Rating: PG-13 [Some language, mild violence, character pairings]
Well, first of all, an introduction! To keep from cluttering the IC, story parts, I think I'll put all of me talking in spoiler tags.
Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:
I was a kid when Pokémon hit the U.S. You know, when Red/Blue first came out and playing it was actually 'cool'. A mini-tragedy arose, though, because I wasn't allowed to own any sort of video game back then--so I couldn't actually play either of them. That didn't stop me from being just as obsessed as everyone else I knew, thanks to the T.V. show, cards, and Stadium at a friend's house.
There was one other thing I did, though--write. I'd never heard of fanfiction and I didn't realize that's exactly what I was doing until much, much later. Now, almost all--well, okay, all--of what I did back then was absolutely terrible. I could barely string a sentence together, let alone come up with a (good) plot or (interesting) characters.
But I kept at it. And eventually I'd been doing it for so long that even after I actually got video games, I would keep on writing about them. I'm a lot older now, and (hopefully) a much better writer. And I think the time has come to start sharing what I've been doing.
I had the idea for this particular story a couple of years ago--right after I'd played through Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. Essentially, I wanted to link the first three generations' indivdual storylines and characters (human and Pokémon) into one unbroken plot--mostly based on the games themselves but with influences from barely-remembered points of the T.V. shows, along with a couple characters and events that are purely mine. It was to be particularly focused on the Legendary Pokémon, since I felt they badly needed to be linked together and explained.
I set about actually writing it, adding in certain elements of the fourth generation as I found out a little about that--though mostly as an afterthought. I haven't actually beaten any of those games, so their story was much more an afterthought... until the very end.
I'd made it up to about 150 pages before the computer I was doing it on caught a virus, so unfortunately, I don't have any of it. But I do know exactly what the general plot outline is, and will be reconstructing it here.
Right, that's enough of me rambling, isn't it? Let's get to the actual point of this thread...
Prolouge: The Legend of Arceus
At first, there was nothing… then—there was Arceus!
Who can say from whence the Creator came? Perhaps It was always there, simply waiting; perhaps it came to this universe from somewhere else, somewhere that we cannot hope to begin to comprehend…
But there is no question that Arceus was and is supreme.
It began its work by creating other Beings, each to have a portion of Its unlimited power. There was Dialga, who could control Time; Palkia, who governed Space; Giratina, embodiment of Chaos; Regigigas, the Guardian; Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf, the Messengers; and Darkrai, of all servants the most gifted… and the most ambitious.
Then Arceus turned Its attention to the shaping of the World. At first it was a simple thing, a mere orb, empty and lifeless. But then Arceus created three more beings: Rayquaza, master of the skies; Groudon, master of the land; and Kyorge, master of the seas. These It instructed to go out and shape the surface of the World, giving it air and earth and oceans.
Soon the World was complete; it but needed to be populated. So Arceus made the Mews, giving them the ability to assume any form they wished; and It told them to create the common Pokémon as they wished, and to spread out and multiply the World.
But Its work was not done; and while the Mews sought to discover the extent of their powers, Arceus created still more Pokémon—those whose strength the Mews’ own could not rival; and these were the Deoxys, shape-shifters and clone-creators; and the Lati- race, servants of Rayquaza; and the Cele- race, time-travelers; and Ho-oh and Lugia, the great birds, and their servants Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. Finally it made Jirachi, whose purpose was known only to It. And then It paused.
But Ho-oh did not feel that the work of creation was done; and it sought permission of Arceus to make for itself servants, of a kind. And this granted, it brought to life Suicune, and Entei, and Raikou.
And then Arceus declared that, save for what the Mews became, there were to be no more Pokémon; for It was introducing a companion-race: humans. This caused a great deal of debate and controversy among the higher Beings, some of whom thought the World should be solely for Pokémon; but Arceus did not heed them.
So it was that humans entered the World; and at first they were lonely and helpless, and looked ill-fit to survive. But Arceus revealed Its wisdom, and the Pokémon the Mews had become came upon the humans; and the two kinds began to assist one another, and live together in mutual harmony.
So the plan was revealed; but not all were pleased. In particular among the Beings, there were two: Darkrai, who became jealous of Arceus, and Regigigas, who hated the humans. Darkrai was too cunning to act overtly, at least not until he believed himself to have a chance at succeeding; so he quietly removed the Deoxys from the World, and passed them some of his power, and began to instruct them in his dark ways.
But Regigigas was not so cautious, and without his Master’s blessing he created three beings: Regirock, and Regice, and Registeel. These he placed in the World, and instructed them to destroy the human race in its entirety. But the humans had by now a strong bond of loyalty and friendship with their Pokémon; and they fought the Regis, and locked them away, where they could do no harm.
Arceus’ anger was terrible to behold; and he ordered the Beings to seize Regigigas and bring him forward for judgment. But Regigigas fought, and he was very strong; and Darkrai took advantage of the turmoil to unleash his long-planned assault. Deoxys by the thousands emerged to attack the Beings, with him at their head. And there was war among them.
When It saw this, Arceus’ rage grew, such that none who looked upon It could bear to see. And It entered in to the conflict, scattering the Deoxys before It; and when Darkrai attempted to attack, It struck him down with such force that all the fighting ceased entirely.
Then Arceus spoke, and said: “Fools are those who would rebel against Me; am I not your Master, more powerful than any of you could hope to be? It was doomed from the start; and now that you have lost, you shall pay the penalty.”
Then It took Darkrai and cast him into another dimension; and Regigigas after him. The Deoxys were forbidden from setting foot in the World again, on pain of death, and banished to the empty space beyond.
So peace came to the World. It is said that Arceus now sleeps, Its work done; though others believe It remains vigilant, watching over human and Pokémon alike.
And some remember that Darkrai vowed to escape from his prison and return, someday, to destroy all that Arceus held dear…
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 9th November 2009 at 2:01 AM.
I have to try really hard to work myself out of my normal reviewing state to review a "Holy Book" story... I can't really criticize you for listing off every legendary in existence, can I now?
Otherwise, I can't find any flaws in content, as I myself am not an expert on Holy Books and how they are written. From what I've read of Genesis in the Catholic Bible, though, I can tell you know what you're doing.
Is this a one shot, or will it evolve into a story about Darkrai? You may have some competition with Mrs. Lovett and Deeds of Darkness, but I'd like to see a story built around this event, or what happens later as a result.
Is this a one shot, or will it evolve into a story about Darkrai? You may have some competition with Mrs. Lovett and Deeds of Darkness, but I'd like to see a story built around this event, or what happens later as a result.
It's neither, actually.
The prolouge was, as you thought, a Creation story--inspired mostly by Tolkien's Silmarillion, actually, since it features not just a 'God' character but also a 'pantheon' of sorts. Though he based it off Genesis, obviously...
Anyway, that's what the prolouge was: a myth, or legend, that everyone in this story would have at least heard, even if they don't believe it. Darkrai--and all the other Legendarys--are coming back... eventually. But right now they're not the focus.
As for what is...
Volume One: Kanto
Sixteen years ago
The moon was full that night, a pale light filtering down and illuminating, faintly, the ramshackle series of houses that called itself a town. Even in the semi-darkness, there was a quaint, rustic feel, with only one exception: a large, rectangular building, set apart from the other structures both by physical distance and appearance—it had a streamlined look, and was obviously brand-new.
The town was situated in an area that had once been all forest, and to the east and west of the cleared-away area, trees still stretched away into the distance. To the south, tiny waves lapped gently against the shoreline; the rough portions of the sea were not to be found for many more miles, beyond the town’s imagination.
It was almost midnight, and the skies were nearly empty. The vast majority of the bird Pokémon had long since taken to roost, though the occasional Noctowl flitted through the trees in search of prey. They were silent, though, as nature demanded; to any human observer, the entire scene would be peaceful… perfect, even.
Samuel Oak, however, was in no mood to appreciate nature. He rubbed at his eyes, blinking wearily out the window, and then looked back down at the young girl clutching his left hand… his granddaughter, Daisy. Ordinarily he’d be thinking about how cute she was, but right now he was too busy being irritated. The first night in three weeks that he hadn’t been woken in the middle of the night by Gary’s bawling… and he ended up being woken in the middle of the night anyway.
“Are you sure you saw something?” he asked for about the sixth time.
Daisy nodded, bouncing up and down as she tugged at his hand. “I heard a noise outside my window! And when I got out of bed to see what it was, I saw this huge thing fly past! It must’ve been this big!”
She dropped Oak’s hand to spread her arms as wide as they could go. She was so tiny that the overall effect, while seeming impressive to her, indicated something about three feet wide.
Oak smiled. He could never stay angry at his granddaughter for long; she was just too innocent, excited about things he’d long since started taking for granted, forcing him to re-analyze his assumptions.
All researchers should be forced to have children, he thought. We get so caught up in our own conclusions and prejudices… it’s good to have a new, young mind around to look at things a different way.
Aloud, he said, “I believe you, Daisy, but I’m looking outside now and I don’t see anything. Maybe whatever it was—“
He was interrupted by a loud, cawing noise that he instantly recognized as the cry of a bird Pokémon. He glanced out the window again; nothing. That meant the sound must have come from the other side…
Oak glanced down at Daisy, who had started bouncing again in her excitement.
“Are you going to go find it, Granddaddy?”
“I think I just might… stay inside, mind,” he warned her. “If it’s wild, it could attack.”
She nodded, eyes wide at the prospect. Oak turned and left the room, taking the stairs slowly. He wasn’t as young as he used to be, not by a long shot… and this business of raising his grandchildren was taking a toll. Why, oh why had he ever let his daughter marry that—
He visibly checked himself. He’d gone down that road quite enough, both in his head and heated discussions. There came a point where you had to stop beating the Ponyta to death.
It was cold downstairs, and he wasn’t even outside yet. Pausing in front of the door, he pulled a heavy coat from its peg and tugged it on. Another sign of age… it wasn’t even winter yet, but he’d taken to wearing it every time he left the house.
Before he pulled the door open, Oak patted the coat’s pockets, reassured by the familiar weight of the Pokéball inside. He’d overestimated the danger to Daisy, obviously, but you never knew…
He stepped outside, and looked around. The source of the cry became immediately obvious: a large Fearow was perched in front of the next-door neighbor’s house. It was just a single woman, expecting the birth of her first child any day now. What was her name again? D-something…. Delia, that was it. Delia Ketchum. Very nice person.
Oak tilted his head to get a closer view of the Fearow… and blinked.
I can’t have just seen that.
He rubbed his eyes again, stepping closer. The Fearow was still there… and so was what it had evidently carried on its journey over here.
“This is like a bad fairy tale,” Oak muttered as he came right up alongside the Pokémon. It looked at him evenly, evidently used to human contact, as it didn’t fly off right away.
Or maybe it was just protecting the… he still couldn’t believe what he was seeing… baby beside it. It wasn’t in a basket, thankfully… some kind of advanced storage device probably not intended for babies… but the overall situation still hearkened back to that old wives’ tale about how children came along. The fact that the Fearow had chosen the only pregnant woman in Pallet Town’s house to arrive at just made it even more ridiculous…
The door swinging open jolted Oak from his ramblings. Delia stood there, looking even more winded than he was from the effort of climbing down the stairs. He gained a slight measure of satisfaction in knowing he was not yet as out-of-shape as a pregnant woman… very slight.
She, meanwhile, was staring at the Fearow and its burden with the same stupefied amazement that he’d felt. It took her a moment to notice him standing there, and when she did, she blinked.
The polite introductions seemed ludicrous given what was located right next to them. Both looked at each other, then back at the Fearow, which still showed no inclination of leaving.
“Do you know anything about this…?”
Oak shook his head. “Only that this Pokémon woke my daughter when it arrived. I think the, erm, delivery must be for you.”
Delia blinked again. “Who on earth would send a baby like this? And why to me?”
As he shrugged, the Fearow made a slight noise. As the humans swiveled their heads to look at it, the Pokémon lifted its leg.
“… it looks like a… note…”
Delia made to bend down, but Oak gallantly interceded and untied the piece of paper himself.
“It’s a letter… addressed to you…”
The woman’s brow furrowed in confusion, but she took it from him and started to read. She was not at it long before she gasped, placing a hand to her mouth and stumbling back into the doorway. Oak sprang to assist, helping her get inside and take a seat on a couch in the living room.
There were tears in Delia’s eyes, and either she couldn’t hear his questions or was just ignoring them. He stood there helplessly, not knowing what to do. A noise from outside startled him; the Fearow had let go of the container holding the baby and taken wing, just barely fitting through the door, coming to land on the couch next to the distraught woman. Feeling a warm body, Delia shuddered and wrapped her arms around it; the Pokémon did not resist.
Oak looked at them for a moment, and then turned away and went outside again. Amazingly, the baby was still asleep, so he left it there and searched about for the note. Any guilt he might have felt and reading other people’s mail was overruled by strong curiosity. He found it crumpled on the ground, where Delia had evidently let it fall; picking it up, he smoothed it out. He didn’t recognize the handwriting, but the letter had clearly been composed very hastily.
