching his shoulder playfully.

    “Yeah right,” Red chuckled as they reached the top of the hill, where the monolith of the lab awaited.


    They entered through the double doors quickly, out of breath with their hands on their knees gasping for breath.

    The room was very clean and mostly white, with a tiled floor and Poké Ball-decorated wall, with lots of computers and monitors about. There were also many chairs lined up against the wall. It seemed to be a waiting room, but was empty.

    “Remind me...never to...race you in...the rain,” gasps Red between gulps of air.

    “Me...too!” says Blue, trying to laugh with his strained lungs.

    As they both caught their breath, a young man in a lab coat walked up to them. He looked at them through his large glasses nervously and seemed as if he wanted to say something. Red and Blue looked at him curiously, waiting for him to say something, anything. He stayed silent. They stared at each other for several moments.

    “Er...I'm...Professor Elm. Oak told me you boys were coming in today...um, follow me?” he asks, nervous—but energetic.

    Blue, seeming to recognize him, stood up fully and put a quick arm around him, then stepped back to shake his hand. “Elm, man, I haven't seen you in like eight years!” he exclaimed, looking around. “So, where's Gramps? I thought he was gonna be evaluating us today.”

    “Oh, he's, uh, back in the testing area, working on some project. They've got him working with the military now poor guy. I'm glad we don't have this sort of problem back in Johto,” he said, addressing the recent efforts of Rocket, a criminal organization that had escalated its efforts recently into all-out war. “You're lucky...they're considering closing the roads. The recent attacks on Saffron City have been very large scale. If this keeps up, they'll take the roads too.”

    A moment of uneasy silence swept them.

    “Well, that's Red, right? Come on over, I've heard a lot about you. They say both of you boys got full marks on the written exam.” he said, looking at them in approval.

    “Nah, that was Blue. I just kinda got through it,” mumbled Red, slightly embarrassed. “I don't do so well with tests.”

    “Well, let's hope you're better with practical tests than written ones, or you won't get a Pokémon today.” said Elm, putting his hands into his pockets. “Now, eh, follow me, and we'll get your Pokémon and begin the exam.”

    As Elm turned and began his stride, the boys smiled at each other and threw their bags onto the metal chairs, following closely behind Professor Elm. As they went through the Plexiglas doors, they entered into a long narrow hallway with various test chambers. Occasionally, Red looked through one of the frosted windows, seeing various men and women in white coats experimenting with Pokémon. Some were friendly, playing with the Pokémon and performing their work very gently; others were more methodical and calculating, and gave the creatures no special treatment.

    Professor Elm opens a door to his left, turning to them.

    “Ah! I almost forgot...we need to take your pictures, get your thumb prints. Standard procedure, promise.” he says, smiling nervously. The room is plain and white with a camera on a stand, a table, and a single chair. He steps aside to usher them in, setting Blue into a seat first. He goes back, adjusts, and takes the photo. Blue jams in his thumb and gets up, rolling his eyes at Elm as he drops the the remote mistakenly. Red shares a quick grin with him and plops down into the chair, putting on his best fake picture smile. The flash goes off and he too jams his thumb into the pad, holding it for second then getting up and walking back out. Elm drops the remote again, and Red and Blue give each other a look.

    “This guy is really jittery,” whispers Red, turning his head to Blue, “is he always like this?”

    Elm trips on the way out.

    “Yes.”

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

    Soon, they had reached the end of the hall, with a large LCD sign above the door that read “Testing Arena”.

    Testing...Arena? Red asked himself in his head, with a sudden jolt of realization. I wonder who I'm going to be facing...

    As they went through that last set of doors, Elm moved to the side and stood patiently, looking down the hall to the right. There was another hall going to the left and right and a window in front of them where the Arena loomed ahead, fairly massive and clean, with a Poké Ball design painted onto the floor.

    Then, a spattering of steps from the right. Red and Blue leaned over into the hall to look for the source of the sound, and found it.

    Professor Oak, though aging thoroughly, has not lost his life yet. He was tall, strong, and walked with determination, though his knotted hands and flabby face gave the impression of a man who had entered retirement. Though his body was old, his eyes were bright and full of energy. He smiled and waved at them, stopping before them with his arms behind his back.

    “Hello boys. How are you today? Ready to get your first Pokémon?” he asked, his smile cutting through his years.

    “Yes sir,” said Red, standing straight and proud. Blue followed similarly.

    “Well, there is...a bit of a problem, you see....” he muttered, frowning. “We were supposed to receive their Poké Balls this morning, but, we've received a call that the shipment was hijacked...by Rocket. They stole the truck and the Pokémon. Fortunately, they left the drivers alive, thank goodness...”

    Red and Blue's faces fell in a combination of disappointment and dread.

    “Yes, yes, Rocket is getting more and more bold all the time...unfortunate. For my research too, these government applications are eating up all my time,” he said, frustrated. “I didn't become a Pokémon Professor to help fight a war...but, I digress. I do still have two Pokémon, but it's all I have. You'll have to make due. Now, I don't want any hard feelings between you boys, so I'm not going to tell you what Pokémon is in there until you've chosen.”

    He held out two Poké Balls, saying, “Now boys, choose wisely. This Pokémon will doubtless be your partner for some time. Treat them with care if you want them to grow strong.”

    Red and Blue both looked at other, making faces.

    “Sucks that we don't really get to choose, but I guess it's better than no Pokémon at all, right?” joked Red, nodding towards Oak. “Go ahead, you choose first, it's your birthday.”

    “It's your birthday too, you twit,” he said, jabbing him, “but if that's how you want it...”

    He took the first Poké Ball, as Red grabbed the second.

    Red looked down at his happily. Yes! My first step to my new life, and this Pokémon will take me there!

    Red glanced back up to Blue, who began tossing his lightly. “So, Gramps...who got what here?”

    “You'll find out in a moment,” laughed Professor Oak, motioning them to follow and turning to walk down the hall, “you're going to have your first battle together.”

    Red and Blue look at each other, surprised. A spark of intensity flew between them, choking the air, but slowly they relaxed and smiled at each other. They both grabbed their brand new Poké Balls and clipped them onto their special belts, as was custom.

    “Time to see which of us is better then,” said Red, “Let's go.”

    Blue nodded, chasing after him down the hall as they entered the stadium.

    There were two sides to the stadium, and a place for each battler to stand. The orange floor was well taken care of and extremely reflective, reminding them of their presence with each step in the opposite direction. Professor Oak made his way across the stadium and up a set of stairs to a small glass booth where the examination table sits. Professor Elm walked in as well, taking a seat next to Oak at the examination chamber, pulling out pens and paper from their steel desks and writing down some basic information. Red and Blue stared each other down, both wondering the same thing. Which of us will win?

    There's no way I'm going to win this. He's way better than I am, and I still don't know what my Pokémon is. I'm willing to bet that no matter what Blue has, he'll know exactly how to use it...I can only hope for some sort of advantage thought Red, all traces of a smile gone. This was his first battle. He knew the rules, he knew the many mechanics, but he didn't know if it would be enough.

    Red might be tough. He's always been a slacker, but he thinks fast. I probably have a better idea of what I'm doing than he does, but he's got quick wits. Our first battle...not something I can say I was looking forward to. Oh what the hell, I'm lying.

    “Now, the rules of this examination are very simple. This will be a one-on-one match with no time limit. The first battler to run out of Pokémon will be the loser. You may release your Pokémon at this time.”

    Red and Blue moved at almost the exact same time, grabbing their PokeBalls and holding them high in the air, holding the center button tight, then releasing them, rolling quickly and opening. A red flare shot out from the opening, assembling their Pokémon in front of their eyes.

    “Battler Red has opened with a Psyduck!” announced Oak using the microphone in the booth, and indicating the Pokémon. It was small, barely up to Red's knees, yellow and round with a small tuft of black hair in the back of it's head. It wagged its tail vigorously and held its head as if suffering some sort of headache. It had a large bill and blank, confused eyes. It looked back at Red, cocking its head curiously, and regarded its new trainer.

    Red looked at it, disappointed. He had read about Psyduck. They were prone to strong headaches and often were hindered by them. There goes my chances...

    “And Battler Blue has opened with a Growlithe!” announced Oak, smiling. Once again, he indicated the Pokémon, which was now running around Blue and yapping playfully. It had an orange and black striped body with tufts of gold-tan fur and a cute puppy face. Suddenly, it noticed Red's Psyduck and growled menacingly, losing the cute face. Psyduck panics, taking a few steps back.

    This is exactly the kind of advantage I needed. Growlithe is a Fire-type, so he's going to take a lot more damage from my attacks. I just have to land enough... thinks Red, concentrating hard to remember his studies.

    Well... thought Blue, that's luck of the draw for ya...

    “It seems there's some tension on the field...” noted Oak, “Very well. You may begin!”

    “Go, Growlithe! Burn him out!” commanded Blue, the Growlithe instantly charging at Psyduck, firing ranged bursts of flame from his open mouth. Psyduck scattered, dodging flare bursts haphazardly. The flame jets dissipated as they hit the walls, which proved to be flame-retardent. Growlithe continued to confidently advance, launching fire at would-be escape routes, trying to corner him. He jumped about as he fired,, finally skidding to a halt where he thought he had cornered Psyduck. Finally, after the initial shock of the sudden start, Red began to call the shots.

    “Psyduck, aim a Water Gun at him!” he ordered, pointing determinedly at the skidding Growlithe. Psyduck opened his mouth and sprayed a high-pressure blast of cool water, colliding instantly and swirling into steam with Growlithe's reaction, a burst of flame. The clouds of steam made it hard to see what was going on, wisping slowly through the air. Their silhouettes were barely visible.

    “Psyduck! Scratch!” yelled Red, as the Pokémon rushed forward and placed a well-aimed blow across the Growlithe's cheek, knocking him against the orange tile floor harshly, then landed and shifted back a few feet, growling angrily.

    Above, Oak and Elm both watched carefully as the battle unfolded, taking precise notes.

    “Take Down!” called out Blue. Growlithe quickly nodded to affirm the command, and took a wider stance, suddenly rushing at Psyduck. In a wild tackle, he slammed into Psyduck, apparently hurting himself in the process. Psyduck went flying, bouncing off the reflective floor several times before landing at Red's feet.

    “No, Psyduck...get up!” pleaded Red, crouching down to him, “Come on!”

    Psyduck slowly got up, pretty bruised, but eyes slanting into new determination He pulled his arms back, narrowing his eyes. Red watched, surprised.

    “Tackle him Growlithe!” ordered Blue, looking over the scene. His speed's not bad, but he's very confused. I don't think he'll be able to take a direct attack.

    As the Growlithe skidded back from the force of the slam, he pounced at Psyduck, crashing him into the floor, leaving a small crack in the arena tile. Psyduck held his head in agony as he laid there, another stronger headache causing him not to resist. Growlithe pinned him down hard.

    “Finish it off with Ember!” Blue shouted, standing firm, assured of his victory.

    Growlithe pulled back his head, taking a deep breath. Flames began to swirl to life in his mouth...

    Red panicked, yelling, “Water Gun, Scratch, Psyduck, do something!” to no response. He angrily held his head in his hand, ruffling his hair.

    Wait...that's it! The headache! Psyduck has psychic powers intensified by headaches! he remembered, smirking suddenly.

    Blue stepped back, sure that Red had a plan.

    “Psyduck...use Confusion!”

    Psyduck's eyes glowed bright blue, emanating a wispy teal aura. Growlithe stopped in mid-breath, seemingly frozen. Then, chaos. He jumped off of Psyduck, running in circles and firing flames randomly, his movements dizzy and uncoordinated. Psyduck got up, eyes no longer glowing. It seemingly was not even aware of what had just happened. He cocked his head again.

    “Psy...?”

    Red slapped a palm to his face, bringing it down across his face. Great. He doesn't know what he's doing at all. Hopefully he can carry out this one.

    “Psyduck, end it with another Water Gun!” directed Red, making another gesture at the Growlithe tripping dizzily across the floor.

    Obediently, Psyduck opened his mouth and launched another powerful jet of water, hitting Growlithe head on, who was forced back, spinning, and landed on his stomach. Slowly, he tried to get up, but collapsed, exhausted.

    Red jumped and punched the air, whooping loudly. Psyduck looked pleased too, leaning back to fold his arms and smirk—but had his bravado interrupted by yet another headache.

    Blue pulled his hair out of his eyes, drooping a bit. He did it! I never thought he would win. I don't even think he did. Wow.

    “The battle goes to Red! Well done! Please, step outside and sit in the waiting room,” said Professor Oak through the intercom, grinning widely. “We'll be with you with your rank and license shortly. Blue, stop at the Pokémon Center down the hall first. You too I think, Red. They'll need some healing. I suggest you return them to their Poké Balls.”

    Sighing in relief and surprise, Red crouched down again to his Psyduck, offering the Poké Ball.

    Suddenly, Psyduck did something Red did not expect—he smacked the Poké Ball out of his hand.

    “Professor Oak, what's...?”

    “Some Pokémon do not like to stay inside of their PokeBalls. Some prefer staying out all the time,” said Oak dismissively, continuing his fevered writing.

    Red smiled. “Alright. As long as you're not trouble, you can stay out of the ball, okay?” said Red. Psyduck nodded happily, waddling over to him. Red then turns to Blue, who was kneeling over his Growlithe. “Hey Blue, is he, ya know, okay?”

    “Yeah, he'll be alright. Just gotta get him to the Center here,” he mumbled. “Great match. I had forgotten about Psyduck's extra abilities.”

    He held out his Poké Ball and opened it. Growlithe was sucked back in with the same red flare of light, and the ball closed. He hooked it onto his belt.

    “That was a great battle Red. I thought I had it, but you surprised me. Great match, really,” he said, offering a hand to Red. He took it and they shook firmly, as friends. Blue threw an arm around Red and they left together, the still confused Psyduck waddling behind them.

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

    At the Pokémon Center inside the lab, Red dropped off his Psyduck onto the center counter. He was instantly upset. Red sighed exasperatedly.. “So, what, do you want me to stay Psyduck?” he asked, as Blue grinned, handing his PokeBall to the nurse.

    Psyduck nodded, stopping his tears.

    “Alright...mind stayin' with me man?” asked Red as they take Psyduck and Growlithe back behind the counter area.

    “Yeah, might as well. If the technology here is as advanced Gramps claims, it shouldn't take too long,” he sighed, resting against the counter. He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes, thinking.

    “Something wrong, Blue?” asked Red, turning his head to look at his friend.

    “Not really,I just...I'm excited to finally start out, but, my family. I'm gonna miss them,” he said, frowning, “It's not as easy to leave home...as I thought it would be, now that it's actually happening.”

    “Oh...yeah,” said Red guiltily, remembering the morning's fight, “Well you know, my mom didn't want me to go. But I had to. There's nothing here for me. This place is a dead end.”

    “Well, maybe, but...at least you said your good-byes, right? I mean, you'll come home eventually...” he said, studying Red.

    “Yeah...sure,” said Red, looking down, the shadow of his brim hiding his eyes again. Deep inside, his memories of his family were eating away at his conscience, but he blocked it out, worried he might chicken out, give up.

    Blue opened his mouth to say something, but is cut off by the arrival of the nurses. Psyduck was presented to the two, clean and yelping happily, into Red's open arms, who lets him down. Blue took his Poké Ball and ran it over in his hand, thinking.

    “I wonder...if Growlithe likes being out too...” he thought aloud, then opened up the Poké Ball to let him out. Growlithe appeared as good as new, cheerily yapping and pawing at Blue's legs. He leans down, holding up the PokeBall. “Growlithe...would you rather stay inside the ball, or just follow me around? One shake for to stay out, two to go in,” he asked, holding it out. The Pokémon pawed at his hand once. “Close enough. Out it is,” he said, clipping the ball onto his belt. “Come on, let's go,” he said, walking out of the room. Red followed, pushing his mother to very back of his mind.

    They made their way back through the narrow hallways, through the Plexiglas door, and fell back into the chairs of the waiting room, leaning forward in silence.

    Psyduck and Growlithe, no longer in a battle, got along well, jumping and playing,though Psyduck never seemed to remove his hands from his ever-aching head. Blue regarded them and laughed softly.

    “They're our Pokémon...I guess they'll get along fine,” he chuckled, then quieted, looking at Red, who was steeped in thought.

    Oh god...I did so badly at controlling Psyduck...I really only won through my type advantage. It was mostly sloppy and badly coordinated. thought Red, holding his head in shame.

    I didn't win, but I did a much better job of handling my Pokémon than Red, that's sure to give me some extra points mused Blue, absentmindedly petting Growlithe, who curled up in his lap.

    Red looked at his pathetic Psyduck. He had already succumbed to another headache, holding his head in pain.

    What am I going to do with him...?

    The silence was broken by Professors Oak and Elm, who strolled in casually with two cards in hand. Oak stood in front of them, extending a card to each of them.

    “This is an A Rank license. You are permitted to go anywhere in Kanto, and even have access to the various Gyms. You are free to challenge them as you wish, collect the Badges, and challenge the Elite Four for the title of Champion. And of course, the awards that come with it,” he explained, beaming at both of them, “I'm so proud. Of both of you. I'm sure you'll do fine. And...I have a special favor to ask.”

    Red and Blue stood up, ecstatic.

    “Sure Gramps, anything you want, right Red?” Blue asked, twisting his neck over to face him.

    “Uh, yeah, sure!” agreed Red, looking over his license. I think I'd agree to just about anything today.

    “In my youth, I was a Pokémon trainer too...I traveled all across the world, meeting all kinda of Pokémon, but...I had a dream. One that I was never able to realize at the time. To catch every kind of Pokémon in the world! That was my dream...” he sighed, looking upward. “But I got old, settled down. Things like this happen, in life. But, anyway...I invented a device, many years later, called,” he says, reaching into his coat pockets, “a Pokédex.”

    He offered a device to each of them, a red machine resembling an electronic book. They opened them cautiously to examine them.

    “This module records data on any Pokémon you see or catch. Simply open the device and point the sensors at the Pokémon you want to record. Catching a Pokémon will provide far more data than simply encountering a Pokémon in the wild, as my Pokédex can read data directly from a Pokeball. I have already loaded the data of your two Pokémon, so don't worry about recording them.”

    Red closed his Pokédex, regarding it for a moment, then looked at Oak thoughtfully.

    “So, you want us to record the Pokémon we find for you, and when we've completed it, to bring it back?” he asked, holding it in his palm.

    “Exactly, both of you. I know it's a lot to ask of you, but-”

    “Nah, Gramps, it's no trouble. We'll do it, you can count on us,” promised Blue, closing his own and pocketing it, “and I'll do it before Red can.”

    “Sure, whatever works for you,” moaned Red, rolling his eyes. Blue ribs him, grinning.

    “Alright boys. It's the beginning of a new day. And, lucky for you, the rain is finally gone!” said Oak, looking out the double glass doors. “Come here, Blue. Give your ol' Grandpa a hug,” he said, locking his arms around his grandson. Red watched, uncomfortable once again. His Psyduck looked at him curiously. Blue's Growlithe, impatient, began pawing at his legs. He broke out of the hug and leaned down to ruffle Growlithe's mane, smiling.

    “Ready to go Red?” he asked, motioning him as he slinged his backpack over his shoulder.

    Red did the same, nodding. “Yeah, let's go.”

    They made their way through the doors, Psyduck and Growlithe following close behind.

    The sun shines over the wet grassy fields, stretching out before them. Red can barely see his home, off in the distance. He stared at it for a moment, considered it, and decided to ignore it.

    “There'll be plenty of time to come home and see her again...” Red thought aloud.

    “Huh?”

    “Oh...nothing, Blue.”

    They both made their way down the hill, Pokémon in tow, towards the road to Viridian City, the path ahead the first leg of their adventure.

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

    END CHAPTER 1
    Last edited by DylanDauntless; 30th September 2009 at 4:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    Dyan you did the exact same thing... And Dkmans post was spam so I'm removing the three of yours.

    Sandra
    Ruler of the Fics.


    I'm pretty busy right now so if you need to get hold of me PLEASE PM. I'll get the email notification a lot faster.

  3. #3
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    Well there you go...

    I can't post replies in my own thread? Nonsense. :[

  4. #4
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    Chapter 2

    A large crimson gate stood before the pair of boys, on the outskirts of Pallet Town. There were no doors; it was simply decorative. The arching top was intimidating, and Red and Blue had stopped in front of it, looking up in a daze. Since the roads had become so dangerous in recent years, neither of them had left the little town since they were very young children. Their Pokémon, however, were not concerned with this. Blue's Growlithe was panting happily at his heels, staring up at his trainer. Red's Psyduck was not so astute. He stared blankly off into the distance, still holding his head in his hands, his little black tuft twitching on his head.

    “You...you brought a map, right?” asked Red, still staring up.

    Blue snapped out of his trance, throwing down his rucksack and searching frantically through it. Eventually he pulled out a large roll of tattered paper.

    “Got it from my sister, Daisy,” he commented, giving the map a once-over.
    Red smiled. When he was younger, he had a crush on the fair-haired girl.

    “Cut the grin. We've got a ways to walk,” he said, pulling the map over towards Red's line of sight.

    “The best route would be to start in Viridian, go up to Pewter, through Mt. Moon, and into Cerulean,” he started, moving his finger across the map to outline the stops, “and, we plan from there. But...before that, I want to stop at the Victory Road. We can check out the gates, scope the area.”

    “Yeah I suppose. Let's just get walkin',” said Red, going ahead.

    Blue rolled up the map quickly, sticking it back in his rucksack and breaking into a fast walk.

    “No patience...”

    They started up the small incline, heels digging into the rain-soaked ground for support. Growlithe dashed up the path, running circles around his owner, while Psyduck only barely tripped along. Red looked back at a particularly eventful fall, planting the yellow Pokémon face-first in the dirt.

    Gonna be a long walk.

    Soon, they reached the top of the hill, and the road spread out before them. Tall grass swaying in the wind, spread out over trenches and terraces, rustling full of the Pokémon of Kanto. Brown-white Pidgey soared through the air, feathertips brushing the grass. Occasionally a Rattata poked its head out from the brush and scampered across the road, before darting back in. Red and his best friend stood together with their Pokémon at the head of it all, in awe of the sight. Far in the distance, Viridian City bustled on, but it as a blight compared to the simple significance of the grassy road before them. Taking a deep breath, they took the plunge, and began to run through the tall grass.

    Red hastily snatched up Psyduck as he broke into his run, followed by Blue and his Growlithe who kept a sturdy pace behind them. Rattata scattered at their feet, not particularly interested in risking getting stepped on. Pidgey also flew from underfoot, taking wing as quickly as possible. Soon they tired, skidding around a corner in the road, then stopping to take deep, heaving breaths.

    “New plan...manage travel effectively,” huffed Red, putting down Psyduck and falling back on his rear. Blue, though not as worn out from the run down the rocky terrain, stopped, slapping him on the back of the head, and sitting down with him.

    “Pretty much. We're not going anywhere fast with you running around like some maniac.” he said smugly, pulling his legs together to sit crossed. Red sighed. He was really on his own, had gotten his first Pokémon, and about to travel the world with his lifelong friend. Total freedom.

    Out of a nowhere, a wild Pidgey appeared.

    Tumbling out of the grass, it landed on its back in front of them, hopping up onto its feet as best as it could. It narrowed its eyes at Red, emitting a shrill rasp from its beak. Red pulled his head, taken aback.

    “What!? What the heck did I do to—oh.”

    He has finally noticed what he had not before—that the Pidgey's tail feathers were almost completely crushed.

    “Oh man, did I step on you? I'm sorry,” he apologized, standing up and brushing himself off. They stared at each other, trainer and Pokémon, Red frowning after a while. Blue, looking bemused, simply petted the Pokémon in his lap as the Pidgey stared Red down.

    CAWWWW!!!

    The Pidgey leapt forward, pecking and kicking at Red as he ran from it, trying to cover his face. Blue laughed heartily, pushing off Growlithe, and yelled, “Hold on Red. I'll take care of this. Growlithe, Tackle that Pidgey, pin him down!”

    Growlithe gave a quick nod, diving through the air and catching the Pidgey mid-flight. Red fell into a roll, came to a stop, and picked himself up with his arms behind his back, sighing with relief to be free of the attacking Pokémon.

    Looking back, he grinned at the result. Growlithe stood over the Pidgey, snarling. The alarmed bird Pokémon struggled to get out from under his paw, but to no avail. Blue took a few steps to stand over it, looking down.

    “Got nowhere to run now...time to catch my first Pokémon,” he says, reaching into his bag. Slowly, he pulled out a Poké Ball, bringing it level and tossing it up and down a few times.

    “Nice job Blue,” Red said, “but you you might want to catch it, before it esc-”

    The Pidgey slipped out from under Growlithe's paw, flapping its way to safety.

    Blue stood there, dumbfounded. Then...

    “Ember, go go go Growlithe!” he barked, chasing after it. Red stood up and watched, head in hand, as the chase began. Jets of flame sparked into life after the Pokémon as it moved to avoid the volley of fire, until it finally turned and began to flap its wings at super speed, creating a gust of wind that blew Growlithe back a couple of feet. Unfortuantely for the Pidgey, the last flame jet hit, and he fell to the ground, singed. Blue rushed in quickly, throwing his Poké Ball with blazing speed. It spun through the air, landing in front of the injured Pokémon, and snatched up the Pidgey in a flash of red light, the button on the front of the device pushing in on itself. The Poké Ball shook side to side violently, threatening to spill its contents. Red and Psyduck had made their way over, and they too watched curiously as Blue waited to see if he had indeed caught a Pokémon for the first time.

    The ball shook again, even more violently than the first. Silent again. Blue clenched his fist, anticipating its escape any second.

    One final shake, and a rest. The button released, and Blue gave a loud whoop of laughter, scrambling to pick up the ball.

    “I hope he's okay...” said Red, prodding the device as Blue sat with his newly occupied Poké Ball.

    “Yeah, yeah, I'm sure he's fine. Just in case though we ought to get to a Pokémon Center as soon as we get to Viridian,” Blue said, clipping the Poké Ball to his belt and rising. “i dunno if you like staying out of your ball or not, but with your condition, and what you did to Red, you're staying inside for now.”

    Blue grimaced. “Man, I wonder if they can hear in those things...Come on. Let's not stay. At this rate, we'll need to camp out before we get there.”

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

    By the time the pair had reached Viridian City, the sun had already dissipated. The journey through the sea of plateaus had been interesting, to say the least. Both they and their Pokémon were very tired. Red's eyes were half-shut even as they took in the beautifully lit-up city, which, though not large, was still quite alive at night. The buildings were not tall, but there were many, spread out over the large area. Red noted thankfully that the land here was mostly flat and the grass short. He knew that it must be fairly relaxed though, because a large man was sleeping beside the trees across a small pond.