My dear sister;
What I feared might happen to us… has come to pass. He found us again. I am afraid that if you are reading this, Jeff and I will already be dead. It will be either that or join him… and that is something we can never do.
Jeff is just outside, making preparations. There is going to be a terrible battle… we know we can’t beat all of them, even if I could get out of this blasted hospital bed… but we can certainly make ourselves difficult prey.
There is only one hope—that he does not get his hands on our child, as has been the fate of so many others… I think, if Fearow flies within the hour, he will reach you safely. No, I do not think—I pray…
His name is William. Please, show him all the love you will your own child. And one day, when he’s old enough, tell him about his parents… that we would rather die fighting for justice than live and aid it.
Oak shivered, but it had nothing to do with the cold. The letter fell from between his suddenly trembling fingers.
“Him… that means… it’s true… it’s all true…”
The baby boy slept on, peaceful and silent, completely oblivious of the events unfolding around him.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 1st July 2011 at 4:00 AM.
Whew, I didn't expect to write so much today, but I ... did, apparently. Three updates over two days is definately not the pace I'll be going at most of the time...
A quick note on character descriptions: many of these characters are going to be based off the ones in the games and in the anime. A lot are going to be exactly the same--when you see Professor Oak, think Professor Oak, because he looks like Professor Oak.
Six Months Ago
Professor Oak waved his most stubborn worker out the door of his Pokémon Lab. “Most stubborn” was a highly coveted title among his employees, come to think of it… they were all so enthusiastic that, at times, it quite wore him out. Visibly graying, walking with a slight stoop, he knew he was losing his battle with old age, and needed assistants to do most of his leg work… but even so, a joy like staying late at the Lab to work on a particularly difficult project was something he wanted to keep to himself.
He didn’t have much time for himself, period, nowadays. For perhaps the eight hundredth time, he wondered why his daughter had saddled Daisy and Gary on him… then again, her mother wasn’t exactly the responsible type, so what choice had there been?
Ears flushing at a related memory (he may have been officially old, but that didn’t make him immune from embarrassment), Oak attempted to keep his mind from wandering. He was staying late in the Lab… because…
To work on the Pokédex, that was it! Yes… a device that would compile data on all the Pokémon in Kanto. Frankly, he was surprised nobody had thought of the invention before, but he wasn’t going to argue with having the good fortune to have come up with it himself.
As he’d learned long ago, though, ideas were one thing; results were quite another. He was having a tough time getting the darned thing as small as he wanted it to be. Certainly, a massive computer would work well enough for his purposes, but for wandering Trainers… it would have to fit in a pocket, or they’d have no use for it at all.
Nobody was having any luck on this one. He’d asked for input from a couple of colleagues—Elm of Johto and Birch of Hoenn—but, while offering several ideas for the computer, they confessed themselves stumped on shrinking the device. Ah well. He did his best work solo, anyway.
Full moon again, he thought, glancing out of the window. He’d been thinking that sort of thing ever since the “Fearow incident”—as he was sure most of Pallet Town was, also.
I mean… it’s not the sort of thing that happens every day here, now is it?
There were still a lot of questions surrounding Will’s arrival in Pallet Town—most of them asked by the boy himself. Now sixteen years old, he’d recently managed to worm out of Delia that Ash—who he’d always assumed was his brother—was actually his cousin… as well as the peculiar story of his arrival.
But that was about as far as he got. Ms. Ketchum maintained that she’d lost contact with her sister years ago; whether she was concealing more or honestly didn’t know much, nobody was quite sure. Apparently she had run off from home at quite an early age and, much later, settled down in the nearby Johto region. Presumably, that was where she’d met ‘Jeff’; but who had been responsible for their deaths was unclear, as she’d never mentioned him by name.
A good boy, Will, Oak thought as he fiddled with a screwdriver. He’d always have the curious image of that Fearow hunched protectively over a tiny baby when he heard the name, even though the boy wasn’t a baby anymore. Ended up being one of the tallest in the town, as a matter of fact, and was, according to Daisy, ‘cute’. Oak reserved judgment. Bad eyesight might have something to do with it, but he mostly saw the kid as a bigger version of Ash.
Ash… now there was a curious one. He gave the assistants a run for their money in incredible, over-the-top, much of the time incredibly annoying, fits of enthusiasm. Not much attention span to speak of, either. Oak was certain there was something wrong with him… not that Delia would hear anything but praise for her darling child. Ah, well. At least he was better than…
“Gary.” He muttered the name under his breath, as if it was a curse, feeling his level of irritation rise exponentially. He was guessing most “good” grandparents weren’t affected in this way… but he’d stopped caring about being a “good” grandfather a long, long time ago.
“That boy needs a firm smack upside the head, is what he needs…” And then the worst insult of all: “Takes after his father.”
Oak shuddered. He didn’t like to even think it, but it was the truth. Same arrogant attitude, same smirk, same complete disregard for manners, or punctuality, or not doing stupid spiking things with his hair, or…
Calm down, he told himself. The Pokédex. Work on the Pokédex.
After all, he’d come here to get away from his good-for-nothing grandson, not spend his whole evening thinking about him...
“Gramps! Yo, Gramps!”
Oak jumped, dropping the screwdriver, which clattered to the ground.
Speak of the Darkrai…
Grinding his teeth a little, he shuffled over to the door and threw it open.
“What do you—“
Oak’s annoyed tone cracked down the middle as he noticed it wasn’t just Gary standing there, but two other people, one of whom he recognized instantly. He hastily rearranged his features into a pleasant expression.
“That is… Norman! Good to see you! It’s been, what, five years? Six? Well, you’re looking better than ever… not old like me, haha. And this must be Richard—wow, last time I saw you, you were a little shrimp… just seventeen, huh, and you’re even taller than your father! … Which is saying something…”
In his haste to compensate for his earlier rudeness, Oak didn’t notice that both Norman and Richard had yet to actually greet him, and that even Gary appeared subdued. He prattled on, unheeding:
“And how is Caroline? Resting from the trip over here? I remember that she never traveled well… did… she…”
The deafening silence finally got through to Oak, who trailed off lamely and looked at everyone again. Gary looked sympathetic—an expression he could have sworn he’d never seen on his grandson before. Richard didn’t meet his gaze, holding himself with a peculiar rigidity. It was Norman who finally spoke:
“She’s… gone, Sam… gone…”
And as if saying so aloud was some kind of trigger, the man finally sobbed.
“He’s… taking it well,” said Oak hesitantly.
A week had passed since Norman and his son arrived in Pallet Town. Now, the two old friends stood sat on the professor’s porch, watching Richard on the lawn.
Norman paused before speaking, nodding slowly. “He’s… strong. Stronger than I am…” He paused again, and then shook his head. “No… that’s not it. He’s hurting just as much as I am, but he’s too proud to let it show…”
“It might help… that he has something else to focus on.” The older man spoke carefully, still, as if any wrong word might set something off.
But he had nothing to fear; Norman looked straight at him, and there was a small smile on his lips—for the first time in days.
“I know, Sam… it’s why I came to you. I knewyou could give that to him—a purpose, something to do…”
They looked on as Richard flung out an arm, yelling something. The Torchic at his side opened its beak and spat a fireball at the crude target scratched into a tree several yards away. Black burn marks indicated where the previous shots had come close or missed entirely; but this one’s aim was true, striking the bull’s-eye directly. The boy whooped, his Pokémon hopping up and down in similar excitement.
“He’s been training it nonstop this entire week,” said Norman, almost reverently. “And now look… he’s going to be better than I am, someday. Sooner rather than later, if my instincts are anything to go by.”
“I don’t doubt he’ll be a natural talent at battling,” Oak agreed.
“Thanks to you.”
The old man made a dismissive gesture. “It was nothing. Arceus knows that Torchic deserved a better fate than idling around with someone who’s never going to use it.”
“No… it wasn’t nothing.” Norman looked at Oak, his face serious again. “It means… more than he or I can even explain. Not just the Pokémon, but letting us stay with you… and—”
The professor cut him off with another wave of his hand. “What are old friends for? I know you’d do the same for me in a heartbeat.”
They fell silent again, and watched as the fireballs began to fly once more.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 1st July 2011 at 4:05 AM.
Professor Oak paused to wipe the sweat from his forehead. After years of effort, this was it. The big moment. He only had to make a minute adjustment to some wiring, and the last prototype of the Pokédex would be complete. Two more almost-done models rested proudly on a desk in the corner. Finally, finally, his dream was about to—
Something slammed into the wall of the Lab with enough force to knock half the framed pictures to the floor. Oak jumped, and then let out a vivid curse, as the action had caused him to snap the wire he’d been holding.
What in the name of Arceus are they DOING out there?
He made sure to set the pocket-sized device down with slightly more tenderness than he’d show the average baby, before stomping over towards the door. The building shook again on the way over, scattering more decorations.
By the time he actually made it outside, Oak was wearing an expression of withering annoyance that only his grandson had ever been subjected to. (Sadly, he seemed immune).
The source of the ruckus came into sight immediately as he rounded the corner of the building. Norman and Richard were in the midst of one of their typical battles, the teenager insisting upon them at least once a day, and usually more, in an effort to train his Torchic. Oak usually found the mere sounds of conflict incredibly distracting, but today had been just too far. He was starting to regret his decision to give the kid the Pokémon… not like he’d really had a choice—
Speaking of which… where’d it go?
Indeed, the Torchic was nowhere to be seen. Most of the time, if Oak cared to watch, he could spot it quite easily—out cold after being struck by Norman’s Vigoroth. But this time, it was the ape-like Pokémon that was currently slumped weakly against the side of the Lab, as something else pranced about in some sort of victory dance.
He fiddled with his glasses for a moment before he recognized it. Ah yes… clearly a Combusken. Hmm… that means the boy’s managed to get it to evolve so soon? Impressive…
Norman apparently agreed, as he was currently slapping Richard on the back, hard enough to make his son wince.
“That’s incredibly impressive!” he boomed. “Your Pokémon’s evolution gave it the edge it needed to defeat mine! Of course, this was only a skirmish, so I haven’t really lost…”
“Whatever, Dad,” Richard replied, a smirk spreading across his face. For a moment, Oak stopped seeing a blonder version of Norman and got a mental image of Gary… he shuddered.
But instead of rubbing it in, Richard continued: “I was lucky. Vigoroth had gotten complacent from all the times it knocked Torchic around… it wasn’t ready for something as strong as Combusken.”
Norman nodded, glancing over at the Pokémon as it continued to dance around on its suddenly powerful hind legs. “That’s one impressive fighter, all right. You’ve trained it well.”
He paused. “Say, you should go thank Professor Oak for—“
“… not informing the authorities about extensive damage to his personal property?” Oak deadpanned, having walked up behind the pair without their having noticed. He allowed himself an inner smirk of satisfaction as they both whirled around, and then looked past his outstretched finger to the multiple dents in the Lab’s wall.
“I didn’t mean—I just got caught up in the moment—“
“They’re really not that noticeable…”
Still maintaining his sternest demeanor, Oak cut them both off by lifting a hand. He looked from Norman’s sheepish expression to Richard’s attempts to fight back a grin, exultation from the victory clearly still the only thing on his mind.
“I’ll forget about the damages…”
Father and son made to speak; he glared them into silence.
“… if you let me borrow your Combusken for a day or two… I’ve not gathered much data on that particular Pokémon and it would be very useful for my research.”
“Really? Easy enough…” Richard checked himself. “That is—thank you, sir.”
Oak smirked. “Subtle…”
At dinner that night, after Oak had thrown his daily fit at Gary, who’d stalked out and, in his daily eloquent rebuttal, slammed the door behind him, Norman made an announcement.
“We’ll be leaving tomorrow, Rick and me.”
Daisy gasped, with what Oak personally thought was artificially inflated dramatics. “Oh no! Really?”
She was definitely looking at Richard (Oak disliked most nicknames, and couldn’t bring himself to even think this particular one) as she said it, too. The old man narrowed his eyes. It was a point in the boy’s favor that he hadn’t taken advantage of Daisy’s obvious hints… unless he had, both being incredibly subtle about it…
As he was pondering how likely this was and how much he would despise Rick as a result, Norman forged on.
“I’ve leeched off your hospitality quite long enough, I think. I know you’d never say anything about it, but it’s starting to bother me, and that’s what matters. It’s time to get on with my life again.”
Oak tore himself away from his dark musings to ask, “Where are you going?”
“Back in Hoenn, I heard about a new luxury cruise ship in production,” Norman explained. “I just got word that it’s been completed and will be docked in Vermilion City for three months before sailing its maiden voyage. To draw in crowds, they’ve several celebrity Trainers as guests… including the Gym Leader from my hometown. As good a place as any to restart my career, I think.”
“I’m going too,” Richard put in. “Not with Dad, since there are a couple Gyms on the way and I’m going to beat them, but… yeah.”