    Well, either that or he's just stupid, thought Red, shaking his head at the man. Blue also noticed, laughing.

    “That guy must be daft! It's so cold out—he's going to be sick,” said Blue, putting an arm around Red, “Come on, Red. We'll sleep after we get our Pokémon taken care of.”

    Red yawned, picking up his Psyduck, who looked miserable. The walk had tired him out, but when asked he refused to return to his ball. Such a stubborn Pokémon. Psyduck closed his eyes, trying to sleep. Red rolled his eyes.

    “I hate to be the whiner, but I sure hate the luck of my draw here,” said Red, hoisting Psyduck as they passed the bright window of a family at dinner. “He's a cute little guy, but...we both know I only beat you on luck and a type advantage. He can barely follow orders.”

    Blue sighed, then grinned.

    “Look, Red. You beating me might have been an accident. But you still did well. Psyduck did too. You're just going to have to train him even harder than me.”

    “Yeah yeah...” replied Red as they came to a stop in front of the city's Pokémon Center. “Come on. Let's get your Pokémon healed and get some sleep.

    Blue opened the door, letting Growlithe scamper in before Red shuffled though the door. Blue followed through, picking up his Pokémon. The inside was well-lit, and pleasant. Several red counters were against the wall, offering various services, all for free. Regardless the orange tiling was well kept and as reflective as their testing arena had been. There were also rooms for rent, numbered doors on the west side of the room, ranging from one to ten.

    “You go see if they have any of the guest rooms available. They might not since we're so late, but it's better than paying for a hotel room,” said Blue, making his way to the counter.

    Red nodded as his friend left and walked to a separate counter to the left, where he set Psyduck down. There was nobody there, but there was a door leading to some sort of back room. Discouraged, Red called out to try and find the attendant.

    “Excuse me? Do you have any guest rooms left? Hello?”

    There was a muffled sound behind the door—a voice, perhaps, he thought. Suddenly, a pretty woman with long blonde hair emerged from the entrance behind the counter, smiling.

    “Sorry, sir, I was just about to change shifts. But, I can help you. How many in your party. Just you and your Pokémon?” she asked, , smiling as she nodded towards his Psyduck.

    “No ma'am. There's my friend too over there. He's just getting his Pokémon healed, but he oughtta be done in minute. He's got two Pokémon with him,” Red said, jabbing a thumb behind him at Blue.

    “No problem. On any other night we'd probably be full up, but not tonight. Probably because of the capture of Saffron. It doesn't feel quite safe anymore. Thankfully, no Rockets have made it here, yet,” she said nervously, wringing her fingers. “Anyway, that'll be Room 6. Here's your key, don't forget to turn it in. This is a charity service after all, so please be respectful of the rules posted on the room wall.”

    Red nodded, thanked the woman, and left with his Psyduck. Blue was waiting for him. Together, they went to their room, opened the door, and went inside.

    The room was dimly lit by a single lamp hanging overhead. It was worn, but not unpleasant. Red stepped lightly over the green tatami mats to a mattress on the west side of the room, laid up with a blue blanket and snow white pillow. Red put down his heavy backpack and laid Psyduck down next to the mat, looking around for some sort of cover for his Pokémon. On the wall shelf, he found some. He tossed a sheet to Blue, who caught it, as silent as he was.

    “So...tomorrow...are we going to try Viridian Gym?” asked Red. The question had been burning in his mind all day. They had just started, and their only real experience was theory, their first battle, and a few random wild Pokémon.

    “We're going to do our best. Win or lose,” said Blue firmly, cheering Red up considerably. “We didn't leave home to lose though. So I expect you to keep up with me.”

    “Same here.”

    They bumped fists, Red feeling rather silly about it, but all in all glad he had asked. Blue said good night to him then, sitting down on the matted floor and getting into his blankets and covering up his Growlithe, who had already nestled on the floor. He ruffled his fur and turned around to sleep, leaving Red by himself as he laid down to sleep.

    But sleep did not come. As Blue snored, Red kept awake, watching his sleeping Psyduck. He still had his hands on his head, seemingly still suffering a headache in his sleep. The headache, Red knew, was going to be his greatest hindrance, and his greatest strength.

    I'm going to try my hardest, and train you my hardest. I'm not going to give up. I'm going to give it everything I have. Do you understand me, Psyduck? I expect the same from you if we're going to be traveling together.

    With that, he rolled over to sleep, dreamless and free.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When Red awoke, he was very irritated. Psyduck had elected to strew the contents of Red and Blue's respective bags, or so they thought, though Growlithe seemed to be in an even better mood than usual that morning. It took them some time to pack, and they almost decided to skip breakfast, but Red then remembered that none of them had eaten for a day's time, and offered to buy their first breakfast. They returned their room key to the morning attendant, thanked them and left.

    As they stepped outside, they say Viridian City in a new light. It was near bustling now, people hurriedly making their way all across town, though to be sure it was still no metropolis. Still, a number of cars littered the streets, driving modestly alongside the cyclers. There were also numerous children and Pokémon playing together. Though they could not battle, they still made friends with Pokémon. Quickly, Red spotted a restaurant with a notable number of cars in its lot, and they resolved to eat there. They crossed the now busy street carefully, avoiding traffic, made it through the parking lot, and went inside.

    The restaurant was rather stuffy, feeling very crowded, but the smell coming from the food was wonderful. Dark red-brown walls and tan tatami mats decorated the place, with paper lamps for lighting.. There were various sliding doors to separate rooms. At a booth near the entrance, a young woman with red hair asked them for their party number.

    “Two of us, and our three Pokémon,” said Blue firmly. He knew that most of these places had sitting places for Pokémon too.

    “Ah yes, as long as they are not too large,” she said nervously, eying their holstered Poké Balls on their belts, “No Onix in those, is there?”

    “No,” replied Red, grinning on the verge of laughter.

    She led them to their table in a separate part of the restaurant, leaving them with menus and asking them to call when they were ready to order. The style was the same as the main part of the restaurant, and overlooked it, being on a higher, balcony area. From there they could see a stage, with a wooden floor and big, blowy red curtains. Red wondered silently what it was for. They sat, cross legged, at the low table there. Psyduck plopped on his tail-end as well, holding his head. Growlithe was a little more rebellious, sonstantly standing back up every time Blue pushed him down to sit.

    Red picked up his menu, looking through it. He decided hastily on some rice balls to start, putting down his menu, and looking around the room.

    He immediately noticed the other patrons at the table across from theirs. A man in a white gi with a red headband sat there, eating with his own Pokémon, a blue humanoid crature with tan fin-like protusions on his head and a skinny, strong body. The man had only a bowl of rice, but he ate it vigorously. He tried not to laugh as rice flew into his black hair with the speed of his eating. His Pokémon ate just as fast, trying to keep pace. But then, he remembered something.

    “Blue...our Pokédexes! We never got any readings for the Ratatta or Pidgey!” broke Red, slapping his forehead. As Blue realized the fact he groaned too, pulling his from a slot on his bag.

    “That's right...” he moaned, looking at the screen, “No, wait...it seems it registers any Pokémon we catch in here. Growlithe and Pidgey are both in here. Speaking of which...”

    Blue pulls a Poké Ball from his belt, tossing it once in his hand, then pressing th ebutton on the front to let out his Pidgey.

    It flies out, perching on the windowsill, seemingly indignant. It closes its eyes and turns its head.

    “Yeah yeah, be mad all you want, but I caught you and we're gonna be partners now. Now come perch down here so you can have so food.”

    Pidgey refuses, standing firm.

    “Fine. We'll see how it is when I order food,” mumbles Blue, putting down his own menu.

    Red, though bemused by the exchange, suddenly had an idea. He stood up, walked over to the stange man's table, and tapped him on his shoulder.

    “Excuse me, sir, but do you think I might be able to scan your Pokémon with my Pokédex? I'm out collecting data for Professor Oak, from Pallet Town.

    The man in the white gi put down his bowl with a clatter, his eyes edging back. At the table across, Blue tensed up.

    “My Machop?” he asked, not moving an inch.

    “Yes.”

    “Very well. On one condition. I want a battle,” he said shortly, unfolding his legs and standing. “This restaurant has a room for battles. Tell your friend to order your food. I am sure that you will be back quickly.”

    “I don't know, I-”

    “No. You have a license. You cannot refuse a challenge by another licensed battler,” he said, laying in a harsher tone. His voice was rough, like sandpaper.

    Psyduck, still at their table, pushed himself up. He turned to face the Machop at the opposing table, who stood up calmly, swirling about to stare back at Psyduck. He tensed, clenching a fist.

    Red knew the man was right, and he could already see the tension building. Machop was a Fighting type Pokémon, and as such loved battling above all else. Red thought that even his Psyduck wanted to battle. He saw that look of concentration etched in his eyes again, the kind that he normally would not be showing for anything else he had done thus far. Red smiled, proud.

    “Fine. Lead on,” he said, shaking the man's hand, who responded stiffly. “Blue, you know what I like. Don't forget to order for my Psyduck too, okay?”

    Blue nodded, grinning. “Go get 'em Red.”

    The man led Red and his Psyduck downstairs, Machop in front.

    “By the way, Red...my name is Ken,” said the man as he stepped off the stairs, offering a hand to help him down. “Now come with me. We must inform the managers that we will give them a show.”

    Red suddenly realized what the stage in the center of the restaurant was for.

    They approached the manager, a simple man with black hair and a pointed mustache, wearing a fine white shirt and black tie. As the man called Ken sorted things out with the manager, Psyduck came waddling up behind Red, who looked down at his Pokémon. He barely knew his Psyduck, but he felt like he could count on him to do well.

    Red saw the manager nod and Ken signal him to get up on stage. They both climbed the stairs from opposing sides, Pokémon behind them. They faced each other from opposite ends, and people began to watch, curious.

    “Ladies, gentlemen,” came the announcer, who had produced a microphone from the wall, “it seems we have two trainers here today, who are feeling the fiery passion of battle fever!”

    Red groaned loudly, feeling suddenly ridiculous.

    “On the west side, we have Red, from neighboring Pallet Town, and his Pokémon, Psyduck!” yelled the announcer to the astute crowd, who clapped politely.

    “And on the other, Viridian City's Gym Trainer Ken, also a Black Belt in his field of martial arts, and his Machop, Choppa!”

    Gym Trainer!?

    The crowd positively roared for him. It was obviously where their loyalties laid. Red frowned.

    I guess no cheering crowds and adulation yet.

    Red observed the stage in front of him. There wasn't as much room to work with as there had been in the arena. He would have to be more careful, and work with tighter space.

    Red's Psyduck stepped forward as did Ken's Machop, Choppa.

    “One-on-one, no time limit. You may begin!”

    Red was much quicker on the uptake this time, immediate shouting to his Pokémon, “Psyduck, hit him with Water Gun!”

    Psyduck's eyes slanted and he opened his bill wide, blasting out a torrent of water. Ken's Machop ran from it at impressive speed, circling around Psyduck was he turned to try and catch him, water blasting off the brick wall behind them. As soon as Psyduck could no longer hold the torrent, Machop dashed in, feet punding hard on the wooden floor like drums.

    “Choppa, Mach Punch!” ordered Ken, demonstrating the motion with his own two fists.

    The Machop lunged with his left fist forward, surprising Psyduck. His fist smacked Psyuck right in the middle of his forehead, who was sent flying by the punch into the wall, where he held his head, roaring with pain.

    I don't know who's more a lousy showboat, Ken...

    Red looked to Ken's Machop, who was flexing his muscle at the crowd as they applauded.

    ...or his Pokémon.

    Psyduck, get up. We're not done yet,” Red said simply, instinctively. Psyduck climbed to his feet, angry now. Red replayed the events thus far in his head, thinking. Machop was too fast for Psyduck to hit aware, and he wouldn't be able to take many hits from him, that was certain. He needed more speed.

    Red snapped his fingers as the idea clicked into place, confusing his martial artist opponent.

    “Psyduck, gimme another Water Gun, now!” he commanded, and Psyduck looked at him confused, but nodded.

    He does trust me.

    Psyduck gushed forth another jet of water, and as Red had expected, Ken's Machop dodged it expertly, running around to hit him again.

    “Turn it around Psyduck, aim at the floor!” yelled Red, watching everything fall into place satisfactorily.

    Psyduck pushed the jet down, blasting himself up towards the ceiling, water spraying everyhwere. In a stroke of luck, Machop slipped on the wet floor.

    “Kick off the ceiling and bat him with a Scratch!”

    Psyduck stopped spraying water, kicking against the ceiling as he neared it. Putting all his strength in, he zoomed down in a flash, pulled back his arm, and raked Ken's Machop with his claws viciously.

    Machop rolled back from the force of the hit, getting up on one knee, shaking. Psyduck landed, arms back and in control. The audience cheered for the spectacular move, now less concentrated on the food than the fight.
    “Choppa, don't give in. Show him the strength of your Mega Kick!” yelled Ken absurdly, making kicking motions.

    This guy is a Gym Trainer?

    The Machop got up, running forward again for the kick.

    Can't get out in time.

    “Use your Bubble to slow him down!” Red ordered, thinking of it.

    Psyduck sprayed bubbles from his mouth as quickly as he could, shooting forth with surprising elasticity. It slowed him down just enough to weaken the kick, but Psyduck was still hit brutally, once again at the head. His friend fell to the floor, taking heaving breaths. The Machop, convinced he had won, relaxed. Ken stood straight and bowed oafishly, his pride showing clear. Red too, for a moment, though that he had lost.

    But then, his partner rose, eyes glowing with that familiar blue aura, and Red knew what to do.

    “Confusion.”

    Machop turned, trying to stop him before it was too late. But it was, and he was lifted off the floor, spasming recklessly in the air. He fell, clearly knocked out, to the floor, a crumpled heap.

    The restaurant exploded with raucous applause. Red, really not knowing how to respond, simply tipped, his hat and picked up his Pokémon, removing a Potion, a healing medicine for Pokémon, from his bag, and spraying it over him.

    “You ought to be better in a little while Psyduck. I'm proud of you,” said Red, putting him back down. Psyduck tilted his head, still confused. The reception was pleasant, but he still didn't remember what he had done.

    Ken punched the wall in disbelief. This new trainer, barely started, had defeated his training! Pretending he did not feel the redness of his knuckles, he turned away from Red.

    “Doesn't matter. You'd never beat the whole Gym, anyway,” he said, sulking a little, “not that you could. That's why I'm here. The gym is closed. Our leader is out on holiday.”

    Red slumped. “You serious?”

    “I'm always serious. Come back another time. I'll be sure to give you a worthy rematch,” said Ken smugly, jerking his head back. “Go on, scan him with your device. That's what you wanted, right?”

    “Oh, yeah. Just a sec,” answered Red, rummaging for his Pokédex. “I just put this here and...”

    He tilted the scanner end of the Pokédex down towards the bruised Machop, and knew he felt badly for it. Perhaps, he though, that battle had gone a little too far. He would have to teach Psyduck to control those abilities.

    The machine booted smoothly, words moving across the screen too quickly to read. A laser mesh appeared as the device scanned the Pokémon, moving up and down to identify it. Then, it spoke in an electronic voice:

    Its whole body is composed of muscles. Even though it's the size of a human child, it can hurl 100 adults.

    “Impressive...” muttered Red. I wouldn't mind having one of those.

    The black belt, Ken returned his Machop to his Poké Ball, and then left the stage., his steps heavier than before.

    Red looked across the restaurant, noticing that everyone had gone back to their meals, and felt a small twinge of sadness. Whatever fame he had on that stage, it was gone now.

    He walked with his partner by his side back to their table at the balcony, where Blue greeted him with roaring approval and a slap on the back, as they all sat down to eat their first meal together.

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    After they ate, they stopped briefly at a shopping mart to pick up some supplies, more Potions, some Poké Balls and Pokémon food. The city had picked up even more with the coming of noon, but they were in high spirits. Even though Blue had been disappointed with the knowledge that Viridian City Gym was closed, it didn't stop his determination, which was something Red, secretly, admired about him. It was there that Red knew that he needed Blue for this—maybe that they needed each other. But at the back of his mind, he wondered about the day when they could no longer be friends, when they, instead, would become rivals.

    If you make it that far Red thought to himself as they entered a short route to the Pokémon League gates. Though the short, narrow road was littered with tall grass, it did not seem as populated with wild Pokémon as the first route had been. He saw several interesting Pokémon, including a male Nidoran, but as Blue reminded him, they would be back here eventually. So he kept his Poké Balls holstered and simply watched the horned purple Pokémon eye him suspiciously from the foliage. Soon, they had reached the impressive concrete walls of the Pokémon League. Blue whistled as they approached it, then laughed.

    “Compensation?” he joked, and Red rolled his eyes.

    There was only one gateway there, where a man stood guard. He wore a blue guard's uniform and black trousers with a badge, looking very much like a policeman. He word a strange yellow orb around his neck like a pendant, glowing oddly. They approached him lightly.

    “You are Trainers,” he noted as they came, flashing his badge. I am the first guard. I will need to see your Boulderbadge.”

    “Oh, we're just looking today. We don't have any badges,” said Red, leaning around to try to see past the guard into the next area. The guard pushed him away with his baton, and Blue stepped forward, angry.

    “What's your problem pal!? We're just looking around, what's wrong with that?” asked Blue defensively, taking a fighting stance.

    “Watch it, 'pal'. Read the sign,” he replied, tapping the post next to the entrance, “No Loitering. That means you too. Now get out of here.”

    Blue smirked and turned about-face, waving Red to follow. “Come on Red. This joker's not worth our time.”

    Red frowned at the guard and turned to join Blue, w,alking away into the grassy Route. Their Pokémon noticed their sour mood, keeping quiet. Even the hyper Growlithe kept his mouth shut, tail between his legs. Blue noticed, and stopped their walk once they had entered the grass.

    “Cheer up. I'm not mad at y-”

    But Blue didn't get to tell Growlithe he wasn't mad at him. Because at that moment, the rude guard cried out for help, and a loud screeching of a wild Pokémon filled the air.

    Running back, they quickly saw the problem. In a flash, a wild Mankey had attacked the guard from the safe wild.

    Don't wild Pokémon usually not attack people outside of their habitat? What's going on...?

    Though the tan and brown Pokémon was fast, Red quickly saw why he had attacked. The Mankey was busy at that moment trying to pry the shiny stone from the guard's neck.

    Blue must have noticed it too, because he chose that moment to yell to the guard, “Take off the jewelry! He wants it the orb!”

    But the guard was panicking and either would not or could not listen. He ran around, petrified as the Mankey clawed at him furiously.

    “Looks like we'll have to save the jerk. Pidgey, go!” shouted Blue, unclipping his Poké Ball and sending it flying. Pidgey burst out in red light, taking to the skies immediately.

    “That man needs help, Pidgey. Use a Gust attack, blow him off!” he ordered, running to keep pace with his Pidgey's flight.

    Pidgey dived, flapping its wings furiously, blowing the Mankey off in an instant. The guard fell on his behind, holding his face. The Mankey, even more furious, took a stance and jumped at Blue's Pidgey, swiping at him. He missed as Pidgey simply flew higher into the air, avoiding him.

    “Those are some nice Fury Swipes,” said Red, grinning. “Blue, let me catch him, okay?”

    Blue nodded. “S'long as you remember, you owe me. Pidgey, Sand-Attack!”

    His bird Pokémon dived to the ground once again, this time raking up fresh dirt from the ground, spraying it into the Mankey's eyes. He reared back, covering his face painfully.

    “Psyduck, finish this up with your Scratch!” Red demanded, Psyduck running forward and striking the confused Pokémon hard, who rolled along the ground, defeated.

    Red unclipped a Poké Ball from his belt, throwing it with vigor. It spun in the air, landing near the downed Mankey and zapping him up in a red flash, the button pulling in. It bounced once, shaking on the ground, once, twice, three times. And then...

    It stopped, the button depressing. Red had caught his first Pokémon.

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    END CHAPTER 2

  5. #5
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    Updated first chapter. Talking to myself.

  6. #6
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    Man, this is good.

    I like personalities of Red and Blue, and how they're actually friends.

    And instead of Pikachu and Eevee they got Psyduck and Growlithe. Both are good choices, in my opinion. So kudos to you for that.

    Also, I liked the restaurant and how the battle went. Machop never stood a chance against Psyduck's Confusion.

    Well, anyways, this was a good chapter, and your description was actually quite good. The story is well written. It reminds me of Iota's writing style, in a good way.
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

  7. #7
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    Who IS Iota? XD

    Anyway, Chapter 3 soon. If you like this story, be sure to read the one shot tie in, Rocket and Kasumi.

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    Iota is a writer on these forums who tends to write about Ash's adventures with a twist. Currently he's rewriting the series from the start. Your style reminds me of his.

    Chapter 3 soon? Cool.
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

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    I read some of his stuff. I remember now. His is much, much more anime based though. The way it's going right now is fine--it's just not my cup of tea.

    I'm just writing the last few scenes of the chapter. Expect it up tonight, probably.

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    CHAPTER 3

    The sun hung high, around noon in Viridian City. Outside the gates to the Victory Road, Red and Blue helped a particularly miffed guard up to his feet. He grumbled a thanks, dusting himself off. His face was scratched, and he had taken a few bruises from the recent wild Pokémon attack, but he should be fine just the same. Red could not tell if it was his swollen jaw, or his pride, but the guard was trying to tell them something, and he wasn't having an easy time doing it.

    “...Thank you, kids. I-I could have been injured. Badly,” said the guard, his head lowered. “Look, have this.”

    He pulled the orb and chain from around his neck, handing it to Red. Blue leaned in to inspect it, a little jealous.

    “I just found it one day. It's called a Light Orb. Take it with you when you pass through Viridian. It's supposed to bring good fortune. And you'll need it....Viridian Forest is treacherous in its own way. People go missing,” the guard said seriously, scratching his swollen chin.

    “Sure thing,” said Red, unimpressed. All he had heard about Viridian Forest was the mysterious Pokémon it housed...and that was all he really cared for. Regardless, he slipped it around his neck, and thought it looked rather well on him.

    Red tipped his hat and turned to leave, Psyduck following suit. He clipped his newly caught Mankey's ball onto his belt, resolving to begin training it in the forest. Blue shrugged, saying nonchalantly, “Whatever,” and walking away with Red, Psyduck, and his Growlithe back towards the route. As they began on the road proper,, feet crunching grass, Blue began to chuckle derisively.

    Red, unnerved, stopped and asked him, “What's so funny, Blue?”

    “That idiot. He's got no Pokémon of his own, and he walks around wearing something like that? You were too nice. We should have left him. But, I figured we better help him. I know you'd whine if we didn't,” said Blue, sighing loudly. “But I suppose you got a shiny little stone and a Pokémon out of it, so, no harm done.”

    This was the side of Blue that Red had seen little of in their friendship—and certainly one he wished to continue seeing little of. Nice as he was to Red, he was generally a right rude little pin to others.

    “Let it go, he made a mistake,” said Red, looking at him and starting up a walk again, “ he could have been seriously injured.”

    “Whatever, Red,” said Blue, lowering his head again. “Come on. Let's get on our way to Viridian Forest. I can't wait to get to Pewter City.”

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    After a brief detour through Viridian City, and a brisk walk north through the city past an old man with a hangover(who seemed to be under the impression he could 'learn them to catch Pokémans'), R ed and Blue made it to the gate of Viridian Forest. Trees bordered the building on all sides, so tight together that any attempt to go through any other way but the gate must be near impossible. Though the sun was shining brightly, it was near all shade here. The gloomy atmosphere reflected in Red, who yawned from under the shadow of his hat.

    They and their Pokémon entered through the gate. The room seemed to be like a waiting room all its own, white tiled and calm. A red carpet was rolled out through to the gate exit, and various people sat in benches around the room. Red and Blue crossed the room, stopping at the exit door. Warning signs were plastered all over the door, telling about the dangers of the forest. As Blue read about the effects of Beedrill's poison, Red found himself checking his bad for Antidote. Thankfully, he had some, but Red shuddered all the same. A picture of the large bee Pokémon, Beedrill was on one of the signs, and it wasn't a Pokémon he fancied getting stung by.

    “Come on, you baby,” said Blue, slapping him hard on the back and pulling up his backpack, “Let's check it out.”

    Red nodded, opening the door. What they saw, caused Red and Blue to stare as they exited the gate, still as the door shut.

    High grass and tall trees sprouted upward, climbing as high in the sky as they were able, the trees mushrooming into giant stalks of green leaves. Light barely peeked the treetops, illuminating all the details of the forest, from the dewy grass to the shining pools of water. Grass shook with the lives of a thousand bug Pokémon, lying in wait for discovery. Small Weedle and Caterpie trudged along through blades on earth, searching for their spot to rest. Golden-skinned Kakuna hung from trees, swaying gently in the wind with the leaves, waiting for their time of change. Butterfree flew gracefully about the forest, picking large flowers to rest upon. The forest breathed this circle of life, all laid out in front of them, a true cycle.

    To Red and Blue, this was a jackpot find. They split up for a moment, scanning all the bug Pokémon they saw into their Pokédex. Thankfully, they seemed not to be very hostile. As they started about the forest, Psyduck sat by a tree and waited, patiently, while Growlithe ran freely, chasing a Butterfree for sport.

    Bug Pokémon, it turned out, were also quite easy to catch. They sized up several Weedle and Caterpie, scooping them away into Poké Balls with no problem, which they figured ought to be enough. Soon after, they collected their Pokémon, and headed on their way.

    The forest, though making for a pleasant walk, was an infernal maze. They found themselves getting lost quickly. A couple of times, Red was sure he heard something, something following them, but he shrugged it off. Growlithe was being kept on a tight leash too, and he did not like it one bit. However, this was a forest, a very flammable forest, and Red and Blue both felt that they could deal without a forest fire.

    After a few hours, the sun began to fall, and Red and Blue were getting very irritated. They had totally neglected to buy any Pokémon Repel, and they were soon regretting it. Though they were not a problem to fight or deal with generally, they became a nuisance as time wore on just by the sheer number of them.

    As the sky above the trees turned orange, Red and Blue stopped to begin setting up camp. They knew that they were totally lost, and there was no chance of them leaving the forest that night. So, they began to set up camp in a nearby clearing, finally making use of the contents of their bags.

    Red and Blue rolled out sleeping bags, pulled out their camping equipment, and set to work. Blue and Growlithe set off into the forest to find berries and mushrooms, and left Red with the much harder task of chopping wood. Red was not even sure if this was legal, but it hardly mattered to him. Aside from various Pokémon, they had seen no one on their walk through the forest. As Red went to work at the logs he found with his hatchet, he very much regretted not having a Pokémon with sharp claws. Of course, Psyduck was in position to help, and Red wasn't sure he could have even if he was that strong. As it was he stole Red's sleeping bag, nestled up warm and tight.