His statement might have been off-putting, even arrogant, had it been anyone Oak liked less… Gary, for example. As it was, he merely nodded slowly. Confidence, after all, was never a bad thing.
“Before you go… there’s something I’d like to show you, Rick. Can you come with me to my Lab?”
Richard titled his head, looking with some curiosity at the object Oak had just handed him.
“What’s this about, Professor…?”
“I’ve a request of you, Richard,” the man replied. “This is my latest invention… it’s called the Pokédex. It’s capable of recording data on every single species of Pokémon… but it has to be exposed to them first. I’d love to complete it myself, but I… I’m getting far too old to go gallivanting about the world to see them all.
“You, though… you’re young, and capable. And you’re about to set off on a journey… who knows where it will take you? The only limits are the ones you create for yourself. Don’t you see, Richard? If you were to take this, and write down everything you experience…!”
Oak looked at the boy, voice trembling a little in his excitement. “Will you agree to do this for me?”
There was a long, agonizing pause.
“… I’m sorry, sir,” said Richard eventually, quietly. “But… I’m going to have to turn you down.”
The professor blinked, not having expected the setback.
“It’s not that I’m not grateful… I understand how much this means to you, sir, and that’s why I can’t accept the task.”
“You have me at a loss, dear boy. I—“
Richard cut him off. “Professor… I’m not like you. I’m not inclined to spend my time researching Pokémon. I’m interested in battling… in gathering the ones I like the most and training them until they’re strong enough to fight. And that’s… pretty much it.”
Oak nodded, slowly, and spoke musingly. “I did fancy I recognized something in you… but I see now that you’ve chosen a different path for your talents… not that there’s anything wrong with it, so long as you remember to treat your friends with trust and love. For friends they are and should be.”
“I know that, sir. I—well, Combusken is the closest thing I’ve—and I just wanted to thank you, again.” He stumbled over the words, seemingly at a loss, for once.
“You’re quite welcome… Rick. I’m very happy for both of you; I know now I made the right choice of Trainer for that Pokémon.”
Only when Norman’s son had long since left the Lab did Oak mutter, “… as if I hadn’t already seen....”
He glanced at the calendar on the wall.
“One down… three to go.”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 23rd December 2009 at 2:37 AM.
Well, like I said, last weekend's update rate was abnormal. Actually, those might be the only times I end up doing so, since I generally really don't have the time to write during the week.
All of this 'chapter' was actually just told after the fact in the original draft of this story, the action following Ash and Will. I've decided to completely reverse that for this telling. Because any paragraph that doesn't mention Ash or Pikachu is a good paragraph.
Finally... a shamless plug for reviews! Yeah, everyone does that, but this story isn't particularly original (yet) so I might as well. I'm interested in what you all think of it, and apparently people are actually reading it, so if you could take a few seconds and type up a reaction...
I'll even respond to them all. Just as an added bonus.
“… and right in front of us, here, is the city Gym,” droned the tour guide.
Rick glanced at his father and mimed stabbing himself. Norman hid a chuckle with a cough, and nodded slightly.
The man currently showing them both around Pewter City evidently only attracted business by literally blockading the west route until every traveler had agreed to pay him for his services.
Arceus knows it isn’t that he’s actually interesting… or informative… or—
“Gyms are a fixture of not just Kanto, but the other regions as well… few, however, know of the archaic roots of this tradition…”
“I do, my dad drilled it into me,” mumbled Rick. “I never thought I’d meet someone even more boring than he was, either, but I guess you’ve proved me wrong…”
He’d intended Norman to hear it, and smirked at the glare sent in his direction.
“… It dates back several hundred years. By all accounts, humans were just beginning to gather together into settlements, rather than wandering tribes. Tiny by today’s standards, these were nevertheless innovative. Their theory was that there would be strength in numbers; however…”
Behind the tour guide, a dejected-looking Trainer shuffled out of the Gym’s double doors. He must have lost; well, there’s bound to be—hang on a minute.
It wasn’t just one Trainer, but a group of several, all of whom had obviously not succeeded in their challenge. This caught Rick’s attention. He didn’t know much about the Leader here—the tour guide had given nothing useful beyond the man’s name, Brock—but evidently he was relatively tough…
“… This proved not to be the case. In fact, so many in one place simply made them a target for wild Pokémon, who were much more vicious in the past. Self-defense became vitally important for the humans. Without firm leadership, the settlements were bound to fail…”
He started inching away from the rest of the group, all of whom had long since given up and were shambling along, slack-jawed and silent. Norman glanced at him but didn’t follow.
“… And in a lot of instances, they did. But some places appointed the man with the strongest Pokémon as an all-powerful chieftain, or leader. His task was primarily to organize the defenses. Over time, the role was watered down; today’s Gym Leaders obviously aren’t running their entire cities or towns. But each is perceived as the strongest Trainer in his or her immediate area. Indeed, the unwritten rule that such a person becomes Gym Leader is so strong that it’s practically never broken…”
The rest of the droning was lost to Rick as he practically sprinted through the doors of the Gym.
“Looks like the end of another day’s worth,” Brock said to his aide, wearily.
He generally sounded weary, these days. He hadn’t expected being a Gym Leader to be so… dull. Not that he’d wanted the position in the first place; in his mind, his only qualification was being the son of Pewter’s most powerful Trainer, recently deceased—the only one to still be in town. But the rest of them didn’t see it that way; as the tour guide outside droned daily, the Gym tradition was well-established and succession was part of it. Heirs were given the ‘honor’ of succeeding their parent, unless they were really horrible…
Unfortunately, even Brock acknowledged that he was decent—as well as too proud to lose a match on purpose. And the Trainers from the area were, even putting it kindly, horrid.
Well—maybe it wasn’t all their faults. There wasn’t much to catch around here, and Rattata and Pidgey had slightly less than no chance against his prized battler.
Nor was Pewter City a major tourist destination, meaning Trainers from other parts of Kanto (with better Pokémon, presumably) were rare. Actually, he had yet to encounter one as Leader.
He wouldn’t have minded losing to someone who’d earned a win. He just wanted something to break the monotony…
“Er… actually Brock, sir, there’s another challenger,” his aide replied.
That was lucky.
He turned to look at the entrance, where the other man was pointing. There was someone entering, indeed—an older-looking teenager, blonde-haired, wearing either a very expensive or very fake leather jacket. Judging by the kid’s stride, he thought pretty highly of himself… and his chances.
We’ll see if he’s confident… or just arrogant, Brock thought. He didn’t recognize the Pokémon walking behind the human, so this was going to be interesting, at least.
Lifting his voice, he asked, “I take it you’ve come to challenge me?”
“I take it you’re Brock… why else would someone wander in here? Conversation? An autograph?”
“Hey, that happens more often than you’d think!” the Leader replied hotly. “That is—a challenge, then… right. Right… rules!”
At the command, the aide sprang forward and recited a list from memory. Most of it was Gym standard: automatically forfeiting the match if the Trainer tried to leave in the middle; no money at stake on either side; the reward of a certain Badge…
The aide paused for breath before concluding. “And, unique to the Pewter Gym: each participant shall choose one Pokémon and one Pokémon only to make their challenge. The match will be one-on-one.”
This was the part where most Trainers Brock had faced before gulped and/or looked dismayed. As if the extra five Weedles would’ve actually made a difference. But this new one merely grinned.
“I’ve only got Combusken, so that’s fine with me… can we start now?” His Pokémon hopped from one foot to the other, looking just as eager, if not more so, than his master.
The aide looked slightly annoyed; technically the Leader governed whether or not a match would take place at all, and this kid was just assuming it would. Brock, however, waved the man aside. Something approaching a grin of his own was playing at the corners of his mouth.
Finally… something different.
“As Leader of the Pewter Gym, I accept your challenge… let’s do this.”
“… and that concludes your tour of Pewter City. Thank you for your patronage, come again…”
The tour guide was almost stampeded by the rush of people desperate to get away from him and not particularly caring how they did so. Norman smoothed down his collar and strolled casually towards his original destination—the west road out of the city.
He wasn’t the only one headed that way, either. Groups of young Trainers were clustered around the sides of the road, debating something or other in whispers. One or two looked in his direction, but the sight of the Vigoroth walking beside him seemed to discourage any challengers.
Ordinarily, this would’ve disappointed Norman; he’d rather have fought his way down the path. But today he wasn’t in the mood for delays, not even (as had been arranged) waiting for his son to finish the Gym challenge. He had to make it to the S.S. Anne before anyone else—well, before anyone who stood a chance of beating that Hoenn Gym Leader, at least. That fight was his.
Not all of those glancing towards the middle-age man had battling him on their minds…
Specifically, two: a man and woman barely older than the teenage Trainers they were impersonating. They didn’t draw attention to themselves, aside from a few glances at the woman, for hormonal reasons, though all of these were imperiously ignored.
It was she who spoke first: “What about him? He’s older than these clowns. Bound to have more money.”
The man took a casual look before shaking his head. “Doubtless… and he’s also bound to be at least three times as tough as any of them, too. That Vigoroth would eat my team for breakfast.”
She scoffed. “A Magikarp could take you down. Some of us have actual skill…”
“Shut up! And anyway, even if we could, it’d be way too obvious out here. The Boss says we keep a low profile, remember?”
“Yeah, yeah…” The woman shrugged. “I don’t know why we’re out here, then. Let’s just hit that cave and be done with it.”
“I’m giving the orders,” he said testily, pausing before adding lamely, “… and I say we should get everyone inside the cave and scout out a likely spot for an ambush.”
She smirked, but didn’t push it any further. With false casualness, the pair wandered down the path—in the same direction the tough-looking man had taken.
Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:
Written while listening to the R/B/Y Gym Leader music over and over again.
I really think that's one of the best tracks to come out of the games. The FR/LG remix definately lost something in translation, but the original was sheer awesomeness.
A small crowd gathered around the entrance to the Pewter Gym. Rumors spread quickly in a town of this size, and everyone and their mother seemed to know about the match almost before the two combatants had even ascended the stairs to the arena.
“Look… there’s a challenge going on.”
“Yeah, I know…”
“I went to watch once. It was the most boring think I’d ever seen in my life. Just that Onix squashing a Weedle.”
“Haha, yeah, most of the matches are like that…”
“What d’you mean, most? More like all…”
“Hey, now, I hear this one’s gonna be different.”
“So it’ll last two minutes instead of one?”
“Oh shut it… I’m serious.”
“Fine… how’s it not like every other one of ‘em, then?”
“Well, for one, it ain’t a local kid in there. I mean, I’ve never seen that guy before, have you?”
“Now that you mention it… don’t think I have.”
“Right, so, he could have all kinds of Pokémon from other parts of Kanto, or maybe even other regions!”
“You know—you’re right. I got a look at the one following him around, and I’d never seen it before… sure wasn’t a Rattata or a Pidgey or one of those bugs, anyway.”
“Exactly! For all we know, this could be the most exciting match since the old man’s day!”
“… Then why are we standing here when we could be watching it?”
“Uh… good point.”
The two men who’d been discussing the question most animatedly broke away from the rest and walked through the Gym’s doors. There was a perceptible rustling in the crowd; nobody had bothered to actually see any of Brock’s matches yet.
Then again, there was nothing better to do…
The arena was located on the Gym’s upper floor. It was a time-honored tradition for Leaders to design them to their own Pokémon’s advantages—as much as they could get away with and still have some semblance of fairness. It wouldn’t do, for example, to have just a gigantic pool of water; most Pokémon had no idea how to swim. But a ring that was half raging magma and half solid platform, say, was generally accepted. After all, home-field advantage had to count for something, didn’t it?
In comparison to some of the ones Rick had witnessed while watching matches in Hoenn, Brock’s was quite tame… a solid rock floor with a few boulder formations at odd intervals; nothing that would give an outrageous advantage to Rock Pokémon. Or any at all, really.
More stones formed the base of the raised platforms each Trainer was to stand at. Brock made his way over to his about twice as fast as usual; it was entirely possible to detect him being actually interested in this fight. Rick still beat him up, though, and Combusken was hopping around the arena long before either of them were ready.
“It looks eager… I wonder how long that’s going to last,” Brock commented, grinning across at his opponent. “A lot of ‘em start out that way, Trainers too. Until they see what I’m about to send out. Some of ‘em will even try and run away…”
Rick smirked. “I guarantee you, whatever it is, Combusken’ll take it on. Neither of us are going anywhere… until we win.”
“We’ll see about that…”
Brock flipped open a container on the top of his platform. Two Pokéballs were nestled inside. He selected one, not even needing to check the status reader on the top; he knew exactly what it contained…
“I’ve been ready.”
“Alright, then… Go, Onix!”
There were more original lines. But Cinder was actually impressed by what happened next.
Brock threw the Pokéball as hard as he could towards Combusken, almost as if he meant to hit the Pokémon. He didn’t, but the ball ended up landing almost at its feet.
Then his Onix came out.
Rick had never actually seen one of these before. It was when he did that he realized how good a maneuver Brock had just pulled. And the fighting hadn’t even really started yet.