    You cheeky little...

    Then Red had an idea. Looking to make sure no one else was around, Red unclipped a Poké Ball from his belt and tossed it to the ground, opening up in red light to his newly caught Mankey.

    “Okay, Mankey. I know a couple of your moves. Karate Chop that wood for me, please,” said Red softly, trying to be as nice as possible.

    Mankey just stared at him hatefully.

    Red stared back, nervous.

    Mankey jumped up with blinding speed, thumping Red on the head and stealing his hat. As he landed behind Red, he placed it hard down on his head, then danced with glee.

    Red groaned furiously, running his hand through his hair roughly.

    “Look, I caught you. Stop being so sour. I want to be friends with you. But this isn't going to work out with you stealing my hat. Give it back.”

    Mankey turned, shaking his tail at Red.

    Red dived, just missing his Pokémon and crashing into the dirt. Mankey jumped on his back, slammed the hat onto his head sideways and ran for it, heading into the trees beyond the clearing. Red, though blinded by his hat, got up quickly, turning it back into place. He caught a glimpse of Mankey as he ran away. Red held the bridge of his nose, squeezing it, frustrated.

    “Come on Psyduck, get up. We need to go find your new friend,” said Red through gritted teeth.

    Psyduck sighed, just as irritated as Red. He picked himself up and waddled behind Red as they too disappeared back into the forest. The began their search, high and low, but it did not really take long. Red's Mankey was hanging from his tail on a tree limb next to two Kakuna, who he was slapping with gusto. Though they could do little but hang there and weather it, it was obvious that they were very, very irritated. They made a sort of rattling, hissing noise each time he did it, and Mankey giggled, delighted.

    “Get down from there you idiot, get down from there!” hissed Red, who could see what Mankey did not. Several Beedrill had followed the rattling sound and were zooming in on his Pokémon, with others join the group. Cursing, Red dived and grabbed his Mankey. He rolled, stopped and looked up to see at least fifteen Beedrill buzzing angrily at him. His Psyduck began to run, and after blankly staring for several seconds, Red followed suit, grabbing Psyduck by the arm and sprinting as quickly as he could. But there was no escape from the Beedrill, even at the clearing. Red knew he would have to stand and fight. He skidded and turned in the middle of the clearing, taking a firm stance.

    Mankey, irritated by the sudden grab, swiped at Red's face and somersaulted down to earth, then leered at the buzzing Beedrill.

    “Augh, Mankey, work with me one time, alright, or these Beedrill or going to run us through!” yelled Red, looking for a sign from Mankey.
    It did not come. Mankey simply screeched and jumped at the nearest Beedrill, kicking and clawing at it furiously. He jumped to the next, landing a jump kick on its abdomen, and it fell.

    As Mankey started his barrage, Red began to take charge of Psyduck.

    “Psyduck, Water Gun. Blast away as many you can!”ordered Red, watching the Beedrill cautiously.

    Psyduck raised his head, launching the jets of water high. He blasted several Beedrill, causing them to fly away.

    Then, a single Beedrill broke through the ranks, flying at Psyduck and jabbed him with his needle arm, causing him to fall over, squealing with pain. The attack left a nasty purple wound and Psyduck shivered and spasmed.

    Poisoned!

    Red rushed to his bag to grab an Antidote, when suddenly he heard a high screech fill the air. His Mankey had been beaten down by one of the Beedrill, and all of them were rushing it, striking with poison jabs again and again and again. Mankey screeched again, swiping weakly.

    Horrorstruck, Red leapt forward and, in an act of wild desperation, punched the nearest Beedrill in the face. It fell back a bit, then zipped forward angrily.

    Now he had done it. He pulled back from the punch, all the Beedrill with their attention on him. He stepped back once, then again. They buzzed louder than ever before.

    The first zoomed towards him, a needle outstretched, and Red fully expected to be run through by it. But suddenly, a hand moved forward, swiping the needle away. It was Mankey, and though he was a bit purple in the face, he could still fight. But another Beedrill was coming. He would have to thank his Pokémon later.

    “Mankey, Vital Throw!” shouted Red as a Beedrill buzzed forward. Mankey grabbed it by the needle, digging his heel into the dirt, then spinning and tossing it at the other Beedrill. They crashed back, and Red watched as they all fainted, a broken heap on the ground. Red looked back to Psyduck, who was losing color in the face.

    “Mankey, keep a watch on those Beedrill. Psyduck needs an Antidote right away,” Red said, running back to his bag for the Antidote he had dropped and choosing a few Potions from his bag. He rushed back to Psyduck, spraying the medicine over his wound as Mankey circled the seemingly out cold Beedrill warily.

    The purple tinge lightened, and Red was sure that Psyduck would be alright. He sprayed a Potion voer the wound just the same though, to be safe.

    He sat, exhausted. The prospect of nearly dying in this god forsaken forest with his Pokémon had drained the life from him.

    “Mankey, come here. You need Antidote too.”

    Though reluctant, Mankey came, giving him a hard look. As Red moved forward with the antidote, the Pokémon grabbed his hand, giving him one last hard look that said: I still don't trust you. Then, allowed him to spray the Antidote. After the purple tinge was gone from his face, he hopped off of Red's lap and walked out of sight, though still staying in the clearing.

    Red sighed, despairing. His Mankey was already proving to be trouble, and they certainly weren't getting along too well. He listened to the forest quietly, thinking.

    A Pokémon tried to kill me today...but then, my Mankey did disturb those Kakuna. I don't think I'm really angry, but, I don't think I want to catch these Pokémon. I'll see if Mankey will toss them out into the forest. Then, as soon as Blue gets back, we'll need to move. Or they might be back.

    Suddenly, heard a hollow, chopping sound behind him. He scrambled to her feet, fearing more wild Pokémon attacks, but they did not come. Slowly he turned on the spot, and saw Mankey chopping up the logs with a straight hand. He looked at him strangely, then piled the wood up, and sat.

    So, he's being a little less rebellious. That's a relief.

    Red turned his head and pulled out his Pokédex, remembering his promise to Professor Oak. The machine scanned the Beedrill with the same web of lasers and read:

    Beedrill is extremely territorial. No one should ever approach its nest - this is for their own safety. If angered, they will attack in a furious swarm.

    Too little, too late thought Red.

    “Mankey,” said Red, pointing at the heap of unconscious Beedrill, “Please, take the Beedrill out to the forest and leave them there. We'll need to leave, soon.”

    Mankey took a deep breath, stamped the ground a bit, but obeyed all the same, scampering to the pile and beginning to throw Beedrill like dirty laundry.

    Though Red was impressed, he knew he didn't have time to gawk. He checked on Psyduck, who was now sleeping soundly, the wound mostly devoid of poison now.

    “He ought to be better by tomorrow,” Red thought aloud, picking up his Pokémon and beginning his clean-up of the camp. The work wasn't hard, but5 Red found himself nervously turning to look into the forest every few minutes. He realized, quite easily, that he did not much like Beedrill and would not be training his Weedle anytime soon.

    Eventually, Blue returned from his expedition for food. He came through waving with a bag full of berries, Growlithe trotting behind him.

    “Blue, finally! Come on, we need to find a new place to camp, now,” said Red, heaving his bag with Mankey and Psyduck behind him, carrying wood. “I'll explain when we get there.”

    Puzzled, Blue hoisted his bags and followed suit.

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    “So, you were nearly gored by Beedrill, eh?” asked Blue over the roaring campfire, with which he was slowly roasting potatoes over the flames. The moon was high in the sky over them, occasionally clocked by strands of clouds, helping to cast the whole area in light. Though the closer trees could be seen with the flickering light, farther back was all shadow and eyes they could not see. It had been three days since the incident. Red had refused to talk about what had happened for all this time, still shaken. The group was growing increasingly agitated. Except for Mankey and Growlithe, who had proved to be partners in crime whenever the two were together. They were often setting up pranks on their trainers, with varying results. It was not helping the mood of the journey, which seemed to just be walking in circles. Still, too, for all these days, they had not met a single other person.

    So they trained their Pokémon against the various Bug-types in the forest, to little effect. Upon trying to train their own Weedle and Caterpie, they had proved just as weak. Shooting string and minor injuries, almost no use in battle. Regardless, they had kept them out and about those days, where they mostly remained silent. In truth, Red found his Caterpie a bit creepy, with his blank, silent stare. The pair of Bug Pokémon sat huddled on a rock near the fire, watching, unblinking, unmoving.

    “Yes,” replied Red, popping a few berries into his mouth. “So, if that thing ever evolves, keep it away from me.”

    “You baby. Fine,” he said, shaking his head, “I hope you can toughen up at least for our gym battle.”

    “If we get there,” muttered Red darkly.

    There was silence after he said that. Things were becoming increasingly grim. Where were the rumored Bug Catcher hobbyists? The Pokémon Rangers? Nowhere, it seemed. They were alone...and possibly, hunted.

    Over the past few days Red had noticed strange rustling in the grass that seemed to follow them. Once or twice he thought he saw something, but he shook it off as his imagination. And, there was something else. The previous night he had woken up to see Psyduck with his eyes open and glowing, just like it di when he was using a psychic attack. Nothing seemed to happen, but he did not respond to sound or touch. However, the next morning, he had been fine, and Red had tried to place it out of his mind. But somewhere in the back of his thoughts, he knew that there more dangerous things in this forest than Beedrill.

    However, Red's brooding was cut off by a sudden hissing sound.

    Red and Blue turned to watch as Caterpie and Weedle stuck their heads in the air, spinning strings of silk. They stood up and approached the pair, curious. However, neither Weedle nor Caterpie gave any indication of what they were doing, until a moment later,, they glowed with a brilliant light. The shining streams half-blinded them, and they turned their heads until the brightness had faded away.

    There, two new Pokémon had appeared, both cocoons, green and gold. They had, of course, evolved into Metapod and Kakuna.

    “Wow, so fast. I wonder why. Well, come on Blue, we should scan them,” said Red, reaching in his pocket for his Pokédex.

    They both pointed their devices at the two and scanned. As always, the screen flickered to life and an electronic voice began to read information to them.

    Its shell is as hard as an iron slab. A Metapod does not move very much because it is preparing its soft innards for evolution inside the shell.

    This Pokémon is in a temporary stage while making its body. It is almost completely unable to move on its own.

    “Great,” whined Blue, sliding a palm over his face, “If we want to keep them out, we'll have to carry them.”

    Though Red did not like the prospect of carrying his Metapod, which he thought looked rather heavy, he did like the prospect of owning a Butterfree. The butterfly Pokémon, knew, could use all types of powders for inducing sleep, paralysis, and confusion.

    “Don't even think about bringing these to a battle though Red,” said Blue, still moping, “I just checked out their move on this thing. Harden! That's all it can do. Get harder.”

    “Pay attention next time. It also says that these are just transition forms. They're going to evolve again. Soon,” stated Red, looking down at his Metapod, who was eying him with kindness. He thought he knew what it was trying to tell him.

    Protect me...until I evolve.

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    After they ate, and a few rounds of training, they decided to sleep. Curled in their sleeping bags, their Pokémon sleeping in the open peacefully. All with a different dream. Red dreamed of coming home a hero, a Champion in every region. Growltihe of chasing a Ratatta through a field at his leisure. Mankey slept with thoughts of a furious thrashing of all the other Mankey, being the strongest, the quickest—and the angriest. Metapod and Kakuna, of course, dreamed of their evolution. But Blue slept dreamless and free—so certain was he obtaining his goal.

    However, not all were sleeping.

    Noises from the dark, grass crunching, slipped through the air and over the heads of the sleeping. A yellow lightning bolt tail stuck in the air through the grass, followed by the Pokémon's head, which peeked from the edge of darkness. Among the trainers, he spotted his goal; the shiny orb around Red's neck.

    Crawling on all fours, the Pokémon stepped lightly through the forest towards the group, eager in its mission. On tiptoe, it crawled over Red's torso, lifted the orb, and bit it happily, enjoying the feel. A sudden blue light caused it to turn its head in shock, certain of its impending discovery and capture. But it was just a Psyduck, his eyes glowing a strange blue. Though this was odd by any standard, he did not seem to know or care that he was there, so he nibbled the jewel from its string and placed in its mouth, scampering over to the still Psyduck. He waved curiously at it, no response. After a quick sniff and a few rude gestures, the Pokémon decided that it was no longer interested, turned, and disappeared into the forest.

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    When Red awoke, he did not immediately realize what he was missing. He crawled out of his sleeping bag and stood up, stretching. With a yawn, he kicked Blue awake, who yelped and then grumbled as he woke, much in the same manner. As they packed, Red went around camp, waking up his Pokémon. At first he could not find Mankey, but when he found him attempting to trip Blue with his heel, he returned him to his Poké Ball. Psyduck, oddly, was in the corner, eyes wide and wary. They seemed to sag, and Red wondered absently if he was sleeping at all. After camp was packed, and the smoke from the campfire stomped out, they picked up their Bug Pokémon and left.

    The morning went mostly the same way as it had for days. They wandered the forest, with no idea of where to go. Eventually, they found what looked like a path, so they followed it for a few hours.

    Soon, they had reached the gate. Red and Blue were both so excited that they felt like rushing the gate, but they were far too tired. They slumped along, practically dragging their cocoon Pokémon. They were considering not waiting for the evolution, and instead returning them to their Poké Balls, when they saw a Pokémon on the road ahead.

    Red recognized it instantly. How could he not? It always been one of the most popular Pokémon choices, regardless of its rarity. Long lightning bolt tail, red cheeks, mousy face...it was a Pikachu. Red put a finger to his mouth, shushing his friend, who stood aside. He gently set his Metapod down on the ground next to his Psdyuck, his eyes barely open.

    Sure, Pikachu is cool thought Blue, smirking, but he's not the best fighter, and hardly any use against Pewter's Gym Leader. I'll let Red have this one.

    However, as Red drew closer, he noticed something he did not at first. The Pokémon was gnawing a bright, shining yellow orb that had once hung around Red's neck.

    Red grabbed at his chest, searching for his Light Orb, but of course, it was not there. Shock turned to anger as he realized what must have happened. It seemed Pokémon were already getting in the habit of stealing from him. He stepped forward again, but in haste, stepped on a large stick. The Pikachu stopped playing with the stone, staring at him, frozen with fear. He remembered the trainer he had stolen the orb from, and he knew that he was in trouble.

    Red dashed forward, pulling the stone from the Pikachu's jaws. The Pokémon narrowed his eyes angrily at Red.

    CHUUUUUUUU!!!

    The Pikachu let loose a bolt of lightning from its body, zapping Red. He fell to the ground, shaking. Blue moved forward to help him up, but Red sat up on his own, still twitching.

    “G-g-go...Mankey,” stuttered Red, releasing his Pokémon. He screeched at Red as he appeared, angry for his earlier dismissal, but then noticed the shaking of his body, turned, and looked at the Pikachu. He stared, but two and two together, and then took an aggressive stance, head falling into shadow as he angered.

    Red could not give orders, but Mankey attacked just the same. He zipped forward, punching downward at Pikachu's lower body, but he jumped away, flying over his head, and launched a bolt at the Mankey. He took the shock of it with his strength, steaming mad and pounding the ground with his feet. Pikachu backed up, cheeks sparking with raw electricity.

    Mankey flashed to his target, launching a flurry of punches and kicks that would have put most human martial artists to shame. All the while he screeched like a banshee furiously, breathing in bursts through his flat nose.

    A Rage attack! realized Blue, impressed with the power of Red's Pokémon.

    Mankey followed through with the assault, pulling his hand into a flat slab and striking at his chest. The Pikachu fell, gasping, sparks emitting from its electric sacs erratically. It tripped, dizzy from the assault, and Mankey saw it ias the perfect time to finish up the fight, scrambling over with a heavy punch to the jaw. Pikachu took it, turning its body in midair and slamming Mankey with an electrically charged tail, dropping him to earth. He was out cold.

    The Pikachu huffed and puffed, barely awake.

    Red finally stood up, removing the Poké Ball from his belt, tossing it lightly.

    “Pikachu...I've got you now.”

    He pulled back, about to throw the ball, when he saw something to his right. His Psyduck, eyes closed, was waddling straight back into the forest. Red called for him to come back, but he did not respond. He simply continued to make his way deeper into the forest.

    Red called back his Mankey, running after his Psyduck and stuffing the Light Orb into his pocket. Blue ran after him soon with their Bug Pokémon in each arm, Growlithe sprinting behind him as well. Soon, they saw people up ahead where Psyduck sat, sleeping. Twenty people, no, maybe thirty, and tons of Pokémon all over the trees What were they all doing sleeping here, in the middle of the forest?

    Red and Blue skidded to a halt in front of the sleeping party,and then saw a large, humanoid, yellow Pokémon with a white fringed collar and a bulbous nose at the front of the group, eyes closed. A single pendulum rested in his hand from a string. Red pulled out his Pokédex, eager for some explanation to this phenomenon. Apparently, it was a Hypno.

    Always holding a pendulum that it rocks at a steady rhythm, it causes drowsiness in anyone nearby.

    As the electronic voice finished its explanation, the Pokémon opened its eyes, hard and beady. It lowered its head, standing up. And though they felt it was impossible, they heard a voice in their minds.

    I have been waiting for you.

    Red and Blue gasped as the voice was heard inside their heads, taking steps backward. Growlithe reared onto its hind legs and growled at the Hypno. The Pikachu, recovering from the fight, watched from the trees, curious. Now is when they will run he thought sadly.

    I had captured every single person in this forest, as soon as they fell asleep. No one was able to make the journey in a single day. Out here in this secluded place, I have been harvesting the minds, of sleeping people and Pokémon alike, keeping them asleep her, and feasting on their dreams. However...your Psyduck proved to be a problem. He sense the danger and stayed awake, protecting all of you with his psychic powers. But he could resist no longer. Now, he slumbers too. Please young trainers...won't you sleep?

    And as this thought was broadcasted through their minds, Hypno began to swing his pendulum, eying them with anticipating malice. Red fell to his knees, Blue on his back, struggling to stay awake. Growlithe too was resisting, but he quickly fell, curled in sleep.

    Red had never been so afraid. He knew that he had nothing. There was no way his Mankey could defeat the Psychic Pokémon, and to attempt to do so would only place him in danger. But his thoughts were fuzzy, and even though he knew that he would never wake up if he slept, he could not resist. Then in his fight for consciousness, he noticed something. Metapod and Kakuna, though immobile, were not sleeping. In fact, there were no bug Pokémon anywhere near the scene!

    “I know...your weakness...” struggled Red, chucking weakly, on his hands and knees now. “I figured it out.”

    Blue looked at Red, and then at their Pokémon, understanding dawning on his face.

    “You can't control the Bug Pokémon. That's why there are none here. And why ours aren't falling asleep.”

    The Hypno, face never changing, replied, Bravo. But it won't matter. I'll be feasting on your dreams before they can do you any good. They're still in their cocoon state.

    Red got to his knees slowly, resisting the hypnosis with all he had—hope.

    Blue followed suit, shaking with the effort.

    “Metapod, Kakuna....we need you to evolve now!” shouted Red with all his heart, hoping for the change he needed to live.

    Seeming to understand, both Metapod and Kakuna began to glow brilliantly, the back of their cocoons cracking. Red watched with relief, almost succumbing to sleep for it. As their bodies split down the middle, the newly evolved Butterfree and Beedrill pushed outward,climbing fro their old bodies. The Hypno tensed, losing nerve.

    Then they exploded from their shells, soaring into the air above their trainers. Butterfree and Beedrill floated in front of them, awaiting orders.

    “Butterfree, Stun Spore!” shouted Red.

    “Beedrill, Twineedle!” ordered Blue.

    Their Pokémon flew above the Hypno, who raised his arms and began to emit purple waves form his hands, no doubt trying to put them down. It did little, however, to their speedy descent. Butterfree flapped over it, releasing golden spores from its wings, freezing the Pokémon in place with paralysis, the down swooped Beedrill, ramming it with both needles. Beedrill swooped down again with another direct hit, knocking it down to the ground.

    “Alright Butterfree, Tackle it!”

    Butterfree swooped down again as Hypno got up weakly, smacked back to the ground by the force of the hit. It tripped over itself, dizzy, then fell forward, face flat into the dirt and released its pendulum, spinning on the ground.

    Red and Blue stood up fully, the effect of their weariness suddenly vanishing. Growlithe and Psyduck woke up as well, shaking their heads, though Psyduck was still worse for wear. Pikachu, who had been watching from the shadows, smiled happily. He had never trusted the humans who came through the forest. But he felt differently about this one. Could Pikachu could be friends with a human again?

    Blue made for the Pokémon, throwing a ball to catch it before it could do any more damage. To their astonishment, it simply bounced off.

    “What's going on? Why can't I catch it!?” wondered Blue to Red, picking up his Poké Ball. Then, behind the place where the Hypno had been sitting, they saw it. A black and white Poké Ball, marked at the top with a red 'R' insignia. They both looked at each other, knowing what the symbol must mean right away.

    “Rocket,” said Red with venom in his voice. Already, he had run into trouble with them.

    After a few moments, the group of people began to wake up. Sighing, Red and Blue got their attention, and explained the situation.

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    After a promise from one the local Pokémon Rangers that they would make sure the Hypno was taken care of, they headed out of the forest and back on the path to the exit gate, Red, Blue, Growlithe, and an exhausted Psyduck.

    I owe Psyduck my life realized Red suddenly as he walked, I own my Pokémon my life.

    He would make sure Psyduck got a good rest when they reached Pewter City, before they even attempted to challenge the Gym Leader.

    Blue noticed the serious expression on Red's face, but ignored it. Let him think what he will. I know what he's thinking. But Psyduck did what it was supposed to. It's a natural trainer-Pokémon relationship.

    “Too bad you missed your little electric mouse, eh Red?” gibed Blue, grimacing.

    “I did really want it, but...I'm just glad we made it out okay. That was a pretty bad situation. Almost been killed twice in my first few days as a trainer.”

    “Yeah well don't worry about it. You weren't, you're fine. So why the long fa-”

    They stopped, a few feet away from the exit. The Pikachu was back, standing on its hind legs and considering the pair. He scampered over on all fours, and Red went for his Mankey's Poké Ball, ready to battle.

    Then, Pikachu jumped at his belt and pulled one of his Poké Balls off with his teeth, landing in front of Red. He looked up at him, cocking his head.

    Red did not understand, going down on one knee to face him at eye level. From under the brim of his hat, they locked eyes, searching for meaning.

    Then, the Pikachu dropped the ball on the ground with the button pressed, zapping inside the red and white ball. One, two, three shivers of the ball, and it stopped moving.

    Red thought he understood. All the same...

    Red picked up the ball from the dirt road, staring at it. He pressed the button, letting him out again. The Pikachu folded his arms, silently asking what he wanted.

    “If you don't shock me again, you don't have to stay in the ball. I bet you love the outdoors. Okay?” he asked politely, extending an arm.

    Pikachu smiled and nodded, scrambling up his arm and onto his shoulder. He pushed Red's hat over his eyes and pointed out to the gate, calling out.

    “Pikapiiii!”

    “You're going to have to not do that,” muttered Red, ruffled, but amused too.

    With that, they went through the doors of the gate, leaving the mysterious Viridian Forest.

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    END CHAPTER 3

  11. #11
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    Great job! I'm hooked. I really enjoy the way you write the characters. Their relationship seems a bit more realistic. I can tell there's a friendly rivalry, but at the same time, a mutual respect and camraderie. You write dialogue well, IMO, and that helps to bring that out.

    As a side note, I'm also enjoying the hints you're giving about the villianry of the Rockets. (I read Kasumi/Rocket, btw, and know just how bad they can be). Anyways, keep up the great work, and I definitely would read more.

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    Thank you so much for your praise. I'll do my best to honor it in the next chapter, when Brock shows.

  13. #13
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    CHAPTER FOUR: EVERSTONE

    The door slammed behind Red as Blue crept in behind him. He started, twirling around with his Pikachu clinging to his shirt for support, and looked back to see Blue, who laughed heartily and placed his forehead in the palm of his hand in exasperation. Red turned back, surveying the surroundings in shock. Though Red had never been to the checkpoint between Viridian Forest and Pewter City, he was sure it had looked better than this. The lights, though glowing dimly moments ago, blinked into darkness every few seconds, throwing everything into hazy relief, casting shadows off of broken tables and chairs, smashed pots that once contained small berry trees and other fauna, and a variety of debris spread all over the faded white, cracked, and ruined floor. The counter where an official would be approving passage was dusty on its yellow top, and below it, a red 'R' was splashed hastily across the wood in a thick red paint. Red's Psyduck crept noticeably closer to Red in the semi-darkness.

    Blue stepped forward first, though still shaken by their encounter with Hypno, and called out to the darkness.

    “Is anyone there?”

    A moan rose from behind the dilapidated counter. Red took an involuntary step backward, clutching his left hand in a fist. Slowly, a white hand crept over the counter top, groping to take hold of something. When the fingers finally found something to grasp, a haggard, worn man with jet black hair and a lopsided officer's cap pulled himself up from behind the desk, apparently reeling from a long time of being unconscious. He straightened himself erratically.

    “Ugh...I'm so thirsty...where's my tea...”

    Red sighed in heavy relief, Blue laughed. Suddenly, the door opened behind them and Red jumped in shock, followed by his Pikachu, who spontaneously shot a jolt of electricity into Red's shoulder. He shook for a moment, rubbing his slightly numbed arm.

    Thankfully, it was just the local Pokémon Ranger that they had woken earlier.

    “Go on, you two. I almost forgot about the checkpoint. I'll explain everything to him.”

    Blue nodded, grabbing his friend's arm and pulling out towards the exit doors with their Pokémon before he could object.

    Light spread out over them, brighter than anything they had encountered in their time in the forest, and for a moment they shielded their eyes before observing the road before them. The dirt path was mostly clear, with a single fenced-off white house to the right of the lane. A strange, humanoid Pokémon with long, wacky purple hair swept the porch, its trainer eying them curiously as they began to walk along the path to the city.

    They arrived at Pewter City as evening came. The place was moderately calm in the glow of the orange sky, a cool wind passing over. There were many children about, playing with bug Pokémon that had come from the forest. The mostly gray buildings basked in the sunlight and shone brightly, and though the city looked rather dull even in the brilliance of the sun, Red was glad to see it. Not far north from the Pokémon Center, Pewter Gym sat, a resolute stone building with only miniscule windows at its very top top let light in. Tomorrow, he and Blue would challenge the Gym for its badge, together. However, Blue seemed to have a different idea about things. His eyes were hard with determination, Red could almost feel his will pushing off the stone walls of the gym.