Onix was… huge. This wasn’t the time or place for exact measurements, obviously, but he’d have guessed something like thirty feet. It wasn’t just sitting still, either; it came out thrashing its body and tail in all directions. Obviously this was something they’d rehearsed before.
Combusken was even more taken aback, which was not a good thing for it to be at the moment. Before it could even start to think about whether to back out of the way or charge, Onix’s tail stuck it solidly, sending it tumbling backwards, striking the rock floor repeatedly, the force of the blow causing it to almost bounce at each impact…
Rick winced. Suddenly the ‘simple’ arena was making a lot more sense.
Brock grinned, and issued his first actual command. “You know what to do, Onix—Bind!”
With surprising speed for something so massive, Onix gathered itself up and pounced. Its rocky coils formed a large circle… which grew smaller and smaller as it contracted inwards, intending to trap its opponent, render it immobile, and probably crush it. Bind, indeed.
It’s been maybe ten seconds… Rick thought, numbly. I’m about to lose this thing without even having—is he tougher than Dad?
He looked over at Brock. The Leader looked very young for someone in his position… a year or two older than he was, maybe. And he hadn’t been doing this for very long, by all accounts… inherited the job from his father after the man died. How good could he be?
Ah… who am I to talk? I’ve only won a fight once… and that was because Torchic evolving caught Dad’s Vigoroth by surprise.
Kind of like what he just pulled on me.
Rick looked down towards the fight, the Onix’s coils tightening steadily. His Pokémon was just now getting to its feet, shaking its head as if to clear it. From the expression on Brock’s face, the man didn’t think it would make any difference; he thought he’d already won.
Which, oddly enough, shook Rick out of his despondency.
Screw that… I’m not losing to anyone who isn’t flat-out better than I am. I don’t care what stunt they pull.
“Combusken… don’t just sit there and take it! Get moving! That thing’s Bind has a drawback—it can’t move quickly enough to stop you if you hurry!”
Brock started, easy victory slipping from his grasp. He looked confused, too, not sure what the challengers were planning.
Combusken, though, knew its Trainer’s mind instantly. Bending at the knees, it sprang into the air just as Onix coiled as tightly as it could, landing on the giant. Now Brock’s Pokémon had essentially tied itself into a knot—and was leaving itself wide open to the enemy standing on top of it.
Brock realized how vulnerable it was, and called frantically, “Onix! Use your Rock Tomb!”
“Combusken—Double Kick! Get its head!”
Onix attempted to uncoil itself, thumping its tail against the ground. Whatever attack it was trying to use, though, never manifested. Combusken sprinted along the rock snake’s body until it reached the Pokémon’s front. Grabbing the spike protruding from Onix’s head, it pulled itself up and, hanging in the air, kicked multiple times at the base of the skull before it.
Ordinarily, Rick mused, kicking a rock would definitely hurt you more than it hurt the rock. But Combusken’s kicks were another matter entirely, and Rock Pokémon were actually weak to them and similar blows, if planted in the right spots.
That was certainly the case here. Onix roared in discomfort and thrashed wildly, but its efforts were futile; Combusken neither let go nor paused in its assault. After perhaps half a minute, the Pokémon’s eyes glazed over, and, with a final spasmodic jerk, it crashed to the ground—with enough force to shake the entire arena.
Combusken somersaulted free, glanced over its shoulder, and raised both arms in triumph. Cinder grinned wide, and punched the air.
Brock, meanwhile, appeared in a daze. Wordlessly, he descended his platform and walked over to where his Pokéball had landed. He pressed a button on the side, causing the Onix to be bathed in a stream of red light, which rapidly sucked the Pokémon back inside.
Only once this was done did the Leader look up at Rick.
“I… lost… For the first time… a challenger has succeeded in winning the Boulder badge.”
And the audience neither of them had noticed enter the stands erupted into cheers.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 23rd June 2011 at 6:28 PM.
Reason: Old post bugged, unable to edit.
I really like Gary. Rivals who are actually rivals, not your BFF from your hometown, FTW.
I like what I'm going to do with 'Silver' too. But that'll be a while yet.
Beating Brock had felt like a conclusion to Rick—a culmination of weeks of effort and an intense battle.
He soon discovered, though, that it was only the beginning.
Well… he’d known it wasn’t the end, obviously. There were a lot of Trainers out there—including many Gym Leaders—who were currently better than he was. It wouldn’t be “over” until he’d beaten them all.
What he had been expecting was a short break. But as it turned out…
“Hey! Hey look! It’s that kid that beat Brock!”
Rick rubbed at his forehead wearily. The young Trainers’ shrill voices were not helping his headache. Not surprising, given that they and their ilk were responsible for his headache…
“I’m not fighting any more today,” he said shortly… almost rudely. He didn’t care.
“Aww… but I’m strong! Really!” whined the one who’d pointed him out.
Rick was amused in spite of himself. “Really? Top-notch Caterpie, hmm?”
“Nope!” the other replied proudly. “It’s a… Metapod! And we’re gonna—hey, wait, where are you going? Hey!”
Brock smirked as his recent conqueror ducked inside the Gym and slammed the doors behind him.
“It gets old fast, doesn’t it?”
“I know, I know, you told me so,” Rick groaned, removing the sunglasses that had done a very poor job of concealing his identity. “I mean… it’s not like I took over, or have any interest in taking over!”
“Even less now, I’d imagine.”
“Exactly… but just because I beat you, suddenly I’m getting all of the challengers, instead. I won’t deny it’s a great chance for Combusken to get stronger—no, I take that back, it’s theoretically a great chance. Those Pokémon are so weak it might as well be… sleeping, or something.”
Brock nodded. “I guess I should take it as a compliment that you have it constantly destroy my poor Geodude, instead?”
Rick smirked. “Well it is…”
He had been surprised to learn that the Onix Brock used in his battles wasn’t actually his first Pokémon. There were no rules, obviously, but most Trainers’ starters were the strongest members of their roster, since they’d been training them for so long.
Brock, though… neither he nor the Geodude had been interested in battling, even at the beginning. The only time they actually had, apparently, was when he and his father had gone into nearby Mt. Moon to subdue a particularly bad-tempered Onix impeding passage to Cerulean. His father had been the Leader then, and such tasks were considered part of the job description.
“It was a nasty brute, all right. Knocked Geodude right out of the air before I had a chance to give an order. My dad probably could’ve taken it down easily, but he was hanging back, wanting me to do it, instead. I don’t really know how Geodude and I pulled it off, but we actually managed to capture it in a Great Ball.”
And ever since he’d been forced into becoming Leader, Brock had used the Onix. It liked fighting a lot more than his Geodude, and sometimes its there mere sight of it frightened the opposing Trainers into ending battles more quickly.
“Which, when things get as boring as they do, isn’t a bad thing…”
Rick was thinking of that conversation when he added, “You should be thanking me, too. Get yourself a Graveler and it might be something worth fighting with.”
Brock pulled a face. “By all means, if it’s willing, toughen it up… but I doubt either of us will have any more interest—“
The doors flew open, causing both of them to glance over to see who was coming in. Rick blinked in recognition… and groaned.
Brock noticed, and lifted an eyebrow. “What?”
“Oh, you’ll see…”
Meanwhile, the aide had rushed forward to greet the challenger, and began to eagerly explain the rules.
“… This will be a one-on-one—“
“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” the challenger interrupted, lifting a hand to cut the man off. “Let’s just get to the part where I beat him, already.”
Gary Oak pushed past the spluttering aide and headed for the stairs. Before climbing them, he paused long enough to shout over his shoulder, “C’mon, I don’t have all day!”
Brock and Rick looked at each other.
“I see what you mean…” the Leader said slowly. “He’s as arrogant as you.”
The other mimed being shot, looking indignant. “I prefer the term confident.”
“Ah, yes, worlds of difference.”
Rick smirked. “Just get up to the ring already. And don’t you dare lose to that twerp; I’ll be watching…”
“… In accordance with the Gym rules, you’ve earned—“
“All right!” Gary interrupted, pumping his fist exuberantly. “I totally won that! Yes! The undefeated Gym Leader goes down!”
“I’m not undefeated; I’ve lost once before...” Brock sounded annoyed.
Gary waved a hand. “W’ever… I still won!”
“Don’t you mean we won?” The Leader pointed at the Totodile whose water attacks had given his Onix so much trouble. There was a certain degree of admiration in his voice.
The winning Trainer, however, didn’t even look in his Pokémon’s direction. “Huh? Oh… well yeah, mine was way stronger than yours, obviously, since I’m just better. Now gimme the badge.”
“I was just going—“
Gary didn’t wait for him to finish, striding over and grabbing the object out of Brock’s hands. He gave him a very mocking salute and a smirk in place of thanks, and then turned to walk away.
“Smell ya later...”
“… Yeah, I totally thrashed him. It wasn’t even close. I mean, he calls himself a Gym Leader? Really?”
A small crowd was hanging on Gary’s every word—about equal parts the young Trainers who made their careers failing to beat Brock, and girls swooning over him more since he was temporarily famous than because they were that into Pokémon.
“I mean… I took him down in like, less than a minute,” he bragged. “I’ve gotta be the best Trainer in town.”
“Are you gonna replace him?” someone asked. “It’s in the rules, ain’t it? Any Leader who loses can have their Gym taken over by the challenger who defeats them.”
“Well, no offense—“ Here Gary smirked, to show he actually did mean offense— “but I’ve got better things to do with my time than hang around and pound a bunch o’ losers and their weak Pokémon. I’m gonna hit the road; find some of ‘em worth my time…”
“You won’t have to leave town to do that,” a voice from the rear of the crowd interrupted. “You can find that right here.”
Everyone whirled to face him. There were assorted gasps from the Trainers, and renewed swooning from the girls.
Gary seemed taken aback, for once. “Er… what d’you mean by that?”
The older Trainer cut through the crowd until they were standing face-to-face—or rather, face-to-roughly-shoulder-level, given the height difference.
“Simple,” said Rick. “As you’ve spent the last fifteen minutes pointing out, you’ve beaten Brock. The only other person in town to have also beaten Brock is me. Logically, that makes us the two strongest guys here, doesn’t it?”
“But surely you’re not content with that, are you? I mean… you were just saying you were probably the best Trainer here. But we’ve both accomplished just as much, so there’s really only one way to find out, isn’t there?”
“A battle!” exclaimed several in the crowd, with great excitement. From the look on Gary’s face, he was somewhat less enthusiastic.
“Er… well, uh, like I was saying, I’ve got to… get going and such.”
Rick’s smirk turned feral, a predator sensing weakness. “Oh c’mon… it’ll only take a few minutes… I’m sure an ace Trainer such as you can’t ignore another’s challenge with a good conscience.”
Gary drew breath to argue, but he was interrupted by his recent admirers, all of whom shouted varying encouragements. He looked around, as if for an escape route, but, finding none, made the best of the situation.
“That’s right! I am the strongest one in town, and I’ll prove it by beating you!”
Rick beckoned Combusken to his side. “We’ll see about that…”
Forty seconds later, Totodile crashed into the Gym’s wall, jaws-first, and slumped over. It didn’t seem likely to get up anytime soon, either.
Gary’s mouth hung open comically. He hadn’t had time to get off more than one command before his Pokémon was completely overwhelmed by a flurry of punches and kicks. The watching crowd was just as dumbstruck as he was… they couldn’t believe it was over with so quickly.
“I guess that settles that,” said Rick, patting Combusken on the head.
The losing Trainer licked his lips. “That was… how did you…”
He was quickly interrupted. “How? I’ll tell you how. We’ve been training hard, Combusken and me, since the moment I got it. We’re good. You waltz into the Gym with a type advantage and think you’re the top dog because of a single victory?”
Gary blinked. “Um. Well…”
Rick cut him off again. “I’ve never liked you, Oak, not least because people are always saying I’m just as arrogant as you are. But the way I see it, you’ve got a right to boast… if you can follow through. If you can’t… you’re just a spineless windbag.”
The crowd’s silence stretched on as he turned and walked away from Gary, who stood staring numbly after him.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:40 AM.
Always very welcome to hear! I'm glad you're finding it interesting. I wasn't actually planning on making another post tonight, but when I saw a review (yay!) I went ahead and did one.
That spelling mistake has been found and fixed, since I'm a little OCD about grammar. Just a little.
“You know, there’s one thing about being the top Trainer in town I do miss,” Brock said one day, apparently at random. It had broken a long period of complete silence between the two of them, sitting lazily at outdoor tables in the local restaurant.
Rick knew better, though, and smirked. “I don’t know what you mean…”
This wasn’t strictly true, though. In fact, it was a complete lie. He had an excellent idea of what had prompted his friend to say what he had; the teenage girl who, passing by, had paused to stare at them, looking rather giggly.
She was reasonably attractive, Rick thought, though he’d seen better, even in town.
And I’ve done a lot more than just seeing, too…
Going through some particularly pleasant memories, he hadn’t spent too much time looking at her. Brock, though… he couldn’t seem to stop staring, mouth slightly agape. Rick had noticed that almost anything female appeared to have this effect on him.