    “Tomorrow, Blue...I think we're all tired,” said Red, looking at him sternly.

    Blue opened his mouth as if to argue, but his Growlithe began pawing at his pant leg and he relented. They made their way into the Center, healed their Pokémon, rented a room, and made to rest for the night.

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

    For a second time in the long days since leaving home, Red laid wide awake in a dark room, still as the grave. He watched his Pokémon all sleeping in a corner, Pikachu curled up next to his Psyduck, who had fallen asleep sitting down. He felt a pang of guilt looking at the pair, sleeping in the cold night. They shivered in the cold as they slumbered. Red heard a rustling of sheets from behind him; Blue's Growlithe was attempting to snuggle under his trainer's covers, Blue pushed him away with a foot in reaction. The Pokémon curled up whimpering in the corner, cold and shaking. Red frowned and turned his head back to his own Pokémon, thinking. He exhaled and removed the blanket from his chest, throwing it over his Pokémon, who stopped shivering, but did not wake.

    Blue, who was also awake, watched him in the mirror and said nothing. He smirked, finally closing his eyes.

    Red, you really are a sap sometimes...

    They deserve it...I think in a way, they've all saved my life, and only 3 days in, thought Red, rolling onto his back and staring up at the lights dancing feebly on the ceiling.

    I don't know why Blue is acting like this. Back home, he was different. He doesn't even seem to care about them.

    Then suddenly, a memory came flooding back to him.

    It had been seven years ago when he and Blue had become friends, though it had not always been that way. He had always been the quiet type, though no one really knew why. Ever since his father had left, well, things had never been the same. Naturally, he had become a target for the other kids around Pallet Town...including Blue. He had bullied Red since he was five, leading the rest of the neighborhood in a jaunt against his odd behavior. Even his friends were not totally exempt from his bad attitude. Once or twice he caught him beating up on another young boy. Red had never understood why...why he or anyone else should be the target of their aggression.

    Then, seven years ago, he had heard the news that Blue's parents had died on Mt. Silver, a famous landmark of the Johto region. All that was known was that they had been found buried under an avalanche. Red had not been sure what to think when he heard the news. He did not hate Blue, but he did remember that he had been a source of torment for years. On that day, he had seen Blue away from his usual group of friends, sitting alone and despaired outside his grandfather's laboratory, and he, Red, had gone to comfort him.

    “Blue...you know I heard about what happened, and, I wanted to see if you wanted to talk about it,” he had said, on top of that hill, seven years ago.

    “What do you know about it?” said Blue angrily, clutching his arms tightly, “get out of here!”

    Blue had gotten up and punched him...square in the jaw. In the present, Red rubbed his jaw absentmindedly. Red had fallen back on the hilltop, clutching his jaw there, that same day, seven year ago, and said:

    “...I haven't seen my dad...in six years...”

    Then Blue dropped to the ground, sitting quietly for several minutes while Red clutched his knees and say quietly.

    The next day, Blue treated him not as a victim, but a friend, and, he noticed, the rest of the neighborhood seemed to have mellowed out as well. He and Blue had become best friends...

    Red closed his eyes and pulled his cap over his face.

    Do I even really know you, Blue? Or did I know you better before we were friends?

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    The morning did not come quietly. Red awoke to a crashing sound, a bag had just been flung over his body and hit the wall with a sickening crash, sending the contents flying. Out of the corner of his eye he saw his Psyduck dive to the side as it hit, and a painful pressure on his ear told him his Pikachu was making a good effort to get him up as well.

    “Get UP, you oaf!” yelled Blue behind him. Red turned on his side, scratching his side and yawning lazily. His eyes were still partially glazed over.

    “Whassamatter Blue...” fumbled Red, having difficulty stringing together his words properly, lethargic.

    “It's past noon, you've been sleeping all day! I was about to go without you,” he replied, his hands on his waist. His Growlithe sat silently at his side, no doubt confused about the thrown bag. “What's with you? We have a gym to hit.”

    “Hey...I was tired...” said Red, rubbing his eyes and sitting up cross-legged, “Sorry man.”

    “Yeah yeah, don't worry I guess...I'll be waiting outside, pick up your junk and get out there,” muttered Blue, hoisting his bags. He threw open the door and walked out, his Growlithe scrambling through the door before it slammed shut.

    Red shook his head and started picking up toothpaste tubes, socks, and other odds and ends from his open bag, and stuffed them back in, his Pokémon helping as best they could. He smiled as he jammed the compass his Pikachu had just handed him into the bag; he really was happy to have caught him. As his Pikachu grabbed a watch and started to carry it over to him, his Psyduck waddled forth holding several batteries and seemed to waddle into Red's line of sight so that he could not see his Pikachu standing on the tips of its toes to hand Red a screwdriver.

    They're competing... thought Red, bemused.

    After the bag had been repacked, Red stood and stretched with his arms over his head, stopping once to smell under his arm.

    Eh. Shower later.

    He walked across the room in strides, opening the door and motioning to his Pokémon. Pikachu dashed to him on all fours, climbing up his leg and onto his shoulder, while Psyduck made his way over behind him out the door. Red tipped his hat playfully at the local nurse has he made his way to the double doors, which slid open at his footsteps. Blue was waiting there, his back to Red. He turned and grinned excitedly, holding up a hand. Red slapped against the palm with his own, and the two walked the dirt road to the Pewter Gym.

    Imposing, roughly hewn rock hovered over them, a monolith all its own. Chiseled in neatly over the stone entrance were the words: “Pewter Gym: Rock Pokémon Masters”. It looked as though it had been built many years ago, chipped and cracked all over the solid walls. Red sighed and pushed his hands onto the warm slab of a door, grunting with the effort. Blue struggled next to him, his back to the door as he unloaded his weight and strength into it. It opened slowly, and as they tumbled in they were met with darkness. Unnerved, Red plodded forth into the darkness, their Pokémon beginning to follow uncertainly. Finally, around what Red was sure was the middle of the room, he stopped moving, paused, and waited. When nothing happened, he called out into the shadows.

    “My name is Red and this is my friend Blue. We've come to challenge your gym for its badge! Come out, we know you're there!” yelled Red, though he was not entirely convinced.

    Suddenly, a flicking of a switch in the room. Spotlights began flaring up around the room, casting shadows on tall, jagged rocks lining the massive stadium, half-buried in dark red earth that flatly covered the ground. There were bleachers on either side, though no one was sitting in them at the moment, with stairs down to the back wall and sets of doors on either side. As the final lights came on, the thudding of heavy footfalls could be heard in front of them, and at last the Gym Leader revealed himself.

    He was barefooted, his toes and ankles caked with dirt that seemed as if it was ingrained into into his flesh, a part of his beings, coming out of filthy brown pants tied to his body haphazardly with rope. His flat chest seemed as dominant and unrelenting at the rubble around them, supporting his square head, thin, discerning eyes, and dusty, spiked hair. Though he really wasn't that much older than them, his appearance and his presence gave him the feel of a rugged and strong young man. His dark skin nearly caused him to blend in with his own stadium. As he thundered forward, he gazed at them, his eyes blank. Whatever he was thinking, Red and Blue would never know. He stopped only a few feet away from them, oblivious to the sharp rubble that should have been cutting into his unprotected feet. After a full minute, he spoke to them.

    “I can see you are here. I am Brock, Gym Leader here, and you are my challengers. You have wit, and determination. But you do not have strength! You are punching uselessly at a brick wall, and it will not relent to tricks or will alone...” he stated in a deep, strong voice.

    “I...” began Red, confused by this odd observation.

    “You, or your friend? Who is here to take the challenge?” he asked simply, waving Red down.

    “Both of us. We thought maybe we just take it in turns, we--”

    “Turns? You want to have turns? I don't have the time to waste. Let me see...” he said.

    Red and Blue looked at each other, and then to their Pokémon,who seemed somewhat intimidated by the Gym Leader. His Psyduck was edging backwards slowly, and Pikachu had lowered his head, ears down, perched on top of his shoulder. Secretly, Red agreed with them. There was no mistaking the raw power of the man before them. Blue, however, was grinning with anticipation.

    “If you're so tough, then you wouldn't mind taking on two trainers at once, would you big guy?”

    Brock turned back to face them, an eyebrow raised. For a moment, he said nothing. He then chuckled loudly, holding his sides.

    “Alright, alright. I will. A two-on-two battle, first side to run out of Pokémon wins. Sound fair?” he asked mockingly, folding his arms and standing in a wide stance.

    Red did a double take, then nodded, along with Blue, who grabbed a PokéBall from his belt and tossed it up and down in his hand.

    “Go to the other side of the gym, turn about, and face me. We start on my signal. Any earlier, and you lose by default,” he explained, turning back around and striding to raised stand at the back of the gym. Red and Blue nodded shortly and made their way to the from of the gym, then turned to look at him.

    Brock looked at them, his white teeth flashing for a demeaning grin, then looked up to seemingly nobody, and shouted, “Let them in! This will be my exhibition match for the day!”

    To Red and Blue's surprise, the doors burst open as nearly a hundred people began to climb the back stairs, filling the bleachers with an excessive noise, men women and children all. The metal platform clattered with excited onlookers...all fans of Brock apparently, as many of them began making jeering calls to the pair of boys. Still, Red and Blue grinned widely. The roof suddenly opened to let in the sun, sliding away mechanically. They had not expected to have an audience, and it made Red nervous, but it was exciting nonetheless; the atmosphere was palpable.

    “Hey, pay attention to your opponent!” shouted Brock over the small crowd, stamping his foot on the hard ground, “you ready already?”

    The pair looked back at the Pokémon they had out, then at the PokéBalls clipped at their waist, and nodded.

    “Let the Gym battle...begin!”

    They all moved at the same time. Brock tossed his arms upward, throwing his balls into the air. They spun, arced, and bounced off the earthy floor, releasing two Pokémon in a flash of light. The first appeared at first glance to be a small boulder, which landed with a thud, arms covering its craggy face. As it landed it threw them out to its sides ridgedly, rapping the earth with its knuckles, which responded clumsily by cracking beneath the pressure. From the other ball came a giant, snake-like monster, its body the shape of a series of connected boulders, with a gigantic stone horn coming from its head. It roared, thrashing its tail widely.

    Red and Blue responded immediately, tossing their own PokéBalls into the arena, which opened and released their two new bug Pokémon—Butterfree and Beedrill.

    “Bug types!?” roared Brock incredulously from his elevated stance, laughing. “You'll have to step it up.”

    Red ignored the gibes and pulled out his Pokédex to scan the new Pokémon. It emitted a beeping sound and dictated:

    Geodude. It is often mistaken for an ordinary boulder and tripped on by passersby. If it is, it won't get angry. It maintains its defensive position.

    Onix. This Pokémon is a skilled tunneler, reaching 70-80 miles an hour underground. Its hardness is rarely matched by anything found in nature.

    “Tough skin, but I think we can break through it,” commented Blue, snapping his Pokédex shut.

    “Maybe...let's see what he does...” said Red nervously, wishing he had chosen differently.

    Brock leered at them, then shook his head.

    “Go, go, go! Onix, go underground! Geodude, Defense Curl, Rock Polish, Rollout!” barked Brock.

    The Onix leapt into the air, turned its head downward, and went crashing downwards into the ground, causing the whole stadium to rumble, tiny rocks clattering on the ground. Geodude, put its arms back over its face and began spinning in one position at incredible speed, then released and started bouncing off walls and rocks like a mad pinball.

    Immediately, Butterfree and Beedrill had to begin dodging the flying Geodude's assault, but every movement out of its way was only met with a rebound back in their direction. The blinding speed but Red and Blue off, they were simply stunned.

    “Butterfree, used Stun Spore!” commanded Red in an effort to take control.

    As Geodude came rocketing towards Butterfree, it flapped its large wings and sent a pale yellow powder flying at the Rock Pokémon. It stopped spinning, tumbling onto the ground.

    Blue looked impressed and pumped his fist into the air, giving his own command, “Beedrill, follow it up with a Fury Attack!”

    Beedrill charged impressively through the air, large needles outstretched at the paralyzed Geodude, when suddenly, Brock yelled, “Now Onix, Tackle!”

    Out of nowhere, the snakelike Onix burst from the ground beneath Beedrill and crashed into it from below, sending it flying into the air like a helpless doll. Blue shouted in surprise and swore under his breath as Beedrill landed with a weak thud. Red's Butterfree made a small, frightened noise and backed up as Onix turned in the air again and crashed back into the ground, leaving another huge hole.

    “Get up Beedrill, get up, we have a match to win! I know you can do it!” shouted Blue, pounding a fist in his palm. Slowly but surely, Beedrill got up, rising clumsily into the air. It had looked intensely powerful before; now it looked feeble and weak compared to this monster of a Pokémon, and Red worried Blue was pushing too far.

    “Again Beedrill, Fury Attack!” shouted Blue, pointing at the dazed Geodude.

    What do we even do about that Onix if its underground all the time? thought Red.

    Suddenly, Brock commanded, “Tackle again Onix!” The Pokémon blasted up into the air again from its tunnels, but Beedrill was ready this time. He zoomed backwards, dodging the Onix spiraling upward. It turned attempting to zoom around the Onix. Then the behemoth raised its mighty tail and slammed the tip into Beedrill like swatting a fly. There was no second chance this time, it crumpled to the floor. Once again, Onix turned on the spot and fled back to its tunnels.

    Blue ground his teeth angrily and Red began to sweat; he had know this would be a tough match, but the display of power was unprecedented.

    “Butterfree, Confusion on Geodude!” ordered Red, but the Geodude had already recovered from its paralysis and was spinning towards Butterfree with a tearing sound in the air. It pounded sickeningly across his Pokémon's abdomen and it fell, out cold, as the Geodude spun back to the other side of the gym and landed with a satisfied smile, slamming the floor with its fist.

    The crowd cheered, it was live a wave of realization crashing over them—they had truly hit the big leagues.

    Red wiped the warm salt and water from his brow, throwing his PokéBall out to recover Buterfree; Blue followed silently.

    “Choose your next Pokémon trainers. I don't have all day,” Brock said mockingly.

    Red's Pikachu growled form his shoulder, red cheeks sparking menacingly. He patted him softly and whispered, “Sorry Pikachu, but they're part ground-type. I can't use you, your attacks won't work.”

    His Pikachu lowered his head sadly and Red felt a sudden gratefulness for its loyalty. He tried to think of a way to let him down easier, when Blue snapped him back to reality.

    “Hey, Red, don't start that! We got a battle to finish. Listen, use your Mankey and I'll use Pidgey. It's a good combo, I think it'll work.”

    Red nodded and grabbed Mankey's ball, praying he would be obedient, and released him into the battle, followed by Blue's Pidgey. As Mankey appeared he took notice of the Geodude on the other side of the gym and widened his stance, raising his paws to fight. Blue's Pidgey let out a shrill screech as it emerged, flapping its way high into the air.

    “Now we're getting somewhere,” said Brock, “a Fighting-type. Pity, it seems your partner has nothing to counter Rock-types. He'll need to work on that after this match is over.”

    Blue looked taken aback at a near stranger giving him advice, clutching his fist.

    “Shut up and battle punk.”

    “Whatever you like. Geodude, Rock Throw!”

    Geodude picked up two large stones from the arena floor and lobbed them quickly at Mankey, who sidestepped to avoid them with any command needed.

    “Good, Mankey! Now I want-”

    Mankey, however, wasn't interested in taking commands. He dashed forward furiously, a vein bulging in his temple, and swiped at Brock's Geodude furiously. It covered its front with its arms, taking every blow without any indication of being weakened. Brock looked a little angry.

    “Keep your Pokémon under control, or you'll never beat anyone!” he yelled, disappointed.

    Red shook his head. He should have known—Mankey was far from docile yet.

    “Mankey, come on, listen to me now!” he yelled. Blue stepped forward then, past Red, angry with him.

    Red is so hopeless sometimes. He can't even control his Pokémon right. He'd be lost without me thought Blue, smirking.

    “I'll take charge, Red. Pidgey, Sand-Attack!”

    His bird Pokémon flapped harder and dived low to the ground, sending an upsurge of dust everywhere. Soon, vision of their Pokémon was lost to the sand in the air. When it finally cleared, Geodude was covering its face again, and Mankey was blinded, lashing out with no control wherever its arms could reach.

    “Nothing's working...Mankey won't listen...I...” said Red, starting to despair. He sank to his knees. “I don't know what to do.”

    “If you want to win, work as a team,” said Brock sternly.

    The crowd began to laugh at Red, though Brock's expression remain unchanged, resolute. Blue watched Red, alarmed, then turned back to the fight hastily, determined to win.

    “We just have to think of a plan...but it's hard to hit that Geodude to begin with. Every time we try to hit it with a legitimate attack, that Onix comes back up and pummels us. What do we...?”

    An idea hit Red then, rushing through his brain like warm medicine. He stood back up.

    “Mankey! If you want to win, listen to me! If you want to end up with your face in dirt, keep it up,” yelled Red across the room. Brushing sand out of his eyes, Mankey stamped its foot angrily at him and puffed out its pig-like nostrils. Red hoped that was a 'yes'.

    “Blue, send Pidgey after Geodude, a direct attack,” said Red resolutely.

    “But-”

    “Trust me!” Red yelled back.

    “Fine...Pidgey, use Wing Attack!”

    Pidgey crowed loudly and divebombed at Geodude, who covered its face again in response. Everyone heard a rumbling, and knew what would happen soon.

    “Block him off Onix!” advised Brock.

    As soon as Onix began to rise form the ground, Red grimaced and ordered, “Now, Mankey, Low Kick!”

    Reluctantly Mankey slided into a diving kick at the base of Onix's tunnel, its small foot crashing into the Pokémon with ridiculous force. It was sent flying into a nearby jagged rock, crashing headfirst into it with enough force to rock the whole gym. Blue looked stunned, it was an excellent strategy.

    Why didn't I think of that...it seems so obvious now... thought Blue nervously, regarding Red as he pumped his fist in the air victoriously.

    As the Onix began to groggily lift itself from the ground, Brock yelled, “Rollout that Mankey, take it down!”

    It spun in pace again, looking to knock out Mankey, and Red acted quickly.

    “Mankey, grab it, use Seismic Toss!”

    Mankey clapped his hands around the incoming Geodude, pressing hard until it stopped spinning, then jumped into the air with more strength than any person could muster, flipped in the air, and tossed it downward at the rocky ground with another loud crash.

    As Mankey landed, Red looked up to Brock, hoping to see some sign of relent, but Brock merely smiled and, to his surprise, clapped.

    “Good job.”

    And then Red found himself smiling back, lowering the brim of his hat.

    “Thanks.”

    Blue looked on frustratedly at the two, both amazed at Red's sudden display of skill and upset at his own near-uselessness.

    Though they had been hit hard, Brock's Pokémon recovered quickly, up and ready for the fight.
    “I guess there's no point in trying that trick anymore. You already know how to counter it,” said Brock, unflinching.

    “No, I guess not,” said Red, staring him down as the crowd continued to go wild.

    Brock continued to grin. “Good. Let's get back on track. Geodude, Tackle, Onix, Slam!”

    Red and Blue pulled themselves together quickly, issuing orders.

    “Mankey, Vital Throw!”

    “Pidgey, Gust!”

    As Brock's Onix sped forward, lashing at Mankey with its tail, Mankey jumped in the air, grabbed it, and landed on the other side of its body, turning on its heel one hundred and eighty degrees and tossing it back to the rock it had just peen laying against. Meanwhile Blue's Pidgey blasted a gust of wind at the incoming Geodude, slowing and wearing it down.

    “Now Pidgey,” commanded Blue, hand outstretched, “Tackle while its weakened!”

    The combined assault of the earlier Seismic Toss, the erosion from Gust and this blunt, full force attack, were now too much for Geodude, and it flew back, slamming into the wall and sliding down with the horrible grinding noise of stone on stone.

    Brock lost his cool, suddenly tensing and tightening his arms and legs.

    “This is pretty impressive. I'm proud to have such challengers in my gym,” said Brock, opening his PokéBall. Geodude was sucked back in cleanly, he closed the ball.

    “I am not down yet. Onix, Double-Edge,” said Brock calmly.

    Onix lunged forward, toppling their two Pokémon like dominoes with his incredible strength, strikign Pidgey out of the air. Mankey attempted to grab Onix's massive body and keep it from plowing him into the dirt, but even he was not strong enough to withstand it. Onix landed on its head, the rest of its body following suit, and though it looked out of sort, it appeared not to have suffered any recoil at all from the attack.

    “Onix is too hard to take any damage even from such a risky tackle. No punch or throw will get through his defense completely!” boasted Brock, his arms folded again.

    Blue returned his Pidgey immediately, but Red rushed over onto the field, where his Mnakey lay half-buried in earth. He dug his hands into the dirt, sifting it away from his fallen Pokémon. He was out cold...but otherwise alright.

    “Sorry, Mankey,” he whispered, now much more keenly aware of what was being asked of them. He promised himself he would remember it, for them.

    Red returned Mankey to his ball and sighed, getting up and returning to his position on the field.

    Blue gaped at Red has he walked back, holding the PokéBall purposefully in his hands. He had come farther, in a lot of ways, than Blue had realized in these past few days.

    He's my friend. I should be happy...but I'm not realized Blue, frowning. I can't be happy...for my rival.

    “Blue,” said Red simply as he met him, clipping his PokéBall back to its belt. He then raised his arm, slowly, and extended a hand to Blue's, saying, “I've got one more idea. He's right, Onix's defense is impressive, and we don't have anything that can get through it with sheer force...but there's a way...and I'm going to need you to follow my lead.”

    Blue returned from his thoughts to face Red, and, with a grin on his face, met Red's outstretched hand, and shook it.

    “Psyduck...I can tell you're scared. But I need you to pull through for me,” said Red, turning to his cowering Pokémon.

    Psyduck shivered, taking a step back.

    “I'm counting on you.”

    Red's Psyduck put its hands on its head, squeezing its eyes shut, probably from his latest headache, but nodded all the same and waddled forward.

    “That's the spirit. Blue, you ready?” asked Red, keeping his eyes focus on Brock, who seemed to be having trouble meeting Red's intense gaze.

    His Growlithe leapt forward, baring his teeth and growling at Onix, who looked unimpressed.

    “Yeah, as ready as I was when we came in. Let's take a badge for ourselves and get out of this town,” said Blue, jeering up at the crowd below, “the people are rude.”

    Red laughed. Typical Blue.

    “Are you done yet?” asked Brock from across the gym, raising an eyebrow.

    “Yeah. Let's do this,” said Blue; Red nodded in agreement.

    “Psyduck, aim a Water Gun at the ceiling! Blue, I need some fire here!”

    As Psyduck opened its bill and began spouting water from its throat, Blue realized the plan and called, “Growlithe, aim your Flamethrower at the tip of his spout!”

    The jets of flame and water met in midair, swirling into a thick steam that covered the gym in obscurity. Brock and many of the audience began to cough loudly; Red and Blue covered their mouths with their shirts.

    “Onix, use a Double Edge wherever you can find them!” ordered Brock between coughs, doubled over.

    They could hear and feel the massive tremors as Onix lunged about randomly, hoping to hit the two. Red knew Psyduck and Growlithe would be doing their best to dodge without his command.

    Eventually, the steam cleared and Onix was reveal, roaring with agony. The water was too much for his body, wearing it down and lowering his defense. Brock gasped, finally having realized the plan.

    “Give him some more Psyduck, aim another Water Gun at Onix!” yelled Red.

    “Growlithe, Take Down while he's vulnerable!”

    Another pounding jet of water burst from Psyduck's moth, hitting Onix at his side, and he cried out in pain, lashing his tail blindly at the source but missing by several feet. Growlithe came in from the other side, hitting the brunt of Onix's side with a full-on tackle, knocking Onix over. He lay sprawled on rocky floor, writhing...

    “That's enough! Onix, return,” called Brock, opening up his second PokéBall to return the massive Pokémon.

    There was a ringing in Red's ears. Everything to him was now shut out, unimportant.

    We won. We beat the Gym Leader.

    Blue smirked with his eyes closed, tossing back his hair with his free hand as Growlithe jogged back to him, running in circles and yapping excitedly. Psyduck stumbled over to Red, looking up at him. Red looked down, picking him up, and hugged his first Pokémon excitedly.

    “You, and everyone else...they did a great job,” said Red, putting him down, and his Pikachu nodded happily.

    Then, he became aware of the crowd, cheering and clapping above them, and he smiled up to all of them, basking in the glory of the moment. Brock was soon striding across the arena, clapping, and was only a few feet away from him in no time.

    “Congratulations...congratulations...I assume this is your first League Badge? Take it. The Boulderbadge is all yours, both of you,” said Brock, outstretching his hands. Red and Blue reached out to meet his, and he dropped a small, stone-gray badge into their hands, cut smoothly into a rigid octagon.

    Red took it, feeling the coarse stone in his hands, then took the back pin and clipped it to his jacket.

    “I was surprised—but in a good way. Blue, you need to stick close to your friend—and closer to your Pokémon. You're lucky to have such a great trainer as a friend. If I wasn't running this gym, I wouldn't mind going with...and, you did fine, but you aren't working with your Pokémon properly. You can only get better though!”

    Blue scowled. “Look buddy, we beat you fair and square, don't get all preachy on me!”

    “Whatever you like,” said Brock, annoyed as the crowd exploded in applause around them. “Congratulations.”


    As the crowd cheered, Red had no doubt in his mind—this was the life he had wanted.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Where the lines overlap.
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    this is actually pretty good.
    i dunno, i guess the whole using Red and Blue as the main characters might have flicked them off, but after reading down a bit more, this is a bit different from other fics. Not a whole lot, but you're only on chapter 4. you've got some time to grow.
    Not a lot of people would give their main characters those kind of Pokemon. Especially Psyduck. Can't say much about plot or anything, we all know what's going to happen, just don't know how. But that comes later.
    On to the smaller details, sometimes the grammar, spelling, or other things i can't quite remember gets messed up, but nothing too daunting. Is that the right word?

    Anyways, just showing some support. I noticed your lack of reviewers. Can't wait for the next chapter.
    Behind him,
    across vast distances of space and time,
    from a place he had left,
    he thought he heard music, too.
    Your image was too big, so it was removed. This is your 1st strike, so only the rule-breaking part was removed. Please remember to read the signature rules and get your signature checked if you need help.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    18

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    Pretty sure it's avoided because of the stylized 'Blak' name--they just assume I'm too dumb to spell it right.

    Thanks for your support.

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