“... The girls,” the Leader said eventually, when he remembered he needed to clarify his statement.
“Shame… I did notice they seem to only be after the one on the very top,” said Rick sympathetically, some degree of which was accurate. Not like he hadn’t been enjoying himself, but there seemed to be so many of them. More than one guy could handle, certainly, even if he did nothing else all day. And he had other things to do with his time, more important in the long run.
“Yeah…” Brock sounded distinctly mournful.
“Hey… the ones only after you ‘cause you’re famous aren’t worth the time of day. You know that.”
He supposed this was true. If he was looking for someone to settle down with, which he definitely wasn’t. And if they weren’t really interested in that, either, that was fine with him…
The Leader, though, seemed mollified. “Yeah… guess you’re right.”
Rick grinned. “I’m always right. Now stop moping and let’s hit the Gym. Nobody’s bugged me all day; maybe you’ve got challengers…”
Brock grimaced. “Hooray…”
“I’m bored,” Ash proclaimed, for perhaps the sixtieth time in the past quarter of an hour.
Will said nothing. The previous fifty-nine instances had taught him the futility of attempting to respond. His younger cousin would just ask him questions he couldn’t answer, like, “When’s the Gym going to open, anyway? We’ve been sitting here all day!” And when Will admitted he didn’t know, Ash would get incredibly disappointed and mope around, mercifully in silence.
The relief never lasted long, though. With the attention span of a particularly hyperactive Vibrava, the only time Ash could stay quiet was when he was sleeping. And even then, he snored…
Yet again, Will wondered why he’d agreed to Professor Oak’s odd request. It wasn’t that he didn’t think filling up the Pokédex… thingy… was a waste of time. He actually thought it was a neat idea and was more than happy to do his part to contribute.
The only trouble was… Ash had volunteered first. This meant he was more or less forced to not just do the same, but travel with his year-younger and infinitely more annoying cousin…
Thank Arceus for Treecko, Will thought, not for the first time and, most likely, not for the last. Oak had been so pleased that they were going to help him out that he’d given both of them a Pokémon. Or maybe he’d been planning to do that anyway; the Professor’s even-more-irritating-than-Ash grandson, Gary, had received a Totodile even after he’d turned his relative down.
As rudely as possible, too…
Anyway… the point was, Treecko had made all the annoyance worthwhile. In Will’s (admittedly biased) opinion, it was the greatest Pokémon that had ever existed.
Things hadn’t started out that way, of course. As Oak said, most Trainers needed some time to establish a working relationship with their partners, and the Treecko had a particularly strong independent streak. It seemed almost laughable for something so tiny to be so contemptuous of everything around it, but it had been—humans and Pokémon alike.
Had been? More like… still is.
But he’d worked at it, and by now he and Treecko were getting along pretty well. He was even starting to guess at what the Pokémon’s cries actually meant, which was apparently a sure sign of closeness.
At least I had an easier time of it than Ash…
Will couldn’t help smirking as he remembered his cousin’s early attempts to get to know his Pokémon, an ill-tempered Pikachu. Ash had thrown himself into the project with his usual unthinking recklessness and gotten several painful electric shocks for his trouble, to the point that he’d taken to wearing rubber gloves so he was able to touch Pikachu without suffering one.
He’d stayed on it, though, with unprecedented focus, and sure enough, he eventually wore the Pokémon down. Now the only time he’d get attacked was when he accidentally stepped on Pikachu’s tail (it didn’t seem to like that one bit). They’d even managed to successfully capture a wild Pidgey.
Gary’s Totodile, though… it had been obedient from the very start. That didn’t seem quite fair to Will, especially since Oak’s grandson was a bigger jerk than both he and his cousin put together.
Maybe it’s a jerk, too…
He wasn’t sure how strong it was, though. Gary had split off from the two of them literally the moment they walked out of the Lab, claiming he had better things to do than hang around with “those losers”. They’d met up again, very briefly, in Viridian City; he and Ash had fought to a draw, but were only using a Spearow and Pidgey, respectively…
Will was jerked from his reminiscing by a surprised shout from Ash. “Hey—there’s Brock! And look who’s with him!”
Norman’s son had been a fixture of Pallet Town ever since he’d arrived, and since there were only a few young people there, they’d all managed to know each other. Will found him much less irritating than Gary (though that wasn’t saying much), though he’d always spent more time with Ash; Rick had been something of a loner.
He was deep in conversation with Brock, now, and probably wouldn’t have noticed them at all if Ash hadn’t practically tackled him with a signature way-too-eager greeting.
“Hey! Rick! It’s Ash, remember me? Of course you do! We were like, best friends! Oh, and Will’s with me, too! We’re on a very important assignment for Professor Oak! But we came here to challenge the Gym, since the Leader’s supposed to be really tough! Hey, did you fight him yet? I haven’t seen you in a fight, are you any good? I bet—“
Brock—Will knew him by sight; as a Gym Leader, he was all over the TV shows—looked very confused; Rick had been surprised, but by now was just resigned.
“Good to see you too…” He glanced over at Will and nodded, as if to indicate the greeting included him, too. Will nodded back instead of speaking. He figured, as usual, Ash could do quite enough of that for both of them.
“And yeah, I have fought him, as a matter of fact,” Rick continued. “Won, too, though it was close.”
“My first loss,” Brock added. “And one of only two…” He cast an appraising glance over the two cousins. “I’m guessing you think you can change that?”
“Yeah!” said Ash, practically hopping now. “I’ll take you on!”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:39 AM.
I know the character introduced in this 'chapter' is actually a lot younger than I make him. I actually came up with this scene before I even had a name for him, and ended up taking one that doesn't quite fit.
But I'm not apologizing. If I ripped everything directly from the games and T.V. show, there would be absolutely no point to this story, now would there?
From what Rick knew of Will—which was a fair amount, really, as they’d spent two years living as neighbors in a very small town—he was almost the complete opposite of his cousin, Ash.
He was always careful about his appearance, rather than throwing on a few clothes and a cap and calling it an outfit.
He was always patient, typically never running out to do something without making some sort of plan first.
He was polite, listening to everything people had to say, instead of interrupting them mid-sentence to interject his own opinion.
And he never spoke unless he had something useful to contribute—or something had really shocked or excited him.
Apparently this was one of those times.
“That was brutal.”
Looking down at the arena, Rick could do nothing but nod in agreement. Ash’s ill-considered challenge had run its course predictably. His Pikachu had darted around and, for the space of a minute or two, managed to evade Onix’s blows. But it was unable to counter-attack; its electricity was useless and striking solid rock with one’s body is always inadvisable, unless one has the strength of a Fighting-type to back it up… which it obviously didn’t.
And once the Onix’s tail connected…
“I don’t even see the Pikachu anymore,” Rick said. “It couldn’t have actually been knocked all the way out of the ring… could it?”
Will shrugged. “Whether it was or not… looks like Ash lost this one.”
From the look on the younger cousin’s face—mingled bewilderment and disappointment—he thought so, too. So did Brock, though he was wincing rather than gloating.
“Er… I guess I should call it,” the Leader said, and drew himself up. “The challenger has failed to—“
He paused in the middle of his announcement, eyes wide. Slowly, Ash, Rick, Will, and the other member of the audience (unnoticed by both combatants) turned to follow his gaze.
There, at the very edge of the arena, stood Pikachu.
Actually, stood was putting it optimistically; trembled whilst barely holding itself aloft was closer to the mark. How it had actually managed to not faint dead away when the rock snake’s tail struck it was unclear.
“Pi… Pikachu?” Ash sounded as if he couldn’t believe it himself.
Brock looked just as stunned as everyone else. No order came from his mouth, but his Onix saw only an enemy that had not yet been finished. It barreled forward, tail scything, and gave Pikachu another vicious blow before it could so much as try to step away…
“Pikachu!” His owner’s cry, this time, was closer to anguish.
“… There’s no way it can take two hits and get up again,” murmured Will, staring at the arena with interest.
Under any other circumstances, Rick would’ve agreed. Now, though… he wasn’t so sure.
“There’s this saying my father always repeated… something I never paid much attention to,” he mused aloud. “He said, 'In a battle, the strength of a Pokémon is, of course, crucial; but it can only take it so far. Without a strong will, it will lose. And with sufficient heart, even the weakest can somehow find the strength to prevail…’”
Down below, Pikachu appeared to have been knocked out. But Brock didn’t even begin to go through the motions of claiming victory… not this time. Like everyone else, he stood and watched… and waited.
For a long time, nothing happened. Then its tail began to twitch; and then, with agonizing slowness, it pushed itself onto all fours, limbs shaking with the sheer effort required not to give up and sink into unconsciousness.
Once again, Onix pounced. This time, it coiled itself around the stubborn Pikachu, drawing itself tighter and tighter in a Bind attack. The other Pokémon couldn’t move, let alone get out of the way in time.
Will winced preemptively. “This is going to be ugly.”
“Looks that way,” Rick agreed. “That Pikachu just doesn’t know when to quit… now it’s in for some pain.”
He looked about to be proven right; the Electric-type was wriggling helplessly in the increasingly tight Bind, when—
“Stop!” bellowed Brock.
Everyone’s attention snapped back to him. The Leader stood frozen on top of his platform for a long moment, as if unable to believe what he’d just said. Then he nodded once, clearing away his doubts, and produced a Pokéball from its compartment.
The stream of red light had barely begun to envelop his Pokémon before Brock was running—down the stairs and into the ring. After a moment of confusion, Ash followed suit, jumping directly off of his platform and sprinting towards the center.
He ended up reaching it first, dropping to his knees beside it and reaching out to cradle its head, blinking rapidly. It took the Leader several seconds to catch up.
“It’s finally fainted… the poor thing,” he muttered. “But boy, did it put up a good fight…”
Brock lifted his gaze to the tiny audience and raised his voice. “All right… I’ve decided. I concede this match. The victory goes to Ash, the challenger; he gains the right to replace me as Leader, and—“
Both Rick and Will looked towards the row above them in astonishment. They’d noted briefly the presence of another person in the audience—a somewhat rare event in this Gym—but he hadn’t spoken to them and neither had given it a second thought. Now the man was standing up, an indignant expression on his face, and stalking down the stairs, hollering all the while.
“This is completely against every single precedent of this fine institution! You are making a mockery of the Gym system—“
Brock’s eyes narrowed as he studied the stranger, and he quickly interrupted him.
The evidently-not-a-stranger didn’t so much as pause at the sound of his name, walking across the arena until he was face-to-face with Brock. This close to each other, there was an obvious resemblance, though Forrest was slightly taller and looked a little older.
“Yeah, so what? Doesn’t matter who I am, the point is…”
“Oh no, it matters,” the Leader interrupted. Rick was surprised; it seemed very unlike him to lose his temper, but it was happening.
“I never even wanted to take over this stupid Gym,” Brock snapped, earning himself an astonished noise from Forrest. “I didn’t think Dad would die on us, and even if I wondered what would happen after he retired, I always assumed he’d pass it on to you. But no. You were off gallivanting around trying to be a big shot Trainer, you weren’t even in town for the funeral—“
Forrest visibly deflated. “… I was in Hoenn challenging…” he mumbled, excuse dying halfway through.
“… And they went and stuck me with the job. Me! The guy who only ever wanted to be a Pokémon Breeder! I don’t even enjoy watching battles, sometimes, let alone having to watch Onix destroy a Pokémon who’d fought much harder than it could possibly be expected to! I don’t want to win that kind of fight.”
Brock finished by shoving Forrest in the chest, and practically growling, “If the blasted Gym means so much to you, brother, go ahead and take it over. Or leave it to rot; I don’t care. I’m done.”
And before the other man could even think of a comeback, he was gone.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:39 AM.
I could've kept telling the story from Rick's POV the whole way through, but I thought I'd want to change that on occasion--as you saw when I had Will be the focus of one of the posts.
I decided to do a bit of an experiment with this one, though--it's going to be from Combusken's, and be more about the Pokémon than anything else.
Feedback plz! If you hate it I won't do it very often. If you like it, it'll be coming back periodically.
Combusken was almost happy, which wasn’t something that happened very often.
Not that he was perpetually gloomy without cause, like some Pokémon he could mention. If someone did something that deserved praise, he’d give it; if he did something worthy, he’d feel good about it.
What he really wanted to avoid was being cheerful without good cause. Overt optimism got on his nerves, no matter where it was coming from.
His partner—Combusken knew humans with Pokémon almost always called themselves “masters”, but this struck him as far from the truth—had this down just right, in his opinion.
But as for the rest of his current traveling companions…
“We’re so awesome!” cried Pikachu, pumping its tiny arms in great excitement.
“Yeah!” added Pidgey, flapping its wings wildly.
“Did you see how we took down those Nidoran? It was amazing! They barely got a chance to attack!”
“And that Weedle that thought it was so tough? Well, it wasn’t so tough when I got done with Thundershock, I’ll tell you what!”
… And so forth. It got to be quite irritating after a while; Combusken had seen Trainers put up much harder fights than the lot on this road, even if the other two apparently hadn’t.
Then again, their partner was hopping around making similar exclamations (from what he could guess of the humans’ language), and his partner looked just as annoyed as he felt.
Combusken nodded. They were on the same wavelength, all right. They’d had their share out of the series of victories, but none of them had been a real challenge, which meant there was no need to make a fuss about it.
Geodude seemed to have the proper way of looking at things, too. That was to be expected; Combusken recalled his battle against Onix, and nodded again. That human knew what he was doing. No wonder his partner was such good friends with it.
Onix had been intimidating, to the point of terrifying. Geodude wasn’t, nor was he as powerful, in terms of raw strength. It wasn’t like he was a coward or anything, but he didn’t seem to enjoy fighting other Pokémon. When there wasn’t any other option (generally when the challenging humans got overexcited about the prospect of facing Geodude’s partner—Combusken had already concluded it was a pretty well-known one) he preformed well enough, and was modest about it afterwards.
Come to think of it, even Onix wasn’t that bad, once you got to know him a little.
But… there was always that one guy.
Combusken shook his head ruefully. He could get along with Geodude and Onix. He could pretend to like Pikachu and Pidgey. Treecko… Treecko was a different story.
It seemed ironic that the Grass Pokémon’s partner seemed pretty quiet and agreeable, because he was anything but. He refused outright to even associate with the others, walking away whenever he was given space to do so, or turning his back when quarters became confined. Whenever anyone tried to engage him in conversation, he’d fire back mocking and/or snide comments rather than make an effort.
He was, in short, a jerk. Combusken couldn’t stand jerks.
A few days after they’d set out from the rock-place town, he decided he’d had quite enough, thank you very much. The humans were lounging about in the shade, and the Pokémon, for the most part, were following suit.
Treecko, though, had put several yards between himself and everyone else, and was currently glaring at a tree as if it had murdered his entire family, arms folded and tail twitching.
“Hey,” said Combusken as he approached.
The gecko-Pokémon ignored him, just as he’d suspected. He kept talking anyway.
“I’ve noticed you’ve got a little bit of a bad attitude.”
Treecko gave him a rude gesture.
“… Okay, that was an understatement. The point is, it looks to me like our partners are going to be heading the same way for quite some time. And it won’t do anybody any good if we can’t get along—us Pokémon, that is. I won’t deny one or two of ‘em is already getting on my nerves, but I’m smart enough to realize it won’t do me any good to pick fights or make enemies; I might end up relying on ‘em more than I’d ever think…”
Combusken paused for breath. “You follow me?”
“Run that by me again?”
Treecko smirked. “No. Are you too stupid to understand the word?”
Combusken shook off the jibe. “I’m guessing that’s a ‘I heard what you just said, but I’m going to completely ignore that advice’ no.”
“So you do have enough brains to understand speech? Wow…”
“… I think I’ve had just about enough of this.”
“What, going to flounce off with your pathetic excuse for a tail between your—“
The insult went unfinished, since Combusken drew back an arm and punched Treecko in the back of the head. The smaller Pokémon’s eyes widened in evident surprise as he flew through the air and smashed against the tree he had been subjecting to its glare.
Ordinarily, Treecko wouldn’t have still been there three seconds later; his speed was what allowed him to come out on top in most of his battles. But the surprise attack had stunned him, and Combusken wasn’t wasting any time, either. He strode over and grabbed Treecko, hauling it several inches off the ground.
“Listen up... like I said, I’m not trying to make enemies… but I don’t think I could stomach acting friendly towards you. Because you’re the worst thing of all… someone who acts like they’re better than everyone else, when they’re really just weak…”
He let the other Pokémon fall to the ground.
“If you ever manage to beat me I’ll take it back… but until and if then, shape up... or I won’t have anything to do with you.”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 1st July 2011 at 4:44 AM.
Wow, I like this. I think it looks like it is developing well. If you make a PM list for new posts, I'd like to be included.
I hadn't thought about that. But if there's an interest, I could certainly do it.
Hope you all enjoy this next bit. I don't feel like I'm very good at writing comedy, but maybe I'm wrong...
Pokémon Centers were, unquestionably, some of the most useful buildings one could find in Kanto—or in any of the regions, for that matter.
Their primary (and invaluable) task was to heal Trainer’s Pokémon, free of charge… supposedly. It was actually a law, one of the few areas the government in Kanto stuck their noses in—the Centers had, for the most part, been constructed as medical centers for the events of years previously, which nobody cared to remember.
But all laws had loopholes, and their genius (and all of their profit) lay in the secondary functions—selling packaged food, bottled drinks, backpacks, belts, Pokéballs, flashlights, pocketknives, even shoes… anything and everything a wandering battler could ever want. With a typical waiting period of half an hour in-between depositing Pokémon to be healed and picking them up again, the prospects were almost always too tempting to resist.
The group made a stab at it, though, choosing to sit at one of the tables outside instead of browsing the stores. Ash, as usual, was being annoying.
“We’re all such great Trainers!” he said, whacking everyone he could reach on the back. “We demolished everyone who challenged us on the way here!”
“That’s not saying much,” Rick muttered, which was true enough. None of the matches had come close to being as difficult as the one against Brock; since he’d won that, he didn’t expect any other result.
He was pleasantly surprised to see that Will (who he’d never seen battle before) and his cousin (who hadn’t exactly outdone himself against Brock) had both gone undefeated as well. It would be fun to see how they ranked against one another, eventually…
“And we’re getting on with our Pokémon a lot better, too!” Ash crowed. “Even that Treecko is acting nicer!”
“I don’t know,” said Brock slowly. “From what my Geodude was telling me, a lot of it’s due to Rick’s Combusken, here. Apparently he’s been trying his best to shape everyone up…”
“Hang on a minute,” Rick interrupted. “What do you mean, he?”
The former Gym Leader appeared bemused. “Hasn’t anyone told you yet? Pokémon have genders, just like we do. How could there even be a job like ‘Breeder’ otherwise? I mean… come on.”
Everyone nodded; that seemed to make sense.
Will asked, “You said Geodude… told you this. So you’ve had, er, him long enough to be able to understand what he’s saying? When did that start happening? It’s always interested me…”
Brock shrugged. “There’s no rule, or anything. It varies, just like everything else. Remember I’ve had Geodude since I was a kid; it’s been years, and we’ve always been practically best friends, as much as you can be with something of another species. So I’m not surprised that we’re able to talk to each other now, as far as that goes—not perfectly, not all the time, but on the whole we get each other’s meaning pretty well.”
Everyone nodded again. Ash added, “I bet Pikachu and me can do it before any of you!”
Before anyone had time to argue with him—Rick didn’t think he’d have bothered, regardless—they were interrupted. A man rushed up to their table, grinning wide enough to expose what appeared to be every single one of his teeth. A pungent aroma of hair gel seemed to hang like a cloud of fog around him, with a radius of several feet.
“Have I got a deal for you!” the man exclaimed, almost before they’d noticed him. “Yes, let me tell you, fellas, it’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I’m offering you here!”
Rick, Will, and Brock blinked at each other. It was Ash who spoke: “Uh… what—“
“What incredible bargain am I talking about, you say?” the man cried, cutting the question off in the middle. “Well, lemme tell you—you aren’t gonna see one like this every day of the week, no sirs!
“I’ve got a just amazing Pokémon here, fellas—an absolutely fantastic Magikarp! I caught it a few weeks down, and let me tell you—it’s pretty darn strong, if I do say so myself. I mean, I only wish I was a Trainer so I could use it myself! But I’m not into battling!”
The stranger paused to suck in breath, then hurried on, “In fact, I’ve had people come and try and buy it from me! But I turned ‘em down—it’s not about the money, no sirs! It’s about getting this worthy Pokémon a home where it’ll be raised properly by someone who really cares, you know what I mean? Like you! It’s why I’m offering to give it to you for only…”
The man paused again, so theatrically that Rick half-expected him to ask for an accompanying drum-roll.
“… Fifty dollars! That’s right, only fifty dollars for this superlative—“
“I’ll take it!” said Ash hastily, as if expecting the others to get in before he did. Rick glanced at Brock, and the two exchanged faint smirks, but neither said anything.
Best to let him figure out this one on his own…
“Then you, sir, you have yourself a deal!” the man exclaimed. He reached into a pocket and hastily dropped a Pokéball on the table, snatching Ash’s money out of his hand an instant later.
“Nice doing business with you, yes, very nice indeed,” he said, nodding briefly before more or less sprinting down the road leading towards Pewter City, with almost comical haste.
“All right!” Ash exclaimed, fist-pumping. “I got another Pokémon! I got another Pokémon!”
“… Congratulations,” said Rick, trying to swallow his grin.
“I’m gonna send it out right now!” the oblivious young Trainer said, and proceeded to do so.
Whatever he was expecting, he didn’t get. Magikarp materialized in the middle of the Center’s yard, and immediately proceeded to gasp for breath and flop about wildly. It appeared as if the Pokémon was attempting to move, presumably in search of water, but despite all of its trashing, it wasn’t able to travel more than an inch or so in half a minute.
Even Will had to avert his gaze to keep from chuckling at the expression on Ash’s face.
“… No… no problem! I’m… sure it’s just confused ‘cause it hasn’t been out of its in the open for so long! Yeah… see, I’ll prove it! I’ll look it up on the Professor’s Pokédex!”
He dropped his backpack to the ground and tore it open, searching frantically for the device in question. Pulling it forth triumphantly, he typed the Pokémon’s name into the miniature keyboard.
“Aha! The Professor has data on this one!” he said happily—it wasn’t unprecedented, but Oak had made only a few entries himself before handing the task to the two cousins.
He punched a button on the side so that the Pokédex would read it aloud. It did, in a mechanical monotone:
Average height: 2 feet, 11 inches.
Average weight: 22 pounds.
Observations: It is virtually worthless in terms of power and speed. It is the most weak and pathetic Pokémon in the world…
The entry was much longer, but Ash didn’t wait around to hear the rest of it, punching the mute button savagely. Face red with a mixture of embarrassment and rage, he glared down the road the con man had disappeared along.
Rick and Brock both burst out laughing.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:35 AM.
Nice, that was pretty good. I remember when I first played leafgreen, I fell for that guy too. Of course, I got a Gyarados out of it, but even so…
Your characters seem to be coming along nicely. I liked your explanation of how Pokémon centers stay in business, and Brock explaining to the group about Pokémon genders made me laugh as well. My only complaint with your fic at this point is that it seems to be short. However, I think that might be due to your style of posting, with one chapter being a number of posts. So basically, good post.
MICHAEL: 1976-8969-1555 . (If you join, say that bluedolphin359 referred you)
Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom
Lindsey is the only main character who is female. It's four guys and only one person in the group doesn't have (insert male genitals here)
I liked your explanation of how Pokémon centers stay in business...
The Center is one of those things that always bugged me--how the heck do they stay open when nobody has to pay? It's not like there's any form of government keeping stuff running for public welfare. Glad my solution made sense; there's more of that coming, certainly.
As for the length (or lack thereof) of the chapters--everything I put up has typically been written all at once, or maybe twice in a couple of days. I like doing that better than writing a really long one and taking forever to update...
Mt. Moon, being a cave, was rather dark inside. It came as no surprise that one of the stores in the Pokémon Center offered a variety of “high-quality” flashlights and electric lanterns that just happened to cost about three times as much as they would have anywhere else.
“What a scam,” Rick grumbled, adding a few choice words for color. Like all the other Trainers who hadn’t thought far enough ahead to bring his own, though, he had no other choice but forking over the cash for the least outrageous model of the bunch.
“But they’re high quality!” cried Ash with cringe-inducing innocence. Evidently he didn’t learn from his mistakes.
Speaking of which…
Rick was not surprised to find Will waiting at the group’s table outside, having produced a flashlight taken from home out of a backpack no doubt filled with other practical necessities nobody else had remembered. He glanced over and offered a brief nod.
“We’re just waiting for your cousin to talk himself into buying the most expensive one in there because it obviously will work better than the rest… so I thought I’d come and talk to you to kill some time.”
“… Why in Arceus’ name did you take that Magikarp? I mean, I wouldn’t have liked to see him just abandon it, but you practically jumped at the chance to get it from him!”
Will smirked, nodding again. “I knew someone would ask that eventually.” He beckoned slightly with a finger, pulling something else out of his backpack: a carbon copy of the Pokédex Ash had used a little earlier.
“As usual… my cousin only noticed the obvious,” he commented as he navigated the device’s tiny screen. “I was curious, so I decided to have a look at Magikarp’s entry past the part where it says it’s weak and worthless and all of that…”
He found the passage in question and let Rick look at it.
“… curious as to how it can survive in the wild at all. They have since concluded that this Pokémon’s tendency to gather in large packs somehow has the effect of discouraging predators. It has been theorized that the evolved form of Magikarp must be quite powerful, enough so to fend off attackers, though further research is needed to determine its characteristics…”
Will nodded once more. “Exactly. A Magikarp is useless, but if you’ve got the patience to raise it… well, it sounds like there’s a significant payoff.”
“… Ash couldn’t handle that.”
Rick grinned. “But it sure sounds like you can. Well… I’m interested in seeing how this all turns out. Very interested…”
Even with the (overpriced) flashlights, navigating the cave wasn’t easy. Even between the four of them, there was no way to illuminate all of the obstacles in their way, and after Ash tripped over a few rocks (once, memorably, over Brock’s Geodude) everyone took it slow.
Brock could always be counted on to put things in perspective. “This is a little awkward, yeah,” he said cheerfully, “but I hear Rock Tunnel is even worse. No natural light whatsoever.”
“How does anyone survive that?” moaned Ash, limping slightly.
The would-be Breeder shrugged. “Most don’t; they go out of their way to get around it. Of course, these days it’s common to teach one of your Pokémon that new HM—“
“… A what?”
“Didn’t you know? The big companies are putting a lot of time and money into developing artificial moves for Pokémon—it’s Silph here, and Devon over in Hoenn. They call ‘em Technical Machines, TMs—the ones used for battling, anyway. Hidden Machines, HMs, are designed for use in your more everyday tasks. Most of ‘em are still prototypes or experimental.”
“What’s the one they’re using in caves, then?”
Brock furrowed his brow. “They just finished that. I think they’re calling it… Flash or something. It’s mostly Electric-types that can learn it. Gives enough light to make caves seem as bright as day, if you believe the advertisements.”
“Ooh… like Pikachu!” The Pokémon titled its head upon hearing its name, and its Trainer proceeded to attempt explaining what they’d been talking about.
“I’ll bet you a free lunch he goes out and buys one the second we get out of here,” Rick muttered to Ash’s much less gullible cousin, who smirked, and, noticeably, didn’t argue.
The group was lucky, because Brock had been inside Mt. Moon frequently; they didn’t get confused and turned around the way newcomers might have (and probably did, all the time). Hours passed, the former Leader guiding them down side passages and around corners. Eventually, however…
“Hey guys… I think I’m lost.”
“You don’t say,” said Rick sarcastically, staring at the blank wall that represented the latest dead end.
Will nodded. “We are. I’ve been marking the way we came, see?” He indicated a scratch he’d carved with a pocketknife. “We came this way before, and doubled back… somehow.”
“Yeah… heh.” Brock rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “I’ve kind of… never actually come this far before…”
Everybody, including the Pokémon, facepalmed.
“Well… what now?” asked Ash, looking a little frightened. Before they’d come in, he’d loudly proclaimed how he wasn’t afraid of the dark, or enclosed spaces. Then again, before they’d come in, Brock had been assuring all of them that he’d get them all the way through in a couple of hours.
“We should split up,” Rick suggested. “We can cover more ground that way, and it’s more likely someone will figure out the right way to go… if accidentally. But we’d need some way to keep in touch…”
He looked at Will, and wasn’t at all surprised to see the younger boy rooting in his backpack.
“I know I put them in here somewhere… give me a second… aha!”
They turned out to be four separate balls of string, each a different color, which he proceeded to hand around.
“We can leave a trail this way… if you get to a dead end, backtrack and start following somebody else’s. This cave isn’t too big, so we should be able to make it out eventually, even if it takes process of elimination.”
“… I bet we find the way out before any of you!” cried Ash.
Rick and Combusken turned out to be the ones who got lucky. Less than a quarter of their string later, they noticed that the passageway was getting steadily less dark, and before the halfway point, there was a definite light (albeit a very dim one) from up ahead.
“I think even Ash could figure it out from here,” the human commented, placing the remaining string in a crevice along the wall. “C’mon… let’s check it out.”
He hadn’t taken more than a few steps before Combusken grabbed his wrist (about the highest part of his arm the Pokémon could reach). When he started to ask, he was glared into silence.
Rick strained his ears, trying to figure out what was going on. The acoustics of the cave helped a great deal; even a whisper would echo and carry, here, and it wasn’t long before he was able to make out, faintly, the sound of voices.
I wonder if Combusken can hear better than I do, he thought, glancing at his Pokémon. For all I know, I could just be listening to a couple of other Trainers or something, but he seems… uneasy.
Curious, he crept forward, hugging along the wall. The voices grew louder, and he was soon able to make out the actual words.
“… Doesn’t look like he’s going to go for it.” (Deep—obviously male).
“Of course I’m not, you… thugs!” (Slightly squeaky—the guy was either young, or scared, perhaps both). “I found these fossils—they’re mine!”
“Oh, for Arceus’ sake!” (Higher—was the latest speaker female, perhaps?) “There are two of you and one of him! Just take it.”
“Yes’m.” (The first voice, again).
“Hey, wait, what—oof!” (Squeaky. The accompanying sound of an impact probably meant his protest hadn’t accomplished anything).
“Fool…” (Definitely female. And in charge… interesting). “Don’t you realize who you’re dealing with? We’re the greatest criminal organization in the world—Team Rocket! And nobody is going to come through this cave without handing over everything they own… that or having it taken by force!”
The laughter that followed was loud enough to be faintly ominous. They were quite close. Suddenly that didn’t like such a great idea.
Rick and Combusken looked at each other.
“… Uh oh.”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:38 AM.
…That can't be good. That was an excellent introduction of Team Rocket. I agree with LostHero that your characters seem to be consistent, especially Ash. I can't wait to see his reaction when Karp finally evolves.
Anyway, I have a question. So far, this fic has basically followed the game/anime plotline. Will there be a significant breakoff anytime soon, or is the plot going to manifest slowly? It doesn't matter either way, I'm just curious.
MICHAEL: 1976-8969-1555 . (If you join, say that bluedolphin359 referred you)
Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom
Lindsey is the only main character who is female. It's four guys and only one person in the group doesn't have (insert male genitals here)
Anyway, I have a question. So far, this fic has basically followed the game/anime plotline. Will there be a significant breakoff anytime soon, or is the plot going to manifest slowly?
The short answer is 'no'. The plot outline of the games in particular (since I don't really remember the anime) is going to be present throughout the story... a sort of skeleton, as it were.
The longer answer is that breakoffs, as well as original and (IMO) very interesting content, is also going to be included at certain points. I'm not there yet, but I will be. Eventually...
This post will fix another thing that makes no sense, in the anime and games and stuff... specifically related to battling. You'll see what I mean.
EDIT: 'Sn-igger' gets blocked? I mean it as in TO LAUGH. /sigh...
In Ash’s opinion, the string was a very silly idea.
He quickly discovered that it forced him not to walk as quickly as he’d like—if he did that, it kept getting tangled and caught in things, forcing him to backtrack and undo the damage. Assuming it could be repaired at all.
“Well… not like it matters,” he mumbled the fourth time he had to tie a knot in order to prevent the string from tearing completely. “They’ll be able to figure it out anyway! It’s not like this is hard or anything…”
Still, he didn’t dare not marking his route. Even though he was smarter than the others, they wouldn’t see it that way. And they were all a lot bigger than he was.
“Not like that matters!” he said, louder this time. “We’re better than all of ‘em—right, Pikachu?”
“Pika!” exclaimed the Pokémon at his side. As far as Ash could tell, it was an agreement. Well, of course it is! He knows we can beat anyone.
“Yeah, ‘cause we’ve never lost!” he proclaimed. “You and Pidgey are both great! And now that I don’t have that worthless Magikarp, every one on my team will be really strong!”
The fact that he’d only “beaten” Brock because the then-Gym Leader had given up while certain of victory had, naturally, slipped his mind entirely.
Ash was so busy talking himself up that he didn’t notice the passage around him widening considerably. After another few paragraphs of self-praise, he was faced with a dead end of enormous proportions—the space from the cave roof to the “floor” was probably large enough to fit a story of a house, and it stretched back for several yards.
He also wasn’t alone. It was hard to tell at first, but someone was wandering around the empty space, tracing the line of the wall as they did—a man, dressed all in black, stooping to peer at the ground every so often.
The stranger wasn’t bothering to keep his voice down, and the echoes were making his words even more obvious.
“I can’t believe I got lost! The others are gonna kill me… if I even find them. This damn cave…”
Ash looked at Pikachu and blinked. His Pokémon gave a tiny shrug. Neither of them was reckless enough to wonder aloud.
“… stupid idiot of a boss,” the man was grumbling now. He attempted a mocking falsetto voice. “Oh, just take some grunts and go block off Mt. Moon, we should be able to grab some good stuff from travelers… While he goes and takes the easy job in Cerulean, the jerk…”
By now, even Ash was able to figure out that something was going on. Pikachu was nodding urgently back they way they’d came, as if to suggest they clear out before they were noticed, but his Trainer had different ideas.
That guy’s talking about stealing things! He’s bad! Ooh, I can take him down and be a big hero to the others! Ash Ketchum—defender of justice! Wickedness cannot prevail when I—
“… Hey, kid! What do you think you’re doing?”
Ash was jolted out of his daydream to find the stranger standing directly in front of him, accompanied by a suspicious glare. The man’s hand hovered over the back of his belt.
“Are you spying on me?”
“No!” the boy said indignantly. “I’m listening to you, and your evil plans! But guess what? You won’t get away with them! Because I’m going to stop you right now! You’d better brace yourself for a loss, because—“
The man’s eyes narrowed. Before Ash had even really gotten started with his speech, he grabbed a Pokéball from where it was resting, and threw it straight into the would-be hero’s stomach.
“… I’m the best—oof…”
Ash doubled over—the stranger hadn’t been messing around; he’d thrown hard. He was still trying to regain his breath when the Koffing the ball had contained materialized in mid-air, and promptly blew smog into his face. The gasps became more like chokes and wheezes as he sucked in the poison instead of air.
The man snickered. “Piece of advice, kid… don’t ever advertise your intentions when you’re about to attack someone. Especially someone from a group as tough as Team Rocket, hear? Real men know there’s no such thing as fighting dirty, only—SWEET MOTHER OF ARCEUS!”
Pikachu, it seemed, had taken the lesson to heart, quickly approaching the boaster and loosing a Thundershock. At point-blank range, it couldn’t fail to hit its intended target. The one chosen was unfair, perhaps, but extremely effective. The self-proclaimed Rocket, evidently in extreme pain, uttered several other choice curses as he collapsed to the ground and writhed.
The Koffing, intent upon attacking Ash, didn’t notice until it was much too late. The next Thundershock struck it in the back, a solid shock that didn’t knock it out but did divert its attention. It turned just in time for another attack, directly in its face; that proved all that it could handle, and it collapsed beside its master.
Ash let out a series of hacking coughs, on hands and knees with his face practically pressed against the ground. Though his condition was improving now that the air was clear—and he knew Pokémon’s poison wasn’t seriously damaging to humans…
This definitely wasn’t what he’d imagined heroism feeling like.
It actually kind of hurt.
Brock hadn’t ridden Onix for a long, long time.
Granted, climbing on top of a thirty-foot rock snake took guts, never mind clinging to its back as it barreled along at rather alarming speeds. He’d tried it a couple of times when he’d first acquired the Pokémon, but hadn’t done so since.
It wasn’t like he was scared or anything. He just didn’t find the danger as thrilling as some others (those who wanted to make it into some kind of a sport, for example; they’d been an odd bunch…)
But he had to admit that, when you needed to get somewhere in a hurry… well, it beat running by a considerable margin.
“I didn’t like the sound of what that guy was saying!” Brock yelled—he had to, or the grinding of stone against stone would have drowned him out completely. Geodude, clinging to his owner’s back, bobbed up and down in some sort of agreement.
Team Rocket… I’ve never heard of them, the would-be Breeder thought. But just because I haven’t doesn’t make them any less dangerous…
He’d come up against a sheer rock wall that marked the end of the route he’d chosen. It wasn’t until he’d doubled back most of the way that he came upon the man in black, who’d promptly attacked him.
… His Pokémon couldn’t stand up to Onix, but I had every advantage—the enclosed space, boulders all around… That guy was good, and he said himself that he was only a grunt in his organization.
And he said he wasn’t the only one in here. That there were several more, including a ‘boss’ of some kind. If any of the others run into a few at once, on their own…
“We can’t let that happen,” he said grimly, and urged Onix on to greater speeds.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:02 AM.
I like Pikachu, he definitely seems to take charge when the situation requires it. Your character development is continuing nicely. Sn-igger should be a word, I agree. Anyway, I don't see anything that is wrong with this chapter structurally, and I think the story speaks for itself. Nice job.
MICHAEL: 1976-8969-1555 . (If you join, say that bluedolphin359 referred you)
Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom
Lindsey is the only main character who is female. It's four guys and only one person in the group doesn't have (insert male genitals here)
I kind of do, too--at least this one--which surprises me a little, because I hate Pikachu. I'm thinking most of that is due to Ash as presented to us--but now I get to control Ash, so it's not as bad.
This post is about twice as long as my usual ones, I think. I couldn't find a natural stopping-point, so I just kept going...
Rick and Combusken crept towards the end of the passageway in what might have been a comical fashion… had the situation not been so serious. They spoke in lowest whispers, fully conscious of the ‘Rockets’ nearby (though these were talking so loudly that they probably wouldn’t have noticed anything below a shout).
“It would be safest to double back and wait for the others, but…”
“Yeah… I wouldn’t feel right letting them get away with what they’re trying, either. But we’re outnumbered.”
“I’m not doubting you,” Rick muttered. “I’m just saying, if I have to go up against a couple of adults trying to kill me… well, I’m not really liking that idea too much.”
“You didn’t think all battles were nice and civilized, did you? Granted, most are. But do you really think a bunch of criminals would just sit there and watch a fair match between Pokémon? Play by the rules? That makes no sense.”
“Yeah… Oh, well. I’ll figure it out. We can’t just sit here and do nothing.”
Combusken nodded. The two of them looked at each other for a long moment, then turned the corner.
The scene that met them was as almost-but-not-quite comical as their approach.
The first thing that caught the eye was two almost identical men in black; both were large, hulking, and rather ugly. In all honesty, they most closely resembled a pair of gorillas. Both of them were chasing, with arms outstretched, a much smaller man, who fiddled with a pair of glasses as he darted to and fro, slipping every so often on the smooth rock of the cave floor. The Rockets seemed completely unable to catch up to him.
Rick, though, was a lot more interested in the final person in the vicinity—a girl who was evidently the source of the commanding, feminine voice. She was dressed the same way the other Rockets were, but infinitely better to look at—tall, with a veritable curtain of hair the color of fire. It was obscuring her face now as she bent down to examine two objects, presumably the fossils the victim had mentioned earlier.
Perhaps the stress of the situation was amplifying hormones, or something like that… but he suddenly found himself ceasing to worry about a potential fight, or thinking about it at all. Instead, his distracted mind conjured a half-dozen scenarios featuring her and him, each one less likely but more enjoyable than the last, until he was glad that nobody but he could see the mental images. Thirty or forty seconds passed quite agreeably.
Then Combusken punched him.
“Ouch! What the—hey!” It didn’t take him long to figure out the source of the blow that jarred him out of his wishful thinking, causing him to add a few choice curses. “What was that for?”
“I wasn’t daydreaming, I was—oh hell, forget it….”
The girl straightened quickly and whirled to face them at Rick’s exclamation. Her face was young, as appealing as the rest of her, but her eyes were cold, and her expression forbidding.
“Er… Hi there.”
She lifted an eyebrow. “Is there something you want?”
Yes, said Rick’s brain. “Not really,” said his mouth. “Just for you to leave that poor guy alone, and return what you’ve stolen.”
Her mouth spread slowly into a smirk best described as ‘predatory’. “And who is going to make us do that? You… little boy?”
“What? You’re hardly any older than I am!” he snapped, annoyed for a couple of reasons. “And yeah, me.”
She nodded slowly, then snapped her fingers imperiously. The two other Rockets turned instantly to look at her.
“Have your Pokémon defeat that… thing,” she said, pointing a gloved finger disdainfully at Combusken. “And subdue the boy while you’re at it.
“Uh… it looks kind of strong.”
“Oh, for Arceus’ sake!”
The girl pulled a Pokéball from the belt at her waist and sent out something Rick recognized easily—a Houndour. The dog Pokémon were among the most popular in any region, overrepresented by a large amount among non-battlers who liked them as pets. That wasn’t to say they weren’t also dangerous in a fight, as he well knew.
The two men, meanwhile, mustered a Sandshrew, two Ekans, and a Grimer. This accomplished, they both cracked their knuckles, the ominous sound echoing in the cave, and began ambling slowly towards Rick.
The girl smirked again, and folded her arms. “We’ll teach you what happens when you play at being a hero… boy.”
The route Will and Treecko had taken had been entirely uneventful; they’d encountered nothing more than the occasional Zubat. Without obstacles, and happening to have chosen the quickest dead end of the bunch, they’d made it back to the starting-point very quickly.
After that, it was a matter of picking which way to go next. Will pretended to do it at random, but he knew he was really motivated by which of his friends he actually wanted to encounter. Ash was out by default, and he wasn’t feeling too pleased with Brock for getting all of them lost. That left his choice pretty clear.
As it turned out, his petty decision had actually been quite lucky. Not much time had elapsed before he picked up on some loud noises ahead. Treecko titled its head for a moment, then jumped and sped down the corridor; Will blinked and hurried in his wake (catching up was out of the question).
By the time he spotted Rick’s ball of string jammed into the wall, what his Pokémon had noticed was obvious: there was a fight breaking out up ahead. Both he and Treecko rushed around the corner, and were instantly enveloped in the melee.
A five-to-one battle is something that you generally want to avoid… if you’re the one, at least. Combusken may have been in tighter spots before, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember.
Not that he showed them he was worried, of course. That was the most basic rule. He hopped from foot to foot with apparent calm… waiting for the enemies to attack.
Which, despite their numerical superiority, they seemed oddly reluctant to do.
“You’re going down, buddy,” sneered the Grimer, clenching a sludgy fist threateningly.
“Yessss,” hissed one of the Ekans. “We will desssstroy you if you ressssisssst ussss.”
“… We’re taking him down anyway,” the Sandshrew pointed out. “That’s what we’ve been ordered to do…”
“Ssstop ruining my sssspeech!”
“I didn’t mean to. I was just saying.”
“Yessss, well, you really have no concept of dramaticssss…”
“That’s not what your mom said.”
“WHAT DID YOU SSSSAY!?”
The Ekans coiled. The Sandshrew scraped its claws. They looked on the verge of attacking each other instead of Combusken when the Houndour, who’d been silent up to this point, growled at them.
“Stop that, you idiots,” she said. “You’re as useless as your masters… do we have to do everything ourselves?”
With that, she leaped forward and bulled into Combusken, knocking him over before he could react; opening her mouth, she sought to bite his throat. Instead, she got the arm he raised in reflexive defense. Growling in mingled pain and anger, he kneed her in the belly, sprang to his feet, and delivered a kick that send her tumbling backwards.
Grimer was oozing towards him. Combusken ran at him, drew back the uninjured arm, and punched. To his dismay, his fist simply sank into the wet ooze, and Grimer seemed completely unaffected. When he tried to yank his arm back, he found it caught firm.
“Heh, heh, heh,” the Pokémon chortled. “You won’t be able to hurt me with that sort of attack!”
A hissing noise from behind. The Fire-type glanced over his shoulder—and threw himself flat. The Ekans who hadn’t spoken flew through the air, passing straight through where Combusken had been a moment earlier… and collided with Grimer’s eyes. Both of the Rockets’ Pokémon let out cries of pain as Combusken pulled himself free and leaped back.
The Ekans who seemed sensitive about his mother was hanging back a little. He paid for his reluctance when he was grabbed by the tail and hoisted into the air. Combusken slammed him against the floor a couple of times to stop it from wriggling, and then swung it around his head in several rapid circles. Houndour, attempting to spring at him again, got whipped by the snake Pokémon for her trouble; he tossed the Ekans at her feet, and was quite satisfied to see her trip and stumble over it.
There was a sudden pain in his back. In doing so well against four of his opponents, Combusken had left himself open to the Sandshrew who’d been circling around behind. The Ground-type took full advantage, slashing several times, sending him stumbling forward. The various wounds were getting to him, and he struggled to stand as he turned to face the latest foe.
Out of nowhere, Treecko sprang. The small Grass Pokémon threw himself onto Sandshrew’s back, wrapping arms and legs to cling firmly. Safe from counter-attack from the enemy, who couldn’t reach back far enough to dislodge him, Treecko began an Absorb attack, glowing bright green as he sucked up Sandshrew’s energy. With a type advantage, there was only one logical conclusion; the Rocket’s Pokémon fainted dead away. As he did, Treecko somersaulted free, landing nimbly on his feet.
Combusken blinked. “When did you get here?”
“Just now… You’re welcome, by the way.” The other Pokémon smirked.
The Fire-type ignored him, stepping forward. Treecko glanced over his shoulder and flinched; Houndour was in mind-leap, mouth wide open—heading straight for him. She caught a solid uppercut, instead, crashing to the ground (for good, finally).
It was Combusken’s turn to smirk, wearily. “You’re welcome.”
Rick darted aside as one of the Rockets aimed a punch at him. He ran away, as quickly as he could. There were times for bravery, but facing two people who taken together weighed about four times as much as he did was not one of those times.
He shouted frantically at the criminals’ intended victim as he approached.
“Hey, don’t just lie there! Figure out what you can do to help!”
The man didn’t seem to hear him, at first. Another shout caused him to start, and begin blinking rapidly.
“Er… I don’t think I can—oh, hang on, I have that Pokémon I got as a birthday gift!”
He reached into his pocket and proudly produced a single Pokéball, and started to wave it in what he thought was a threatening gesture. In Rick’s opinion, the guy obviously had no clue how to send out whatever was inside. He doubled back, barely avoiding a Rocket’s outstretched arms, and snatched it from the man’s hand.
“Let’s see what we’ve got!” Rick grunted as he hurled the ball at the closest Rocket.
He didn’t know the Pokémon that came out; it had an odd appearance, with a massive head and enormous jaws, which seemed barely supported by its tiny body and stubbly legs. It had materialized right on the Rocket’s arm, though, and simply needed to twist its head to bite down at the closest available flesh. Hard.
“YEOUCH!” screamed the man. Rick felt an abstract sympathy; the bite was sure to hurt—but then again, he hadn’t asked the guy to attack him. The other Rocket was staring at his partner’s predicament, which left him quite an easy target for a rock, snatched from the cave’s floor and thrown.
“Two down, one to go,” the Trainer muttered.
The girl was looking at him with narrowed eyes, but the frown at her mouth kept twitching. He couldn’t tell if she was annoyed or amused.
“Well, they were pathetic,” was all she said.
“Sort of, yeah,” he agreed.
“I’m not, I’ll have you know.”
There was a somewhat awkward pause. She was clearly expecting him to attack her, but Rick didn’t want to. Perhaps it was chivalry; perhaps it was a more basic emotion…
“… You’re not even going to try, are you,” she said eventually. It wasn’t really a question.
“I… don’t think so.”
“Even though I would’ve seen you beaten helpless and robbed. I would have done it myself, if it came down to that.”
“… I know it doesn’t make sense,” he said, rubbing the back of his head. “But there you have it…”
The girl spoke so softly it was almost a whisper. “Mercy…” She stared at him for a long moment. Something in her cold, imperious manner seemed to give, and she turned away so that Rick couldn’t see her face.
The two male Rockets stumbled to her side; one was holding his arm, and the other had a hand to his forehead. Both of them looked confused, unable to believe what had just happened to them.
“Boss… what do we do?”
She glanced back up, and the momentary weakness appeared to have passed; her eyes were hard. “We should finish the job.”
“But our Pokémon—“
“I don’t care! Return them, and we’ll—“
At that moment, something massive out of the passageway, scattering dust and tiny bits of stone in all directions. Rick, used to the sight of Onix, nevertheless understood how the sight of the giant rock snake could be slightly intimidating. He waved to Brock; the former Gym Leader looked slightly green, but managed to stand up nonetheless.
Onix lowered its head slightly and swished its tail, just once. It struck the wall of the cave with enough force to leave a significant crack.
The girl licked her lips.
“New plan… We leave.”
All three turned on their heels and fled the scene, without as much as a backwards glance.
“That was good timing… both of you,” Rick said.
The three of them were sitting just outside the exit of Mt. Moon, blinking as their eyes still adjusted to the sunlight, which seemed harsh and sudden after how long they’d gone without.
Not that they minded.
Brock just shrugged, but Will shook his head and responded. “It was lucky, is what it was. I can’t believe you tried to take all of them on by yourself.”
Rick waved a hand. “What else could we do? It worked out all right. Better than all right, really…”
He glanced over at the jawed Pokémon—Trapinch, it was called---with interest. He hadn’t been expecting to catch anything in the cave, but hadn’t argued when the man he’d saved had gratefully presented him with this one. The Trapinch had helped him greatly back there, and it had potential…
Will, meanwhile, had confused both of them by asking for one of the two fossils the guy had found. When they asked him why, he’d only shrugged and said it might come in handy.
Brock had flopped down on the grass, arms folded behind his head. He let out a contented sigh. “Ah… this is a relief.”
The other two nodded. Rick said, “I’m not sad to be out of there, let me tell you. And if I never go through it again, it’ll be too soon.”
“Rock Tunnel coming up eventually,” Will commented, which caused twin groans of anticipation.
Everyone was silent for a while afterwards.
Eventually, Brock said, “I feel like we’ve forgotten something.”
“Where’s the string?”
“What do you mean you can’t find it!?”
Ash stared in dismay at the latest dead end. The blank stone of the cave was entirely unsympathetic.
He lifted his voice. “Guys… Hey, guys! Can you hear me? Can anyone hear me? Hey, guys…”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 4:44 AM.